In today’s economic climate many people worry about how much they will spend on an architect. At Design Associates, we share that concern and we will work with you and your budget. For instance, you might feel that you don’t really need an architect but would like us to review your project on an hourly basis. Happy to help. Or you might want us to design your project and only do the necessary drawings required for construction, with you making all of the remaining choices directly with your builder. Happy to help. You might want us to help you with the design, more detailed drawings and specifications, help you with bidding your project/finding your contractor and work with you and the builder throughout construction. Happy to help. As designers, we’ll tailor the right level of architectural work to fit to your budget and to your needs.


Christopher L. Dallmus, AIA


Talking with your architect about your construction budget may be, in your minds, a private matter. But you need to tell your architect of your financial limits so that he or she may design with those limits in mind. For your construction project to be viable, your construction budget must be in balance with your wish list. So speak honestly with your architect about your budget goals. By doing so, you are providing your architect with the tools to design a buildable project for you.

At Design Associates, we bring preliminary cost guesstimates with us as we are laying our first design ideas on the table. Though we won’t be able to tell you exactly what your project will cost---there are too many unknowns at this stage—we will be able to place your project in a well-defined ballpark range. We won’t spend our time or your money preparing extensive drawings and specifications for bidding, only to find that the project is way over budget. We’ll save that work for when we have confidence that the design squares with your budget.

If we may say so, not all design firms can do this well. Builders agree. Doug Stevenson of Kistler and Knapp Builders in Acton, MA is “very impressed with Design Associates’ ability to anticipate sensible budgets when designing. This helps Kistler and Knapp when their ‘real’ pricing tends to align with Design Associates’ preliminary guesstimates.”

Set up an appointment with me to meet at our Cambridge office to discuss how we integrate and balance our early design studies with preliminary cost projections.


Christopher L. Dallmus, AIA