Finding a skilled architect to design your home or home additions can be a daunting and tiresome task. Check out these tips from industry experts below to help you discover a firm that works best for you and your development.

So here you are, you’ve found the perfect location, (The Shelhamer Group happens to have a pretty great deal on two lots right now, click here) had all the soil inspections done, figured out a great price with your real estate agent, and now you own the land. Just one problem, you need to find an architect to bring your dreaming into reality. It can be difficult to narrow down which firm you want to go with when there seems to be a plethora to choose from, (especially if you live in a major city like Los Angeles).

1. Build a list and contact each firm

Find the architect or design firm that designed the projects that you like and contact them. Describe your project and ask if they are available to take on your project. If they are, request literature outlining the firm’s qualifications and experience. The materials you receive from interested firms might include a letter of interest, brochures, fact sheets, photos of past work, and biographical material about key personnel. Look beyond the style of the brochure to determine which firms have the right experience and capabilities for your project. At this point, you should be able to narrow your list to two or three architects you will interview.

2. Chemistry

Along with working with someone who shares your vision and has relevant experience you want to have a good working relationship with the person you are going to hire – much like you would with a real estate agent. Find an architect Architecture is a service industry and as such, personality is going to figure heavily into the process. How well are they communicating? Are they punctual? Do they respect your time and your needs?

working together teamwork

3. Making the Cut

Ultimately, you will choose the architect whom you trust and feel is right for the project. Unlike buying a car or a new appliance, you can’t see the final product and test it out. The architect provides professional services, not a product. The right architect will be the one who can provide the judgment, technical expertise, and creative skills to help you realize a project that fits your practical needs as well as your dreams.

4. Establishing Services

Most projects require a set of basic services typically provided by architects: preliminary (usually called schematic) design, design development, preparation of construction documents (drawings and specifications), assistance in the bidding or negotiation process, and administration of the agreements between you and your builder or contractor.


5. Compensation

This will depend on the types and levels of professional services provided. More extensive services or a more complex or experimental project will require more effort by the architect and add more value to the project. You should budget accordingly for architectural services. And what methods of compensation are available?

These are the most common:

  1. A stipulated sum based on the architect’s compensation proposal
  2. Stipulated sum per unit based on what is to be built.
  3. A percentage of the construction cost
  4. Hourly rates
  5. A combination of the above

To sum things up…

Look at different firm’s past projects and begin to narrow down who you want to interview. Make sure to take into account that you will be working with this person, or persons, closely. Vibe is important! Establish what you expect and need from them; don’t leave anything out! Get a clear and concise compensation agreement. Finally – start building!!!

More on our current Mount Washington lots

919 & 927 Rome Dr.

Located on one of the most desirable streets on Mt. Washington hilltop. This opportunity is conveniently situated at the end of a cul-de-sac. Get lost in the endless views of canyons and the San Gabriel mountains. Nearby enjoy hiking trails, secret staircases, and more views from every edge of Northeast Los Angeles best-kept secret.

What size houses can I build?

  • A – 2,870 sq ft
  • B – 2,781 sq ft
  • C – 3,223 sq ft

The seller completed a tentative parcel map, topographic and boundary survey, preliminary findings of soils & engineering-geologic investigation, and slope analysis. Looks as if RTI is between 1.5 and 2 years out depending mostly on the city subdivision committee.

Property Details:

*** 919 & 927 Rome Dr will be sold together.
APN 5464-010-008 Lot Sq Ft 10,988
APN 5464-010-007 Lot Sq Ft 12,155

Offered at $650,000.00

If you would like more information or a tour of this land for sale please contact The Shelhamer Real Estate Group 310-913-9477 or SEND AN EMAIL!

real estate agent todd pivetti shelhamer group

Todd Pivetti

Works with the Shelhamer Group to make sure every client receives world class service. You can find him on Instagram at @sellingeatside

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Information in this post courtesy of The American Institute of Architects and Bob Borson

David Clark - 805.280.1425​

I’m David Clark, a Californian, real estate advisor REALTOR®, and writer for the Shelhamer Real Estate Group located in Northeast Los Angeles California, the fastest growing real estate market in Los Angeles County. Connect with me for further information about this article, and to add and optimize the value in your property. Look for me on Instagram: @sellingnortheastla

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Mls Disclaimer:

Based on information from the / Association of REALTORS® (alternatively, from the /MLS) as of [date the AOR/MLS data was obtained]. All data, including all measurements and calculations of area, is obtained from various sources and has not been, and will not be, verified by broker or MLS. All information should be independently reviewed and verified for accuracy. Properties may or may not be listed by the office/agent presenting the information


The Shelhamer Real Estate Group

361 N Avenue 57

Los Angeles, CA 90042-3403


Call: 310-913-9477

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THE SHELHAMER GROUP   |    DRE: 01950995

Glenn Shelhamer is a licensed real estate broker DRE: 01950995 in the state of California and abides by equal housing opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdrawal without notice. To reach The Shelhamer Real Estate Group’s office manage please call (310) 913-9477.

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