Blog Posts

By:
Barry Shaw
July 16, 2013

Plans and Permits

Except for very minor projects, such as painting, fences not over 6’-0” high and such, building permits are required if a structure is to be enlarged, altered, repaired, improved, etc.
So typically this would involve the design and engineering of plans and specifications by a licensed Architect or licensed Engineer. Upon completion of these documents, they are submitted in person, as an example, to the Los Angeles Department Of Building and Safety for review. Other building departments, such as the City Of Santa Monica, have implemented an electronic submittal process.
Many various departments, including Planning, Zoning, Engineering, etc., are a part of the review and approval requirements.  Therefore, it is most important to have a complete, accurate and professional set of plans drawn up, so that the interrelationships of the many, many different aspects of architectural design and engineering can be transmitted in a clear and precise manner, to the respective Plan Checkers.
For a modest sized project, such as a one story addition of less than 500 square feet, or a significant interior remodel, I prefer to ‘walk the plans through’ these departments and meet with the various Plan Check Engineers ‘over the counter’, one on one.
In this manner, a professional interplay of question and answer, between the licensed Architect of record and the reviewer, can resolve issues in an expeditious manner. We have been quite successful ‘pulling permits’ for a project of this size in one day. This is quite unusual, but again accomplished recently with our plans for a West Los Angeles design and construction job of this size being Approved with issuance of a building permit, in less than one days time. We feel this is a testimonial to our successful Design-Build system that has been developed and refined, over the past (30) years of practice.
For a larger project than in the above example, or one that is in ‘particular locations of concern’ (i.e. Coastal areas) adjunct to the above Agencies would be additional reviews by the Coastal Commission, City Design Review Boards, etc. As was the case with two projects we did in Pacific Palisades, our professional, trustworthy and friendly approach to the various entities we request Approvals from, has benefited our Client’s significantly.
Some of these benefits include: savings from additional filing fees; savings from additional Architect and/or Engineering work; savings in interest paid daily on a building loan; savings in material price increases and savings in temporary housing costs.
To learn more, don’t forget about our new Online Design and Construction Consulting-let us know about your Project questions and within (24) hours you’ll receive professional guidance!
Best Regards Always, Barry R. Shaw AIA, GC
www.bsadesignbuild.com

Read More
Categories: Home Construction
By:
Barry Shaw
July 16, 2013

Home Construction Management

Typically a project such as a large new home or commercial building, could involve the Owner’s request for Construction Management (CM) services. Also, on occasion, a substantial home addition project may receive the services of Construction Management, whereby the Owner pulls the permit as Owner-Builder.
In either case, the CM firm is positioned between the Owner and the Design-Build firm or the Prime General Contractor. Their main function is to monitor and manage the project so that it is built in a timely, cost effective and quality manner.
Depending on the size of the construction project, an on-site Superintendent and/or off-site CM firm that observes the construction process once or twice a week, would handle the ‘field’ work.
In the office, support personnel regarding scheduling, budgeting, lien releases and payment requests, would round out the typical scope of services for a project.
With the above services and data, the CM would then be able to act as the Owner’s Representative in pertinent meetings with the Architect, Engineer, General Contractor and Subcontractors. In this manner, an Owner who is out of State from the project; has multiple project’s under construction; requests a single point of contact for job summaries; and likely comprises many different corporations, can streamline the massive amount of details and processes, significantly.
Adapting this service to single family dwelling construction for resort, vacation or second home projects, can be quite helpful to an Owner as well.
For example, we have design plans for construction of an Austin, Texas luxury home underway for an Owner who primarily develops commercial properties and has requested our residential design and construction expertise, in the capacity of Construction Management.
In this instance, we will hire, coordinate and provide on-site supervision for all Trades needed for this construction project. Our Design-Build system will be utilized for this part of the project, ensuring that a timely, quality and cost effective job is realized.
His in-house accounting and operations departments will in turn interrelate with us as the CM, thus freeing up the Owner’s time and availability to his other projects, as well as saving him the expense of a full general contractor fee, as he will pull his own permits with related responsibilities.
To learn more, don’t forget about our new Online Design and Construction Consulting-let us know about your Project questions and within (24) hours you’ll receive professional guidance!
Best Regards Always, Barry R. Shaw AIA, GC

Read More
Categories: Home Building
By:
Barry Shaw
June 2, 2013

Consultations Between Homeowner and their Design Build Firm

During the initial consultations between Homeowner and Design-Build firm, discussion of mutual strategies and goals should be discussed.

Obviously the major categories of cost, quality and schedule should be included, but also expectations, from both Parties viewpoints, should be a part of this meeting. It’s always best, in my opinion, if these ‘touchy’ yet quite pertinent parameters are concluded with a mutually accepted level of understanding.

‘Common Goals’ are not only a part of people relationships, but an integral part of the built environment with the natural environment. Our Kailua-Kona Hawaii, Couer d’Alene, Idaho and Sun Valley, Idaho projects have ‘common goals’ with the local Design Review Boards as well as the micro environment.

Further integration of these important sensitivities, is with our Green Building and Sustainable Design materials, systems and installations (please visit Luxury Resorts and Second Home Projects on our website). For our Hawaii project, we are specifying solar energy panels; long roof overhangs; energy efficient windows, bath fixtures and insulation; low VOC paint and sealers; bamboo flooring; and skylights for natural light.

To learn more, please contact us at: www.bsadesignbuild.com

Read More
Categories: Design-Build
By:
Barry Shaw
June 2, 2013

References, Past Home Projects and Walk-Throughs

Written as well as telephone communication with the Design-Build companies past Clients, can be a valuable resource for consideration. In particular, a Homeowner who has lived in the same home for lets say 3-6 years, will be able to provide the actual daily living evaluations, resulting from the design and construction decisions.

Also, maintenance; fixture/equipment materials; and functionality parameters is able to be evaluated over time. In person walk-throughs of past projects will reveal the results of the house plans and designs created, when building the house (please visit Testimonial: The Bardwills on our website).

That open floor plan design you saw on the plans that was about 7 inches long, is now a three dimensional reality of excitement, with natural light from skylights, volume ceilings and interesting interior design finishes. As well, the door that was drawn on the plans not even 2 inches long, is welcomed as a piece of art with white translucent glass, iron work and select grade wood rails.

Read More
Categories: Design-Build
By:
Barry Shaw
June 2, 2013

Design Build Firm’s Presence Signifies Stability

A design-build firm’s years of practice in a particular city likely signifies stability on many levels. Firstly, it substantiates ‘acceptable practice’ for delivering a Project on time, on budget and with quality.

Also, a professional understanding of permit processing, inspector approvals and client satisfaction is evidenced, whether it be a Luxury Home, Remodel or Addition.

As well, an amenable working relationship with subcontractors and material suppliers is thus part of the Team package, working to the client’s benefit.

It’s also worthy to note, that after the project is completed, the general contractor’s proximity to the home site can be quite valuable. Our 24/7 construction management support is available for very timely responses. Repeat client’s are coveted with special interest upgrades and continuity with the same seasoned, quality minded and cost-effective Trades.

To learn more, please contact us at: www.bsadesignbuild.com

Read More
Categories: Home Building
By:
Barry Shaw
June 2, 2013

License and Bonding of Architects & General Contractors

Architects must first obtain a minimum of (8) years experience graduating an accredited School Of Architecture, such as Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, along with practical full-time work with licensed Architects. This is the minimum requirement in the State Of California to even be eligible to apply for the (42) hour State Board Exams and then upon successful completion, become a licensed Architect.

Other States such as Hawaii, Idaho and Texas have varying tenure requirements. Most States though, also require Architect’s to participate in yearly continuing education courses, which adds greatly to the value of your home design and renovations.

A General Contractor (as I recall from 29 years ago anyway), must have completed (4) years of full time work with another G.C. and then be eligible for a one day exam. Upon successful completion of the exam, Surety Bonding and Workers Compensation requirements need to be met.

Also, the General Contractor’s license number is an authentication of how long he has been practicing, regardless of ‘words’. For instance in California, a G.C. license that starts with a ‘9’ indicates licensure for less than three years or so. On the other hand, a G.C. who’s license number starts with a ‘4’ has been licensed over (26) years. The lower the starting number the more experience you will benefit from.

Read More
By:
Barry Shaw
June 2, 2013

When Building a House

When building a house, whether it be in Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades or Brentwood, don’t forget to consider the big picture first, regarding the type of ‘business structure’ that will include the design and construction requirements needed.

Past methods of hiring a separate architect and separate general contractor, that inherently could result in ‘disconnections’ causing cost overruns and delays, can likely be avoided with a design-build contract format.

With this system, the Principle of the firm is most often the licensed architect and the licensed general contractor, thus the very important cost, quality and schedule parameters can be monitored on a daily basis, in-house.

Therefore, in lieu of the traditional method of designing plans first and then going out to bid and hoping it will meet a client’s budget (which rarely occurs), we take the overall budget first and then back it into properly designed plans, so that at the end of the job, the cost of construction is ensured.

There are huge advantages for the homeowner if a design-build firm is selected to perform your home addition and the principle of the firm submitting the plans for approval is also both the architect and general contractor of record.

For instance, when the plans are being processed through the many entities of the Los Angeles Building and Zoning Code Departments, quite often ‘on the spot’ decisions are made that have a significant impact on the Project’s costs. When the principle is experienced and licensed in both professions, an intelligent ‘on the spot’ adjustment to the plans can be made with regard to ensuring that the overall budget remains in tact, without sacrificing quality.

Also, successful approvals from Design Review Boards and Public Hearings will result in timely plan processing, thus relieving unwanted client anxiety.

Adjunct to these basic services that an experienced design-build firm will be able to provide, is the feeling of a confident, trusting and fun atmosphere during the process.

Read More
Categories: Home Building
By:
Barry Shaw
June 2, 2013

Barry Shaw, Santa Monica Architect

Barry R. Shaw AIA is a third generation Santa Monica High School grad, who took the path of architecture to new heights. He has combined his design talents with his general contracting expertise, to create a successful Design-Build system for interior, addition and new ground up single family and multifamily residential projects.

He is an alumni of the second ranked school of architecture in the U.S., Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, as well as the first place recipient of the Los Angeles Business Council Beautification award competition, for single family residential projects. In addition, he has been a contributing writer to Professional Builder magazine regarding interior architectural design.

June B. of Santa Monica recently hired Mr. Shaw. She writes, “What people don’t see from the street is your design penchant for light, space, volume and flow. Not until someone has lived in a home over a period of months can they fairly appraise balance between form and function. Now in our new environment for six months, we can honestly say that balance is centric to the architecture”.

Barry Shaw is an astute team player, familiar with the successful processing of plans through the multiple building department requirements, as well as independent design review boards. All of his construction projects include full service on site observation, as your architect and is part of the design-build delivery package. As written by client Bert W., “You [Barry] surveyed our needs without our even knowing it during the meetings prior to drawing the plans, so that your first set of drawings was virtually perfect”.

All of Mr. Shaw’s design plans are value engineered and designed to blend into the neighborhood, while encompassing the unique characteristics of the client’s programmatic requirements.

Member of American Institute of Architects, AIA
CA Architect Lic. No. C22165
HI Architect Lic. No. AR11535
ID Architect Lic. No. AR984674
TX Architect Lic. No. 23590

CA General Contractor Lic. No. B442403
HI General Contractor Lic. No. BC26058
ID General Contractor Lic. No. RCT4418
TX General Contractor/RRP Lic. No. R-I-18942-10-01387

Read More
Categories: Barry Shaw
By:
Barry Shaw
June 2, 2013

Barry Shaw, General Contractor

Barry R. Shaw has been a licensed, practicing general contractor since 1983. He has maintained a flawless State Board record since this inception, along with an A+ surety rating. His multiple building type experience spanning across twelve states, has led to his specialty of Design-Build residential projects.

Unwittingly, some of his Santa Monica High School alumni, would be providing him with an extension of local resources, some with two or three generations of expertise, as part of his design-build package. Thus, response time to the job site is timely and efficient to the construction schedule.

His business philosophy is based on simple, straight forward professional ethics; trust, reliability, value and satisfaction. “We had a simply flawless experience and it is 100% attributable to your skill and experience”, writes client Siri Kay J.

Our open line of communication is extended to our clients via 24/7 availability. In this manner, all design and construction issues are addressed for immediate attention and most importantly, follow up results.

Mr. Shaw’s attention to detail and quality is paramount to the entire construction process. To ensure the continuity of this process, he is on the job coordinating the crews, almost on a daily basis.

The real satisfaction though, is when you see him around town well after the project has been completed and a proud smile of satisfaction is exchanged by contractor and client.

Member of American Institute of Architects, AIA
CA Architect Lic. No. C22165
HI Architect Lic. No. AR11535
ID Architect Lic. No. AR984674
TX Architect Lic. No. 23590

CA General Contractor Lic. No. B442403
HI General Contractor Lic. No. BC26058
ID General Contractor Lic. No. RCT4418
TX General Contractor/RRP Lic. No. R-I-18942-10-01387

Read More
Categories: Barry Shaw
By:
Barry Shaw
June 2, 2013

Family Expansion and Daily Living Considerations When Adding On To Your Home

Space for children, along with their friends, would be an obvious start for consideration.

These bedrooms, closets and bathrooms should be contemplated, designed and articulated with respect to boy/girl sexes not only as youngsters, but teenagers as well (i.e. two young boys sharing a bedroom may be ok initially, but a separate additional bedroom is likely to be needed as each grows up).

Also, a trend that has been developing, is for that same teenager who graduated college out of town to now find their way back into the home, as well as older in-laws who need some special care, seeking refuge in this home. Thus strategic planning in terms of the architectural design layout/location within the home, possibly with a separate outside entrance, insulated walls, handicap bathroom specifications, etc., should be evaluated.

Another trend, but less prevalent, is to utilize space designed as a junior suite, for rental purposes. In this case, the above accommodations along with other considerations such as an additional third car garage (granted that the property can accommodate this), a small independent stack washer/dryer area within the Suite, utility sink/microwave/under counter refrigerator, service area, etc., should be planned for. Depending on site conditions, if a detached two car garage is existing, adding on to this Garage to accommodate an independent Junior Suite space, may be a viable consideration.

Logistics of the family who chooses to live in their home during a two story addition, as well as their personal schedules, must also be considered.

For instance, we are typically on the job at 7:00 a.m. and ready to perform work. On the other hand, the parents and kids are still getting ready for their day, so a request may be given for us to start an hour or more later, thus losing time from the typical day. Sure, we can work later, but with regards to the other Trades that also need to integrate first thing in the morning (i.e. material deliveries), this inherently creates some ‘stand around time’ inefficiencies.

On the other hand, a one story addition can be ‘sectioned off’ from the existing home much easier. This then allows the family to go about their schedule, with much more privacy and our construction crew can go about their schedule with ‘business as usual’.

Another consideration with one or two story, is sound. Because the one story addition is sectioned off, sounds from saws, hammers, people and material being moved around will typically be muffled within the one story addition. With a two story addition, these sounds will likely transmit much more readily, throughout the home.

Read More
Categories: Home Addition

Copyright © 2018 Barry Shaw & Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.