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Architect reviews in San Francisco

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  • He took my plan and said okay, I can do it for $500. I pay him. After a few days, he sends a proposed contract for $12,800. Then I ask if the plan has been approved, he says to hang in there, I will find out for you. After several conversations, he finally says the plan was approved over the counter. He never delivered the original approved plan. He just emailed me the front page photo with the cities stamp that they had received it and the date. He wants us to sign the contract now, but we told him we need to know what has been approved. On the phone conversation he said he will not return the original approved plan because if an architect Provider name locked. the plans they would charge at least $1500 and he only charged $500 and is not enough for him to live on. I told him we need to know what the staircase will look like that was approved. So he just emails photos of the plan that was approved. And since I Provider name locked. ’t have the original plan, I couldn’t have other contractor bid on it. So I decide to go with him. So the $12,800 construction plan included cost for $500 of tile. I asked for $500 credit to pick the tile that I want. I also asked him to credit $500 for the plan since I Provider name locked. ’t have the original anymore. He agreed and revised the contract for $11,800 and emailed it to for me to sign. Later he sent another revised contract for $12,300 with no explanation. I ask why, he said to hang in there. No further explanation. I sent a follow up email with him. He said to just hang in there and he would take care of me. After weeks of hanging there, I emailed him again and he emailed me the contract of $12,300 with no explanation. I reject the contract and asked for money back within 10 days. No communication or response since April 26th.
    - Pearl W.
  • We feel very fortunate to have found Provider name locked. .  He is a highly creative and detail-oriented individual, who provided both an artist's vision and a builder's insight for the design of our home.  Our goal was to completely redesign our second level to allow for a larger kitchen and open-concept living and dining room area, and add a third level with 2 bedrooms (a master bedroom with walk-in closet and master bathroom, and a second bedroom with bathroom.  While we had done remodels in the past that required working with the city for permit approval, etc., we had no experience doing anything of this scale, and Provider name locked. walked us through the process with a manageable amount of anxiety.  Initially, he Provider name locked. up different architectural plans for us to choose from.  then, he assisted us with neighbor notifications, permit applications, and selection of materials.  He patiently walked us through his plans. We are now in the process of obtaining contractors' bids; the contractors are all very enthusiastic about the work Provider name locked. has done and feel he is a top rate architect.  We look forward to adding another post upon completion of our remodel.
    - Kirsten A.
  • Overall, we were not impressed by the quality of work provided by Provider name locked. . We shortlisted them after interviewing 5 contractors. Their credentials in Angies' list were decent overall (A to B ratings). Now that I witnessed their performance, I am wondering how many people who rated them are genuine customers. We selected them even if they were not the least expensive because we felt that they could do the job. The initial time-frame promised was three weeks from start to finish. We ended up with 3.5 months to complete the job. We will detail below war stories from our experience with this company:
    1) Provider name locked. :
    Most of their staff is Southern California. In the beginning, we felt that the company was committed to the project. After the multiplication of issues, we felt that the project manager was on his own without having someone more experienced coaching him and teaching him how to do his job. We also found out that Provider name locked. is not experienced in the Bay Area and doesn't have the local expertise or the local talent to get the job done.
    2) Workers:
      <Provider name locked. >We had a foreman named Provider name locked. , with a couple of people helping here and there during the different project phases. Haroldwas living in Provider name locked. and commuting on a daily basis to San Provider name locked. in an old truck prone to mechanical issues. Many times (15 times at least), Provider name locked. was stuck in front of our house blocking our driveway because his truck broke down. That happened sometimes at the end of the day, but also happened frequently when he was on his way to get some additional supplies/tools for the project. Provider name locked. does not have AAA, but prefers to fix the truck himself. That usually takes him 2-3 hours each time and the cumulative delay negatively impacted our project. Provider name locked. > <Provider name locked. >Provider name locked. was sold to us as someone who will be able to manage everything but the electrical. His knowledge of plumbing was very limited (he is not a licensed plumber). It took him 4 weeks to add a line for the washing machine. In the course of this work, he installed the plumbing over the counter in a visible manner, rather than below it. He was reluctant to change it. When he replaced the sink, the connections were wrongly made and our kitchen leaked water to the next floor neighbor. It took him 6 attempts to get it right. Provider name locked. has no idea what is allowed by San Provider name locked. in terms of plumbing codes. I drove him personally to the city (because his truck was not working) to ask clarification questions from the inspector. The inspector told him that his questions are basic about how to do the work, rather than if the work is permitted. Provider name locked. > <Provider name locked. >I am not sure how Provider name locked. was paid by Provider name locked. , but he consistently refused to bring a helper especially when it comes to turn the water on/off for the whole house. He asked us to support him. We gladly did it a couple of time, but provided how often the water needed to be turned on/off, we asked him to be independent. That didn't solve the problem. He would wait till 5 minutes before shutting down the water, and comes to us asking for support and specifying that the project might be further delayed if we didn't help him. Provider name locked. > <Provider name locked. >Provider name locked. sometimes brought his brother to support him during the construction work that my wife will supervised every now and then. All input or comments from my wife were not welcome by Provider name locked. 's brother. I needed to come myself and shout at them in a "Provider name locked. " manner to get them to listen. Our project became a daily pain. Provider name locked. > <Provider name locked. >Provider name locked. asked me many times to drive him to buy supplies/tools for his work and even asked me to pay for his supplies. When I didn't accompany him, it took him 5 hours on average to buy things from the local hardware store. Provider name locked. > <Provider name locked. >Provider name locked. is very inefficient. Each task takes 2-3 times more time that initially scheduled. For example, when we needed to paint the kitchen, the plan was to do it between 11am and 4pm. Provider name locked. on the day showed up at 12.30pm, then he realized he forgot his tools. He left for 2 hours to get some tools then realized yet again that they were the wrong tool. He left again and finally started working at 5pm. At 8pm he finished the first coat and realized that he needed more paint when the stores are closed. So we started again the day afterwards with many hiccups. Overall, the painting took 3 working days (with a week-end in between) while it should have taken him 5 hours (we have a small kitchen and 5 hours was his initial time estimate).Provider name locked. > <Provider name locked. >During the installation of the appliances, Provider name locked. didn't bring a helper again. So he decided to move a large fridge by himself. He scratched the newly installed floor and the newly installed counter-tops.Provider name locked. > <Provider name locked. >The electrician Provider name locked. who supported the electrical work was fantastic. On time, affable and knowledgeable. His work passes inspection the first time each time. We can only recommend Provider name locked. for a job well done. Provider name locked. >

    3) Project manager:
    We were assigned Provider name locked. W. a project manager who sold the project to us in the first place. Provider name locked. is a nice guy but we were not impressed by his work.
    Once we signed the contract and before we started the project, Provider name locked. asked me many times if I am to write a review of Provider name locked. on this forum. I told him that I needed to check to quality of work, but he insisted that it will help him and he assured me that the work will be excellent. I obviously didn't do it. Now I understand why he was insisting on having a review before the work started because he probably knew the quality of their work. 
    Provider name locked. W. was not present on site, and his communication with us and his team created many confusions. For example, we provided him with our plans for the kitchen then he briefed the architect and issued the permit. The dimensions were wrong in the architectural work in regard to a 10 feel opening we planned to complete in the kitchen wall.  When I noticed the mistake and brought to his attention, he told me that the city never allows holes larger than 6-feet. It was obviously a lie and I realized it afterwards when I decided that I will take care of issuing all the permits myself even if I paid Provider name locked. to do that. 
    Provider name locked. W. was receiving a daily report about the progress from either myself and my wife. We asked him many time to change the foreman, or bring a different person for the plumbing. His answer was always the same. We need to halt the project and resume it when I have resources. It will add a month at least. This communication was effective on us because we accepted to live with a low quality foreman managed by an absent project manager for over three months. 
    Provider name locked. did not know how to work with the city. The coordination with the inspectors was catastrophic (the inspector will come and finds nobody to open the door for example). The permits will have the wrong information. I decided to offload Provider name locked. from the relationship with the city and do it myself even if it is part of their responsibility.  so I issued additional permits by myself taking days off of work, coordinated the inspectors' visit myself, and made sure to be at home when the inspector comes to explain what needed to be done to Provider name locked. (who was never there when the inspector comes) and Provider name locked. (who was present but misunderstood mostly what was asked from him). In the end, my wife and I became the direct managers of Provider name locked. and receiving calls from Provider name locked. W. asking us about the progress, rather than him reporting the progress to us. 
    4) Quality of work:
    Throughout the project, we were checking the quality of work that Provider name locked. was providing us with. To be fair, the electrical work was excellent. Provider name locked. knew from the beginning what to do, how to do it, how to write the permit request, how to manage the inspector and how to get the approval in the end while delivering good work. So electrical work was good. 
    Plumbing was a huge mistake and seemed at time more like trial and error. We had to shutdown the water multiple times and our kitchen flooded other units. The painting job was a disaster. We had to do all the touch-ups ourselves on the ceiling and the walls. We still have Provider name locked. on our walls because they did a bad job in plastering. They left the border between the living room and the kitchen all ragged. We brought another handyman to fix it after they left. The tiles are uneven in some parts of the kitchen. 
    All and all, very disappointed by Provider name locked. , by their lack of professionalism and by the quality of their work. 

    - Alaa O.
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Architects in San Francisco

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