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Needs & Options Review

The Problem:

It is not uncommon for people to know what they want to build, and have thought about it quite a bit – but just don’t know how best to start…

Or worse yet, launch into  expensive design services without  carefully establishing the groundwork and correct parameters for their project.


The Solution:

 “A surgeon wouldn’t operate without a proper diagnosis, so… ”

We are not surgeons, but we are House Doctors!

The initial step to NEEDS AND OPTIONS REVIEW works in the same way. It will allow you to start an exploration process designed to better understand your entire project and it's related requirements, potentials & possible roadblocks.

This initial process will provide you with some important information, which will be critical to your decision making going forward, briefly listed below:

  • Feasibilities, Findings, Ideas and Recommendations

  • A clear understanding of how to plan, moving forward

  • Possible timeline of what to expect and rough order of costs


The Process

We developed this process as we came across many clients and projects which lacked a clear understanding or awareness of design options and the implication of the choices vs feasibility.

We saw major challenges facing those projects which people started design and construction BEFORE they had fully done their research and homework. BEFORE they had all the prevalent information.


We think this applies across the construction industry with people trying to run before they have mastered the walk.


The consequence of inadequate upfront research and planning of needs and options is like… building a house on a bad foundation.


The foundation is the most important part of the whole house, because everything is built upon it. It’s very expensive to change the foundation once you have started building upwards. But it’s very easy to change if they are simply ideas.


So… we spend a little more time on the research in the beginning but feel confident all things have been considered before jumping into the design phase.

Why Needs & Options first?

When considering building, remodeling or addition to you home, Needs and Options Review with Habitat Architecture is the first step.


Why… ? Because you receive:


  • Expert advice from a licensed architect and his recommendations on the feasibility of your project. One who is specifically trained and experienced in  residential design projects.

  • Minimum initial investment, BEFORE you decide what to do.

  • An outline brief that provides the “DNA” for future work, detailing rooms, connections, orientation etc...

  • Discuss potential solutions at a high level that encourages ongoing testing of ideas – “Design Thinking”

  • Review and research local zoning requirement and building codes

  • Discuss the ‘looks and feel’ of a potential scheme

  • Discuss the functional viability of the project, your ideas and defining scope of services needed.

  • Discuss and review preliminary rough order of cost estimate of construction for budgetary usage.

  • Discuss options and relative fees to perform various architectural services, based on the established scope of work.

What to Expect?

With minimum initial investment you can expect to receive the services, briefly outlined below:


  • Meet on-site & discuss the project

  • Review current functions & design

  • Building and zoning code review and research

  • Clarify issues; discuss options and current thinking

  • Clarify project aims & vision; themes & drivers

  • You provide: existing site & background information (plans, survey, photos, etc.)

  • Explore potential spatial relationships, connections & orientation options

  • Meet, present and discuss options

  • Credit for this service will apply to your total design fees.

  • Additional charges may apply for travel time outside 20 Miles radius.

Prairie Lake Home

Choosing an architect isn’t easy.



You need the right architect who has the specific skills for your type of project. The right ‘fit’ between you and your architect is key.



… this may or not be us!



In our experience the best way of finding out whether we are the right ‘fit’ is to fully understand what you are looking for. This is achieved through the initial step by exploring our Needs and Options Review.



If for some reason we then discover that we are not an ideal ‘fit’ then you are free to take the review report to another designer for them to continue the process.

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