Find an architect near Oakland, CA

Find an architect near Oakland, CA

7 near you

Find an architect near Oakland, CA

7 near you

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Top 7 Architects near Oakland, CA

Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How do architects work?

Architects may work for an architecture or engineering firm, they may work for a government organization, they can work for a construction company, or they may be self-employed (freelance). The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics explains that architects spend a large amount of their working time in the home or company office: meeting with clients; creating reports and architectural drawings; and working with other architects and engineers. When not in an office, an architect is often at the construction site either as part of the development of plans or to ensure building progress is following the blueprint.

When a client interacts with an architect, it is typically to have them design drawings for the construction of a house or a building. If you are a client who has hired a large architecture firm, there may be a team of people working on your design. But if you are working with a freelance architect or a smaller firm, one person (or a small group) will take your concept and translate it into an architectural blueprint that a builder can use to construct a house. The plans will lay out everything from the depth of the foundation to the materials to use to the type of metal to be used in the reinforcement. Once the plans have been created and handed off to the builder, the architect may remain on the project — depending on budget — and oversee progress.

How do architects charge for their services?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the median salary of an architect in 2016 was $76,930. This range included architects with every type of company as well as self-employed architects. Depending on the architect and whether they’re with a firm or independent, they may charge per hour or by the square foot, or they may charge a percentage of the total budget for a construction project. An hourly rate is typically used for smaller projects such as providing consultation, helping clients hone their concept before the design process begins, or drafting documents and plans. If an architect is working on an hourly basis on a larger project, there will usually be an agreed-upon cap on the number of hours they will work. For larger projects, such as new construction or total overhaul remodels, architects may charge a percentage of the total construction costs. The architect will usually set the percentage you will pay after the total cost of construction has been accounted for. Percentages can range within a firm depending on the extent of the services they’re providing. For example, a lower percentage of the total construction costs may include drafting and minimal consultation and guidance along the way, while a higher percentage could include on-site project management services with every detail attended to. Architects may also charge by the square footage of the project. The rate per square foot can vary depending on the individual’s training, the services they are providing, the complexity of the project, and other factors — such as obtaining permits. The national average cost to hire an architect is between $1,690 and $2,500.

What do house plans consist of?

In a house plan, you can expect to see an overview of the construction site, floor plans, roof plans, foundation plans, electrical plans, exterior elevation and more. Always ask your architect what they plan to include in your house plan.

Reviews for Oakland architects
Thumbtack Customer
I had a great experience with Ben! He got to know my project, a basement built-out, really well and made several improvements to our drawings that pushed us through the permit office. He picked up the project from a former architect without concern (something not all architects will do) as he understand the amount of work we'd already put in and didn't want to loose. He improved upon all of it and was the critical factor to jump start our project. He's personable, smart, fair, professional and very communicative. I am grateful to him for his work for us and I would absolutely recommend him.
Ben Tarcher and Associates, ArchitectsBen Tarcher and Associates, Architects
Thumbtack Customer
Very unprofessional. Utterly disappointing. Tarcher kept "loosing" our emails, was sick, out of town, late for our appointment, countless excuses, no delivery. I warned my partner about being disappointed in his lack of communication and professionalism. But my partner decided on giving him a chance because Tarcher showed him that he published a book in 1991 on the type of architectal style his house is. Big mistake. No updates on the project for MONTHS after Inital payment. Just kept giving him chances to work because Tarcher was the one who reached out to me for the project I posted, and showed my partner he was capable and is a professional on craftsman homes. Tarcher does not regard us, his clients as valuable. He is incredibly unorganized and full of excuses. Unfortunately my partner now is now forced to look for another architect. He stated he was going to deliver last week....when the week was up, no response from Tarcher. Took my partner's money, and never delivered. Wasted 6 + months waiting for plans that never came. Time is money. And he screwed us over bad. Never again!
Ben Tarcher and Associates, ArchitectsBen Tarcher and Associates, Architects
Blue W.
I worked on a project with Mahya in Oct of 2017 that took, from submission to planning/zoning to building approvals, almost 6 months to complete. The scale of the project was bigger than any project I had worked on, nevertheless, a bit intimidating at the time. I interviewed 5 different designers/architects and felt most comfortable with Mahya. From her vision, expertise to her demeanor, I was confident that she would be more than capable to carry-out the redesign and more importantly, easy to collaborate with. We briefly talked about vision and she knew exactly what was needed and delivered plans timely. Mahya has an innate talent for thoughtful and cost effective design without compromising budget and costs. After many twists and turns, which Mahya helped navigate through, we received our building approvals by mid March of 2018. Shortly we started the renovation and while in progress Mahya remain in close contact with me and did not hesitate to respond to any questions that came up. We completed our project in February of 2019. I couldn’t be happier with the new reimagined design of the home. Working with Mayha was a pleasure all round and I look forward to working with Mayha again on another project in the near future.
Mahya Salehi StudioMahya Salehi Studio
Thumbtack Customer
I hired Ben to do a feasibility study of a major remodel to a multi-unit building, and then a plan revision w/ city planning and building permit approval on a 2 story addition. It's a shame, but any value Ben might have had as an architect, was greatly overshadowed by his personal money problems. And his tendencies to become a desperate and fraudulent when dealing with them. On both projects, Ben requested to be paid in full half way through the project, citing his personal money problems (truck was broken during the feasibility study, mortgage due during the 2nd). With no mention of work delivery or obligation to a delivery. And sending 5, then 10, 20 , -- 30(!!) emails and texts a day asking to be paid. I agreed on the first project because it was a small project,- and asked him to further produce a design proposal based on the study, which he never produced. On the second project after I already agreed to doubling the project fee (he cited expanded scope), he tried to double bill me after forgetting a payment. Instead of applying a cancelled check to the bill, he actually came up with a new invoice with a matching amount for a minor service billed at exorbitant hourly billing (~10x the # of hours). Upon being asked to provide proof of work done with receipts, date/times, which are invariably a mess - he says he's not an accountant and not obligated to it. It's not just on invoicing either that Ben is this way. The same happens when there are problems w/ the design,questions on calculations, delays or when he can't remember some fact such as how the square footage was calculated. No matter how absurd, he will always insist it's the client's fault, or his drafter's, or the structural engineer's, or the city's. This is just a sad story of a professional. Just avoid.
Ben Tarcher and Associates, ArchitectsBen Tarcher and Associates, Architects
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