We had very positive experience working with Memar Architect, whose service we retained for a two story rear addition project.
We found Memar Architect through “Homestar” and “Houzz”, both online sources present good reviews for Memar. After a round of in person interviews with a handful of the recommended candidates, Memar stood out due to their competitive price; clear and direct approach towards the project.
We met Sean, the principle of the firm during our initial meeting. It was evident that he knew his business like the back of his hand; he gave us a quick overview of the whole process from beginning to obtaining permit; the timeline and the goal of each stage. As nervous and clueless as any home owners who were about to take on a major renovation project, we bombarded him with all kinds of questions, he addressed them one by one in an explicit manner. After our first meeting with Sean, we felt somewhat less overwhelmed or daunted about this new venture. During the following meetings with him, we got more and more impressed by his efficiency, knowledge and his intelligence. Sean is very clear minded and a quick thinker, nothing seems to leave him at his wits end; he always managed to come up with a solution if he didn't already have one to the problem or difficulties we encountered, nothing seemed to stand in the way or frustrate him. He represented us at the committee of adjustment meeting; he and his team communicated with the city, and prepared primary strategy and a contingency plan for the hearing. All we had to do was to take some pictures as evidence/demonstration for the COA hearing. We were planning to compromise on certain features in order to move the project ahead, but Sean believed our plan/design was good and reasonable and had precedents, he went ahead and presented as is to the board and addressed their questions in a professional and experienced style which convinced the board despite the obstacles from City Planning Department. We got approval. As the principle of the firm, Sean is also accommodating, if you have some special requests he is willing to help and make it easier for you.
Aside from Sean who oversaw our project, we were also assigned with the senior architect of the firm Khalid to be our project manager. Khalid has had years of hands-on experience on top of his master degree in architect. He quickly established a clear vision of what we wished to achieve for this project after we briefly described our idea in an amateur manner. He also gave us professional advice or recommendations for the aspects that we were not certain about. We mentioned that we had a rather tight budget and wished to have something practical and solid rather than luxury; he integrated that principle into the design, and suggested us to cut back on the features that weren’t necessary. It only took him one meeting to put together the architect drawings for the project and another one to firm the details. It is worth mentioning that the drawings from Khalid are well received and complimented by different general contractors who we interviewed. In addition to the architect drawing, Khalid also coordinated with the engineer and electrician for the mechanic and electric drawings. During the three months permit application period, Khalid took care of all the communicating with the city examiners and updated us frequently, which lead us smoothly to the final issuing of the permit. Throughout the process, he was patient, responsive and attentive.
All and all, we had very pleasant and relatively stress free working experience with Memar Architect. During the time span of a year, Sean and Khalid as well as the other team members Duyen, Lucy to name a few had helped, guided and supported us through the long and arduous journey of design, planning, zoning, Committee of Adjustments as well as the permit application. To carry out an extensive renovation is certainly not a walk in the park for most people, therefore, to have a team of competent and trustworthy professionals working along your side throughout the process will make your life a lot easier. I would highly recommend Memar Architect to anyone in need of architect design, renovation and the sort.