Despite the uncertainty and overall anxiety, I have been pleasantly surprised at how well my office has been functioning during this crisis. We all dispersed to our homes with only our office manager holding down the fort and acting as our information hub from our office. It helps that almost everyone at Crisp Architects works from home part of the time. Also, new software platforms help us share within the office as well as with our clients. So new designs and construction documents are continuing as though nothing is different. With many of our clients working from home, we can share pdfs of ongoing designs while talking on conference lines and sharing screens with Zoom.
I have been contacted by a large number of potential clients and their realtors who want to buy a home but are looking for advice regarding a potential renovation or addition. Since in some states realtors are required to produce virtual showings of homes, we are able to use those photos and videos along with plot plans and sometimes existing floor plans to evaluate the potential for expansion.
Once a home is purchased, if it is unoccupied, we can measure the home and create an accurate set of drawings to start our design. If the home is occupied, we simply measure from the outside and piece together interior partitions from old plans or owner supplied dimensions. That is enough for us to get the design started.
Construction is another issue. In some states like Connecticut, our projects have not missed a beat with tradespeople being careful to self distance on the job site. In other states like New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, our projects have been either paused or slowed to one or two people on the job site at a time. In those states, we are proceeding with designs and construction documents so that when contractors are again allowed to work full speed, we will be ready to begin immediately.
Our usual design plans and elevations can be augmented with 3D renderings, which in some cases make you feel like the renovation has been completed. I can’t wait for this pandemic to end, but we have found a way the make the best of it.
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