Frequently Asked Architecture Questions

Who works on my project?

We are your team. You will work with a principal architect and our design team.

Which design tools do you use?

Using Graphisoft’s ArchiCAD (computer aided design), we design within a three- dimensional environment to efficiently move from design to construction documentation, expediting the time it takes to get your project under construction and completed. You will see your project develop from a simple sketch to a three-dimensional model during the early design stages and we can show you alternate configurations or design changes on the fly. For new architecture clients we also develop a predictive energy model to measure the built environment’s energy efficiency. Collaborating with our clients, we’ll determine which design strategies provide the best value and least environmental impact.

How do I select a contractor or builder?

Contractors or builders are selected by you and then become a collaborative member of the project team. For many people selecting a contractor can be daunting. We are happy to share a list of Northwest regional contractors who, from our experience, have proven records of successful projects. In addition, we can assist you with the bidding and/or negotiation process. If you already have a favorite contractor, we look forward to becoming acquainted with them.

What is the design process?

Designing and building a home is a process. Here is an overview of 5 key steps in the process.

What is Studio TJP really good at?

Studio TJP offers expertise in the history of architecture and building processes which informs their knowledge of modern, innovative building processes and materials that honor the environment. We encourage clients to recognize how we can leverage the past to embrace the future and vice versa.

How do you structure your fee?

We structure fees based on the scope of the project and level of expertise required to successfully design and see the project through to completion. Typically, architectural services range from 8% to 12% of total project cost for new homes and 10% to 15% for home remodels. The most common fee structures are a straight percentage of the construction cost, or for “time and materials,” based on a detailed professional fee estimate for the anticipated scope of services. As decisions impact the project scope, we negotiate any changes to the budget.

Your initial investment is based on a letter of agreement which accounts for approximately 20 to 25% of the total estimated architectural design fee. In addition, a standard AIA professional fee contract, based on the scope established in the schematic design phase, is signed to address more complicated issues such as procedures and liability. Check out the 5 key steps you’ll experience working with us.

Which geographical areas do you serve?

Located in Seattle’s Roosevelt neighborhood, north of the University District, we are licensed for Architecture in Washington, Oregon, and Maryland. We have also designed homes in Oregon, British Columbia, Texas, Hawaii, and Japan and can obtain licenses in other states with enough lead-time.

What is a typical timeline?

Typically, a small residential remodel takes a couple of months while larger projects may take a year or more. We’ll work with you to develop your design and confirm project scope before we provide an estimated timeline for when your project will be complete.

ArchiCAD Line Drawing
ArchiCAD 3D Modeling
Sketch for the Freeland Residence schematic sketch during the schematic design-phase
Water color rendering for a proposed whole house remodel
Studio TJP designs everything from modern "green" homes, timber framing, or log construction
How Long it Takes
Time lapse of a project start to finish

Frequently Asked Preservation & Landmarks Questions

This FAQ offers answers to basic preservation and landmarks questions. Please contact us directly for more in-depth information on the Landmarks process.

Which properties are City of Seattle Landmarks?

Since the implementation of the City of Seattle’s Landmark Preservation Program, more than 440 individual properties have been designated as City of Seattle Landmarks – see the list here.

What is a special review district?

Several hundred Seattle properties are designated/controlled if they are contributing resources within one of the City’s eight special review districts or historic districts. Special review districts include:
Ballard • Columbia City • Fort Lawton • Harvard-Belmont • International • Pike Place Market • Pioneer Square • Sand Point

What is the definition of a historic landmark?

Designated historic landmarks are properties that have been recognized locally, regionally, or nationally as important resources to the community, city, state, or nation. The landmarks ordinance can be found in the municipal code Chapter 25.12.

What is the City of Seattle Historic Resources Survey?

Many properties meet the age criteria for the Landmarks ordinance, but this does not mean they are Landmarks. Some of these properties have been catalogued in a Historic Resources Survey by the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. The Historic Resources Survey identifies properties and discusses their potential as historic resources. These properties have not been reviewed by the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board and do not have an official status as a Landmark. Historic Resources Survey Database

When do I need a Landmarks & Master Use Permit?

The City of Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD), with the Department of Neighborhoods (DON), requires a review of “potentially eligible landmarks” as part of the Master Use Permit (MUP) process for substantial commercial projects over 4,000 square feet in area and affecting properties over 50 years old. The review by DON requires the submittal of a report (SEPA “Appendix A”) that provides City staff sufficient information to determine if the affected potentially historic property may minimally meet any of six City of Seattle Landmark Designation criteria.

What are the criteria for Landmarks?

Eligibility for a City of Seattle Landmark nomination includes the following: a building, object, or structure must be at least 25 years old, have significant character, interest, or value, the integrity or ability to convey its significance, and it must meet one or more of six criteria. The criteria focus on whether a property is associated in a significant way with an historic event or person; a specific aspect of cultural, political, or economic heritage; a distinctive characteristics of an architectural style, period or method of construction; outstanding work of a designer or builder; an easily identifiable feature of its neighborhood or the city and contributes to the distinctive quality or identity of such neighborhood or city. Visit Landmarks criteria for a complete list of criteria.

Is owner consent required for a City of Seattle Landmarks Designation?

The City of Seattle’s process does not require owner consent for designation, unlike the National Register or landmark designation in many other jurisdictions. However, if a property fails to be nominated or designated by a Landmarks Preservation Board vote, only the property owner can submit another nomination on the property within a period of five years, subsequent to the Board vote.

What is the Landmarks process?

A report and nomination form must be submitted to the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DON) Historic Preservation program. A City of Seattle Landmark nomination may be prepared by a property owner, the City’s Historic Preservation Office, or by any individual. City of Seattle staff must determine if a nomination adequate in terms of its information and documentation. The Board must decide at a public hearing whether the property is eligible for nomination. In order to be nominated, a building must receive a majority vote of the Landmarks Preservation Board’s (LPB) members that are present at the hearing. In order to be designated, a building must receive a majority vote of all seated members of the Landmarks Preservation Board, even if not all are present at the hearing. If the building is not designated, it is considered non-significant and will not be controlled by the Landmarks Preservation Board. The building will not be eligible for incentives and will not be eligible for re-nomination for five years.

What are the incentives for City of Seattle Landmark properties?

City of Seattle Landmark properties are eligible for property tax relief related to major property alterations that have been reviewed and approved by the Landmarks Preservation Board. Landmarks in certain areas are eligible for financial benefits associated with the transfer of developments rights (TDR). Landmark properties are generally given greater flexibility with building and life safety code implementation. There are also several funding sources for landmarked properties.