Frequently Asked Questions
Do you do new builds?
Yes, I’ve designed million dollar homes and I’ve also designed small homes. New build homes vary in size, style, and budget. I love them all.
Do you do full renovations?
Yes, I have designed full home renovations. I enjoy tackling everything from the kitchen to the bathrooms, reconfiguring spaces, adding porches, and many other exciting aspects of full renovations.
Do you do partial renovations?
Yes, often times the project scope is just for a portion of a home. Renovating a kitchen or building out a garage space are both good examples of partial renovations.
Do you do commercial projects?
Yes, I take on select lite commercial projects that I feel are a good fit. My background is actually in mid to large scale commercial projects. At Woolf Architecture, I focus my practice primarily on the residential sector and lite commercial projects.
How are your fees structured?
Recognizing that fees are an important consideration for any project, I am flexible working with clients if they have a certain fee structure that is preferable or more suitable for a given project. For most projects, I generally work on a lump sum basis (i.e., a predetermined and agreed upon set price). For projects requiring a historic commission submittal process, or more complex / unusual projects, an hourly fee structure may be more suitable. I have also structured fees on price per square foot and percentage of construction cost bases. My objective is to provide professional services at a price and fee structure that makes the most sense for the client and the project. As no two clients or projects are the same, I favor flexibility over rigidity in this regard.
Do you have a certain ‘design style’?
No, and I’m happy to say that I do not. I custom tailor each design to the client, the site, and the existing architecture. I love that one day I’m designing a big red barn on sprawling acreage, and the next day I’m designing an industrial modern legal office for a sports agent. I feel fortunate to have worked on a myriad of distinctly different projects. Whether a 4,500 SF French inspired home, an airy white pool cabana, or a Southern style home, each project demands its own unique and individual style. I take pride in marrying design with my client’s personal taste and vision, resulting in finished products that my clients can proudly call their own.
Do you select countertops, tiles, light fixtures, and plumbing fixtures?
Absolutely. I love to pull the whole design together so the interiors work well with the architecture. Of course, if an owner prefers to make these selections, I will work with the owner to incorporate them into the overall design of the space.
What if I want something special, antique, or a unique find incorporated in the project? Can you find something special for a certain space?
Yes, I love the opportunity to do this. As illustrated by the Mount Hermon barn project, the owners wanted a large, iron gateway to the pasture beyond the lawn. I sourced local shops and found an amazing 8’ tall by 8’ wide iron gateway that even had a secret door panel within one of the gates – perfect for the family’s 5 children. The homeowners told me that their daughter wants to get married one day in front of the gates. This is an example of one of the many things I love about my work.
What if the house to be renovated is in deplorable condition?
I will probably like it even more! Take, for example, the St. Francisville camp-house with a snake nest on the roof, or the Garden District Victorian where the realtor advised that “My last client couldn’t run out fast enough” – The ones in the worst condition are generally my favorites.
In your interior photos, I see that some of the spaces are white and other spaces have color?
Yes, one of the things I love about New Orleans architecture is the “No Fear Factor” when it comes to saturated, historic, and rich paint colors. Green dining rooms, blush apricot powder rooms, an Avengers mural over a black plum wall in a little boy’s bedroom….I love color. On the other hand, I also love spaces that lend themselves better to an all-white palette. Each project is addressed individually.
Can you work with clients from afar?
Yes. A few years ago, I worked with Harvard archaeologists that were actively digging Ancient Roman structures dating back to 2nd century AD in Ashkelon, Israel. The archaeologists would send me photographs and dimensions of carved stone architraves and columns. I would draw the stone fragments and assemble them like a puzzle to show what the structure would have looked like 2,000 years ago.
I have also worked with clients overseas and in other cities. In today’s digital age, drawings are easily transferred electronically, making the long distance client-architect relationship more practical than ever.
What if my project requires structural engineering?
I work with a structural engineering firm on most of my projects for foundation & framing plans, removal of load bearing columns or walls, slab toppings, etc. The structural engineering service is a separate fee from the architectural drawings and is contracted directly between the owner and engineer. I solicit the fee proposal and then work with the engineer to coordinate the structural engineering drawings with the architectural drawings.
Why did you become an architect?
As a child, my dad would go bike riding with me around our neighborhood and we would study the homes under construction. I took the real estate fliers home with me and started creating my own floor plans. My love for architecture hasn’t wavered. I love floor plans, I love drawing, and I love creating spaces. Although I have worked at two large commercial firms, and continue to take select commercial projects, residential architecture is especially rewarding in that I have the opportunity to create a special place for someone to come home to at the end of their day.