This is a lighthearted article I first saw published in Interiors and Sources Magazine in May 1999. It may give you a fun look at some of the clients Architects and interior Designers deal with…………….
Please design and build a house for me. I am not quite sure what I needs, so please use your discretion. My house should have between two and 45 bedrooms. Make sure the plans are such that bedrooms can be easily added or deleted. When you bring the blueprints, also being the cost breakdown for each configuration so I can arbitrarily pick one.
Keep in mind that the house I ultimately choose must cost less than the one I am currently living in. Make sure, However, that you correct all deficiencies that exist in my current house (the floor of my kitchen vibrates when I walk across it and the walls don’t have nearly enough insulation).
Also keep in mind that I want to keep yearly maintenance costs as low as possible. This should mean the incorporation of extra cost features like aluminum, vinyl or composite siding. (If you choose not to specify aluminum, be prepared to explain your decision in detail).
Please take care that modern design practices and the latest materials are used in the construction as I want it to be a showplace for the most up-to-date ideas and methods. Be aware, however, that the kitchen should accommodate, among other things, my 1952 Gibson refrigerator.
To ensure you are building the correct house for our entire family, contact each of our children and also our in-laws. My mother-in-law will have very strong feelings about how the house should be designed since she visit at least once a year. Weigh all of these options carefully and dome th the right decision. I, however, retain the right to overrule any choices you make.
Please don’t bother me with small details. Your job is to develop the overall plans for the house. At this time, for example, it is not appropriate to choose the color of the carpet. However, keep in mind that my wife likes blue.
Also, do not worry about acquiring the resources to build the house itself. Your first priority is to develop detailed plans and specifications. Once I approve these plans, however, I would expect the house to be under roof within 48 hours.
While you are designing this house specifically for me, keep in mind that sooner or later I will have to sell it. Therefore, it should appeal to a wide variety of potential buyers. Make sure before you finalize the plans that my neighbors like the features of this house. I suggest you look at my neighbor’s house he built last year. We like it a great deal. It has many features we like, particularly the 75 foot swimming pool. With careful engineering, I believe you can design this into our new house without impacting the final cost.
Please prepare a complete set of blueprints. It is not necessary to do the real design, since the blueprints will be used only for the construction bids. Be advised, however, that you will be accountable for any increase in construction costs as result of later design changes.
You must be thrilled to be working on as interesting project as this! To be able to use the latest techniques and materials. and to be given so much freedom in your designs, is something that can’t happen very often.
Contact me as soon as possible with your complete ideas and plans.
P.S. My wife just told me she disagrees with many of these instructions. As the architect, it is your responsibility to resolve these differences. I have tried and am unable to do so. If you can’t, I will have to find another architect.
P.P.S. Perhaps what I need is not a house at all, but a travel trailer, Please advise as soon as possible if this is the case.
If I received this letter, you can be sure I would be delighted to have him go get another architect!!
Live, Love, Laugh – Have a wonderful day!