Frequently Asked Questions

Why hire an Architect?

Few people realize how complicated it is to build, that is until they find themselves lost in the maze of design options, building codes, zoning laws, contractors and so on. No two building projects are exactly alike, so there is no single clear cut path to follow. The Architect is the one professional who has the education, training, experience, and vision to guide you through the entire design and construction process, from helping you define what you want to build to helping you get the most for your construction dollar.

How should I go about selecting my architect?

You should choose your architect much as you would choose a physician or a lawyer. Check their reputation and references certainly, but be sure to interview them personally as well. Custom home design is a very personal experience and you must be sure that the person you select will really listen to your needs and desires, and will help you design the home of your dreams, not theirs. You will be spending quite a bit of time with your architect and his team and will be sharing important parts of your life with them. Be sure that you like, and trust them. Professional qualifications are very important but “bedside manner” may be equally critical.

How much will it cost to design a custom home?

Many factors must be considered in setting the fees for a custom home, including, the difficulty of the site, the size of the home, and the complexity of the program. Please call our office at 407-647-0938 to schedule a meeting with our Principal Architect Mark Nasrallah to meet with you over the phone or in our office to discuss your project. After that initial consultation we will be able to give you a fee estimate based on your program requirements.

Do you design homes outside of the United States?

With the technological advances of today it is not necessary to hire a local architect. We are licensed in many states (including California). We have also completed many projects abroad including Dubai, Europe, the Caribbean, and Argentina.

How much will it cost to build a custom home?

Construction costs vary due to dozens of factors in a custom home design. The exterior materials, the number of floors, the site, the interior finishes, the area of the country, the complexity of the design and the structural and mechanical systems used are only a few of the factors that influence the cost of constructing a custom home. Beware of anyone who will quote you construction costs for a home before they know a great deal about you and your home’s design.

How can we be sure our custom design can be built for our budget?

We highly suggest you involve a builder early in the design process. We work closely with experienced custom homebuilders during the design of your home, partnering with them to provide estimating for ongoing cost control and for advice on construction efficiency during the design process. We are happy to work with the builder of your choice, to help you select a qualified builder, or to refer you to someone we have worked well with in the past.

Will I need the services of other professionals besides my architect?

Yes. A structural engineer is required for homes in most parts of the country. Most people find the services of an interior designer to be invaluable during the design process. On larger luxury custom homes the need for careful integration of everything from fabrics to floors usually requires the services of an experienced and sensitive interior designer. Nasrallah Architectural Group can recommend an interior designer, or will be happy to coordinate with the designer of your choice. Landscape architects, lighting designers, mechanical engineers, surveyors, soils engineers, pool consultants, audio/Visual consultants, and kitchen designers are some of the other consultants often brought into the team on a luxury custom home. Your architect acts as the team leader, orchestrating the consultants and the builder to achieve the maximum in creativity and enthusiasm from everyone involved in your home design.

How long does the design and building process take?

This varies based on the size and complexity of your home design, and factors such as Design Review Boards and your ability to make timely decisions. Usually, from the time we begin design to the time we are ready to submit the finished construction drawings for a building permit is about 5-7 months. Most of our homes are built in 10-18 months.