What is your typical construction budget?


The majority of our projects fall into the $2000K - $600K range, but we also have smaller and larger projects.




How long does a project usually take, start to finish?


From the initial consultation to the completion of architectural drawings typically takes 2 - 4 months. Depending on a project's scope, construction may take anywhere from 4 - 10 months.




In what areas of Dallas do you work?


The majority of my projects are in North Dallas, Richardson, and Lakewood, but I am open to inquiries from throughout DFW. Please contact me.




Do you have a specific contractor you work with?


We have several Dallas contractors that we have worked with repeatedly and can recommend to our clients. We also recommend that you ask around your neighborhood for additional contractor sources in the community. Our goal is to have three contractors bid each project.




What is the purpose of an initial consultation?


I do initial consultations at the beginning of every project I take on. During consultations, Rachel and I visit the house in person, meet the clients, talk to them about their needs, and brainstorm creative ideas about how we can improve their home and make the best use of their space.




What is the purpose of construction observation?


I am your number one advocate in seeing that a project meets my design intent and your goals throughout construction. I am often able to spot discrepancies or potential issues early enough that they can be corrected, and I support the contractor by helping adapt the design to unforseen circumstances.




What is the purpose of material palette selection?


In a great house, dozens of design decisions must work together to form a cohesive whole. Rachel provides you with a manageable selection of materials, finishes, fixtures and paint colors, and the two of you determine a palette that not only matches your tastes, preferences, and budget, but enhances your home’s overall design.




Do you offer consultations as a stand-alone service?


Yes, I often do consultations for clients who want to determine a long-term direction for their homes, or for potential homeowners who wish to explore a house's design potential before they buy. Consultations are exciting meetings, during which Rachel and I generate a lot of creative ideas and typically spend 2 - 2.5 hours with clients. Our goal is to be as helpful as we can in that timeframe. We want homeowners to have excellent ideas and direction for their homes - regardless of when or if they progress to the next stage of design with our firm.




Why should I hire an architect instead of just a general contractor?


You're going to make the best use of your resources if you hire an architect in addition to a general contractor. Contractors may be excellent homebuilders, but a good architect can recognize design potential where most contractors and homeowners will not. Ultimately, good design saves you space, time, and money.




What is your fee structure?


Our current rate is $95 an hour for Ellyn Amador and $75 an hour for Rachel Helms. Initial consultations are $400. Please see our About page for more details.




What is the purpose of a comprehensive set of construction documents?


Not only is it required by the city, but a well done set of construction documents allows for more accurate bids from contractors, speeds up construction, and reduces the likelihood of misinterpretations of the design. My construction documents also include things like interior elevations and lighting layouts, so that my clients are able to consider their options well ahead of time and do not have to make design decisions under pressure of construction.




Do you provide references?


Verified client reviews are always available on my Houzz profile.