Re-modeling your home is difficult. And if you live in Santa Monica, California, the City’s regulations can make it even more difficult. To navigate through these regulations you should hire an architect who has Santa Monica experience to save time and grief.
When hiring an architect please heed my advice: Do Not Hire Allison Kendall, Kendall Design………
…you want to give your contractor blueprints where the measurements are not consistent from page to page, from view to view–Alison Kendall’s were not, as my contractor commented on numerous occasions…
…you want blueprints that do not account for the thickness of drywall–Alison Kendall’s did not, which when planning for tight spaces is a big problem.. .
…you want someone who will overbill you for her work in anticipation of your needing re-work, instead of being sure it all works correctly the first time…
…you want to have a header in the middle of the ceiling of your new dining area–yes, that’s what I got from Alison Kendall…
…you want to find out as you near completion that your addition is below ground level and further work is necessary to build a retaining wall against possible flooding–yes, that’s one more surprise from Alison Kendall…
…you want to be told by your contractor, who asked Alison Kendall about all of these errors in her work, that because I signed off on the blueprints it was not her responsibility. Apparently I was expected to review and understand all of the construction details in the blueprints instead of being able to expect that my professional architect had reviewed the blueprints first to be sure that everything was correct.
I have other complaints, but those are covered by Alison Kendall’s blanket excuse of my signing off on the blueprints. Some of the problems that I thought had been fixed were blamed on her assistant…with me not checking her assistant’s work. Okay. Mea culpa.
But I’ve also got to say it was rather remarkable to be presented with a full set of blueprints including those for the roof of my existing house (as required by Santa Monica)–when nobody ever climbed into my attic to see what was there. The structural engineer used by Alison Kendall simply took the angle of my roof to my house, and presto–blueprints of their construction. Wow. What a scam. And I had to pay for this too…I wonder what the City thinks about this?
I don’t know. My complaint was sent to the California Office of Consumer Affairs, where one’s license as a professional Architect can be reviewed. I certainly expected a great deal more professionalism from someone with a professional license.
Remodeling your home is stressful, especially if you will be living in the house while the addition is being constructed. Is additional stress really necessary? Of course not. And that is why I strongly recommend against hiring Alison Kendall if you need an architect in Santa Monica.