FAQs


Q     How can I contact Colestock & Muir Architects to set up an appointment?
A    Anyone interested in meeting to discuss your project can contact us any time at 561-395-1787. Our office hours are 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. M-F. In most cases Mark Muir or Jay Colestock will be available to take your call personally. Our office location is 4199 N. Dixie Hwy., Boca Raton, FL 33431. Please set up an appointment to make sure the office is not performing site inspections.

Or if you'd prefer simply send us an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will respond promptly


Q     Are you licensed and members of the American Institute of Architects?
A     Both Mark A. Muir and Robert Jay Colestock are licensed registered architects and members of the American Institute of Architects. Each year they attend Continuing Education courses required by the State of Florida and for national licensure.


Q    Where are most of your projects?
A    Because Mark Muir and Jay Colestock oversee each project personally, the majority of our work spans from South Miami to North Palm Beach County. CMA specializes in high-end ocean, water front, and golf course community projects. This means that approximately 80% of the work is on or within five miles from the Atlantic Ocean coastline. The balance of our projects are international or within private golf course communities in the South Florida area.


Q   How do you know what we want in our home?
A   Colestock & Muir Architects has vast experience designing residential architecture. We understand the variety of life styles of our clientele, from young families with children to empty nesters. We gather much of our design criteria from meeting with you and learning about your lifestyle. Questions to consider are whether you entertain formally or informally? Do you have live-in help? What type of activities do you enjoy? Do you plan on expanding your family? Are you a novice or gourmet chef or simply specialize in “making reservations”? How much square footage do you need or more importantly, will your budget allow? This may dictate things like utilizing “Jack and Jill” bathrooms or possibly large Master wardrobes verses modest walk-in closets, or even strip closets for secondary bedrooms. How many vehicles will you be storing, and will you want a golf cart or an extra kid’s bicycle storage area? And many more.


Q   What information or homework should we do before we meet with CMA?
A   One of the first topics is what style of architecture you want? We've had clients come in with folders of pictures from magazine articles. This is one of the best ways to express your likes or dislikes. The more information you can express to us, the better we’ll understand your tastes. We ask you to develop a “wish list”. We’ve been very successful at providing our clients desires.
We usually will request a property survey at the initial meeting since the lot itself may dictate much of the design. Items of discussion will be whether the lot has a desired view? What’s it’s orientation with the sun and prevailing breezes. Will it allow the size home you are looking for? Does the local municipality limit our setbacks, size, and height of our design? Does the property have access to sewer or will a septic tank and drain field be required. Is natural gas available, or should we consider burying an LP tank. How environmentally sensitive do you want your project to be. Would being a LEED Certified project be something you’re interested in… or like most clients, would you prefer we guide you towards environmentally responsible features that offer a more reasonable savings or quicker return on their investment. Are we utilizing solar electric panels or solar water heating? We will recommend the most financially efficient and technically feasible environmental features, such as very high SEER air conditioning, spray foam insulation, and tankless gas in-line water heaters.
Eventually, we will require a soil test from a geotechnical engineer. This will determine structural issues such as whether a piling system is required. If desired, CMA can order both the survey and the soil test on your behalf. We have numerous contacts and can present two prices for each if you’d like a choice.


Q     What's involved when entering into a contract?
A     In most cases our fees are based on the actual “living space” of the project, but many other factors must be considered when determining architectural fees. Our office offers many additional services, in a menu format, you may choose from. Also, depending on your soil conditions and desired structural upgrades, some additional engineering may be required. CMA prefers we handle all these engineering services and incorporate them directly into our scope and responsibilities. This insures we have control over them and avoids potential miscommunications and oversights unfortunately common with other firms.
The initial meeting will answer many of these questions. Once CMA has an understanding of your architectural requirements, we will submit a customized American Institute of Architects (AIA) contract document for services between an owner and architect. This spells out our provided and optional services, obligations, payment schedule etc.


Q     How long does it take to develop a set of drawings for my house?
A     Typically, there are several stages to every project, but basically our office breaks it into design and construction documents (C.D.'s). Design time can vary, depending on your availability and descriptive ability to express your wishes. We've been running on the average of 2-3 weeks for design. Construction Documents are the plans that will indicate to your builder how to construct, assemble, and finish your home. These drawings are very complex and take between 8-10 weeks depending on the structural requirements of the project. CMA gathers and manages a team of structural and mechanical engineers (if required) while developing our C.D’s. We are notorious for the accuracy, thoroughness and complexity of our Construction Documents. We work together with the builder to make sure they clearly understand every facet of the drawings. Builders prefer to use our plans over other firms due to our attention to detail and accuracy. We understand the reality of a construction site and address every possible question before it is asked. This ability to avoid unnecessary delays caused by unclear, incorrect or inaccurate drawings can cause wasted days and thus potentially thousands of dollars. Our small office caters to your builder and has a reputation of answering or clarifying any questions within hours of receiving the phone call. We encourage our future clients to speak with any builder who has used our services and get a full understanding of how much budget we typically save the project simply by producing the high quality set of Construction Documents.


Q     What do I get from CMA?
A     Once the design phase is approved by the client, we start on the construction documents (C.D.’s). Our set of C.D.'s consists of several pages on either 24"x36" or 30"x42" sheets. A typical set of drawing contain a Site Plan, Foundation Plans, Floor Plans, Floor/Roof Framing Plans, Framing Connection Engineering/Details, Front/Rear Elevation, Right/Left Side Elevation, two Building Sections, Electrical Plans/Schedules, Finish/Window/Door Schedules, Construction Specifications, Plumbing and Electrical Risers. CMA provides 2 signed and sealed permit sets along with “Wind Load” calculations and “Energy Calculations” and 4 construction sets for your builder. These drawings are considered “instruments of service” by the American Institute of Architects. Each client is granted the right and license to use these Instruments of Service to construct their home. Each project is unique and will NOT be repeated. CMA holds a copyright for each design, including yours, insuring your home is exclusive and one of a kind, custom designed for your project.


Q     What if I don't have a builder?
A     Colestock & Muir Architects will work with your builder if you already have one on board. CMA works with several local builders on a frequent basis. We are often asked to suggest and introduce clients to builders we feel will satisfy each client’s unique and specific needs. We usually suggest meeting with several builders, since their personality is key. Remember, you’re going to be teamed with this person for 8 months to a year. You should feel comfortable with them and trust them without hesitation. We ONLY recommend builders we trust are perfectly fitted for your project.

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