A big part of the process was learning how to work with an architect and builder. Being new to architecture, we didn’t fully know what to expect or how to apply some of the details in the house plans to the real world. But it didn’t matter. Our architect John Stoeck
had a clear vision of what the house could be and took ownership of that vision and worked with Jon, the contractor, to make it happen.
John and Jon happened to grow up together and sometimes had arguments about how best to complete facets of the project. We’d stand with them in our half-finished kitchen and watch them spar. John, the architect, would listen to Jon, the contractor, and cross his arms and shake his head when he disagreed and then propose another idea. While awkward at times, we couldn’t help but feel that this was a necessary part of the process.
In projects like this, there is constant pressure to find the middle ground between design and budget. Being the owners, it’s up to us to make the final call, but we couldn’t make an informed decision without knowing the options. That’s why those discussions between the builder and architect were so pivotal. They exposed us to what was possible and at what cost.