If Architects Had to Work Like Web Designers

by Unknown on January 1, 2002

Blue PrintsPlease design and build me a house. I am not quite sure of what I need, so you should use your discretion. My house should have somewhere between two and forty-five bedrooms. Just make sure the plans are such that the bedrooms can be easily added or deleted. When you bring the blueprints to me, I will make the final decision of what I want. Also, bring me the cost breakdown for each configuration so that I can arbitrarily pick one.

Keep in mind that the house I ultimately choose must cost less than the one I am currently living in. Make sure, however, that you correct all the deficiencies that exist in my current house (the floor of my kitchen vibrates when I walk across it, and the walls don’t have nearly enough insulation in them).

As you design, also keep in mind that I want to keep yearly maintenance costs as low as possible. This should mean the incorporation of extra-cost features like aluminum, vinyl, or composite siding. (If you choose not to specify aluminum, be prepared to explain your decision in detail.)

Please take care that modern design practices and the latest materials are used in construction of the house, as I want it to be a showplace for the most up-to-date ideas and methods. Be alerted, however, that kitchen should be designed to accommodate, among other things, my 1952 Gibson refrigerator.

To insure that you are building the correct house for our entire family, make certain that you contact each of our children, and also our in-laws. My mother-in-law will have very strong feelings about how the house should be designed, since she visits us at least once a year.

Make sure that you weigh all of these options carefully and come to the right decision. I, however, retain the right to overrule any choices that you make.

Please don’t bother me with small details right now. Your job is to develop the overall plans for the house: Get the big picture. At this time, for example, it is not appropriate to be choosing the color of the carpet. However, keep in mind that my wife likes blue.

Also, do not worry at this time about acquiring the resources to build the house itself. Your first priority is to develop detailed plans and specifications. Once I approve these plans, however, I would expect the house to be under roof within 48 hours.

While you are designing this house specifically for me, keep in mind that sooner or later I will have to sell it to someone else. It therefore should have appeal to a wide variety of potential buyers.

Please make sure before you finalize the plans that there is a consensus of the population in my area that they like the features this house has. I advise you to run up and look at my neighbor’s house that he constructed last year. We like it a great deal. It has many features that we would also like in our new home, particularly the 75-foot swimming pool. With careful engineering, I believe that you can design this into our new house without impacting the final cost.

Please prepare a complete set of blueprints. It is not necessary at this time to do the real design, since they will be used only for construction bids. Be advised, however, that you will be held accountable for any increase of construction costs as a result of later design changes.

You must be thrilled to be working on as an interesting project as this! To be able to use the latest techniques and materials and to be given such freedom in your designs is something that can’t happen very often.

Contact me as soon as possible with your complete ideas and plans.

PS: My wife has just told me that she disagrees with many of the instructions I’ve given you in this letter. As architect, it is your responsibility to resolve these differences. I have tried in the past and have been unable to accomplish this. If you can’t handle this responsibility, I will have to find another architect.

PPS: Perhaps what I need is not a house at all, but a travel trailer. Please advise me as soon as possible if this is the case.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 oak May 23, 2011 at 2:25 PM

this is brilliant!

the only thing I’d add is some sort of casual suggestion that you should design the house for free or at extremely low cost and that you should be very grateful for this as it will provide you with a great portfolio piece and exposure to other potential clients not interested in paying for your work.


2 Clare May 29, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Hilarious – Could not stop laughing and it just kept going and going!


3 Matt June 5, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Nice job. This sounds quite familiar!


4 plug103 July 27, 2011 at 5:13 PM

Well, as an architect, that all sound about right to me…


5 ff-webdesigner August 24, 2011 at 6:45 AM

I am an architect and webdesigner. let me tell you all: it’s so much out of real life…


6 Gavin December 15, 2011 at 4:41 AM

Awesome! :D


7 Andrew_C May 19, 2012 at 8:58 AM

I used to work for an architect of domestic and small commercial buildings and that sounds like your average client to me. Do website clients also ask for major structural changes when the build is half finished?


8 Alec May 24, 2012 at 2:55 PM

They sure do! And not just with half finished…almost finished, completely finished, finished half a year ago.

In any case though, this article is awesome.


9 sofi2311 August 30, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Do they have the “make it for free so you will have a good portfolio” ? xD


10 Low Carb Rezept February 26, 2013 at 3:04 PM

You need to take part in a contest for one of the finest blogs online.
I’m going to recommend this blog!


11 creeem March 1, 2013 at 3:37 PM

You forgot this. one.

I want you to see these 3 houses. I like the 75foot swimming pool(u mentioned that). Now take the tennis court from the 2nd house and the atrium in the 3rd and mix it all together and make it an atrium-cum-swimmingpool and see if there is anyway you can put a tennis court on the swimming pool. When you press a button the pool should be covered gets converted into a tennis court.
All of this within their budget

I remember a client who told me he needed a full fledged ecommerce website in a week and I just started working on the site itself (instead of a photoshop mockup)
But I showed him the screenshots of the website which was on my localhost.
Had not uploaded it. So when he okays It I simply upload it and finish it off within the stipulated time.

After he approves what was a nice clean white themed website.
He says. “That was good, I really liked the design. Now here are 3 websites. You should combine these 3 for my website. My wife likes the color(or some stupid thing) of the 3rd website the most). I was like Holy crap. The 3 websites looked like they were made by a DTP artirst. Looked like a website from the 90s with bevel buttons

I still did it. I changed the colors gave a good design with flatter (web 2.0 if you can call it) buttons and stuff. He said the background is plain. So I made it an underwater background with a treasure chest some starfish.
I spent a few days as I had to attend to other work and I took me 2 days to come up with an idea for the background as I was already pissed. I thought underwater because they were selling deep sea Norway fish oil capsules.

After I show them the screenshot. They get pissed they tell me “it took you so many days to just change one background”.

I was like what the @#$@. I think this deserves an entire post. How some clients things that if you search for anything on google you will get it.
Like if you search I need a background for a Norway fish oil capsules, which are obtained from Norways deeps eas. Google images will throw up a high resolution background of underwater and all the works all we have to do is copy paste it into the design!

It reminded me in 1997 when the internet had just come in and since I was the “expert” back then one guy used to ask me for naked pictures of a particular celebrity.
I tried to make him understand that unless she has a naked photo and someone puts it up on the internet you will not find it He just replied “you can get anything on the internet these days”. “Facepalm”


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