The Architect's Blog

The Question that Most Long Beach Architects Hate, But We Love!



“Why can’t we just…?”

Many architects would take a question that started with these words as a personal or professional attack—one that insinuates that the architect hasn’t considered all the design possibilities, especially ones that would solve a problem or provide a feature that is important to the client.

Some of the “Why can’t we justs…” I’ve heard in my career as an architect in Long Beach have included:

  • “Why can’t we just put a pool into an existing retail building?”
  • “Why can’t we just build a second story on top of our first floor?”
  • “Why can’t we just put a mezzanine into our high-ceiling warehouse?”
  • “Why can’t we just move that opening to frame that view?”

One thing that sets us apart as residential and commercial architects in Long Beach is that we love it when clients use this phrase. Instead of getting defensive about the possibility that a client thought of something we hadn’t considered, we think of this statement as what it actually is—an observation by a person who has intimate knowledge and perspective on how to solve a problem that is often unique to them.

Additionally, the suggestion comes from a person who isn’t burdened by knowing the building codes and therefore won’t dismiss creative ideas due to a potential violation. Once the idea has been presented, chances are we can find a code and design exception that allows us to do what we initially may have thought to be impossible. Even on the occasion that we can’t accommodate the request because of building codes, zoning restrictions, or structural issues, we can at least use it as a jumping off point to come up with another solution that will satisfy the need or want that is behind the “Why can’t we just…”

A client that is willing to offer suggestions and input is exactly the type of client we love to work with. As we often mention, we want clients to feel like they are members of our team. We value their unique input and enjoy collaborating with them to create a design that is everything they need and want for their home or business.

So our favorite response to the question, “Why can’t we just…” is, “Yeah, why can’t we just…?” And this is when the design process starts to become exciting!

If you are looking for an architect in Long Beach who will take the time to listen to your input and work with you to design the commercial or residential space you’ve been dreaming about, get in touch with us at M. Grisafe Architect.

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