Architecture Blog / by keith messick

km|A Blog

Most websites typically contain photographs. While photographs are great, they are static. Writing is more dynamic and enables a dialog. It gives you the opportunity to hear my point of view, understand how I approach and solve problems, and possibly engage in a conversation. It’s primarily a way for you to get to know me better. And I encourage you to ask questions regarding any post.

My posts generally fall into one of about three or four categories: Architectural Details, Project Updates, Events / References, and Experiences / Observations.

Architectural Details

When an architect designs a building, they create a series of plans: Site Plan, Demo Plan, Floor Plan, Reflected Ceiling Plan (Lighting and Utilities), Exterior Elevations, Sections, Interior Elevations, Schedules of Windows, Doors, and Materials, and, finally, Details. These plans show the design at a macro level. To understand how the design will look at a more micro level, the architect draws details. These details can have a dramatic effect on the look, feel, function, and performance of the building.

For example, I shared the details behind a sunscreen. This screen is unique in that it was designed and constructed from common off the shelf parts. It not only keeps the sun out of the house, it provides some privacy, and it dramatically affects the exterior aesthetic.

Another example was a hidden gutter system for a flat roof. This gutter is a simple and effective design that keeps the roof profile narrow and minimizes the clutter of a downspout.

Project Updates

As a Project moves through design, into construction, and, finally, to completion, sharing parts of this process gives you some insight into what it takes to build or renovate a residential project. Observing a Project in design and/or construction reveals some of the complexities that are hidden within the final project.

For example, my Franklin Avenue Project is a relatively small renovation in the Hollywood hills. We are creating a lower level, adding about 800 square feet, to a house that has two other levels. However, the site is narrow and steep making construction difficult. Further complicating this project is the City’s restrictive code that limits the size, shape, and location of the addition.


If I come across something that I think should be highlighted and made more accessible, I will post that source.

A good example of this is the Cost versus Value Report that Remodeling Magazine puts out each year. This is a great reference for residential project cost.

Another example was an interesting reference I found on Mid-Century Modern Architecture from Residential Architect. This reference includes floor plans, elevations, appliances, lighting and furniture, among other interesting Mid-Century Modern details.

Experiences / Observations

If you are thinking about an addition to your house or renovating part or all, it is definitely beneficial for you to gather as much info prior to the start of your Project. I recommend you talk to as many architects, builders, and friends and neighbors that have been through this as possible. This will give you a better idea of what to expect. Spending some additional time during the planning portion (or even before you begin the Project) will save you time, money, and frustration later during the Project.

This is why I share experiences and observations. They are usually situations or scenarios that happen before, during, and after your Project that you should be aware of, maybe trigger some questions, or help you, in general, better understand the fields of design and construction. Here again, feel free to email or call me to discuss any aspect of your Project.

One simple post was about the significance of being a “licensed” architect. Very few people really understand the requirements for licensure and the legal significance of the title “architect”.

Another post I wrote explains a Project in terms of Scope, Time, Quality, and Cost. These are the components that make up any Project and it is critical to understand how they interact for a Project to be successful.

As I said earlier, feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss your project. 714-614-1723.