The A4 Architecture Project Guide


For people beginning their first design and construction project there is often a sense of fear and ignorance. They know that the process is going to be challenging and they may have heard stories of schedule delays and budget overruns on other projects from friends and family members.

Hopefully the first thing they have done is ask around or search the web for a good architect. Hiring an architect is a good first step to lead them through the labyrinth of design decisions, approvals & permitting, contractor selection & bidding, and through construction to a completed project.

A4 Project Guide – Chapter 2

Becoming an architect normally takes seven years of higher education, three years of apprenticeship, and often many years to pass the six separate exams it takes to become a licensed architect in the United States. No client can hope to absorb that much knowledge in the course of their design project, but they don’t want to feel completely helpless or ignorant either.

For that reason, our firm has created the A4 Architecture Project Guide to give our new customer a basic understanding of the process they are about to undergo. This hard bound book has eleven short chapters on a wide range of topics, from how to find an architect, to a description of “The various steps in the design process”, to “What to look for in a contractor”, to “How to maximize the value of new construction”. This book is illustrated with photographs of our various projects and design drawings to help assure that the owner understands and feels comfortable with each step of the process.

A4 Project Guide – Chapter 5

This book is something we normally give our prospective clients as part of the Site Feasibility Study, which we do at the beginning of most projects to help assure the owners (and ourselves) that their goals, budget, and schedule for the project are achievable.

Although this luxury, hard bound book is limited edition and reserved primarily for prospective clients, many of the chapters have been added as posts in the A4 Architecture Blog, and so the astute architectural client can glean many of the pieces of useful and valuable information from that source.

A4 Project Guide – Chapter 9

If you are in the New England area and would like to work with A4 Architecture, we look forward to hearing from you. If you are about to undertake a project outside our area of service, we wish you success in finding a great architect who can help make your dreams for your home or building into a reality!


Ross Cann, RA, AIA, LEED AP, who lives and works in Newport, RI, is an author, historian, and Founding Principal of A4 Architecture. He holds honors degrees in Architectural History and Design from Yale, Cambridge, and Columbia Universities and has taught at numerous institutions as well.