A day in the life of an Architect

One of the most common comments when I meet someone new and they ask me what I do for a living is “I wanted to be an architect when I was a kid.” I find it very interesting that so many people wanted to be architects and so many took another route for various reasons. One of the big ones I am sure of is that most architectural schools are designed specifically to weed out those that don’t LOVE architecture. It is a tough major and limits your ability to do other things – party, hang out, sleep… Anyway, I also wonder how many people who wanted to be an architect understand what we do. So here is a description of a typical day in the life of an architect – at least as typical as a day can be with so many varied projects.

Beer Run

6:00 am wake up, get the kids up, get ready for work, fix breakfast

7:00 am leave the house headed to drop my youngest off at Pre-school

7:30 am drop off at Pre-school

7:45 am stop at Post Office on the way in hoping for a fat envelope full of money – hasn’t come yet, but still hoping.

8:00 am arrive at the office

8:00 am – 10:00 am catch up on emails from the last two days. Focus on emails from existing clients, then on to potential new clients.

10:00 am review drawings for renovation job in Vienna to see what has been done while I was out the last two days (in Charlottesville running from meeting to meeting)

11:30 am leave for a client meeting in Nelson County

1:00 pm Walk through the existing house to review the scope of work, discuss with the contractor and talk about the process with a new client.

Ft. Defiance

2:00 pm leave Nelson County for meeting in Ft. Defiance

3:00 pm walk job site for high-performance home under construction. Answer questions for contractors. Review execution for compliance with the design intent.

3:30 pm leave the job site in Ft. Defiance going to the job site in Crossroads Farm

4:00 pm arrive at a job site in Crossroads Farm, look at the progress made over the last few days. Hoping for some dry weather so this job can get going.

Crossroads Farm

4:15 pm leave the job site

4:30 pm arrive at EMHS to pick up daughter

5:00 pm arrive at home after a long day in the car

5:15 pm make dinner for the family, eat dinner, and talk about favorite parts of our day.

6:30 pm get kids ready for bed, read a story, sing a song, say a prayer, and tuck them in

7:30 pm finally done with everything and can get back to work, check social media sites, tweet something worth reading, and check blog stats (wow, that many people read my blog?)

8:00 pm stop playing online and actually get back to work. Make changes to the Vienna Renovation drawings, work out structural issues so that I can coordinate with my partner in the morning, and think through design issues that the builder might encounter

10:00 pm go to bed, tomorrow is a long day!