5513 Merritt Circle, EDINA | Prairie Style Revival (Addition/Remodel) - We hired Mike Eckardt of Archos to design our house which, when we began this journey, was just a vague idea in our heads. As first time custom home builders, we new what we liked when we saw it, but needed an expert/artist to bring it out and turn it into reality. We wanted a prairie style-looking house vs. a house that has just elements of that style. It was a challenge from the start as few architects or designers have deep experience or expertise in designing what we were looking for and we did not have an unlimited budget. We interviewed a number of both architects as well as design/build firms, and found most to be good, but ultimately missing the mark in terms of what we wanted. Given we couldn't find the perfect candidate up front, we came to realize what we would need is a good architect who would accept a professional challenge of designing perhaps a less familiar style and who could partner well. We were introduced to Mike and his approach and style resonated with us.
Designing and building our custom home (which included a tear down to the foundation of our existing home) was a time consuming process, full of decisions and emotions. Our design timeline was perhaps longer than most because we did not want to be rushed too hard. It had to be that way because we wanted to get it right and we did not want to settle too far towards a giant compromise of ideas/budgets/practicality. The temptation to just settle was hard to resist given the pressure to move as quickly as possible. The push/pull nature of the design process we experienced, worked well. We would try to explain our vision and ideas and show photos. Mike would listen, advise and research. This process translated to renderings and designs which iterated towards a finished product. We couldn't be happier with the beautiful prairie-style home that resulted. Mike's patience, professionalism and advice were key. His realistic approach in partnering with us to execute on a project that was sound, aesthetically pleasing, true to the prairie ideals, functionally and financially realistic, led to a great outcome. He also worked well with our builder which is also critical. We would definitely recommend Mike to anyone.
5608 Kellogg Place, EDINA | French Colonial Revival (Addition/Remodel) - We've had the pleasure of working with Mike from Archos over the last year for our near full house remodel. We have a charming but very old home located in an equally old, charming neighborhood. Maintaining the old charm while both doubling our sq. foot in size has not been an easy task. However Mike was the guy for the job. He understands how to remodel a home while keeping the character and building to scale. Equally as important, Mike listened to our wishes and then made it a reality both on paper and in real life construction. He is an expert at seeing how things that can't fit can be turned and made to work. Mike drew and re-drew until it was right. We are not experts by any means in building. Therefore we very much appreciated Mike taking our ideas and turning them until the total plan fit. In the end, we truly ended up with a house that incorporated all we dreamed within our budget but done in a way that was appropriate to the scale and character of our neighborhood. Neighbors have thanked us for building our remodeled home home to looks as if it has been there for years. True to any remodel and unlike building from scratch, there were surprises we couldn't see until we opened up the house. Mike was always willing to redraw and make any work with us and our builder on these surprises. Unlike those in the industry that run on "contractors time," Mike always showed up on time, was professional, respectful and overall a pleasure to work with. We trusted him and his expertise and it turned out in our favor. We strongly recommend Mike and appreciate all he has done to make this long hoped for process a reality.
7120 Mark Terrace, EDINA | Shingle Style Revival (New Build) - Great Firm to work with for new construction projects. Mike's ideas helped unlock the potential of my lot. He was pleasant to work with and his years of experience really show in his work. I have had a very positive experience from the beginning, the work was prompt and efficient. I hope to use this firm many more times in the future and I would highly recommend you talk to Mike to hear his ideas before starting any project.
4715 Annaway Drive, EDINA | Georgian Revival (Addition/Remodel) - We did a major remodel of a 9,200 Sq foot home. Mike worked great with our builder and my wife. We looked at a wide range of ideas and over 3-4 months came up with the ideal plan. It was very complicated and required raising the roof line, adding an upstairs bedroom with a bath, adding a mud room within existing frame, and literally moving every interior wall on the ground floor. We have been in the home for 15 months and really like it. We use all of the rooms, with the living room being least used, and the rest of ground floor rooms used equally. The HVAC and systems have been very good, as have acoustics. We recently hosted a party with 70 guests and 10 servers, and the "flow" was exceptional for a home of this size--nobody got "stuck" in a corner or felt locked in a hallway, even though we had more people than we could have imagined. A final comment is that Mike was careful to design something that we feel will stand the test of time. We expect strong resale someda