Videos about Santa Barbara Residential Architecture and Construction

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Years ago, the master builder was responsible both as architect and general contractor. Somehow we got away from that so that today the architect and contractor often are not the same person. Other companies, such as Boeing and General Motors, handle both design and construction responsibilities. In my opinion, your architect should be the master builder. One important advantage is that you can gauge how design changes might impact your budget or the odds of making it through planning review.

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Dave Burke, a licensed architect based in Santa Barbara, California, discusses how you can best prepare for your first meeting your architect. Generally speaking, the more prepared you are the more productive the meeting. Dave recommends that you consider the following:

  1. Get organized before the consultation with Burke Design
  2. Identify a single architectural style
  3. Bring old plans of your house
  4. Bring a survey of your property
  5. Identify and correct zoning violations
  6. Be honest about your budget
  7. We can research code and zoning issues

If you can’t find your old house plans, the local Santa Barbara chapter of the AIA may have your home’s plans on file.

There are many good publications out there but we recommend one in particular: Architect Magazine. You might get some good ideas from it.

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Dave Burke often hears from customers seeking a competitive bid. That’s possible with a full set of plans, but only if the owner has acquired a complete and detailed set of plans. When the plans are incomplete, it’s really difficult, even impossible to give an accurate bid.


You’re better off interviewing 3 different general contractors in person and then award the job to the one with whom you feel most comfortable and who understands your creative goals, schedule, and budget range. Then you should get competitive bids from sub-contractors and trades professionals.

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Here is a fun look at commercial design and build projects that Dave Burke has completed over the years.

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My name is Dave Burke and I am the founder of Burke Steel Buildings, the only Varco Pruden Steel Building dealer based here in Santa Barbara. I’ve worked on a number of steel building projects including Taft Electric in Carpinteria and the Santa Barbara Voting Records building.


If you are still in the early stages of planning and don’t have finished plans, so much the better. Just call me at 805-964-8800 and I would be happy to share my knowledge and help you determine whether a steel building makes sense for your project.


In this video, I discuss how customers appreciate the convenience of working with a steel building dealer versus the piecemeal approach. My design and construction services are all in-house and we check to make sure that we stay within your budget parameters.


If you would like to set up an appointment, call me at 805-964-8800 or email me at