"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
~ Abraham Lincoln
"Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it."
~ Henry David Thoreau
"A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur. "
~ Red Adair
...we'll supply a straight line
If you supply the A and B...
Scott and his wife, Heather at a Cubs game
Scott Somers, NCARB, Architect
Hello and thank you for visiting ARCH-101. My name is Scott Somers and I am the principal architect and owner of ARCH-101. What follows is a bit of my background, history, experience, and philosophy.
I am originally from the Detroit area and currently reside with my wife and 5 kids in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. BIG DIFFERENCE! I am a self-professed "experience junkie", moving 26 times in 16 cities, in 6 states (Michigan, Texas, California, Kansas, Washington, and Idaho).
I began my career as a pre-med student at the University of Texas, but after my first semester, I found myself framing houses and working as a concrete form carpenter instead of in a biology lab. After 6 months under the sweltering Dallas summer sun, I decided to go back to college, but not in pre-med.
I moved into the air-conditioned rooms the Architecture Department at The University of Texas. I then took the long road through 2 states and 3 more colleges before settling down at Kansas State University, where I received my Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1989.
In 1996, I designed and built my own house. Designing one's own house is a bit like operating on a family member...maybe not the best idea. Over the 15 years I spent living in it, there wasn't a day I didn't think about what I would have done differently. Anyhow, it was during the construction of my house that I stumbled upon the thing that changed my approach to architecture forever.
I was on a very tight budget when I built my house. I worked directly with a builder friend who had assigned "allowances" for things like plumbing fixtures, flooring, paint, etc., which was fine for the most part; we got it done. But once the house was finished, I found a few oddities. In the bathrooms, I found that I had to flush the toilets 2 to 3 times for them to function properly, and even then..."properly" sometimes meant using a plunger. When I asked the contractor what was up with the crappy toilets, he told me he used the least expensive toilet he could find. When I asked him how much it would have cost to move up to a model that actually flushed the first time, he answered, "about $8 each". When I asked why he didn't tell me that earlier, he told me it was because he knew I was on a tight budget, so he assumed I wanted the items with the "lowest cost". And there was the problem; he assumed what I wanted based on an incomplete description I had given him...and he did not take the time to educate me on my options.
In my head, I wanted the best, lowest cost solution...that functioned properly. This is not necessarily the least expensive, but it may have been the cheapest. The fact was, I could have afforded another $8 for a better toilet. Ultimately, I had to replace 3 toilets after about 6 months at a cost of $360 and a bit of sweat equity. What a waste (no pun intended)!
So there it is; my lesson in value. Was it the responsibility of the contractor to tell me about the toilets? No. But what if he had taken a minute to do that? What if he would have educated me about the value in upgrading even if I didn't ask for it? It would have enabled me to get a much higher value with very little cost. And yes, he could have also told me about the cheap faucets, can lights, glass sliders, and gas fireplace...
I firmly believe that the true role of an architect (besides doing what we do) is to educate their clients about their options. So now, I now pass this value on to my clients. When I read a client's lease, I let my client know what I would add or change and mark it up and return it to them. I complete pro formas for new buildings so I can see the investment potential which helps me determine the chances of a lender throwing up any red flags. When I help select contractors, I educate clients about how to find the best contracts, best contractor-owner relationships, and inform them where value is found. There isn't a time on a building project where I am not educating my clients. Ultimately, what a client chooses to do with the information is up to them, but at least their decisions are informed. Our approach is not an extra service...it is simply how we approach all of our work, and it is what separates us from our competitors.
As an architect, I have worked on over $750 million in construction dollar value over the past 25 years on a wide variety of building types. including international resort hotels, college buildings, schools residences, and many healthcare buildings.
In the early 1990's, after working in Long Beach for a few years, I moved to Spokane, WA and shifted my focus mainly to the designs of private healthcare projects. After working on dozens of private dental, orthodontic and healthcare projects, I started my own firm in 1997, OMS Architecture; and in 2004 ARCH-101.
Since the 1990's, I have focused my work mainly on orthodontic, dental, and private healthcare design. it has become my passion. I enjoy working with business owners. The people are interesting, caring, thoughtful, and wonderful to work with. I have also noticed, they need quite a bit of guidance. When a client's goals and ideals align with my own, we can create some pretty amazing projects.
In 2004, I founded ARCH-101 (Scott Somers Architect, LLC) in order to provide my clients an even higher level of service.
I have been the principal architect on over 500 orthodontic, dental, and healthcare projects throughout the United States and abroad. I am a licensed architect in over 25 states, have been published in numerous orthodontic journals, lecture graduating classes of orthodontists, and I have attended the American Association of Orthodontists national and regional meetings the past 16 years. My articles and case studies are currently featured on the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) website. I have also written a great number of articles on projects, many of which are on this website.
In my life I have been a laborer, carpenter, a business owner, a commercial property owner, a tenant, and landlord, an expert witness, a home owner (and builder), developer, architect, and a father. I have integrated all of this knowledge and experience into the services I offer my clients. I approach each project as if I were the owner; writing all of the checks from my own account.
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with wife and kids. On weekends, you can find me either fly or lake fishing in the mountains of northern Idaho or Montana. I've been a lifetime die-hard fan of the Detroit Tigers. I still follow the Detroit Lions, and it hurts as much today as it did in 1973 to watch them. It's now much easier to pretend to be a fan of the Seahawks. And of course, I watch all of the Kansas State Wildcat football and basketball games. I also enjoy spending free time with my family and friends, working on home improvement projects, gardening, brewing beer, cooking, traveling, photography, and writing.
Helping success-minded owners of orthodontic, dental and private healthcare practices increase office performance, efficiency and value; enhance patient and employee experiences; and increase personal wealth by creating the highest-functioning solutions in the built-environment through client education, principal-managed projects, and design excellence.
An "architect" has been defined as: "...a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings, and is licensed to practice architecture". We believe that this definition falls short.
The "practice of architecture" has been defined as: "a business in which technical knowledge, management, and an understanding of business are as important as design”. We embrace this definition.
While every architect is trained and licensed, the difference between architects and architectural firms is not found in what they do, but HOW they practice and WHAT they value.
Our success is built around the success of the practices we serve, not simply in our ability to design buildings well. Your office or building is a large personal investment; don't settle for just a well-designed and functional office. Make sure it also addresses your personal, professional, and practice goals.
The design of and performance of your office and/or building also directly affect the following:
Your highest probability for project success will naturally occur when you align yourself with a firm that shares like-values.