Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Business spotlight - Architect David Douglass

Licensed architect Dave Douglass AIA wants to help people sail through the permitting process when building a new construction or adding on to an existing building. He can help design and gain approval for a plan that will work for the location and meet all of the town ordinances. 
“I knew I was going to be an architect before I was 19 years old,” said Douglass. He attended Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston and is now licensed in Maine and New Hampshire. He is also certified nationally by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards and a member of the American Institute of Architects.  He is also the chairman of the Windham Planning Board. 

“I have been doing architecture since I was out of school in 1999, designing commercial properties, residential housing, real estate developments and car dealerships. I’m never going to do anything else. I love technical things.” 

His full-time job is as a building envelope consultant for a local firm. However, he is taking on clients to help them design everything from a single family home to a multi-million dollar estate on the lake. He works closely with town code enforcement officers to help with permitting for people’s projects and providing them with stamped drawings they need to meet ordinace. 

“As a licensed professional I can take a few hours of my time and make a client’s life much easier,” he said. “The (building) code is getting stricter and changes all the time. The old fashioned way of doing things isn’t working anymore.”

Douglass has been involved with a Windham program call “Bridge the Gap” which strives to help people go from plans to permit with as little problems as possible. Working with the code enforcement officers, he is able to put together what they are looking for in plans and create a marriage between what the client wants and what the code enforcement officer says the project requires . 

Douglass describes his job as fun. “I like designing for people. I’m extremely good at problem solving. I have the patience to work through an issue and come up with the right solution,” he added. 

The difference between a drafter and an architect is that plans created by a drafter then have to be approved by an architect. With Douglass the process is streamlined. 

“I want to offer my professional services to the local community because there’s generally a need for it,” Douglass said. 

Designing additions is not his only talent. Douglass has a knack for fixing and building cars, creating furniture, painting with watercolors and welding, to name a few. With his experiences he is able to explain to builders how things can be done to meet the codes and make sense in the real world. 

“I just enjoy the design, meeting people and helping others,” he said. Typically when someone needs design work they have an idea, they’ve bought the land, have saved items to Pinterest or have ripped pictures out of a magazine, then they call Douglass for his help. He will go to the client’s home where he can get to know them, what they are looking for and to see the site in the case of an addition. “I’ll go wherever they want,” he said. 

“Architecture should be very personal. Good design doesn’t have to be expensive,” he added. Prices range depending on the size of the job and the amount of time put into it. It can run from $500 for something small to $25,000 or more for an expensive custom home. 

“I’m a really simple guy. I have a good eye for detail and I see the big picture. I’m really good at finding the right solution,” Douglass said. 

His dream job would be to create a monument or a world class museum, which is typical of all architects, he said. In reality, he would like to create a monumental estate on the lake with a contemporary flair, something he hasn’t had the opportunity to do yet. 

For more information or to get in touch with Douglass call at 207-807-6661 or email

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