As a boutique design firm, we are deliberately small. We are a one-person business owned and operated by Vina Lustado. As you can see in her resume, Vina’s experience ranges from large commercial projects and high-end custom residences, to tiny homes on wheels.

Vina’s background in working in various architecture firms has provided her with valuable practical knowledge. She has developed a keen design sense, she is consummately professional in her dealings, and above all, she values the collaborative process with her clients. As a deliberately small firm, SOL HAUS DESIGN can provide maximum efficiency for your project, which translates to better design while controlling overall cost.

“…I have watched Vina emerge as a quiet leader with exceptional focus and dedication… Among Vina’s greatest assets is her personality. She has great patience, the ability to inquire with precision and grace, a cheerful sense of humor, and persistence. She combines these qualities with a depth of knowledge and experience in design and production that has made her a favorite with our clients.” – Philip Banta, Principal at Banta and Associates

How much does it cost to hire you?

The standard architect’s fee is 10-15% of construction cost. SOL HAUS DESIGN’s rates are usually 10% or lower. This fee covers all phases of the project, from conceptual design through construction documentation and permit processing (see Services and Process). 

For most projects, however, we suggest placing each project phase under a separate agreement or contract. This works well during the conceptual design phase, which is only about 10% of the total architect’s fee. It allows the client to define scope of work and construction cost prior to committing to the succeeding phases.

SOL HAUS DESIGN take a holistic approach to our projects, by taking into consideration the quality of the project and the value it has for the owner.

Do you have contractors you can recommend?

We firmly believe that a project requires close collaboration among the key players: client/owner, designer/architect, and contractor. For this reason, we work closely with contractors at the beginning of the project to provide estimates.

It is important aspect to foster trust, reliability and integrity in the contractor relationship. There are some local contractors with whom we have worked that I can recommend on a project. Their involvement from design phases through permit processing is key to controlling construction cost and continuity of design intent.

If you were a client, what do you wish you knew about your trade?

Unfortunately, most architects charge too much. After 20 years of working in architecture firms with different clients, we have found efficient ways of working with minimal overhead as a sole proprietor. By maintaining a tight relationship between the architect, contractor, and consultants, the project can be more cost effective. 

What do you like most about your job?

We love working with our clients, problem-solving for the best possible solution, and brainstorming different ideas to achieve their goals. One of our best assets is the ability to work well with others.

Are you a licensed architect?

No, Vina Lustado is NOT a licensed architect. She has a professional degree (Bachelor of Architecture) from University of Southern California and has met all of the required professional training in the field. Vina is registered with NCARB (National Council of Architectural Registration Board) in California and has completed all the IDP requirements (Intern Development Program). Vina has taken the state licensing exams, but she has NOT passed all the divisions. This does not preclude us from obtaining proper permits for small scale residential projects.

Sol Haus Design will always work with licensed professionals to obtain proper building permits. For residential projects, we will work with a licensed structural engineer to stamp the drawing set prior to approval (if structural work is required). For commercial projects, we work with a licensed ‘Architect of Record’ for permit approval. For additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.