To seek the timeless way we must first know the quality without a name. There is a central quality which is the root criterion of life and spirit in a man, a town, a building, or a wilderness.

Christopher Alexander

Reviews for Saikley Architects

“Working with Saikley Architects is a pleasure. I have worked with Alexandra for years, her drawings are beautiful, great attention to detail, always there to answer questions and help problem-solve. I recommend her to my customers almost exclusively.”
Tom Carroll, General Contractor, Carroll Construction

“I have had the pleasure of working with Alexandra Saikley since 2014. She is always professional and very aware of not only her customers’ wants, but also very helpful to my company any time we work together.  Her designs are always well thought out and beautiful. She is the consummate professional.”
Anthony Maramonte, General Contractor, Mara Construction

“It is a pleasure to work on projects with Saikley Architects. Their drawings are easy to build from, their communication is clear, and their designs are elegant and functional. I have recommended them to many clients knowing they will be very happy with their work.”
Jim Granlund, General Contractor, Artisan Home Builders

“We have had the pleasure of working with Saikley Architects on the first phase of a complicated multi-phased, fast-track project. Alexandra Saikley had to take the role of Job Captain, in order to simultaneously produce plans for the City, to get permits for three separate phases, produce details for the finishes of the building and keep the project on track. She handled this with grace under pressure and respect for all of the members of the project team. Alexandra is a very capable conduit of the information flow from client to contractor. I look forward to the next phases of this project and continuing the relationship for future collaborations.”
Ed Young, Director of Estimating, Alward Construction

“Alexandra Sheets Saikley  and her talented team at Saikley Architects have been a pleasure to work with.  They work collaboratively with other design consultants and general contractors to ensure that all of the client’s vision, program and objectives are met.  As a structural engineer, I have had the opportunity to work with Alexandra on many projects over the past several years.  I continue to be impressed with Alexandra’s ability to manage teams, her careful attention to details and her passion for great design and architecture that leads to successful projects.”
Justen Peek, P.E.  Principal Engineer & Owner of DP Advanced Engineering, Inc.

“I have been a design team member with Alexandra for many years. Her strong leadership skills result in cost effective, collaborative and smoothly run projects. The best interest of our clients is always at the forefront of our conversations. She is respectful to me, listens to my suggestions and promptly responds to my requests for information. It is a pleasure to be a member of Alexandra’s design team.”
Jack Rafferty, P.E., Principal Engineer & Owner of Rafferty Engineering

“As a consultant in her design team, I have enjoyed working with Alexandra in various residential projects in the East Bay over the years. I have observed how her design philosophy, skills and creativity have produced interesting architectural solutions that met and exceeded her clients’ expectations. In every project, Alexandra’s personal and professional attributes emerged to provide quality work focused on client satisfaction.”
Francisco Mariscal, P.E., Consulting Civil Engineer

“We worked with Alexandra on  the ground-up rebuild of our previously 3 bedroom, now 4 bedroom home.  Alexandra was wonderful to work with. She listens carefully to what you as the client want and to your initial design thoughts. She’s very creative in terms of generating ideas and suggestions while remaining flexible and open to ideas you may have  throughout the process. Alexandra strives to create practical, well-conceived  designs that make for bright, warm, livable spaces.  Alexandra  creates a good working partnership with your  contractor,  which  helps to surface problems early and minimize negative surprises.

She’s versatile:  while much of her time is spent working on the larger-scale details, Alexandra is also exceptionally helpful when it comes to thinking about materials, fixtures and paint colors.  We found her to be very knowledgeable and helpful about how to best manage the building constraints of our city and she helped make the city review much less painful than it otherwise would have been.

Alexandra is patient, has awesome attention-to-detail and is very easy to work with  - really important qualities as you work through your remodel dealing with the inevitable challenges that arise.  Lastly, cost wise  and in the way the contract was structured we felt that Alexandra was very fair and not overpriced.

We really enjoyed working with Alexandra and do  not hesitate to recommend her.”
 Client, Mountain View CA

“Alexandra was the architect for a major renovation of the 1880’s Victorian home I purchased in Alameda. The house was built in 1881 and had essentially not been updated. We replaced the foundation, the roof, the electrical and plumbing systems, the kitchen, and baths. We reorganized the layout. We added a large contemporary deck to extend our living space.

Alexandra did a great job. She understands how to work with the Alameda planning and building departments which really came in handy. She knows a lot of contractors in Alameda which was an invaluable source for contractor referrals. She was flexible in our working arrangement which saved me quite a bit of money. It was a pleasure to work with Alexandra and her team. They were always being patient with me and came up with good solutions to problems we ran across.

I highly recommend Alexandra and her team.”
Client, Alameda CA

“Alexandra – I’m not sure if this fully expresses my gratitude, but I hope it suffices. I’ve already recommended you to a few people!

I interviewed 5 architects before selecting Alexandra and her team. I had sent out an RFP, and she sent back a very detailed list of reasons why she would be perfect for my project. We had a great interview, and it was her knowledge of traditional architecture that sold me. We were required to fit with the neighborhood which had many Victorian houses. While I couldn’t afford to build a Victorian style house (who can these days!), she created something that neighbors say really fits the neighborhood. I’m so proud of my new house!

I had a narrow vacant lot in West Oakland. We built a new ground-up house with extra spaces for rental income. The work included installation of water, PG&E, and a new driveway with off street parking. I had a long list of wishes, and my intentions for what I wanted to create. Low-income housing for me and at least 2 tenants within my community. I was on a VERY tight budget, and Alexandra worked with me incredibly on that. During construction, Alexandra often stepped in to help everything to go smoothly. I found her and her assistant who helped draw the plans very knowledgeable, detail oriented, and great advisors. Alexandra never lost her cool, always stayed calm and helpful. Building a brand new house on a tight budget can be exasperating, but whenever I consulted with Alexandra, she helped me keep it together. I cannot recommend her highly enough, and I miss working with her!”
Client, Oakland CA

“We worked with Alexandra for a major remodel of our home, upgrading it from a 3bd/1.5 bath to a 4bd/3.5bath while adding a second floor and changing the layout of the house dramatically.

We chose Alexandra based on two critical expectations: that she would be good to work with (after all, you spend countless hours with your architect on a very expensive project), and that she would share our philosophy regarding the importance of combining form and function in house design. We were very lucky to have chosen her.

Alexandra indeed spent countless hours with us. She paid careful attention to our wishes and needs. She worked patiently through every detail of the house, helping us maximize not only our living space but also important functional aspects of the house. From beautifully located and proportioned stairs to storage for kids’ backpacks under an entryway bench and built-in cabinets to roof segments and their slopes, everything was thoughtful, detailed, and practical.

Alexandra also showed great professional and personal skill in navigating the permitting process, developing a good relationship with the city’s planning department that allowed us to enjoy all the benefits of the zoning code. She was always ready to help and mediate successfully when issues inevitably came up with our contractor. She followed through with everything she said she would in an even, friendly, and professional manner.

We are delighted with our home and, truth be told, also take joy in the many compliments we get from anybody who visits our home or even passes by it. Alexandra was wonderful and we can’t recommend her highly enough.”
Client, Mountain View CA

“Alexandra is  highly experienced and has been an extremely knowledgeable resource for our project. Her understanding of the process, relationships with inspectors and professionals as well as advocacy on our behalf has been invaluable. She has been a steady resource through a challenging process of rebuilding our home. Alexandra and her team designed and monitored the build of our beautiful home that everybody loves. We would certainly go to Alexandra first for any projects in the future.”
Client, Alameda CA

“We worked with Alexandra on a major project with several challenges – building a brand new home on a small, sloped lot that required several variances. To add to that, we were first-time owner-builders. From the very beginning of the process at the design stage, Alexandra was easy to work with and very open to both incorporating our requests and needs while providing helpful insight and guidance. Her clear, consistent, and thorough communication got us through a complicated Zoning review process. She and her team helped us adapt in creative ways to ensure that we met Zoning’s requirements while still keeping the best parts of the design. We’ve been living in the home for several months now and absolutely love it! The best part for us about working with Alexandra, which is easy to take for granted but very significant in a long project like this, was her incredible professionalism, responsiveness, and trustworthiness. We never had any problem communicating and working with her over the course of our project, despite the other challenges and many different people involved. Thank you, Alexandra, for helping make a dream true for us!”
Client, Richmond CA

“Working with Alexandra has been a pleasure.  In 2012, we first met Alexandra when redesigning our home’s front yard, porch and entryway.  She easily transformed our vision into a reality that was within our budget and complemented the original design of our 1899 home.  Our experience was so positive that we turned to Alexandra again when we decided to take on a much larger project that includes recreating a grand stairway, renovating the 2nd floor, and finishing the attic space.  Alexandra and her team have listened to our family’s needs and once again produced creative and gorgeous drawings.  She also is quite adept at working patiently yet effectively with the Planning Department.  We highly recommend Alexandra!”
Client, Alameda CA

“I worked with Alexandra Saikley on the remodeling of my house. I knew she had experience of remodeling old houses and mine was a 1950 ranch with no appeal except that it was in a secluded area with a panoramic view. It was important for me to have a good connection with the environment and have an in-out feeling throughout. I also did not want to overdo the remodeling. Alexandra listened to what I had in mind and came up with fantastic design ideas. Throughout the construction phase, she effectively managed the interface with the contractor. Her attention to details was outstanding and for what I understand the plans were very accurate. She gave me excellent referrals for architectural landscaping. All this was done with smiles and I am grateful to have been able to work with her.  I would definitely recommend her.”
Client, Orinda CA

“Alexandra’s vision and skills helped me remodel my house to include lots of light, better traffic flow, connection to the garden throughout the house, and special details in each room – all without changing the essential character of my four-generation family home.

Before I started my remodel I had read every one of the Minnesota architect Sarah Susanka’s Not So Big House books, and I knew that I wanted to use my limited budget to build in beautiful and functional details, not to enlarge my space. Alexandra’s plan added only 65 feet (the original exterior front porch was made part of the interior entryway), but changed a series of small rooms into beautifully connected kitchen, dining, and living rooms and private areas.

It was a delight to work with Alexandra! In the beginning stages of our work together, she sent me articles about basic architectural principles such as Christopher Alexander’s sitting circles, indoor-outdoor rooms, and sunny places (aka cat-sunning spots). She listened carefully to my ideas and the final plans were a combination of her ideas, my ideas, and timeless historical concepts – exactly what I wanted.”
Client, Palo Alto CA

“Alexandra had excellent ideas to address the space issues we faced. More than that, she was great at explaining her solutions. We really felt that she educated us as she went. When we couldn’t go with all her initial suggestions, she happily worked with us to find good alternatives. We appreciated her respectful listening and conscientious execution.”
Client, El Cerrito CA

“Alexandra Sheets Saikley was highly recommended to me by the daughter of a good friend. I had been considering remodeling my kitchen/bathroom for many years. I needed someone to help me put together a plan, help me with all of the choices involved & understand what I wanted. She was very sensitive to my needs & helped me through the process.  Our collaboration on this project was a success. The following year I decided to do another bathroom again called on Alexandra. She came through for me again. These rooms give me great pleasure. I would recommend her with confidence in her ability.”
Client, Alameda CA

“Our project was an extensive basement addition, which almost doubled the square footage of our home.  It was also very complex given the large excavation, hard-to-meet deadlines, and breaking the project into phases as construction could only be accomplished during the summer.  Hands-down, Alexandra was able to deliver a design we were happy with given the demands of our remodel.  She also had the patience to move through the process with us even when some decisions were difficult to make.  Finally, she had some excellent creative ideas that are making things come out wonderfully.”
Client, San Francisco CA

“We greatly appreciate your fine work for us,  the ease with which you worked with our objectives and budget, and your expert handling of the critical contractor relationships – and we truly love the outcome.”
Client, Berkeley CA

“Alexandra came up with a gorgeous design for our bathroom. She’s creative and intelligent and easy to work with. She’s a good listener and good communicator, and worked with what we wanted while improving on it with ideas of her own. She was very thorough with the details of the project throughout the process, and coordinated well with our contractor. We have been very happy working with her and plan to work with her again.”
Client, Alameda CA

“Alexandra Sheets Saikley helped us turn a remodel necessitated by dry-rot into a real upgrade of our living space. It’s our first home, and we had no idea what was ahead of us. Alexandra worked with us effectively from the beginning to help us define our own aesthetics and desires for the house, even defusing some of the marital tension that seems to accompany a house remodel. She built a cardboard model of our house that was indispensable for us to use and play around with to bring the drawings into three dimensions. She brought talented subcontractors who did quality work building for us. And the result was so much more than a fix to our dry-rot. Alexandra gave our deck and two home-offices a functionality and elegance that make us happy every day.”
Client, Berkeley CA

“Alexandra Saikley did an incredible job on our deck.  She is willing to put in the extra time and effort to get the job done right.  She is extremely flexible in her work schedule and was willing to meet with us multiple times to work out a design that included everything that we wanted and more.  Her design for our deck brought the backyard into the house and basically created another room for our small craftsman.  We received nothing but high praise for our finished deck and our contractor enjoyed working with Alexandra so much that he wanted to recommend her for all of his future projects.  She is professional, creative and personable.  Three qualities that you don’t always find, but you are so happy when you do.”
Client, Oakland CA

“Alexandra designed our 400 square foot rear addition and kitchen remodel. It’s beautiful, uses space very effectively, and fits in very well with the rest of the house. She was very easy to work with. Her aesthetic sense and attention to detail are excellent. Her most important goal was that we be happy with the project, and we are. She also makes a really good quinoa dish.”
Client, Berkeley CA

“Alexandra helped us design our beautiful bathroom. She really respected our ideas, but came up with great new ideas and designs that really turned out beautifully. She was organized, on time and really great to work with!  I highly recommend her.”
Client, Alameda CA

“Alexandra’s high level of  integrity and professionalism ma de it easy and enjoyable to work with her on our several  projects.  Her flexibility and dedication made our home improvement dreams become a reality.”
Client, Alameda CA

“I was introduced to Alexandra through her donation to a charity auction.  I won the bid and met with her regarding my kitchen remodel.  She was professional and personable and attentive from the outset to every detail.  After our preliminary meeting, and her rough-out drawing of the kitchen, I officially contracted her services.  She possesses an amazing wealth of resources, but never required that I use her recommendations.  The result was a combination of her and my ideas, her and my resources, and her and my work on the project.  The kitchen was finished to my complete satisfaction.  Alexandra was always available for questions and concerns.  I recommend her services very highly. ”
Client, Alameda CA

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