The Design Department Inc

About

Founded 1995 • With Angi since June 2008

Pat Sauer, owner of The Design Department Inc., is a Professional Building Designer with 25 years experience specializing in all aspects of residential structures: single family, multi - family, kitchen and bath design, new construction and remodeling. Member of American Institute of Building

Awards and Badges

Angi Certified

Images

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Verified Reviews

4.9

(51) Verified Reviews

Ratings Distribution

5

48

4

1

3

2

2

0

1

0

Rating Details

Price

4.8

Professionalism

4.9

Punctuality

5.0

Quality

4.9

Responsiveness

4.9

Read reviews by category

architect (47)home builder (15)home remodeling (8)
Showing 1-25 of 51 reviews
5.0

01/11/2023


Dave B.

Pat has designed a number of homes of which I have lived in or have built for sale. Along with the structural engineer, everything worked well as planned. I can say for sure the design department is a real value as I have built other architect, drawn homes that cost much more to build not to mention the design fees. Pat has the experience , and the eye to design any type of build . DB now retired homebuilder.

Description of Work
Remodels, custom, contemporary homes, custom craftsman homes, commercial projects

Category home builders

Cost $1,000,000

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

5.0

01/11/2023


Larry C.

We had the best experience with Patricia. Patricia was able to take my ideas and put them into the design I wanted and even added a few ideas that I didn't even realize we could do like adding a 1/2 bath and a bigger pantry with minimal changes. Patricia was very accurate in her timelines regarding the process of having drawings for my remodel. I cannot express how knowledgeable she was and creative. I highly recommend her.

Description of Work
Drawings to remodel part of my home to add a loft and reconfigure the downstairs master bathroom to allow a pantry and half bathroom.

Category remodeling

Cost $5,000

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

5.0

01/11/2023


Abe H.

Pat is amazing to work with, she is professional and attentive to the needs of her clients. She made the process for our remodel simple, and her insights and recommendations were spot on. Highly recommended!

Description of Work
Full structural and design of large residential remodel.

Category architect

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

5.0

01/08/2023


Paul C.

Our family suffered a house fire which resulted in a complete tear down and re-build. Having no experience with designing and building a new house, we turned to family members who had recently built a beautiful new house in Portland. They gave us the contact information for Pat Sauer at the Design Department in Lake Oswego. Pat met us at the building site, and we immediately liked the way she talked about the re-build project. She listened to our input on what we liked about the old house and what changes we could make with the new design. We signed a contract with Pat, and she produced a set of drawings on the schedule she gave us. The submittal process involved coordinating with the city and the mechanical engineer. Pat was always available to work through any issues. We never felt like we were on our own with the re-build. After we moved back in, strangers would stop on the street to tell us how much they liked the design of the new house. We are very happy with the design services that Pat provided and do not hesitate to recommend the Design Department to any family and friends (or people passing by) looking for a residential building designer.

Description of Work
Design a new house to replace fire damaged structure Produce a set of design drawings for submittal and approval by the city.

Category architect

Cost $6,000

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

5.0

12/27/2022


Jeremy P.

Pat was wonderful to work with at every step of the process. Her expertise, regional vendor connections, and impeccable design sense made our process a breeze. We couldn't happier with the design of our dream home.

Description of Work
We're from out of state and we needed an Architect to design our coastal dream home. We provided some initial reference examples and Pat took our vision and turned it into the most beautiful design we could've imagined. We have a challenging lot combined with a very strict HOA, and Pat was able to easily work around these limitations with ease. All work was delivered within the timeframes expected and communication was perfect even with us being halfway across the country.

Category architect

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Service Provider Response

[Member Name Removed] & [Member Name Removed], thank you so much for putting your trust in me to work with you on the design of your dream home! It's been a wonderful experience working with you and I am looking forward to seeing you in the spring. Many thanks, Pat
5.0

09/22/2019


Steve G.

Pat came recommended by the builder we selected who had years of experience working with her over many projects. We really enjoyed working with her during the design and planning of our custom home. She is a great communicator and helped us through a very complicated process to achieve a result that was beyond our dreams. She is very detail oriented and completed her tasks very quickly. Her design ideas were great and she was very patient during the development of the project. I will not hesitate to use her services again and recommend her firm without reservation.

Description of Work
Complete plans for a custom beach house

Category home builders, architect

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 09/01/2019

5.0

02/02/2019


Frederick G.

We focus on planning well ahead for a large task, and this was no exception. We wanted to finish our crawlspace (currently just dirt) into an in-law suite, and also redesign a bedroom and bathroom into two bedrooms and a Jack-and-Jill bathroom. These plans will double our square footage, so they were quite significant. I found Pat here on Angie's List, and the reviews were accurate- she is awesome at what she does! I really can't emphasize that enough. After our first few meetings to determine scope and measurements, we had to have some surveying done, as well as a structural engineer to look over everything. I know that other reviews have mentioned that they wanted their own people to do these things, but I found Pat's 'team' of people to be A+ as well; both for price and knowledge/experience. Although we are still on the hunt for contractors (who isn't? lol) to complete different phases of work, our workable set of plans are ready to go, thanks to Pat and her amazing knowledge, skills, experience, and work ethic. Now whatever contractors we hire will be ready to go with these plans. Our complete timeline for the plans took about 1.5 years, but keep in mind that we plan well ahead, so we were in no real rush. Throughout the process, Pat was ready and willing to meet with us in person or available by phone as we requested and her schedule allowed. She also kept us updated adequately via email and phone. Pat is great, and if I need anything similar done in the future, I have absolutely zero reason to search for anyone else.

Description of Work
Working plans for a remodel and redesign of a crawlspace and bedroom

Category architect

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 11/07/2018

Service Provider Response

Thank you so much [Member Name Removed]! It was a GENUINE pleasure to work with you and [Member Name Removed] and I truly wish all of the best for you as you journey through your projects. I’ll be looking forward to your construction start and, as always, I’m a phone call or email away to answer any questions that may arise. Cheers, Pat
5.0

11/26/2018


CHRISTOPHER R.

Patricia met with us at the house to talk about what we were looking in this remodel. We discussed the scope and budget of the project and the style that we were hoping to achieve. While this was a major project we wanted to maintain a bit of the historic charm of the house. She was very professional, listening to our ideas and providing great feedback. She also provided some excellent references for general contractors and a structural engineer, which was very useful. She delivered a beautiful design, giving our family 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and a den.

Description of Work
Our house is a small 1920's house that only had 2 bedrooms and 1.5 baths. We were looking for an addition design that would give us 3 bedrooms, 2 or more bathrooms and allow us to better use some of the living space in the house (dining room, living room, etc.). The project involved a design to remove the roof and converted attic and add a complete second floor to accommodate bedrooms, bathrooms and a den.

Category architect

Cost $4,000

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 11/26/2018

5.0

11/16/2018


Emma S.

Pat was the most professional, thoughtful and helpful support I've had throughout this entire project. I would work with her in a heartbeat and definitely recommend to anyone working on site planning, mapping and city coordinating. She made the whole process manageable, and executed with thoughtful, clear and speedy outcomes.

Description of Work
site maps for primary residence and ADU

Category architect

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 10/29/2018

5.0

11/13/2018


Tialen K.

Fantastic! Pat was referred to me from our General Contractor and we couldn't be happier with the work that she performed. She listened to us as clients, and then used what she heard to develop a stunning house that we are very happy with.

Description of Work
Design of new construction house

Category architect

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 11/09/2018

5.0

11/07/2018


Jennifer B.

She was wonderful to work with. Very responsive to my ideas and prompt with delivery. I would highly recommend her services.

Description of Work
Pat created architecture plans for an addition to our home.

Category architect

Cost $5,000

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 11/07/2018

Service Provider Response

It was a pleasure working with you and I am looking forward to seeing your new space! Cheers!
5.0

07/23/2018


Suzana L.

I was amazed at her ability to wade through the descriptions and lists of needs I gave her and come up with the perfect design. She understood what I needed in this building and gave it to me. She also foresaw issues with permitting that I didn't know to ask about and fixed those problems before they started. She had calm and complete answers for all of my questions and I felt supported by a seasoned professional. I had such a positive experience with her that I've been recommending her to anyone who will listen.

Description of Work
Design of an ADU

Category architect

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 07/23/2018

5.0

10/20/2017


Barb G.

It went great! She came and looked at the old house which we were tearing down, but we hoped to be able to use part of the original foundation. She listened to my ideas and came up with a design for me. She was very helpful in making revisions to the design that would work for the house and also for me. My home turned out great and I love it. Thanks Pat!

Description of Work
Pat designed my home

Category architect

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 08/01/2016

Service Provider Response

Thank you [Member Name Removed]! It was such a pleasure helping you create your dwelling and you did a spectacular job with your finish selections, it's just lovely!
5.0

03/11/2017


STEVE W.

We interviewed several architects always keeping our minds open to their ideas and methods. The truth is none were bad! But Pat seemed to be the most interested in interpreting our creative ideas into actionable plans, so we hired her. We were right. We felt much less like she worked for us and far more like she worked with us. We maintained creative input throughout, and she made the ideas, ours and hers, actionable. Between the two jobs there was certainly no shortage of details but Pat's knowledge of design, structure and Portland's building codes, kept the road to accomplishing this feat clear. She was always cooperative, available, creative and delightful. We loved her work, sincerely liked her as a person and would highly recommend her with confidence.

Description of Work
About a year after purchasing a second home in Portland, my wife and I decided it was time to improve it two ways: a dormer bathroom on the upper level and a one bedroom ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit) in the basement, The intention was to do both jobs at once thereby keeping the house out of commission for less time overall. Before delving into the endless process of choosing all the finishes for the projects, we needed to find an architect.

Category remodeling, architect

Cost $8,700

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 10/04/2016

5.0

01/29/2017


Gregory W.

Pat was very good at dealing with my mother-in-law and wife, who are very visual and needed to see sketches. She came over several nights to understand what we wanted. The end result is a very nice 800 SF ADU that is very efficient in the floor plan and looks like a mini main house. We have received so many positive compliments from neighbors. Additionally, we had Pat walk the prints through the maze of the Portland permitting process. Our neighbors who also were building and ADU did not do this and it took them twice as long to get permits and they had to take off a lot of work. I highly recommend this service.

Description of Work
Design our ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit) - detached 800 SF house for my mother-in-law on our property that had to match the existing house. Walk our permits through Portland permitting

Category architect

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 04/15/2016

5.0

10/17/2016


Emily M.

As with all projects, it is a process and takes a long time, but IT WAS SO WORTH IT! :) It was a huge, massive project. Pat's part went very quickly and smoothly. She was very patient, reasonable, listened to our thoughts and concerns, was very knowledgeable about building codes, and helped us design an intelligent, fun space that we use every day. We had some concerns about the upper part of the house staying structurally sound, as our crawl space had a support post every four feet in either direction, but with her help and the help of her structural engineer, Matt, they were able to clear out almost all of the posts allowing us to have a huge gathering place to watch movies, play games, pingpong, foosball, etc. She was in regular contact with our contractor, helping him figure things out when questions arose. Pat was fantastic. She is a delightful person and does a great job. We couldn't be more pleased.

Description of Work
Having a house built on a slope, we had a large crawl space (approx 1400 sq. feet, ranging between 10-15 foot ceilings), that we wanted to convert to a daylight basement, including another bathroom and additional bedroom. Pat helped us design and configure the space.

Category remodeling, architect

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 10/17/2016

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Review for The Design Department Inc - P.O. Box 69, Lake Oswego, OR - 33729921

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5.0

08/03/2016


Barbara S.

Being retired custom home builders, we have had many years of working with architects and our experience with Pat was outstanding. She listened carefully to our needs, noted our style so everything she suggested complimented that, pushed us to think outside the box on some areas and was timely in her response time.

Description of Work
We had Pat assist us with the design of our large remodel (almost a total gut of an 1800 sq foot home - exterior and interior) and a 300 sq foot addition. She provided initial design ideas, a complete set of working plans including engineering, took the plans to the city for permits and was available for consultation during the entire construction. She also supplied us with a recommendation for a contractor to handle the remodel and addition.

Category remodeling, architect, home remodeling

Cost $2,800

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 09/16/2015

5.0

10/24/2015


Matthew M.

excellent craftsmanship. Some delay in responses to inquiries. Overall very happy, it was a very custom request and they delivered really fantastic results within the time estimated for exactly as much as was bid. Very happy & would recommend to anyone who needs doors for hacked IKEA cabinets.

Description of Work
custom ikea cabinet doors for pantry cabinets

Category architect

Cost $800

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 07/30/2015

3.0

10/13/2015


Theresa W.

We really liked Pat when we first met her. We were initially impressed with her responsiveness in getting back with us about details concerning our property, even before we hired her. We're not sure if she got incredibly busy from then on, however, but we gradually felt more and more like a number to her. There was also a fairly serious over site during the project: Our house is 47' wide and sits on a 50' lot. We didn't know our house was 47' wide, but Pat did after measuring it. Yet, she completed all preliminary drawings and was six hours into construction drawings before informing us. This was crucial information, as it effected the setback of our design, and we had to change it. We also had issues regarding her professionalism: Pat likes to use and recommend certain industry professionals. That's understandable. Anyone who's worked in the industry for 20-30 years has connections. When we decided to go outside of her circle of contacts, however, she seemed to try to sabotage the reputation of a particular vendor, even though she was not directly familiar with her work. We went with that vendor anyway, and were incredibly pleased with the results. We did like the structural engineer Pat uses, and feel he was responsive and did good work. We had direct contact with him in the end, which was way easier than having Pat be the go-between. All checks were written to him but given to Pat to deliver in the beginning. When we were ready for bid copies of the design, however, we were delayed in getting them because Pat decided to mail him the check, and he would not release those copies until he received it. Had we known, we would have driven it to him ourselves. Summer was creeping up on us, and contractors were getting busy. Also, we did not use Pat's permit retrieval services, as our contractor was able to get an over-the-counter permit from BDS just as easily as she could. Pat claims to know a lot of city employees, and offered to keep making trips to BDS until she recognized her "A" Team members, yet couldn't contact them ahead to see if they were working. Her hourly fee for making trips down there until they happened to be working the counter could really add up, so we didn't go that way. We have not heard from Pat since receiving our final drawings. Our construction project was completed approximately a year ago. We're not even sure if Pat knows. We are very happy with our addition, as our contractor did a great job. The design, however, was fairly straight forward. We feel it could have been done by someone else just as easily.

Description of Work
Designed an addition to enlarge the living and dining areas of our home.

Category architect

Cost $2,300

Services Performed? Yes

Work Completed On 05/01/2014

Service Provider Response

Without a survey it is VERY difficult to exactly place the house on the lot, as you well know, you assured to me that the fence line on the living room side of your house was the property line and we went into preliminary work on this basis. 6 hours to meet with you and to complete initial documentation of the site conditions is quite reasonable. We implemented a design change that solved the issue, and I did not go over estimate as a result. I have never sabotaged anyone and I am insulted. I believe I may have been questioning the work but sabotage, really? I'm happy you like my structural engineer, his work is highly regarded by the city. As your project was mainly structural in nature, his involvement was most critical. As for the delay of your project because of my mailing a check to him, I apologize. I did keep tabs on your project through the structural engineer and in fact, consulted with him on the field changes that needed to be made once hidden structures were revealed at the area of the rear wall removal. I am pleased you are happy with your addition! All the best.
5.0

09/28/2015


Hugh P.

Great from start to finish with good advice and help navigating with city permitting process and good recommendations on a contractor.

Description of Work
drew up basement redesign plans

Category architect

Cost $500

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 07/15/2015

Service Provider Response

Great working with you!
5.0

08/26/2015


Ann D.

I cannot say enough about how Pat's positive approach enabled a plan to be formulated according to what I needed to have done to feel comfortable with my home. Her willingness to delve into the city's guidelines for property development assured me that the plans would be in line with what could be done. She is knowledgeable, thorough, and pleasant to work with in moving towards one's goals.

Description of Work
Provide accurate and thorough architectural plans to remodel my home to meet my requirements by generating a room division for another bedroom and creating a garage.

Category remodeling, architect

Cost $1,200

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 05/15/2015

Service Provider Response

Thank you! It's been a hoot working with you!
5.0

07/16/2015


Douglas H.

The kitchen was to be an extensive remodel involving the removal of a load-bearing wall, all new custom cabinets and lighting, and moving of the stove to a new location. As for the patio, we wanted to replace our concrete slab with a covered patio that would run the full width of the rear of the house. Our first meeting with Patricia was at our house to discuss our ideas for the kitchen and patio. Patricia arrived on time and we were immediately impressed with her professionalism and friendly and engaging demeanor. Being new to the remodeling world, we had some rough ideas of what we wanted to do, but were less sure how to turn those ideas into reality. Patricia quickly validated our desires and offered suggestions on how to make them happen. We made an appointment for her to come back and take detailed measurements and finished up that first meeting. Patricia emailed me with a detailed scope of work and estimate. As work progressed on the plans, we frequently emailed back and forth as we came up with ideas or changes. Patricia was always willing to entertain changes (we couldn't make up our mind whether we wanted a single level or two-level island) and was always quick to turn around our ideas and provide an updated drawing. Part of the process included Patricia working with an engineer to deal with the removal of the load bearing wall and the patio pillars. Other than sending us an invoice showing the costs for the engineering review, this was completely seamless - Patricia took care of everything. Given the stress that can be part of a major remodel, Patricia of The Design Department did everything possible to make the design process relaxed and fun. We would give her full marks for professionalism and experience (and patience!) and would happily recommend her to anyone in the market for a designer.

Description of Work
Patricia of the Design Department was engaged to create a kitchen plan and covered patio plan for our existing house in Hillsboro. The kitchen was to be an extensive remodel involving the removal of a load-bearing wall,

Category architect

Cost $3,600

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes

Work Completed On 01/28/2015

5.0

04/21/2015


PAM R.

She was absolutely wonderful. She was really good.

Description of Work
We used Pat Sauer. She did architectural work for us. She drew a design for our garage.

Category architect

Services Performed? Yes

Hire Again? Yes