Earlier this year, we finished the construction of an addition to our home which was designed by Todd Barnett. And we’re glad we did! After exploring our ideas for the project with several different designers and architects we finally settled on Todd in 2006. Todd adeptly turned our ideas into a fully functional and beautiful design. We love it!
Todd also helped us find the right builder based on our needs. The result was finding a builder who could execute the detail that Todd had incorporated into the design. Since our home was built in the 1920’s this meant finding a builder who could deliver the craftsmanship of that era. Thanks to Todd, we found the right builder and our addition fits perfectly with the original structure.
If you’re reading this recommendation then you’re a handshake away from hiring a terrific architect for your project. Don’t let him get away!
TM and SM*
Working with Todd - Mari and I were very pleased with our relationship with Todd. If there was one attribute that stood out above all the others it would be Todd's listening skills. He was able to distinguish those elements on which Mari and I were in agreement, and for those areas in which we were not on the same page, Todd was able to express our differing points of view and force us to come together (or present alternatives that incorporated both sides of an issue). Overall, Todd was a joy to work with - very creative, with a strong sense of design that incorporated the natural beauty of our site. We really felt that this was a collaborative project in which Todd provided the tools and the expertise to express our vision.
Working with Todd from Afar - Although we are located on the east coast, and Todd was based in Madison, we never felt that it negatively affected the outcome of the project. Todd was extremely communicative, and was always willing to meet in person if we felt the need. Whether through the phone, email, fax, or making trips out east, we never had difficulties dealing with Todd. He really made the process of designing our house easy - I only wish he could have been the electrician on our job!! We are delighted with the end result, and would be happy to provide any references.
CW and MW*
I had the pleasure of working with Todd Barnett on two major Goodwill projects over the last couple of years. After designing a 23,000 square foot retail store and attended donation center we commissioned him to design a seven unit apartment building in a residential setting. Both buildings are unique and attractive in design and blend into their surroundings. It was a great pleasure working with Todd on these projects. He was attentive, clear, flexible, organized and fun to work with! He took the time to understand our needs and desires and keep the communication open at all times. I would highly recommend him for any project he would want to undertake!
Ms. Barbara Leslie, President*
Goodwill Industries of South-Central Wisconsin
I worked with Todd Barnett on a HUD funded 7 unit apartment building for people with disabilities through my employment with a local non-profit organization. As usual, the expenses went over budget and the non-profit was not in a position to offset all of the overruns. Todd worked well with me, HUD, the contractor, the non-profit executive and the City offices to rectify the overruns. The project closed within budget in great part to Todd's creativity, expertise and persistence.
I had worked with several other architects throughout my career developing HUD projects. Todd was the most creative of all. He had wonderful ideas and accepted both positive and negative feedback from others. Todd worked to find solutions to the myriad of issues that always come up. He didn't say that it wasn't his responsibility. Rather, he took the lead to remedy the situation.
I truly appreciated Todd's connection with the City of Madison planning and zoning departments. He was able to advise me how to navigate those systems in the most effective manner possible.
I think you will find Todd very responsive to his client's wishes and needs while at the same time offering his thoughts and expertise from design to final closing. I enjoyed working with Todd and would very much recommend him.
Ms. Mary Grabot, Director of Residential Services (former)*
“Todd is very open to a collaborative working style, which suited our needs. At our second meeting, with tracing paper in hand, Todd started sketching (many options) as we discussed our ideas. It was a very fluid process and his hands on approach gave my husband and me a venue in which to dream of what our house could be. Todd's skill as an architect made that dream a reality. Todd's sense of space, and his understanding of the relationship between old and new, ensured that our project was not only an extension to our house, but also a connection to our surroundings. Todd was aware of our budget and made sure the project stayed on target. Many friends that come over to our house see our addition and are just amazed at its beauty. It truly has the "WOW" factor!”
Todd's use of the design charrette gave Julie and me a venue in which to dream of what our house could be, and Todd's skill as an architect made that dream a reality. Todd's sense of space, and his understanding of the relationship between old and new, ensured that our project was not only an extension to our house, but also a connection to our surroundings. Todd Barnett brings a sense of excitement to every project and we would highly recommend Todd.
I truly loved working with Todd and Sarah because I was able to be so integrally involved in the design process. We started with a circle and a rectangle on a sheet of paper and finished with an amazing house that was better than my vision. I highly recommend Todd and Sarah.
"As one of us is a trained chef, the kitchen is a central room to our house. Your design approach worked to understand and realize our dreams and make them to functional reality. It was amazing given the complexities of renovating a century-old house."
DO and DG*
Todd Barnett was our architect on a condominium association repair project. Because of the nature of disagreement among the 5 unit owners-- and the extent of needed repairs (three exterior walls and the roof were replaced)--the process was long and difficult.
With every week of the project bringing surprises-- 7 feet of rot into the building, floor-to-ceiling heights that differed (unexpectedly) as much as 6 inches in the space of 15 feet, structural supports that had rotted through completely or had noticeable gaps, one corner support beam completely cracked and yielding, and the leaking roof with the plywood sheathing the texture of a paper towel and leaking into the ceiling below, etc., this project to repair one exterior building wall urgently became a necessary, long, involved project to keep the building standing.
The repair of this oddly constructed 1950s building unfortunately also involved highly stressful meetings, with interpersonal conflicts between owners interrupting schedules, repair decisions, design decisions, and billing procedures. As repair project coordinator for the association for the entire project, I came to rely heavily on Todd for advice, co-facilitation of difficult meeting with owners and solid explication of building issues.
I am still truly amazed that the association got through this entire long repair project, and I am still grateful for the intelligence, professional intelligence, and downright support of two men: our construction contractor and our architect.
I cannot recommend our architect, Todd Barnett, more highly.
For a number of years, we had been considering a renovation to our family home. The home was built by Justine’s grandparents in the mid-1930’s. It is where both of her grandparents lived until their deaths, where her father grew up, where her parents were married, and a home we shared with her grandfather for 61/2 years after the passing of his wife. As such, the house and land held many memories and much significance for us.
In 2002, we realized we wanted to make the home our own, a place that represented our lifestyle and beliefs, a place where our children would grow up with special memories of their own. With this in mind, we decided we needed an architect who would understand that buildings and spaces are about more than square footage and who would appreciate that we wanted to respect and incorporate the past, while making our house more reflective of us and our daily lives. We knew Todd as a friend prior to hiring him and Sarah as an architect. Though initially hesitant about mixing a professional and a personal relationship, Todd’s excitement about his work, his ability to hear our vision and communicate his own, combined with his and Sarah’s professionalism and expertise soon overcame our concern. Todd and Sarah brought creativity and passion to their work. They were able to design something that addressed our needs and vision, a home that was aesthetically and architecturally exciting and was affordable to build.
Todd and Sarah worked seamlessly with us during the design and building process. They communicated effectively with us and the builder. They were accessible and responsive. Any concerns were addressed quickly and with results. Now that the project is finished and we have spent time living in our new home, we are even happier. The result respects what had been built by Justine’s grandparents and effectively integrated our vision and needs. The space flows well and the architectural elements Todd and Sarah incorporated add interest to the building and make it unique and personal.
My husband and I both highly recommend Todd Barnett and Sarah Canon as architects.
JH and MR*
A beautiful, light filled space for our children to explore all those big questions we have. Their parents appreciate the clean, simple lines and natural woodwork. Also, we like how intimate the space feels on a human level while also conveying a more air spiritual space above.
It actually did come to me last Sunday that the light from all sides, from the tall windows equally spaced apart is reflective of the Quaker belief that we all seek the light, need the light, and find the light, and that we are equal in each other’s eyes as well as God’s. Just being there every Sunday has helped me to experience the light and the wisdom from God in a new way.
Todd kindly gave us his time, did extra research and answered our questions so that we could make informed decisions. I genuinely enjoyed the process of working with Todd to create the Urbana-Champaign Friends dream home.
Ms. Sandy Bales, Building Committee Chair*
Urbana-Champaign Friends Meetinghouse
“Someone who was trustworthy and nice, a good communicator, willing to work collaboratively with clients and had experience on a project of our scale…we got all that and more. We could never reached my vision without the skill and insight of this architect”
In 2002 we began planning a 2 story addition to our 1929 home on the near west side. Todd Barnett and Sarah Canon were highly recommended to us by several friends who had undertaken major building projects.
We found Todd and Sarah extremely pleasant and professional to work with. They carefully explained their design process and our various options for using their services. They worked with us to clarify our needs, hopes, and expectations, and suggested many innovative ways to use both new space and existing space. They helped us stretch our own thinking about building design, and helped us address the many inevitable challenges that go with major remodeling of an old house on a tight urban lot. We greatly appreciated their creativity, expertise, and good humor! Their design work produced a beautiful addition – with a very high WOW factor -- that fits in smoothly with the existing house.
JL and LF*
We -- as parents of the architect -- were probably the clients from Hell; yet Todd took on the challenge and passed with flying colors. He was courteous and patient (when we were not), and during loud "discussions" between his parents, always maintained a professional presence. When we argued with him about things we knew nothing about -- and he did -- he exercised incredible restraint and patience and, in the end, educated us regarding the building process. He wisely understood (and translated for us) that when we uttered such non-professional lines as "We don't like too many walls" that what we wanted was an open floor plan. When we said we wanted light and bright, he gave us height, windows, oak wood, and natural light that makes us feel good even on the darkest days of winter. And when I complained about homes with a walk pattern that sent you through one or more rooms to get to another room, he designed us an inner courtyard, with rooms running off of the center.
In 1992 we moved into the most beautiful home, thanks to the talent, patience, and wisdom of Todd Barnett.
CM and YM
“This house was built in 1938. It had some charm, and we didn't want to lose that. Todd and Sarah made sure we didn't. Friends and neighbors all complimented us on how well the new parts of the house integrated with the old. And when they actually came inside, they were amazed. "It's so much bigger," they said. But it wasn't. The footprint of the house hadn't changed very much. Todd and Sarah had simply redefined the space in a completely fresh way. I still don't know quite how they did it, but the house looks and works a hundred times better. It flows well. It feels all of a piece. Plus, Todd and Sarah were a pleasure to work with in every way. They listened well. They were practical and inventive, fun and down to earth. What more could you ask for?”
“Just want you to know how splendid our new addition is, and it is definitely all about the design. You took our little 1960 three bedroom ranch and made it a roomy, light, airy space that our family of four will continue to enjoy for years. I think it is some of your creative details that really make the project, such as opening up the stairwell by the dining room, which gives the effect of a larger open dining space. The unique placement and size of the windows in the new bedroom make it a magnificent room, along with the efficient use of dead space that has given us a study area and two beautiful built in book shelves.
We really feel like we have a whole new house. Thanks for your beautiful design work. And thanks for being so easy to work with. From the beginning I knew this project would go well, because you took the time to sit with us, and you really listened and responded to what we wanted. You were patient with our indecision and helped steer us in a practical yet thoughtful direction. Ultimately, you designed a space that exactly met our needs, and was within our budget.” Thanks so much, Todd.
CH and Family*
Seven years ago, my husband and I engaged Todd Barnett to design sunroom and bath additions for our 100 yr plus farmhouse. Todd designed us spaces that we enjoy every single day. They are lovely, well lit, functional, artistic, and live with the old part of the house in comfort. In addition, Todd was thoughtful, empathetic, sensitive our concerns, and a delight to work with. I would recommend him for any project you might do.*
MD and WD*
Sauk City, WI
“We first met Todd Barnett when we decided to enlarge our home in 1993. He was KEY to this project since we had no experience with building or remodeling. We cannot express sufficient accolades on his behalf. Todd is very professional yet easy to work with. He was extremely cognizant of our likes and dislikes. However, he was not fixated on our ideas which broadened the possibilities of the renovation. Todd presented us with several design options in a timely manner and discussed them with us at length.
We felt that Todd was truly an advocate for us when interacting with the contractors. In addition, he communicated well with all of the workers. Todd is cost conscious and made certain that we got the best value for our money. His architectural plans are structurally sound yet ergonomic with a flare. He had many innovative ideas and knew where to purchase the latest and greatest materials. On several occasions we left town during the renovation. We felt very comfortable leaving knowing that Todd would be here to supervise.
Needless to say, we are so happy with our home and enjoy it daily. We highly recommend Todd Barnett to anyone who is considering a new or remodeling project. You will be amazed at the wealth of knowledge and expertise that Todd has as an architect.”
PK and JK*
“Todd Barnett Designed an addition to our house that has transformed our home from a very nice Cape Cod of 2400 square feet to a showplace of 3000 square feet.
We asked him to create a room for our orchid collection, and he gave us four beautiful sketches, any one of which would have been wonderful. The one we selected created an airy, sunny room that will lead to our Japanese Garden (under construction). The roof was complicated because it had to span two different levels of the existing house, but Todd came up with a plan that included a fabulous balcony with a loft on the second floor that looks down into our lovely room filled with flowers. The skylights, sliding doors, and bay window look out on our garden and make us feel as if we have escaped Central Illinois to some exotic hideaway.
Lest you think we are exaggerating or are too enthusiastic, we invite you to stop in and judge this addition for yourself. We very much enjoy it to anyone who might be interested in working with Todd.”
PS and DS
“As you know, we have worked together on numerous projects dating back to 1998. What sets you above other architects is your flexibility and knowledge of cost effective design and details. In addition, you have the unique ability to design projects to “fit” on the site.
Because of our great working relationship, I have recommended you many times. Thus, this letter is long overdue in thanking you for great design, a job well done, and serves as my strong endorsement to anyone considering you for a current or future project.”
Mr. Chuck Allen, Project Manager
“I have worked with Todd on 14 separate projects ranging from the straightforward to the difficult. Todd is a very easy architect to work with. He has a very good feel for what the client wants, and does a great job of translating their needs/wants to the builder. He has always been fair in dealings with me as a builder, but definitely watches out for the homeowners’ interests. He does not have the architect’s ego so many builders complain about. He has always treated me as an equal in the construction process. His knowledge of building techniques and materials is first rate. The accuracy and detail he provides to the builder in his drawings are very helpful during the planning/bidding process. The level of detail allows me to provide firm, accurate estimates to the homeowner. He is able to solve problems that occur during construction quickly and with minimal disruption to the schedule.”
Mr. Scott Krupp, President
Mascott Brothers Construction
“I've done several projects with Todd and have found him very easy to work with. His drawings are accurate and very detailed. He's very creative and knowledgeable about the products he specs out. If and when changes are needed Todd is easy to communicate with and very timely with what needs to be done to keep the project moving along smoothly. I highly recommend Todd.”
Mr. Dan Kippley
Kippley Custom Carpentry
*Clients of Todd Barnett while at Potter Design Group