Meet The Local Business:
Architects + Builders of Distinctive Homes
By Jennifer Ersalesi
This October marks five years since Rosario Mannino opened his own architectural firm, RS Mannino. At the beginning of his career, Rosario worked out of his home with one other employee, Eventually, Rosario and his team moved to Jersey City for a year and then returned to Rutherford where they have been for the past three years.
Rosario explained why he chose to open an office in Rutherford, “I love the downtown area and the convenience of the train and bus for commuting into the city. We also have an office in NYC. My one rule for an office is a train town, I knew I wanted to have an office along a train line and since I live in Rutherford it was a no-brainer. It creates a better work/family life balance being so close.”
Along with his team of professionals, Rosario works on a number of different projects in Rutherford, neighboring towns, and in NYC. Much of their focus is on single-family residences. Rosario explained, “Most of our Rutherford projects are additions and kitchen renovations. In other areas we also design and build new homes. In NYC it's apartment renovations, "combos"( combining 2 apartments into one for a larger unit). We enjoy the historical architecture of the homes in Rutherford and the modern ones too. Rutherford has a great balance.”
Rosario and his team work together to provide the best service to their clients in a number of ways. Due to COVID, they are currently working remotely. The ability to work remotely has actually been beneficial to them as they relocate their office within the same building to the third floor into a much bigger studio. “The nice thing about our service is that we are a single source or "one-stop-shop" for your project. We offer architectural design, we design and sell kitchen and bath cabinetry and we are a full-service construction company. Our clients like this service because they are dealing with me and my team throughout the whole process, there is no handover of the plans, and ‘we are done’ which is sometimes common in basic architectural services,” Rosario told TIR,
“The one unique thing about our service is that we are an Architect-Led Design-Build company. Some firms might market that they are design-build but they sub out the architecture or sub out the construction. We are truly an all in house design-build company.”
Those who might wish to discuss their home construction or renovation plans are offered a “discovery call” where members of the team get the opportunity to understand the client's goals and wishlist. After they understand the client's level of design they are looking for, the team can give a general budget for the project.
Rosario explained, “If we feel that we are the right fit, we schedule a site meeting where we take a closer look at the scope of the work to determine the appropriate project budget. Once the client agrees to the project budget we then provide an architectural services proposal and a construction management proposal so we can manage the design and the budget all at the same time to prevent over budget designs.”
It is important for Rosario and his team to understand each of their client’s specific needs, styles, and interests. In order to do so, they spend a lot of time conversing with their clients. They also provide a questionnaire that clients are asked to complete. “One of the most important things we can manage is our client's expectations. We have a few mottos in the office, and one of them is you can't manage what you can't measure. We need a target so to speak, so communication is key to our success and we make that a priority with our process from our online project management software that we use for all communication and then the fact that the whole team is under one roof. We avoid a lot of the miscommunication that other projects have with a separate architect and separate contractor. Our design and construction process is much more fluid and really almost becomes one. Our design philosophy is to celebrate the craftsmanship of the trades, so it really makes it easier for us since we get to work directly with the men and women who are the craftsman on the field. It also happens to be more fun,” Rosario told TIR.
To get started on your designing & building your dream home, contact Rosario Mannino and his team.
NEW JERSEY OFFICE
38 Park Avenue
Rutherford, NJ 07070
138 West 25th Street
New York, NY 10001