After 20 years working with clients, John Heltzel has become an expert listener. His practice encompasses new construction and remodeling in equal amounts; it includes four architects on staff, and they design in a variety of styles and sizes. One thing never changes, however: the emphasis Heltzel and his team place on listening.
A vacation home in Key West reflects the sunny sensibility of the region.

“What separates me is that I take a mindful approach to the process,” Heltzel says. “I enjoy working with people, being attentive both to what the client wants and what the lot dictates.”
A contemporary kitchen is part of an addition to a home in Great Falls, Virginia.

In fact, much of the firm’s business comes from clients who hire them to finish projects that were begun by another architect. “They just didn’t get it,” a client will tell Heltzel. “They weren’t listening.” Heltzel prides himself on hearing what his clients have to say—and educating them when necessary.

A Northern Virginia farmhouse retains its traditional exterior.

That attitude applies not only to the vision for a project but also to its cost. Heltzel started out as a carpenter and was inspired to go back to school after a few years in that end of the industry. “Because of my experience, I’m aware of project costs,” he explains. “I am able to accurately and carefully walk clients through to a realistic budget.”
A classically designed kitchen is both functional and stylish.


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