A Guide

Once you have decided on the need for space, whether it is new residential construction or a commercial space, maybe the remodel of an existing space, but you know you have a need. You may have an idea or vision of the solution but don’t know how to make it a reality. The following will explain the process of bridging your vision to a reality.

In The Beginning

  • All projects start with a goal, need or requirement.
  • We will determine how you use your existing space what you like but just as important what you don’t like about it.
  • We listen to your ideas, likes and dislikes and often visit the site, notate conditions, review photos, take measurements and see overall what the possibilities are.
  • We will visit the building department to look at previous surveys, public records and previously approved space plans.

Phases of the Process

  • We will work together to develop a unique solution, using our architectural skills and experience to create a visualization of the solution including a set of tentative design plans.
  • We start the design process by creating the floor plan:
    • Schematic Design: We start by creating a building concept to determine the size, shape and location of the new building or the addition that meets your functional needs and budget, as well as meeting local zoning regulations.
    • Functionality: At this stage the architects are also bringing design concepts to the table. There may be a specific site feature that would enhance the new architecture or opportunities within the project not previously discussed.  How the home, office space or retail center will be utilized is at focus in this stage.  The general locations of the functions within the space are considered and graphically represented. Simple plans and elevations are produced to represent relationships among spaces and the basic shape.
    • Design Development: In this phase, we will determine the structure, the choices of materials and construction methods. We often make a preliminary cost estimate at this point to insure that the project is within your original budget projection before proceeding to the next phase.
    • Construction Documents: In this phase, we produce technical drawings or "blueprints" and specifications for manufactured products such as windows, doors, appliances etc., exterior siding, and interior wall and floor materials. We will also coordinate our work with other consultants, which may include structural, mechanical, and electrical engineers, interior and landscape designers. These documents are intended to communicate to the contractor exactly what to build, assuring compliance with the Uniform Building Code.
    • Materials and Details: As decisions continue to be made the graphics evolve from diagrams to actual architecture. The drawings are refined in regards to details and methods.  Actual materials are decided on and the architects figure out how everything will function as one. Windows, doors and other openings are further defined with actual locations. Information from other consultants, like engineers and designers are developed and coordinated. Specs for materials and assembly details are incorporated into the project design.  This is the most specific stage for the homeowner, deciding on details at this point rather than ideas.
    • Permit Processing: This is the most time consuming phase during which various government agencies review the drawings and calculations that are submitted. The actual length of time to process a building permit varies greatly—from a few weeks to several months—depending upon the complexity of the project and the jurisdiction in which it is located. We utilize our experience with local agencies to patiently and persistently coordinate the permitting process approvals necessary for your project.
  • Once the design is approved you are ready for construction.
    • Negotiation: We can refer you to builders and assist you in negotiations with a selected general contractor, or sub-contractors (plumbers, electricians, framers, etc.).
    • Construction Administration: Typically with any project we prefer to follow through and observe construction to assure that our drawings are being followed, answer questions from the contractor, make changes requested by you, provide clarification and if requested, review the contractor’s invoices. In general we are here to protect the integrity of the design. At the end of construction, we will inspect the construction and develop a “punch list” of items to be altered or fixed to meet the design requirement and your expectations.