How the Design Process Works …

We meet at your building or site to look at the existing conditions or the site conditions. We listen to your concerns, desires and priorities and then discuss the most efficient path toward a solution, how the process works and we address any questions you might have about the design process. This first meeting is a free consultation. A proposal for professional services is given to you a few days after the initial meeting with a description of work included in the service per the initial meeting.

To continue, the proposal is signed and a retainer is paid to initiate Phase 1.

Phase 1 – Schematic Design
For an addition to an existing building, a Survey is often required by the city. This should be done prior to the architectural work.

If a set of plans for the existing building does not exist or the existing plans are not accurate, then all measurements of the existing structures need to be taken and the existing plans and elevations need to be drawn. If a set of drawings does exist then we will need to verify dimensions. In both cases, the site is documented with photos.

Typically, three schematic designs are developed based on the client’s wishes and per the city standards for your property. A visit to the city is necessary to obtain the standards and answer and questions for your specific property. From the three schematic plans we will discuss and make changes as required until satisfied with the results. At this point you should know if a solution is possible and if you’d like to continue to the next phase.

Phase 2 – Design Development
The approved schematic plan will be developed and adjusted. The drawings developed are those best suited to enable a contractor to put together a project cost.

We will meet as many times as necessary to establish and answer any design questions. This is dependant on the complexity of the project.

Generally plans and elevations are developed for your review. Finishes and product selection are not necessarily made at this time.

Phase 3 – Construction Documents
Construction Documents are developed for submittal to city agencies for approval and for the contractor to use in construction. These drawings are stamped and sealed as required. They are also city approved and ready for permitting by the contractor.

Depending on the scope of the project, a structural engineer might be required in addition to other engineers (mechanical, electrical, etc). Coordination and communication with the engineers happens during this phase to be sure all the areas work together.

Phase 4 – Construction Administration
Typically, this phase includes selection of a building, help in a bidding process (if necessary) and site visits during the course of the construction to verify continued adherence to the drawings.

We will still be available during construction to answer questions for both the client and contractor whether or not this phase is included.

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