FROM CONCEPT TO CONSTRUCTION:

Architectural design is a creative problem-solving process respecting the unique qualities and perspectives of each project.  There are five distinct stages to the design process, and each stage is a journey of discovery and resolution.  I have outlined the various stages for you to best understand the development of a design from inception through completion.


PHASE ONE: PRE-DESIGN

In this beginning phase, we mutually determine the circumstances and constraints of the project.  I collect all available information relevant to your project.  This includes very concrete information such as local building and planning codes, documenting the existing building and site conditions, as well as checking the current building for structural, mechanical, and electrical vitality.  If no original plans are present, or if there have been significant changes to the original plans, the documentation and creation of “As-Built” drawings of the current structure is necessary at this time. 

Additionally, I ask several questions of my clients in order to understand their expectations, aesthetic preferences,  current and anticipated future lifestyle, housing needs and the desired project budget and timeline.  This is done through conversation and consultation, and also the answering of the architectural and/or kitchen remodel questionnaires that I have provided to you.  Additionally, I might solicit a consultation with engineers or other contractor professionals, depending on the project.

The deliverables of the pre-design work are a documented set of as-built conditions, a municipal code check and a well defined scope of work reflecting my understanding of the project’s objectives and feasibility, including the client’s budget and schedule. 


PHASE TWO: SCHEMATIC DESIGN

After agreeing on the details of the scope of work and the schematic design proposal, it’s time for the design possibilities to be explored. This is where the (fun!) creative process is given free reign with all of the constraints established in phase one. I develop numerous feasible alternative design solutions based on the scope of work ranging from the obvious to out-of-the-box solutions.   Once I have generated several plans showing diversity in their approach, it is time for a client meeting for feedback and discussion.  

The deliverables of the Schematic Design phase are a series of rough plan sketches, illustrating the general arrangement of rooms, potential locations of building elements like windows, doors, appliances, plumbing fixtures and built in cabinetry. Additionally, if merited, I will show the project on the site. From the evaluation of the proposed designs, the clients will define a preferred concept to be further developed in Phase Three.

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PHASE THREE: DESIGN DEVELOPMENT

In this phase, I expand upon the approved schematic design studies to develop more detailed drawings illustrating all aspects of the proposed design. Specific variations may continued to be developed and refined, and there may be several design development iterations.  Floor plans show all the rooms in correct size and shape.   Elevations show the “look” from the outside.  Outline specifications are prepared listing the major materials and room finishes. I continue to verify the design complies with building codes and, if warranted, will consult with engineers to design the structure, mechanical and electrical systems. Once the owner is satisfied with the overall design of the project, we can move to Phase 4.


PHASE FOUR: CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS

With the owners confident with the design developed in the design phases, I am now able to prepare detailed working drawings (formerly known as blueprints) and specifications.  If the construction drawings need to be reviewed by a structural engineer, an estimation of costs will be provided.   Once the construction documents are completed, the contractor can establish an actual construction cost to build the project, and the local jurisdiction is able to review the drawings to issue pertinent building permits.


PHASE FIVE: CONSTRUCTION OBSERVATION

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While the contractor will physically build the project,  I have a vested interested to make site visits and to be available to the contractor and the various trades who are constructing the project. While the contractor is solely responsible for construction methods, techniques, schedules, and procedures, I can assist during the construction process by providing clarification of any structural or design issues as they arise.

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