While every project is unique and offers its own set of design challenges, they typically follow a similar path to completion. The process is a collaborative one and begins with an initial consultation from which a proposal for services will be generated based on the estimated size and scope of the project, as well as your budget. Once a contract has been signed, the project will likely follow the phases below:
programming (aka the information gathering phase): This is where I learn about you and the project you have in mind. We meet to discuss your wish list, your lifestyle, your budget and time frame for the project. Some clients may have a good understanding of what spaces and functions their project will include, while others may need help in determining them. We will look over images you have gathered that help to define the aesthetic you are hoping for. Existing conditions measurements and information gathering will begin for buildings and the site. Any zoning restrictions will be looked into, and we will determine whether a site survey is necessary based on existing documentation you may have.
schematic design (this is where ideas take shape): With the information gathered during the programming phase, two to three design options will be created for you to review; typically these will be hand drawn plans and elevations. We will discuss the characteristics of each option and will consider how they align with your wish list and your budget. Modifications can be made to ensure the desired option meets your goals. Once a design direction is decided upon, we continue to the Design Development phase.
design development (finessing the details): At this point in the process we begin to refine the design and begin producing drawings in CAD. We will look at your project in 3-D through computer and/or physical models and begin to narrow down material selections. The built components of each space and the exterior will be discussed. We will decide whether mechanical or structural engineers or other consultants are necessary and if so, we will bring them into the process.
construction documents (the blueprints): This is the phase where the drawings necessary for your project to be built are created. Dimensioned plans, elevations, sections, and details as well as technical specifications will be developed for bidding, permits and construction.
bidding: Some clients prefer to have their projects bid on by multiple contractors while others have a contractor in mind prior to the architect being brought on board. If you choose to bid your project, having an architect involved in the process can be advantageous. In addition to helping create a bid list of qualified contractors, an architect can review and help analyze bids.
construction administration (making sure it all goes smoothly): This is an often overlooked, but critical part of the process which aids in the smooth transition through construction. The architect is your advocate in ensuring the construction documents and design intent are followed, that codes are adhered to, and is there to address any site conditions that may arise. Regular site visits are included as well as phone consultations as necessary.
general consultation: Would you like a professional's opinion before you embark on a DIY project? I can offer my expertise on details, colors, layout, landscaping designs, etc. before you begin your project.
measured drawings: Do you need existing conditions drawings for a building? I can measure and prepare drawings as necessary.
landscape design: I can provide assistance on landscaping and site design to complement an existing project or my architectural design.
interior design: Ideally this should be thought of as an extension of the architectural design. The materials, colors, fabrics and furnishings are an integral part of the finished product. I can partner with local Interior Designers to incorporate the finishes into the project.
An architectural fee is dependent upon the scope of the project. Size, level of detail, complexity of design, and schedule are all factors that effect the fee. Within the profession, architectural fees for full services typically fall within 8 to 12% of the overall construction cost, and at times up to 15% with complex designs. At the beginning of a project an estimate for the various phases will be generated. Adjustments will be made, if necessary, based on any additional requirements or changes to the design as the project progresses. Initial consultations and project estimates are not charged.