Phases of an Architectural Design Project: What Can You Expect and When to Expect It!

(SD) Schematic design phase services:


Part 1:Gather information & Feasibility

During the first phase, we will consult with you to determine the project goals and requirements. We want to know your scope (how big is the project, the size of the addition, remodel, or ground-up construction), what the timeline of the project is, what design and quality preferences you have. We will come to your home and review your current lot or existing space and review existing as-builts if relevant as well as research the zoning requirements or jurisdictional restrictions.


Part 2: Initial Design/Concept

We will begin to investigate Design styles and influences, create a mood board.


If you are adding square footage to a lot, we will create a zoning envelope showing what is the maximum buildable area so we can determine where the addition goes or how big to build.


Once we have agreed on the program for the project we will create the preliminary floor plans and elevation drawings, along with a few 3d illustrations to help convey the design direction. If you approve we will do a primary estimate based on the square footage, the quality you’ve requested, and what the average of labor is in your area.

(DD) Design Development phase services:


We use these initial drawings from the first phase to start working through the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, structural, materials, and architectural details. This is where your project gets more real and could change in form but the program and style will remain.



(CD) Construction Document phase services:


Between drawings and meetings, we will understand what the final goal is and what it will look like when built. However, to convey this without daily meetings with each of the subcontractors and each person working for them, we create detailed instructions that are layered on top of each of the drawings and format them so the general contractor can understand how to build the project as we intended but more so he can hand those instructions to everyone working on the project. We will also add all of the code details to make sure the contractors and building department are aware of where, and how, we have met the local ordinances. . This phase will also result in the contractors’ final estimates of project costs.



Bid or negotiation phase services:


We will fill out a form to give the potential contractors instructions on the format we want the bid, we will attach the drawings and what the owner-contractor agreement will look like.

Once we receive the bids we will evaluate them together to select a winning bid. Any negotiation with the bidder of price or project scope, if necessary, should be done before the contract for construction is signed.

If you have a contractor you have already agreed to use we will have them price out the drawings at every stage for a more realistic cost assessment.

(CA) Construction Administration phase services:

CA services begin with the initial contract for construction and terminate when the final certificate of payment is issued.


During this phase, the architect’s core responsibility is to help the contractor build the project as specified in the CDs as approved by the owner. Even when the drawings and labels seem to explain everything needed about the design there are always questions that arise on-site. You the owner can answer several of these questions but for complex problem solving, which happens whether we are working on an existing project or a plot of land, there are things we just can’t see as issues until they are uncovered. This problem solving requires the architect to develop architectural sketches: drawings issued after construction documents have been released that offer additional clarification to finish the project properly. Different situations may require the architect to issue a Change in Services to complete the project.




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