The typical project starts with a preliminary design and feasibility phase. During this phase we work with the client to understand their needs and aspirations – to help develop a “wish list.” We then gather information about the property including photos, floor plans, zoning restrictions, etc. We can then quickly develop several possible alternatives, usually ranging from a more restrained economical approach to a best case, “blue sky” approach. We develop budgets for each alternative. This phase takes three to six weeks and is concluded with a meeting to review the options and determine which approach best meets the client’s needs and budget.
Once the design approach and budget are determined, we provide a proposal for the remainder of the project. For most projects the next steps are design development, contract documents*, bidding and permitting, and contract administration (construction).
*About half of the architectural time required for a project is devoted to the contract documents. These typically contain all the plans and details required for construction, plus schedules and specifications for lighting, plumbing fixtures, and all materials. In many cases we also review and certify compliance with the state energy code.