The following is a quick description of the major phases of the architectural design process
One of the Architects meets with the potential clients to determine the scope of the project, from which we can formulate our fee. We issue you a proposal based on our assessment of your project. There is no charge for this consultation.
Once we receive the signed contract and retainer check, we schedule a measure of the existing structures, from which we will generate the preliminary design. In addition, the owner should provide the architect with a full size current copy of their property survey.
Preliminary design is essentially the first complete design out of the box. After we measure, we take all the information from the proposal and incorporate it into an initial design with elevations and a preliminary zoning analysis. A meeting is scheduled with you to discuss the preliminary design and get feedback from you.
All the feedback from meetings, design changes, and budget updates occurring after the first meeting is classified as design development. This phase can last anywhere from 1 meeting for a small job to 4 or 5 meetings depending on the complexity of the project. Once the design is approved by you, we have you sign the contract indicating that your have reviewed and approved the design and are ready to proceed with the construction documents.
Once the final design is approved by the client, and any variances, if required, have been approved, we prepare the construction documents. The construction documents contain all of the details and specifications required to construct the project. This phase can take several weeks depending upon the complexity of the proposed work. These documents are then given to contractors for bids and eventual submission to your municipal authorities for permits.
This phase occurs after the construction documents are completed
Generally, the contractor/builder’s bids takes three to six weeks because the contractor/builder needs to give the construction documents to their sub- contractors (e.g., electricians, HVAC, plumbers, etc.) to get the individual prices for their work. If you want accurate estimates, you have to give contractors enough time to do their job well. It’s in your best interest to do so. Generally, the drawings are given to three or four builders in order to get a range of estimates.
This phase begins once bids have been obtained and a contractor has been selected
At this point, the job is turned over to the selected contractor/builder. The Owner should meet with the Architect and the Builder prior to starting construction in order to review the schedule, goals, and expectations of each party. Our office will be available to answer all of the contractor’s questions in the field and we always respond to questions regarding any interpretations of our drawings.