Step 1: Shop for an architect

Since you are looking for a partner for a major undertaking, it is important to find an architect that is a good match with your concept for the project, your budget and your personality. Ask colleagues, neighbor and acquaintances who have worked with architects. Search the internet for architect’s portfolios that mesh with your type of project and your style. Invite your favorites to an on-site brainstorming session. Do you like their ideas? Do you like working with them? Do you trust them? Ask them for a tour of completed projects, references, and a preliminary proposal. Be wary of draftsmen that offer “cheap” plans but not much else, and of builders whose “free” plans lock you into their non-competitive construction contract. Let’s face it, building is a messy and disruptive process. Your architect looks out for your interests and makes that process go more smoothly. Hiring an architect is a wise investment, not an added cost. Why? Because a well-conceived project can be built more economically. Because architects that are LEED-accredited professionals keep abreast with advances in green and energy efficient building technologies that can save you money on utility bills. Because design sells. A well-designed house has a higher resale value. A well-designed store draws customers. A well-designed work environment attracts employees and increases productivity.


Step 2: Programming

This is where we get to ask you lots of questions. We discuss the goals, needs, and function of the project; design expectations and available budget; and pertinent building code and zoning regulations. We’ll help you arrive at a budget estimate for design and building. Following the initial discussions, we will produce an outline of the scope of the proposed project.


Step 3: Schematic Design

We will provide concept sketches and plans of design options and explain how they meet the requirements discussed in the programming stage. The overall scope of the project, proposed building materials, and a preliminary budget related to the schematic design are also discussed. Refinements are made until you approve the design.


Step 4: Design Development

We will prepare a 3D model, detailed drawings and finalize the design plans, showing actual sizes and shapes for rooms. As ideas evolve, changes can be made on paper and in the 3D model - much less expensively than later, when construction is underway. Construction specifications will be outlined, listing the major materials to be used. When you have taken a tour through the model of your project, and approved the design drawings, we’ll proceed with step 5.


Step 5: Construction Documents

One of the most important elements of our services are the construction documents. We develop detailed drawings and material specifications. These plans are being used for the building permit application. The contractor will use them to estimate construction costs and to build the project.


Step 6: Shop for a contractor

You have several options when it comes to hiring a contractor, including asking us to make recommendations or choose a contractor on their own. We can assist you in selecting contractors by reviewing bids and estimates based on the construction documents.


Step 7: Construction

In this phase we observe the pace and quality of construction. As your agent, we look out for your interests, keeping you informed of the project's progress and overseeing any changes or problems that may arise. Construction phase services are helpful in keeping your project on track and within budget.