THE DESIGN PROCESS
Initial Meeting: We meet in person (or by phone) to discuss and prioritize your “wish list” of desires and needs. We will ask questions to get a complete understanding of the scope involved. From this meeting, we’ll prepare a written proposal for the work involve. There are no surprises – we are completely up front about all cost involved with the design. The only time any cost would be subject to change is if you modify the scope of the work – like adding a roof top deck – while in the middle of the project.
Schematic Design: Upon acceptance of our proposal, we begin work. We start by obtaining all existing conditions – field measurements, pictures, site plans, etc. This is the initial design scheme that seeks to define the general scope, needs and desires, and conceptualize the design in a visual manner. It’s here that we present layouts and sketches conveying the custom needs our client communicated to this point. These layouts and sketches, though preliminary in nature, will provide the client with the opportunity to verify that their needs have been correctly interpreted – along with the functional relationships between various activities. Budget cost begin to develop based on our knowledge and understanding of cost in the industry.
Design Development: At this stage, the client has given the approval of layouts and concepts developed in the Schematic Design. We now take this to the next step where all data developed from conversation and layouts are now worked out in greater detail. A clear and coordinated description of all aspects of the design are worked out, providing a scope for the Construction Document. Decisions regarding Architectural, Structural, Mechanical, Plumbing, Electrical and Fire Protection Systems will be worked out, providing for cost analysis. It’s in this phase that site plan, floor plans, exterior elevations are given review and approval by the client prior to starting the Construction Documents.
Construction Documents: Here we develop the details required for the construction of the building project. The drawings and specifications begin to take shape. Drawings are the illustrative component of construction documents, whereas Specifications are the written requirements pertaining to building materials, equipment, and construction systems – outlining the standard of quality to be met in the project. Upon completion of this phase, the client will have sufficient information to secure contractor bids and obtain the required permits. These Construction Documents are necessary if the client hopes to have the contractor build the project as it has been conceived and developed by both the client and designer.
Bidding & Negotiation:
Bid: Is the proposed price the contractor offers to complete construction of a project – based on the information presented within the Construction Documents.
Negotiation: This is the ‘two-way’ process whereby the client, through our services, would work with the contractor to obtain favorable terms that better match the construction intended and client’s budget.
Construction Administration: It’s in this phase that we act in the capacity of an ‘agent’ for the client, overseeing construction to ensure conformity to Construction Drawings, Specifications, and Standards.
In all the phases described in the Design Process, all
time for client meetings have been included in the following cost.
NEW CONSTRUCTION: Very design is individualized and unique in itself. Our proposal will outline all our cost associated for the development and design of your home. We will account for all the main living spaces, exterior living spaces, covered porches, decks, screened areas, and finished basements in our proposal. The breakdown schedule of payment will be included.
ADDITION AND RENOVATIONS: The goals and parameters for every (addition/renovation) project are totally unique. Our cost are based on the complexity of the design. Some municipalities and townships (as well as builders) require more detail which can also affect cost. All cost will be established once the client’s desires and needs are formulated into the project scope. We will provide a proposal directly related to the unique project needs.
IMPORTANT: The following can lead to increased cost: lack of preparedness, ineffective communication, indecisiveness, and change of mind, leaving out information which effects the layout, differences of opinions between spouses, excessive phone calls and meetings. Though our experience, we have developed guidance that will help our clients to embrace the development of details related to their project. We are here to help make this an enjoyable experience, providing clear understanding of the building process.