In our first meeting, we meet you at your convenience at a location you choose, unless there are any schedule conflicts. This is when we initially discuss what you need. The questions are very basic – what size square feet, where is it located, what type of plan (ranch or two story?), what amenities do you want to add, etc. We offer a checklist to help the process. We try to get you an estimated price here – nothing concrete, more of a price range to see if we should continue. Finances are a very important part to any project – without the finances in place a project cannot start. This step gives you a start on how to finance the project. From here we take what we learn and move to the next phase.Checklist
Preliminary Design This phase is where we work up basic drawings of what you want. These drawings usually provide a canvas for clients to work on – we draft a plan with some dimensions, and give it to you to review. Many clients then communicate what changes they want, major or small, by making lists or physically drawing on the drawings we provided. We take the changes, make them, and return a revised preliminary. This phase continues until we have a final design ready for construction documents, commonly referred to as “blue prints”. At this phase we can begin to start a preliminary budget for the project. The cost of the project is narrowed down to a smaller range, giving you a more accurate idea of the total cost. There is usually no cost during this phase, however large amounts of preliminary work does fall into a billable category.
This phase is typically at no cost to the client, however we ask clients to understand that we may need to charge for large amounts of preliminary work. For example, if we need to completely measure and document an existing house and draft an existing plan and several preliminaries, this will take us a large portion of time. We will never back charge any preliminary work – we will discuss with you when we need to charge to continue the preliminary process. Most clients do not fall into this category.
Construction Documents: This phase is where we develop the actual plans for the project. Our initial drafting is done in house, and we have architects that we call in to finish the job. This phase varies in time, depending on the project. We do allow small changes during this phase, but major reworks will incur additional costs.
During this phase, we include you in the process and review our progress with you. Before the plans are officially finalized, we go through a review of what the project scope contains, and how the finished project will turn out. We can also finalize the budget in this phase, giving you the most accurate cost of the project. Once the green light is given, the project commences.
Please note: once work is commenced on this phase, the cost for this work is still owed even if the project is put on hold or canceled.
This phase actually begins once the previous phase is 75 percent finished. We provide you with a worksheet and sample boards of materials for your project. This phase is considered the most enjoyable and the most difficult part of any project – selecting materials, colors, appliances, and everything else required in the project scope. Building begins after part of this phase is completed, however to ensure things stay on schedule certain selections must be made on time.
Permits & Construction
Once all of the design phases are complete, we apply for building permits. We do not do any work without obtaining building permits from your specific municipality. With construction underway, you are closer to enjoying your new custom home or home additions.
Contact us for any specific questions about our design process, or for inquiries about starting a project for you.