The biggest question we get when meeting with new clients who haven’t worked with an architect before (aside from, “How much does it cost?”) is always about how the process works. What are the stages of architectural design, and what happens at each phase? The answer also helps explain the response to the common question of, “Can’t you just do a super quick sketch, you know, nothing fancy?” I’m never offended by the question because there is such a lack of knowledge of what it takes to design, document, and permit well-designed buildings, but it does really highlight the poor job architects have done communicating what we do and the value of it. (And how far from "quick and simple" it really is!)
I’m obviously a big proponent of hiring an architect to get the most out of your remodel or project as the end result is usually far superior to a project where someone just “winged it” to get it done.
So, what the heck do we do to create a space that you’ll LOVE? Here are the steps along the way...
1. PREDESIGN (5-10% of fee)
We conduct extensive building and site analysis and plan the process collaboratively with our clients. This phase includes budget, schedule and process planning, site surveys, existing facilities surveys, and code analysis.
2. SCHEMATIC DESIGN (15-25% of fee)
We collaboratively determine design direction, and move from sketches and models to developing the site plan, floor plans, key elevations and sections, 3D renderings, and a construction cost estimate.
3. DESIGN DEVELOPMENT (15-25% of fee)
We refine and develop the design — finalizing the size of rooms & spaces, refining the look of the project by selecting exterior and interior materials, and determining key systems.
6. CONSTRUCTION ADMINISTRATION (10-20% of fee)
We observe the construction of the project for general conformance to the construction documents. Assist the owner with contractor payment requests. Handle requests for changes during construction.
When we take on a project, much of our time is spent on the less glamorous, but equally important administrative process. Project administrative services occur throughout all phases of the project and are included in the basic fee for services.