During this phase of the architectural design process, we will take the information we’ve gathered from you and through our field surveys to create two to three design options for your consideration. We will generally present these options in the form of sketches, so you can visualize the different routes your project could take.

We will also attach a rough cost estimate to each option to aid you in selecting a design that meets both your aesthetic preferences and budget requirements. You will also have the opportunity to request any modifications you’d like us to make to your preferred design. Once you have selected a design option that best suits your needs, we will begin the process of refining the design during the Design Development phase.

This is where the real fun begins! Basically, this is the dream-to-reality stage where we figure out what design works best for your site and budget.

All of the ideas are on the table, and now we start sketching several design alternatives based on the mutually agreed upon program (what rooms and features you want). The entire process is iterative, as several options are presented at the beginning, and then based on the owner’s feedback, reworked until a particular design direction emerges. Drawings will be loose, drawn at 1/8” = 1’-0” scale (often by hand), and are fast and loose. It isn’t uncommon for us to have a roll of trace paper out in a meeting to work with you in real time to tweak plans based on your feedback. Once we have an approved direction, we move ahead with what we call the Schematic Pricing Set, which includes plans, sections if applicable, elevations, and a basic outline specification (list of everything that can’t be drawn at this point).

Once the requirements of the project are determined via the programming process, the design phase begins.  Your architect gives shape to your vision through drawings.  The architect provides a preliminary evaluation of the program, schedule and construction budget developed in the pre-design phase and prepares schematic design drawings illustrating the project to review with the owner.

The designs lay out the program on the site and address schedule and construction budget requirements.   Your input into this phase is vital, as you get the first glimpses, and then a more defined look at how your home will take shape. It is important to establish a clear decision-making process with your architect during this phase.

Once approved by the client, drawings at this stage are usually sufficient to initiate any neighborhood review process.  If you are working with a builder at this point in the process, they will discuss a preliminary estimate of construction cost (we encourage the selection of a builder early in the process).