Step 1 : Pre-Design Many of our clients know they need help, but don't know what they should build next. Pre-Design services are customized to assist the client to get an answer to that question. We start by asking a series of questions that leads to discovery of the architectural problem to be solved. A square footage analysis, budget forecast and concepts are developed. A Master Plan with long-term phasing may also be desired in order to fully utilize a given site and not build an initial building in the wrong place. Often, once these steps are followed, the need for a particluar - "phase one" schematic design becomes evident. Pre-Design services are sometimes an additional service of the architect. Please call to see if your situation merits these services.
Step 2 : Schematic Design The architect and client create a project program: space sizes, function, views, etc. A large and complex project may need special programming or master planning. Options for laying out the spaces on the site are proposed. The architect makes sketches roughly to scale, including a site plan, floor plan(s), and views. A simple study model might be built, and a very rough project cost is estimated.
Step 3 : Design Development Once schematic design is approved, refinement follows. More drawings are made and in more detail. Then outline specifications are made which describe in detail the materials and methods to be used. At this stage it is possible to prepare a more detailed estimate of the project cost.
Step 4: Construction Documents Once design development is approved, VERY detailed drawings and specifications are made, to give the contractor precise directions and pricing data.
Step 5: Bidding and Negotiation. The architect helps select a contractor or group of contractors, as well as prepare the documents, instructions, and invitations for bidding. Then the architect helps the client review the bids and make the final choice. If the client already has a contractor, the architect can help negotiate fees and costs.
Step 6 : Construction Observation. The architect visits the site, reviews the contractor's pay applications, answers questions that arise, and ensures that the project is built according to the documents. The architect does a final walk-through with the client to make sure the work is complete.
Time : Going from Step 1 through Step 5 depends on size/complexity of project. A new house might take 2-4 months; a school might take 9-24 months. In remodels, the existing structure must be recorded.