Our projects follow a trajectory that begins with an initial concept design that synthesizes the individual client’s programmatic needs with an understanding of the macro level site conditions specific to every project.
Once the concept design is determined, we continue the design process as we develop detailed drawings and documents for budgeting and pricing as well as for permitting and construction.
While the General Contractor is ultimately responsible for building the project, our role during construction is to ensure that design integrity is maintained.
For residential projects, there are a number of excellent resources for understanding relative costs, one of the most informative is Remodeling Magazine – Cost vs. Value Reports (2015) .
Concept Design / Schematics
Pretty pictures. Our initial phase involves collecting feasibility information about the site, documenting existing conditions, determining project needs with the client and generating conceptual design solutions. Typically, multiple options are presented to the client and reviewed during a series of Design Meetings. Our conclusions are documented into a final schematic design package for client approval.
We understand that every project has a budget and it is an integral part of the design solution. Therefore, we recommend engaging a contractor at the conclusion of the schematic design to assist in verifying construction costs. We also recommend carrying a contingency of 10-20% to account for unforeseen conditions and minor changes to the project scope.
Design Refinement and Contract Documentation
Blueprints. Once the project scope and budget are set, we develop detailed construction drawings and specifications that provide the technical information required for building permit review and final construction contract pricing.
At the conclusion of Phase 2, construction documents are submitted to the local building department for code compliance review and for acquiring a building permit. The documents are also used to solicit final construction pricing. At this point we continue to recommend a project contingency but typically this can be reduced to 10% to align with the reduction of unknown conditions.
Construction Contract Administration
Bricks and mortar. For us, construction is the most exciting part of the process. This is when our design leaves the paper world and becomes a reality. Our role during construction is to administer the construction contract. As part of this, we review the construction progress with the general contractor on a regular basis, respond to Requests for Interpretation (RFI), evaluate change orders and prepare the punchlist.
We recommend using industry standard contracts, such as the AIA A101 (Owner / Contractor Agreement) / A201 General Conditions. For smaller commercial and residential projects, we recommend the AIA A105.