Our Architectural Design Process
Guiding You Through All Stages of the Design and Building Process
Our overriding project goal is to guide you through the varying stages of the architectural design and building process. We listen carefully to your vision and then draw upon our many professional skills to design, coordinate and incorporate our product knowledge and turn your dream into a reality.
There are many phases to each project. Our process embraces all of them.
Complimentary Initial Consultation. We meet with you at your home or project site to explain our services and present our portfolio. We review project goals, budget and site restrictions, and discuss potential design ideas. After the initial meeting, we prepare an architectural services proposal and preliminary construction cost estimate, providing our clients with a realistic expectation of costs before a project begins.
Preliminary Design. The design process begins with the signing of an AIA (American Institute of Architects) Contract Agreement. We then schedule a convenient time to field measure and photograph your home and/or property to identify a set of existing conditions. When zoning and site issues have been verified, the stage is set for a Preliminary Design meeting. We meet with you to flesh out our initial discussion. Then we begin to develop a design solution, creating sketches to incorporate all the goals presented to date.
Design Development. The process of fine-tuning a Preliminary Design concept continues with computer generated plans, elevations and perspectives. You will meet with us again, several times if necessary, until your final design objective is achieved. We update cost estimates throughout this development process in order to manage a desired budget.
Public Hearing Representation. If special relief is required by a local town or board, we file the final Design Development drawings with the appropriate municipal authority and assist you with the application requirements. We prepare a clear and expert presentation, both graphically and verbally, to facilitate the most favorable review.
Construction Documents. After all the major design concepts are finalized, we produce a set of working drawings. During this time, we work with you to iron out the finer details. Upon completion, these drawings (also known as Construction Documents) represent the graphic and verbal description of a project.
Bidding and Negotiating. We have established relationships with several talented builders in the area. When a project is released for bidding, we select several builders based on their experience and expertise and comfort level with a particular project type and scale. We distribute multiple copies of the Construction Documents to each builder and establish a bidding timeframe. After all bids have been submitted, we will conduct meetings with you and each builder to review and fully understand each bid before you make a final decision.
If requested, we will work closely with you to achieve an elevated degree of interior detail and finish for a specific room or entire home. For example, we can develop elevations, sketches and perspectives for built-in shelving, kitchen cabinetry and molding, tile, crown molding and other interior finishes. When needed, we can coordinate directly with the related trades such as cabinet makers, plumbing and tile suppliers or countertop fabricators.
Professional Coordination and Project Management
We serve as your advocate throughout the Construction Phase. We visit project sites, address questions, interpret drawings and help resolve any site issues that may arise. Our goal is to see a project built as it was designed and specified.
We design and manage projects beyond our Chatham, New Jersey, base when you or your friends or family request us to assist with out-of-state design and construction. The internet, email and digital photography have made this type of off-site coordination very viable. As members of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and with licensure in New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, Connecticut and Vermont, our ability to help our local clients with distant projects has increased dramatically.