Believe it or not this is one of the biggest steps in the design process and one of the biggest reasons to hire an architect. At the beginning of a project an Owner may know they want something, but not sure what. Or they think they know exactly what they want, but aren’t aware of the implications – like knocking down a load bearing wall. I can help you walk through options before we begin designing. It also helps for an Owner to have to vocalize their dreams and goals to someone unfamiliar with the project (me) and have unbiased feedback.
After the scope has been defined then it's time to begin design. This process normally takes longer than most Owners assume because, simply put, there is a lot of information that needs to be communicated and transferred to paper. While most Owners have a reasonably good vision for what they want my job is to take this vision and make it a reality. Getting into design is like opening a Pandora box - you begin to see things and think of things that you never imagined or thought of. The Owner's big idea is the sum of many small details that have to be confronted.
We will take time to walk through the different aspects of design until we have an overall design that the Owner is happy with. We do this through personal meetings, emails and phone calls, and sharing 2-D and 3-D images. Once the overall scheme has been determined I can begin producing Construction Documents.
This is a fancy name for "blue prints". These drawings are detailed plans, elevations, sections, notes and schedules to a) obtain a building permit and b) give to your contractor to build. This is where over half of a project time is spent, producing these drawings which are meant to convey your dream on paper. It's a lot of work but I take pride in producing the best drawings I can so the contractor isn't left in the dark on important parts of the design. These drawings also hold the Architect, the Owner and the Contractor responsible. Simply put, I wouldn't recommend any project without a nice set of drawings.
Once construction begins inevitably there are still questions about some details, decisions to be made on paint colors, or kitchen materials. During construction I am only a phone call away to answer questions and help the Contractor as much as I can. Each of my designs, regardless of size, are important to me to see through to completion.
Each project is different. Fees reflect the complexity, size, and scope to different degrees from project to project. For instance, a new single story house on a flat lot may be a much easier project to work through than a small complicated renovation in which walls are knocked out, and new columns and beams are designed. While my fees are not based off of cost of construction they usually run about 2-5% of the cost of construction.
Small Example: Design is for a new porch for existing house. If the approximate cost of construction is $25,000 and my fee $1500 this is about 6% of construction.
Medium Example: Design is for kitchen and master bathroom renovation. If the approximate cost of construction is $100,000 and my fee is $5,200 this comes to about 5% of construction.
Large Example: Design is for complete renovation to existing house which includes: new siding and windows, new porch, sunroom addition, new flooring and painting. If estimated cost of construction is $200,000 and my fees for this project are $6,500 this comes to a little more than 3% of construction.