What are the Steps in Working with an Architect?

People ask us what steps to take to start their building projects. We break these down into Phases. The Phases of most construction projects are:

  1. Pre-Design;
  2. Schematic Design;
  3. Design Development;
  4. Construction Documents; and
  5. Construction Contract Administration.

A few years ago, less experienced clients might call an Architect and say, “Draw me some blueprints,” or “I need a set of plans.” Neither of these phrases was ever quite correct, and still isn’t, but they became vernacular ways of viewing Architectural services. Unfortunately, many people think that an Architect just “draws plans”. We do far more than this, of course, though we expect to deliver a practical, buildable set of Construction Documents as part of our services.

If you read the list above, the Construction Documents are the fourth Phase of how Architects assist clients in getting their projects built the right way. It’s interesting that this is the next-to-last phase of a project — yet many other tasks must precede it. It’s only one part of the overall process, though an important one.

With increasingly rare opportunities to obtain desirable properties in most areas, ever more restrictive regulations impact what can be built. Our Pre-Design services help find how your Project may be built to meet such requirements. In posts to follow, we’ll break each of these into simpler pieces and identify what happens with each.

The extensive experience of our Principal Architects leads us to realize how important the Pre-Design Phase is to every project. With emphasis on this essential, “due diligence” part of every building effort, we’ll expand on each of the phases of construction projects in future posts. But, Pre-Design holds the key to your project. Read on to see how!

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