This usually occurs by phone or e-mail, at which time we set up a convenient time to meet, either at our office or at the client's requested location. The prospective client may review our work at our website in the meantime.
We bring a portfolio of our relevant work to show the prospective client and discuss the lient's needs and ideas. We provide a sample contract for the client to read in private, and explain the design process. This is most often done at no charge.
Once the Agreement has been signed and an initial payment made, we sketch a general layout. It is drawn freehand and may begin as a "bubble diagram" before evolving into a plan. This part of the process may take several versions before a design is approved; the number of versions included in the fee will be noted in the Agreement. It is a two-way process between us and the client, and we actively seek as much client input as possible. Once a design is approved we move to the working drawings stage.
Design Development & Working Drawings
At this time, a payment is usually due. Working drawings may be produced by hand or CAD. Each set of working drawings varies slightly, depending on the Project and client requirements. The extent of the Working Drawings will often be listed in the Agreement. In more involved projects, Design Development will become a separate phase between Schematic Design and Working Drawings.
It is likely that some adjustments will be made to the design as the drawings proceed, so several progress sets of blueline prints may be made for the client to see the Project development. We usually meet with the client during this process to discuss the drawings and answer any questions that may arise. As the drawings become more complete a set of blueline prints may be issued for permitting and pricing. Once we consider the drawings substantially complete, a print set is issued for final client review. If any changes are to be made, they are completed and the drawings are issued for construction.
Most of the time, this is the end of the process for small to mid-sized residential projects, unless additional services have been requested, and a final payment along with any reimbursable expenses is due. Additional services may include more extensive documents, such as trim package, color and finish selection, interior design services, or design details. We may also be asked to provide services further in the construction process, such as site visits and reporting.
Often, when contractors provide pricing and other parts of their proposals, consumers with less experience in construction may not fully understand cost breakdowns, terminology and other matters. We encourage clients to request cost breakdowns, and to use industry standard agreements and other protections with those who work on their homes. As an additional service, we gladly aid our clients in considering these important documents.
Requests for Information
We encourage and allow time to answer questions raised during construction by contractors & others.