At the initial meeting, I will walk through your house with you in order to understand what you like about your house and what you want to change. A written “wish list” is helpful for you to clarify the goals for your project. It is also helpful if you have photographs from books or magazines illustrating design elements that you like. Additional items that should be discussed include setback and other possible zoning issues, your overall budget, and the design and construction schedule that you envision.

I will then prepare a proposal that summarizes the scope of architectural services to be provided. Fees are billed at an hourly rate and will be estimated in a range for both the initial design development phase as well as the preparation of construction documents. If you select me as your architect, the first step is for me to take photographs of your house, collect any existing drawings you may have, and get copies of your wish list and plot plan. If the solution is straightforward, only one design scheme will be prepared, but oftentimes several alternatives are necessary so that we can discuss the pros and cons of each one. Once a preferred scheme is identified, I will prepare design drawings which will include floor plans for each level, exterior elevation drawings, critical sections to describe level changes and massing, and sometimes important interior elevations. At this point we will meet and discuss the design, and I will make any changes that you request. Once these design drawings are reviewed and acceptable to you, they can be used by contractors for preliminary cost estimating.

Construction documents will then be prepared. In addition to the design development information, construction documents will include additional sections and interior elevations, framing plans, wall sections, critical details, lighting and electrical plans, specifications and sometimes a site plan if necessary. Construction documents will be developed sufficient for permitting and final cost estimating by contractors. Since these drawings will become part of your contract with the General Contractor, it is important that they reflect all the decisions that we have made together and that they include all of the elements of the proposed design. A complete and comprehensive set of construction documents will insure that contractors are bidding on the same things and, more importantly, minimize change orders and cost overruns during construction.

During the bidding period, I will help you evaluate contractors and their bids and answer any questions that may arise. Once a contractor is selected and construction begins, I will be available to visit the site, review the work in the field when necessary, and help resolve any issues which occur. This is the point at which hopes and dreams are turned into reality, and it is important to me that the process culminates in the result you had always visualized.