Never hired an architect before? No worries! Here's a quick guide to help. We're here to walk you through the process of designing your dream home or finally taking the plunge and doing that business renovation.
Step 1: The Proposal and Contract
You've reached out to us about a project you have and we're so excited to work with you! The first step of the project is putting together a proposal that outlines the scope of work we'll be doing and the cost of our services. Before writing the proposal, we like to evaluate the space with you, either virtually or in person. This is your opportunity to tell us what you want your future space to be, and it's our opportunity to evaluate how much work we'll need to do to your existing space to help you realize your goals. Because every project is different, every proposal we write is custom, and it will take us some time after this meeting for us to draft an accurate proposal for you. When it's finished, we'll email it out to you and discuss it either in person or virtually to make sure we're all on the same page before signing.**
**Upon signing the contract, we require a retainer fee of a portion the services outlined in the proposal that will be applied toward the total cost of the project.
Step 2: Site Documentation
You've signed the contract, let the process begin! The first step for us once your project is official is to formally document the existing conditions of the project site. We send out members of our team to take photographs for our internal use and take our own measurements of the existing construction (walls, doors, windows, stairs, etc.). This allows us to create an accurate 3D model of your existing space!
Step 3: Schematic Design
This is the fun part! The schematic design phase is when we get to turn your existing space into a space that's going to work for you. We listen to your overall needs and goals and we explore different layout options based on your suggestions and our expertise. During this phase, it's important to meet with you either virtually or in person to discuss your thoughts. After our meeting, we'll make adjustments based on your feedback and present a final option for your approval.
Design is a Collaboration
Your space is a reflection of you! We provide multiple touchpoints throughout the process to ensure the design is meeting your needs.
Step 4: Design Development
In the design development phase, we work through some of the finer details now that we have the floor plan layout approved. This is the time where we look at cabinet layouts, lighting design, electrical outlet and switch locations, and exterior elevations. At the end of this phase, we email drawings for review and approval. If needed, we can make a second round of small edits before completely finalizing the design.
Step 5: Construction Documentation
Once we're aligned on what the final design is going to look like, we start to work on the Construction Documentation. A set of construction documents is needed by the building department to acquire a permit. It's the instruction set that contractors follow throughout construction, and it's the contractual agreement between the contractor and the owner.
Step 6: Submitting for Permit
With your final approval on the construction documents, the next step is submitting the drawings to your local building department for permit. If your project is located near the Cincinnati area, we can submit the drawings for you. If the building department has any questions or concerns about the drawings, regardless of whether or not we were the ones to submit for permit, we are responsible for responding to the comments.
Step 7: Construction
The city has approved the project and issued you a permit. It's time for construction to begin on your project! At this point, you've completed your work with us, and your general contractor will take over the project. If requested, we can be available for project management services at an additional cost. However, we are always available to answer any questions or concerns from the contractors regarding information on the drawing set.