Our Process

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NEEDS EVALUATION / PROPOSAL

Relax and let us know all about your needs and aspirations regarding your housing, community or work place project.  Take your time, let go and point out the issues that you want to address.  Tell us about your vision and goals.  We will determine a range of service and the cost associated with it.

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CONTRACT

Once we have agreed on the scope and fee for the architectural work we provide an agreement that breaks down all important issues. The agreement is simple and flexible.  It spells out the scope of the project; the phases of work; the cost for each phase; responsibilities; compensation; payment schedule; termination and acknowledgements.   We can add and subtract language as may be necessary and agreeable.

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MASTER / PLAN DESIGN

This is where the fun begins ….or continues.  We ask you to make a list of all you love about your home and all you hate about your home.  At our first design meeting we will review the existing conditions drawings and the analysis of the existing house problems and potentials.  We carefully review your love/hate lists and talk about the things you would like to end up having when the project is complete.  We discuss your budget; prioritize your needs and master plan all the areas of your home that are required.  We then begin to provide you design studies that reflect our investigations and discuss these to further refine the design.  This process may go back and forth a few times until we have the master plan design that works for you.  We provide estimated probable cost of construction for the entire master plan and provide advice on how to phase the project if the entire design will not fit your budget right away.  The design will be presented to you in ways that allow you to visualize and understand the spaces that we propose.

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HISTORIC, PLANNING OR ZONING BOARD APPROVAL

If required, we will prepare drawings and assist in preparation of the application for historic, planning or zoning board hearings if required. We will present and provide expert testimony regarding your project.

 

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DESIGN DEVELOPMENT / CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS

With the master plan complete and approvals in hand we continue to develop the design and refine the aesthetical details and specifications.  We concentrate on the phase or phases of the project that you wish to work on and begin to develop the design regarding the form, shape, proportion and dimensions of each space.  This refinement process better articulates the design and more specifically describes the materials and building systems that are to be used.   The product of this phase results in highly detailed and comprehensive drawings and specifications that provide specific information required for bidding, permits and construction.  Structure, mechanical systems, energy, code compliance, lighting, power, specialty items, material, color and costs are all defined in this phase.

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BID / NEGOTIATION / CONTRACTION CONTRACT

The construction documents are used to bid or award the project.  We will put together a list of contractors that are suited for your work.  This list will consist of both our recommendations as well as anyone you may have in mind.  If a contractor you know is already slated for the job we can forgo the bidding process and begin the contract process.  In any case, the bidders are asked to meet with us to pick up drawings and bid forms.  We review the entire process with them and set up a time to meet them at the building site to review existing conditions with their subcontractors.  We answer questions and explain the design in real time. The contractors will submit their bids to our office at a specified date and time. They use exact bid forms for all the costs and provide proof of insurance, list of references, subcontractor lists, early start dates; anticipated duration of project; and vet these bids and present them to you.  After discussing, calling references, negotiating final costs we award the bid and prepare an American Institute of Architects (AIA) Owner / Contractor agreement which spells out all the necessary contractual information to protect you and the contractor during the project.

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PERMITTING

We provide the contractor with signed and sealed sets of drawings for his submittal of permits to the township.  We assist in answering questions or supplying support information the township may request regarding our work until the permits are approved.

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CONSTRUCTION ADMINISTRATION

The construction administration process is intended to ensure that the client is not burdened by the construction process; that the project is built correctly; that the contractor receives all he needs to perform his work and; to refine the design as necessary.  In the end our role is to have a well built and extraordinary building, a happy client and contractor that will refer future work

This is the follow through and refinement of our work.  The contractor is a key and vital member of the design team.  He or she is an extension of our hand and a critical part of our clients success.  This relationship should not be viewed to be adversarial.  We are advocates for good building construction and fair contract decisions while serving as advocates for the client’s best interest.

The weekly project meeting is a vital part to the environment we create for the owner and the contractor.   It  allows us to inspect the work and review the schedule; to address issues brought up by the contractor or client; to review payments, submittals, change orders and shop drawings; to make minor design adjustments; to document the construction process; to perform punch lists and to address issues the township inspectors my have.

Meeting agendas are focused and typically last no more than 1 hour.  Our ability to determine what is critical to the construction and staying on point brings value to the construction process.