The Five Phases of the Design Process

Locating a schematic plan on a lot

Locating a schematic plan on a lot

At Sheldon Richard Kostelecky Architect, we aim to clearly outline the entire process of designing and building a project; this process generally consists of the so-called “Five Phases”, which can generally apply equally to renovations, additions, or new construction. Once we have come to an agreement on which, or all of these phases of the design process you would like us to be involved in, the process can begin.

Phase I: Schematic Design

The first step will be to meet with you over one or more meetings to review your needs, both broadly, and in specific detail, along with discussing your budget expectations. Once we have an understanding of what the project is meant to be, we can begin to provide two or three schematic design options for your review. These alternatives generally take the form of sketches, so comparisons between the ideas can be easily discerned.

Sometimes one of these concepts will suffice, but usually some combination of two or more ideas can be melded together to get to the project’s goals. We can provide a preliminary estimate for these initial schematic designs, so you can make any modifications necessary to bring the project in line with your budget, if necessary, at this early point. Once a concept is approved, then the design will be developed in further detail.

Interior sketches are also useful in develop the look of rooms, such as this country-style kitchen

Interior sketches are also useful in developing the look of rooms, such as this country-style kitchen

Phase II: Design Development

In this phase the project’s particulars will be further flushed out, and additional reality will be incorporated; i.e, construction feasibility, code issues, general design theme, and materials will be part of the design’s development. A more accurate budget estimate can done with these drawings by a potential builder, as we continue to keep an eye on the realities of your budget.

Phase III: Construction Documents:

Once the developed design and the more detailed budget estimate meets with your approval, we will proceed to produce the permitting and construction documents needed to build the project. These documents will include details drawings as well as specifications and schedules, such as windows, doors, appliances, plumbing fixtures, materials, lighting, etc.

The architect is involved in the construction the project on a regular basis, to ensure the drawings are being followed and to solve any problems or answer any questions the builder may have during the building.

The architect is involved in the construction the project on a regular basis, to ensure the drawings are being followed and to solve any problems or answer any questions the builder may have during the building.

Phase IV: Bidding

With this set of drawings and support documents, you may either have two or three builders “bid” on the construction documents, or if you have a builder selected by this time, they can provide you with a definitive and detailed proposal via a spreadsheet to construct your project. This is generally done via “cost plus”, but there are other similar methods the builder can provide his pricing to you, as well. He will also provide a construction schedule, from the ground breaking to the anticipated move-in date, so you can plan your life accordingly.

Phase V: Construction Administration

Once construction is under way, we will administer the construction process to ensure the builder’s conformance with the drawings, visit the site regularly, attend weekly job meetings, provide additional clarification drawings as needed, and address and field conditions and questions as they arise. It is our role as your architect to help your builder make sure the lengthy construction process proceeds as smoothly as possible, with the ultimate goal, of course, that the project meets your dream of a renovated or new home into reality.