About Our Architectural Design Process in Detail
You're about to embark on a highly creative and exciting process! Before you begin, take the time to make sure you understand the basic steps that'll take you from vague ideas to three-dimensional reality.
As mentioned before, the most important skills of an architect are the ability to listen, critical thinking, and interpretation of ideas into a well thought-out design.
An Architect Process Includes
- Define the problem
- Collect information
- Brainstorm / analyze
- Develop solutions
- Receive feedback
- Build it
The entire process of designing and constructing a new home, addition, or renovation is a series of decision-making activities. Designing a home, addition, or renovation is a continual process of studying, investigating, and analyzing various options. The architect acts as your guide and advocate throughout this process.
Our design process at JSCH begins with an initial meeting with a potential client. This first meeting generally lasts about 30 minutes to an hour and is FREE of charge. If you're planning an addition or renovation to your existing home, we would prefer to meet at your home.
At this initial meeting, we would discuss the client’s site, aesthetics, space planning, cost analysis, and schedule. We would then use the information gathered from this meeting to prepare a “letter of agreement / proposal for design services” for your specific project.
Once we receive your signed letter of agreement and project retainer, the design team would proceed onto
the first phase of services.
Outlined below are the different phases of the design process that will help you better understand the work that goes into creating your dream home.
The Design Phases
The design process begins with a meeting with the client to discuss the scope of the project.
- Programming – is a process leading to the statement of an architectural problem and the requirements to be met in offering a solution. You can’t find a solution until you spell out what the problem is
A program is a list of spaces
and design elements the client would like to incorporate in their custom home as well as the desired square footage.
During the programming phase, we gather information from the client to help them define their needs and wants, dreams and desires for the project. (That is, the need may be “more Space” while the desire is “to have a room where I can read a book in quite.”)
- Site Analysis - involves reviewing surveys and / or plot plan and may consist of visiting the home site to become better acquainted with the site elements that will influence the design. (That is, Solar Position / Angle, direction of the wind, water run-off, best views, noise, topographical characteristics, vehicular
and pedestrian traffic, etc.)
- Review - review overall project budget
Schematic Design (SD):
At the end of this phase, the architect will present some very rough sketches of the floor plan for approval by the homeowner. The sketches will also provide the client with a general indication of the exterior design concept.
- Interpretation of the program (Flow
of Space) – team explores the sequence of how you approach the house and move through the house
- How the home is experienced
is a focus of this stage
- Relationship of functions, site considerations, and massing studies
- An initial scheme
plan that seeks to define the general scope and conceptual design of the project, including
scale and relationships between spaces
- Review budget based on schematic layout
Design Development (DD):
At the end of the design development
phase, the architect will provide the client with drafted-to-scale drawings that'll illustrate the project as it would look when it's constructed. These drawings will very specifically define the site plan, floor plan, roof plan, and exterior elevation along with any necessary building sections.
- The approved schematic design progresses to more detailed drawings. Discussion of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems are reviewed along with any architectural detail
- Program ideas and interior spaces are refined
- Major materials and room finishes are discussed and refined
- More detailed drawings are prepared to illustrate other aspects of the proposed design
It's important that the client provides an input to the architect at this time as the design development
drawings are used as the basis for the construction drawings and preliminary cost estimates from the contractor for building a home.
Construction Documents (CD):
These are the detailed drawings (and sometimes Specifications) which the contractor will use to both establish actual construction cost and to build the project.
These drawings become part of the contract. Included in the (CD) drawings will be:
- Foundation plan
- Floor plan
- Floor framing plan (if necessary)
- Roof plan
- Building elevation
- Building section (where necessary)
- 3D exterior view
- Door and window schedule, room finishes
- Electrical plans (detail of every light switch, electrical outlet, and all low-voltage items)
- Mill-work elevations (cabinets) and enlarged plans
- Custom built-in mill work drawings and details
- Interior finishes for furniture and accessories (color and fabric selections)
Client-directed changes during this phase should be limited, as much as possible, to material selections and not major shifts in the floor plan or elevations. Coordinating changes through all of the CD drawings may add considerable time and increase project cost.
These construction documents are records of all the decisions we’ve made together throughout the course of designing your dream home. These documents convey our decisions to others.
Contractors will use these CDs to supply the materials and construct the project. Building inspectors will issue permits and inspect the work from these documents. Banks and lenders will use these documents when providing financing.
As you can see, these are very important documents used by all during the construction of a project.
It's to your advantage to make sure these drawings are accurate and complete. Remember that you have taken the time to make all the important decisions necessary for a successful, well thought-out, aesthetically pleasing, custom-designed housing project.
Interior Design / Architecture:
Architectural Fees:The fee structure for our services is on an hourly basis, taking into account the complexity and time requirements of each individual project.
- The scope of your project in detail, including
all areas involved in the project, each space's desired function, and your ideas and goals for each space
- Your tastes, preferences, likes, dislikes, style, and brand
- Image selection to hone in on needs, visions, tastes, and expectations. We will provide images to look through, but you are always welcome to bring inspiring images of your own as well
- Establishing a realistic budget for your space
As each project presents its own unique challenges, it’s important for us to meet with each client to discuss his / her potential project prior to quoting any architectural design fees.
“The built environment is a material, spatial and cultural product of human labor that combines physical elements
and energy in forms for living, working and playing.”
It has been defined as "the humanitarian-made space in which people live, work, and recreate on a day-to-day basis." We all live in built environments (homes) in some form or another.
JSCH design team
is very aware of how important a built environment is to its owner, what enormous emotional energy is lavished upon it, the large financial investment it presents, and how unnerving it is to be at the mercy of others in shaping or reshaping that vision of your personal built environment.
We try to help you avoid as much of that discomfort as possible. JSCH will help you identify your needs, design good solutions that satisfy those needs, and develop the documents that communicate your solution of those needs to the contractor.
I hope and pray that this document provides you some insight and clarity to the value that our design solutions would bring to your project, and that you would provide us the opportunity to help you visualize your dream for a new custom home, addition, or remodel. Remember:
- Think different
- Build different
- Live different