Since most homeowners have need for an architect only occasionally, it should be helpful to understand the steps of the client-architect relationship.

I. Initial Consultation

I will come to your house and meet with you to discuss your vision for your new home or addition. There is no charge for the initial consultation. We will discuss your project requirements (number of bedrooms, baths, etc.), budget, project timeline, and my experience with similar projects.
At this meeting I also show homeowners a finished set of plans for a recently completed project similar to theirs. It gives the homeowner an idea of what their final drawings will look like, and the level of detail in my drawings. This initial consultation normally takes approximately one hour.
Based on the scope of work we discuss during the consultation, I will prepare a formal written proposal for architectural services outlining the phases of the project and my fee.

II. Existing Conditions Documentation

If your project is an addition or alteration, I will personally measure and photograph your house. Depending on the size of the house and scope of the project, this normally takes between 2 and 4 hours. At this time you will need to provide me with a copy of your property survey, which I will use to perform zoning calculations. The survey will be returned to you upon completion of the project.

III. Design Development

I will prepare design drawings including floor plans, exterior elevations, and a site plan when applicable. I normally email the plans & elevations to the homeowner one or two days prior to our design meeting so that the homeowner has time to review them and have any questions or changes ready to discuss when I come to your home for the design meeting. At this meeting, we discuss the proposed design, and I get your feedback to make any necessary changes. This meeting normally takes between one and two hours. If necessary, I will return for additional design meetings.

IV. Variance (if necessary)

If your project requires a variance, I will assist with the process. A drawing showing floor plans, exterior elevations, site plan, and zoning analysis is necessary to submit to the town along with the variance application. If requested by you, I will testify with you before your town’s Board of Adjustment.

V. Construction Drawings

Once the design is approved (or the variance is granted) I will prepare the final construction drawings. These drawings will have all the technical information required to get bids from contractors, obtain the building permit, and execute the construction. These drawings are very specific and contain lighting and electrical information, a structural layout, a plumbing riser diagram, and HVAC requirements.

If you already have a contractor selected, I will work closely with him throughout construction. If you don’t, I can recommend several. Once you select a contractor, he normally submits the finished drawings to your town’s building department for permits.

VI. Construction Administration

Questions arise during the construction of most projects. A simple phone call for clarification between the contractor and myself is usually all that is required. However, if it is necessary for me to visit the construction site to examine a field condition, I am always happy to do so.