What should you expect during the design and construction process?  Where do you start?

While every project is different, the process is still the same.

1. Discover your Needs and Options

Before starting to design your project, we need to determine your needs and what options are available.

What is important to you?  What is the driving force for this project? We need to discover What is Your Red”? 

Often my questions, objective observations, and experience will uncover things you may have not considered.  We will discuss your budget to understand if it matches the quality and scope of your project.

During this phase, we research zoning code implications for your property. Zoning codes help us to determine the guidelines for building size or volume, height restrictions, lot coverage, and setback requirements.  Keep in mind they can change from one community to another.

Michael-Buss-Architects 18042_Site-Plan-Sketch
Michael-Buss-Architects 18042_Site-Plan bubble Sketch

2. Schematic Design

During this phase, we develop drawings that illustrate the spatial relationships, scale, and form of your project. These drawings are often hand drawn without a lot of detail so that we can discuss spatial relationships. Then they are drawn to scale so that we can reference specific room sizes and room heights that eventually lead to total height and total square footage.

Our drawings are based on realistic information about functional and construction sizes so they are accurate but abstract at the same time.

This is typically where we roll out the trace paper and discuss the design and sketch refinements.

For us the important part to this step is looking for your initial reaction or aha moment. We love the aahh moments. Depending on the size and complexity of the project this process might be repeated a few more times. Once we have direction we are ready for the next step, design development.

3. Design Development

This phase refines the decisions made during schematic design. Window locations, sizes, and types will be determined. Exterior and interior materials will be examined and discussed. We will begin our initial structural layout to ensure it will work with the essential elements of the design. The drawings will now introduce more detail on the plans and elevations. Depending on the complexity, 3D modeling maybe introduced to help you visualize the project.

We can also design and/or help you select everything that is typically built-in to the project. This includes kitchen cabinetry, bathroom vanities, bookshelves, millwork, etc.

We will also discuss lighting and materials such as tile, wood flooring, carpet as well as appliances and plumbing fixtures. The drawings will show a basic furniture layout to help you understand the size and flow of each room. At this time, if you plan to use an interior designer we would be happy to collaborate.

Michael-Buss-Architects 18042_Floor-Plan-Sketch
Michael-Buss-Architects 15018_Floor-Plan-CD-tilt

4. Construction Documents Phase

This phase creates the construction documents or “Blue Prints”.  The design drawings become fixed. The technical data, construction details, cross sections, electrical layout, and roof plan are added. The structure is refined and integrated. The civil/site engineer documents will be coordinated so both sets of documents agree. Local building codes and energy code compliance information is addressed.  When completed, your design is transformed into the drawings that will be used for both permitting and construction.

5. Construction Phase

During construction phase, I will act as your agent and observe the construction of the project for general conformance with the document set. Clear communication between owner/architect/contractor is key to the success of this phase. I will visit the site at appropriate intervals, answer questions from the contractor, and provide additional drawings to clarify design intent as needed.

Michael-Buss-Architects 15018_ Constructions