The Architectural Process
I would be honored to be your Architect and have the opportunity of working with you to “Transform the Ordinary into the Extraordinary”! The following information is intended to insure that our work together would advance in the most beneficial way for both of us. I share these tips and procedures because they have proven over the years to enhance the success of the client relationship and the project.
Communication is KEY
It’s important that we stay in communication. That can be by telephone, letter, text, and/or email. I would discuss with you the option and frequency that suits you the best. We will need to discuss and decide how decisions are made and communicated. One point of contact is preferable for your instructions to me on design and cost decisions.
The Phases of Our Work Together
In the Design Phase it is very helpful to me if you can gather any examples of ideas that you like. These could be magazine clippings, articles, photos. To help you organize your thoughts you might create some file folders or large envelopes labeled “Kitchens, Bathrooms, Bedrooms, Windows, Doors, Outdoor Elements, Furnishings, Appliances, Details, Etc.” or whatever is appropriate for your project. You might use sticky notes to jot down features that illustrate what you like or don’t like about each photo. Remember, the design is for YOU, not me, so your tastes and styles need to be showcased. The more I know about your likes and dislikes, the better I can serve you. The Design Phase is when I bring the most added value to your project, helping you to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. This is where I offer the creative solutions that you will typically not find from a builder or draftsperson. During our meetings we will review your collection of information, and also discuss things you like about your current environment. All of this information is used for what is called “Programming” – to determine your project requirements.
In the Design Development Phase, the information gathering and communication continues as we determine more detailed information about your requirements and desires. The drawings will become more developed and detailed. If my scope of work does not include assisting in the selection of furniture, colors, appliances, light fixtures, or hardware; you will need to make these selections and communicate your choices to me.
When we meet, the purpose will be to present you with suggested solutions and get feedback from you. Please feel free to be frank and honest. Remember, the design is for YOU. I try to get as much feedback as possible at the meeting, and then I suggest you “sit with” the drawings for a while and then confirm your reactions and suggestions by follow-up phone call, email, or subsequent meeting. At the end of Design Development, I ask for your approval and “sign-off” on the design before proceeding into the Construction Documents. Any changes in project parameters after this point will result in additional charges for changes or revisions.
The Construction Documents are the legal documents used for bidding, permits, and construction. They form the basis for contractual arrangements with the builder and are used to evaluate the progress and quality of the work. They are very important and represent the detailed core of the services I provide. The Construction Documents and the design they represent are the copyrighted property of the Architect and cannot be used for other purposes or reproduced without my permission.
Construction Administration is vitally important to the success of the project. I will serve as your liaison between you and the builder or contractor. There are a million details to be reviewed which can stress out the average home owner. The Architect acts as your agent, making sure the project is built according to the plans and specifications. It is critical that any changes that you or the builder contemplate should be reviewed by the Architect. Every decision has a ramification that you or the builder may not be aware of. This is not to say that changes don’t or shouldn’t happen. They just should be considered carefully to make sure they don’t create a separate or different problem. During this phase I review the Contractor’s Applications for Payment before authorizing your payment. At the end of the project I conduct a Final Inspection with you to determine a final Corrections List, and I coordinate the Project Closeout procedures which have important legal documents for your protection.
Delivery of Services
The pace of the project will be determined by your desires and my other work loads. If we ever need to accelerate, slow down, take a break, or discontinue services, please let me know. If for whatever reason you decide to discontinue the project or services, you will be invoiced for the time spent up to this notification.
Compensation for Services
Our Agreement for services would outline the scope of work, the amount, and the method of compensation. Allowances are made for the time for different phases and for the number of meetings. I am usually available for additional time or meetings as requested at an hourly rate of $135. Invoices are sent out at least monthly and due within 14 days. I appreciate your timely response to invoices.
Feedback and Follow-up
During the course of the project, PLEASE feel free to give me feedback on how I am serving you, and how I can improve. I in turn will schedule a follow-up site visit approximately 6 months after completion of the work to check on the project and your satisfaction. If you are pleased with the project and my work, I would appreciate your referring my name and number to family, friends, and colleagues who are considering new construction or remodel work. Your referrals are greatly appreciated.
I would really appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and discuss your project. I am confident that we can create a transformed environment for you. Please let me know if you have any questions about these policies and procedures.