Typically my work with a home owner begins with conversations. My questions regarding how an individual family lives, observations of the site and existing conditions, and most importantly listening to the owners form these meetings. My own work and experience is discussed and references are provided for new clients to contact and often meet my previous ones. The entire process of design and construction is outlined, and my and the other participant's roles and responsibilities are discussed.
If there is agreement to work together, I submit a letter of initial architectural services, with scope of work, fees and time lines delineated. Photos of existing conditions or sites, documenting existing plans and exterior views, and researching the public requirements for zoning, historic, and building regulations follow. After that material is completed, subsequent meetings with the owners discuss pertinent found information that will influence the design. Then the design work begins where I take the owners wishes and the conditions of the site and regulations of the public officials, and develop schematic alternatives, in plan and three dimensions. When the design is developed to the owners preferences, I suggest a contractor or two who will give a preliminary cost of construction estimate based on the preferred design. I do this prior to developing detailed drawings for construction permitting so as not to misdirect the owners toward a project which they are unable to afford.
If the estimates are within a budget range, and we agree to move ahead, I submit an American Institute of Architects contract between Owner and Architect for the remaining work, and develop drawings as required by the locality for construction permitting, and as required to make clear the contract scope between the owners and a general contractor. After the construction drawings are completed, I recommend that the work be bid by a minimum of three general contractors who may be recommended by the owners or by me. After a builder is selected, I oversee the work weekly to assure conformance with the contracts, until the construction is completed and occupied.