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What Will An Architect Do For Me?

What to Expect When Working With an Architect


Every architect is different, and this makes their work processes differ. However, the following simple measures might be carried out by several remodelling projects headed by an architect. Whether you and your architect participate in all of these or not depends on the scope of work generated for your unique project. For example, only a package of conceptual drawings (stopping after phase two) might be given by an architect, while others could be contracted to continue via construction management.


  • The First Meeting

The primary objective of the initial consultation or interview is to see if you, your idea, and the prospective architect are a good match. It's best to clearly express your thoughts during this meeting and ask plenty of questions. Find out the plan, fee schedule, deliverables of the architect, and what they think is relevant about your project.


First impressions are critical here, as you determine whether you have a good relationship with your potential architect to be able to work together.

  • Design Phase

At the beginning of the design stage, architects can examine the current conditions of the site and come up with conceptual sketches or proposals that combine the objectives of the client with the aesthetic direction and structural approach of the architect. It's a good idea to think more generally at this stage in the process rather than get mired down in particular information. For example , think about how the whole house is set out and communicates with the natural world, rather than concentrating on sinks or partitions.


  • Documentation Phase

Once the general design path is decided, the team goes into a process of documentation, during which more exhaustive sketches are created by the architect.


And here there will always be a back and forth, but there will be more smooth, 2D sketches and not quite so many pretty renderings. These sketches are also required to receive permits and stipulate how a contractor can construct, as well as defining the design to the last detail.


  • Permitting

This is the time during which the local jurisdiction reviews the drawings and decides whether the work proposed complies with local safety codes or design review. In their approach, each municipality will vary, from what paperwork they need to how long it will take to obtain their approval.


In one county, what takes three months can take just three weeks in another. It may feel like the project has stagnated during this process.


  • Construction Administration

The construction stage has two sections. The first one is to find a contractor to do the job. The timing of this move depends on the client, as some individuals have made the choice at the outset, while others require the assistance of the architect in their selection. The latter may include a bidding process in which the architect allows the customer to choose two or three contractors to request proposals for the proposed work and the customer selects the best proposal.


Timing is critical here. This way, in the design process, the contractor will deliver real-time costs. Other times, during the paperwork and/or permit process, the contractor joins the team.


The role of the architect is not diminished once the contractor begins work. Behind the scenes, there may be a lot going on, such as the contractor contacting the architect to make sure they are correctly implementing the design or the architect having to fix issues as problems occur. Many architects will participate in weekly site visits to the project with the contractor and customer during this point, and go over guidance with subcontractors to get the specifics correct.

Are You Looking for an Architecture Firm to Design Your Home?


Ecobuild Architects provides exceptional design and construction administration services for residential, commercial, and mixed-use projects throughout California with an eye towards sustainable/ high-performance building solutions. We are experts in suggesting Cost-Effective/ Sustainable Solutions for any size project. If you are searching for an architect that specializes in Zero-Net Energy Building Envelope Design, Water Reuse, Healthy Indoor Air Quality, & Fire Resilient/ New Home Construction Practices, look no further than Ecobuild Architects in Oakland, California. Contact us today for your free consultation!

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