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6 Phases of Architectural Services

March 6, 2018

The steps involved in design and construction; What to expect

To break down the complexity of building projects, building and home owners will reduce the number of frustrations with a basic understanding that design and construction projects involve several steps before they make the decision to build, renovate, or add on. Typically, projects go through the following six phases. However, on some projects several of these steps may be combined or there may be additional ones depending on the complexity of the project. ( see figure 1 below).

STEP 1 – PROGRAMMING/DECIDING WHAT TO BUILD (RESEARCH)

The Client and Architect discuss the requirements for the project (how many rooms, the function of the spaces, etc.), testing the fit between the Client’s needs, wants, and budget.

STEP 2 – SCHEMATIC DESIGN/ROUGH SKETCHES (PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN, FLOOR PLAN, AND EXTERIOR DESIGN)

The Architect prepares a series of rough sketches, known as schematic design, which show the general arrangement of rooms and of the site. Some Architects also prepare models or basic computer generated renderings to help visualize the project. The Client approves these sketches before proceeding to the next phase.

STEP 3 – DESIGN DEVELOPMENT/REFINING THE DESIGN

The Architect prepares more detailed drawings to illustrate other aspects of the proposed design. Floor plans show all the rooms in correct size and shape. Outline specifications are prepared listing the major materials and room finishes.

STEP 4 – PREPARATION OF CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS

Once the Client has approved the design, the architect prepares detailed drawings and specifications, which the contractor will use to establish actual construction cost and build the project. These drawings and specifications become part of the building contract.

STEP 5 – HIRING THE CONTRACTOR

The Client selects and hires the contractor. The Architect may be willing to make some recommendations. In many cases, Clients choose from among several contractors they’ve asked to submit bids on the job. The Architect can help you prepare bidding documents as well as invitations to bid and instructions to bidders.

STEP 6 – CONSTRUCTION ADMINISTRATION

While the Contractor will physically build the home or addition, the Architect can assist the Client in making sure that the project is built according to the plans and specifications. The Architect can make site visits to observe construction, review and approve the Contractor’s applications for payment, and generally keep the Client informed of the project’s progress. The contractor is solely responsible for construction methods, techniques, schedules, and procedures.

 

phases

Figure 1.

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