The Key Elements of Great
Architectural Design Services
Architects offer a range of services that help people design their home or business. They can bring clarity to a vision, ensure that the project is up to code, and provide construction workers with a helpful guide for making changes.
Architectural design is a process that can be long and complex. Organizing the process into phases makes it easier to keep everyone in alignment and reduces the risk of costly delays or mistakes. By utilizing project management software, architects can also be more organized and efficient at every stage of the design process.
The first step in the architectural design process is schematic design, which establishes the conceptual design, scale and relationship among spaces. This involves preparing plans, elevations and building sections for the project.
Schematic design is a critical phase in the design process because it helps to define the overall structure of the project and create a blueprint for building construction. It is where architects start to explore different concepts for a project and determine which ones work best.
Once a concept has been decided upon, the next phase of the architectural design process is known as design development. During this stage, the architect works with the client to refine the design and prepare detailed plans, elevations and building sections.
This can be a lengthy and difficult process, so it is important to have an experienced architect on board to help ensure that the final product meets your goals and expectations. Once design development is complete, the architect and engineers can begin preparing detailed working drawings and specifications for construction.
During this stage, the architect will submit construction documents to various government agencies to obtain permits for the project. Depending on your location, you may need to fill out applications for zoning, land use, fire safety, and environmental approvals before construction can begin.
In addition to the preparation of these documents, the architect can provide consulting during construction. This can include helping contractors navigate complicated codes, reviewing change orders, and addressing any other issues that arise during the construction process.
It is common for architects to charge by the hour for their services. The rate will vary based on the complexity of the project and how many hours are involved.
Another option is to pay a fixed fee for the entire project. This is typically less expensive than paying by the hour, but it may not be the right choice for you if you are unsure of the scope of your project or expect to have many back-and-forth meetings with your architect.
The most effective way to communicate with your architect is through a formal contract that details the architectural design services that are included in the overall cost of the project. Having the architect’s fees clearly defined in advance will also help you to stay on budget.
During the construction phase, the architect will monitor and observe construction to assure that it is built according to the plans and specifications. They will answer questions, address unforeseen conditions, review change orders and even review contractor pay requisitions.