The Process

Each project varies, depending on scope and type of project.  However, most projects will follow a similar process, as described below:

Initial meeting

There will be an initial meeting with the client to discuss scope of project, budget, and schedule. It is a good idea to include the contractor in this meeting, if possible, to get feedback on how the scope of project fits with the clients’ budget & schedule. If a contractor has not been chosen yet, we can recommend several with whom we have worked on other projects and that we feel produce quality construction without budgetary surprises.

Contract & Scope of Services

After the initial meeting with the client, we provide a proposal outlining the scope of work and the associated fees. The Contract & Scope of Services for architectural design, is based on comments at the initial meeting, as well as a walk-through of the site and/or existing building, and the agreed upon scope of project. Engineering, surveying, energy reports, soils tests, and consulting fees, are not provided as part of the architectural services. We can however, recommend professionals that provide these services under separate contracts.

Conceptual design phase

Whether it is a new or existing building, there will be a conceptual design meeting with the clients to:

  • review similar project types to determine architectural style & details to be included in the new design
  • prepare conceptual site plan based on site characteristics, views, circulation, & access to the site
  • determine overall massing, architectural style, and materials

Existing plans & elevations

If it is an addition to or a remodel of an existing space, field measurements and photos will be taken, and an as-built layout will be produced, per the project-specific contract. This will be used as the base drawing for the remodel or addition design, so that it is clear which portions of the existing building will remain or be altered.

Schematic design phase

Whether it is a new building or an addition and/or remodel project, a proposed layout will be designed per the Contract & Scope of Services.  This layout will then be reviewed with the client for feedback. One optional layout will also be provided as part of this phase.

  • it is a good idea to include the contractor in this meeting, if possible, to get feedback on the budget & schedule based on the proposed layout(s)
  • additional optional layouts can be provided for additional fees, per the Contract & Scope of Services

Design development phase

Based on the plan or combination of plans accepted by the client in the Schematic Design Phase review meeting, revised plan layouts & exterior elevations will be created incorporating client feedback. These revised drawings are then approved by the client with any further design changes before they move on to the next phase. Most of the design work is completed at this phase regarding the layout and massing of the building.

Upon completion of the Design Development Phase, the drawings are given to the structural engineer for engineering, and to the contractor for input regarding budget. Minor changes to the structure and/or layout can still happen in the Working Drawings Phase, but it is more cost effective to make those changes prior to any engineering being done, therefore avoiding additional fees.  Once the contractor and the client feel comfortable that the project is in the “ballpark” of the budget, it can move forward to the next phase.

Working drawings phase

This phase is the preparation of drawings for permit and construction. These are the drawings that are submitted to the municipality for getting a building permit, as well as, to the contractor for bidding and construction purposes. During this phase, minor design decisions are determined, such as details regarding built-ins, interior materials, finishes, etc.   Some clients may choose to also include interior design services provided by Wilder Architecture & Planning for an additional fee, as specified in their project-specific Contract & Scope of Services.

At the completion of the Working Drawings Phase, drawings will be ready to be submitted to the Contractor for final cost estimation and permit submittal. These drawings will address code requirements, as well as, the submittal requirements of the governing bodies for permit.

Construction administration

During the construction process, we will make regular site visits in order to report the progress to the client, as well as, verify that the construction is following the design intent of the drawings. This is important so that if any unforeseen issues arise, they can be addressed before they become too expensive or difficult to correct.

Whether this is your first time hiring an architect or not, the process can seem a bit overwhelming at times.  At Wilder Architecture & Planning, P.C., we pride ourselves in making the design and construction process go as smoothly, as possible, for our clients.  This has been proven by our many successfully completed projects and ever-growing number of happy and satisfied clients.


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