Our Process


At first contact with the client, we visit the site to determine the scope of work. Depending on the size of the job, we may be able to determine a preliminary budget. When the client is ready to proceed with the design portion of the work, we refer them for architectural services. 


The first phase of the work includes preparation of a preliminary schematic architectural design and a Preliminary Construction Budget. From the preliminary plans, we will be able to prepare a preliminary construction budget using historic costs from our files and previous jobs. In certain cases, we will be able to contact key subcontractors for preliminary prices on specialty items defined in the preliminary bid.  At the completion of the preliminary design and construction budget, the client should have enough information necessary to make a decision as to whether they would like to move forward with the project or perhaps, make changes to the design to meet their budget. This construction budget is also useful when obtaining project financing since we will be able to give the lender a complete construction cost breakdown. 


Once the decision has been made to move forward with the project, the process of obtaining a building permit gets underway. 

Step one is to determine what the permit process will entail. Some things to consider are: 

  • Zoning
  • Property line setbacks
  • Street frontage setbacks
  • Architectural Review
  • Parking requirements
  • Etc.

The entitlement process involves meetings and negotiations with Planning & Zoning staff members to push the project through the approval process. Depending on the zoning or design issues involved, there will be meetings with discretionary approval boards, such as the Board of Architectural Review, Planning Commission and even City Council or Board of Supervisors. The architect will represent the clients at these hearings. 


During this phase, the following things occur: 

  • Meeting with relevant engineers
  • Obtaining soils reports
  • Work out all dimensions
  • Work out structural systems and size structural elements
  • Layout mechanical ductwork and equipment locations
  • Layout electrical panel sizes and locations
  • Work out site drainage issues including slopes and drainage structures
  • Workout site parking issues
  • Obtain Title 24 energy report


During this phase, the following things occur: 

  • All dimensions are finalized
  • Specific design details are drawn
  • All engineering drawings are finalized and calculations prepared
  • Landscaping plans are added
  • Notes and entitlement approval documents are added to the plan
  • The drawings are tabulated, checked, indexed and prepared for submittal


When the permit is ready to be issued, the client will be asked to pay all required fees such as, but not limited to, permit fee, school fee, park fee, utility fees, etc. During the permitting process, we finalize the construction budget by going out to bid on all of the subcontract trades. The plans will be posted to our website and a mass e-mail will be sent out to all of the subcontractors that there are plans to be bid. Some trades, per superintendent, will meet onsite to bid project. The goal is to have a final construction cost established when the permit is issued. When the budget is complete, a Final Construction Contract is prepared by the Project Coordinator and executed between Owner and Contractor. 


During construction, the following functions are performed: 

  • Scheduling
  • Supervision
  • Subcontracting
  • Project closeout and punch list
  • Change Orders
  • Addendums to Final Construction Contract
  • Update Client Page on website with current photos and documents