Six Steps from Initial Meeting to Completed Project
Step 1 – Re-imagining
Sketch-A-House offers a pro bono in-person or conference call visit to begin discussions about vision, process options, schedule and budget. During this step, the “re-imagining” begins. For projects outside the metropolitan Phoenix area, we will charge for travel costs only.
Step 2 – Pre-Design
During this step, we accomplish zoning, code and context research, as-built measurements and CADD (computer drafted) as-built floor plans. We schedule a minimum of two work sessions to discuss space use, room relationships, interior design concepts, indoor and outdoor connections, and preferred design themes for your home. Meeting minutes will be produced for the work and programming sessions.
As standard practice, we develop two (2) to three (3) alternative concept plans from input received at the programming meetings. We do not ask that you choose one design, but instead ask that you talk about the opportunities and constraints of each concept. This will allow us to identify the range of strategies that will support the optimal design and plan solution.
After review of the alternate concept plans, we produce a final concept plan (building floor plans and site plan) that is represented through design sketches and program charts. Potentials for sustainable (green) design are discussed during this phase; ranging from solar orientation, shading and passive ventilation strategies, to solar domestic hot water heating and grey water recycling and other viable options.
During pre-design, we also work with you to build a project management framework for development of the schedule, budget and construction delivery options. Identification of potential contractors can also begin, along with verification of required surveys and geotechnical reports.
Step 3 – Design Development
During this work phase, we generate diagrammatic CADD design documents that capture the essential character of the preferred building and site design. Typical design products are generated and include site plan, floor plans, typical building sections, exterior elevations, key interior elevations and an outline specification that identifies building materials and systems. 3-D massing models are also generated during this phase. It is typical that a site survey be provided by the Owner to ensure site and building plan layouts coordinate with site constraints that include zoning setbacks, utilities corridors and easements and natural features, like arroyos or washes.
We typically schedule 2 to 3 meetings with Clients during this step, to continue programming and design discussions. Further development of the schedule and budget is pursued, with selection of desired construction delivery options that may include all-in-one work with Sketch-a-House, including interviews and the selection of a General Contractor, or Design-Build contracting options that will allow you to move forward with or without Sketch-A-House.
We have a network of preferred Phoenix Contractors and we are experienced in researching builders based on the local context, for out of town projects. Initial meetings with local permitting authorities are scheduled to confirm permit submission requirements and review timelines. Coordination with utilities is initiated and any remaining due diligence work is completed for soils borings, surveys and as-built verification. Options for meeting local green building program requirements are reviewed and discussed.
Step 4 – Construction Documentation
If you approve Sketch-A-House to proceed with Step 4, we will assume full completion work through construction documentation, permitting, bid negotiation and construction administration. Construction documentation involves complete CADD documentation of the project for permitting, with the assistance of our sub-consultants for civil engineering, landscape, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and specifications. The construction documents are reviewed with you at least two times to ensure that all project features meet your needs for daylighting, views, power, telecommunications, lighting, plumbing, casework and storage, art display and furniture placement.
Time is spent on developing the general interior material palette to ensure coordination with interior construction details, with additional time spent during construction for final selection of light fixtures, plumbing fixtures and specific interior finishes and color palettes. All required code and zoning information is included in the construction documents, as coordinated with specific submission requirements by municipality.
Step 5 – Permitting and Bid/Negotiation
Sketch-A-House staff will work with you for submission of the construction documents for permit review, with submission of review fees and all required information. We monitor the schedule for review turnarounds with municipalities and work with our sub-consultants to ensure that permit responses by our team are submitted in a timely manner.
While the project is being permitted, final bid and contract negotiations can be ironed out with your General Contractor. We assist in bid reviews and contract negotiations to ensure that everyone understands the terms of the construction contract relating to budget, construction milestones, construction inspections, utility service connections and timing for submission of final interior specifications to meet the project schedule.
Step 6 – Construction Administration
Construction administration is a critical phase of work by Sketch-A-House that ensures that work completed in the field by the General Contractor meets the design and Code intent of the permitted construction drawings. We work through construction to accomplish site visits, review of contractors requests for information, coordinate final lighting fixture and plumbing packages and review of submittals for mechanical systems, lighting systems, window systems, doors and casework. We review any change order requests by the Contractor and create determinations for review and approval by our clients.
Optional Step 7 – One year Warranty Walk through
Upon request, we can schedule and coordinate the standard one year warranty walk-through with you and the General Contractor.