of our clients have never worked with an architect
before. We offer the following information as a primer
on what to expect during the design of your project.
STAGE ONE: Programming
In this step, we put down in writing all of your
requirements for the construction project. We ask
you many questions, such as what is it which you
wish to build or remodel? What rooms or spaces
are needed? What goes into those rooms or spaces?
What is your design taste? What problems need to
STAGE TWO : Site
If you are building a new home, we need to see the
building site. If you are remodeling or adding
on to an existing home or building, we need to
gather any drawings of the existing conditions
which you might have. Otherwise we will need to
take careful measurements and photographs so we
can prepare our own drawings of the existing conditions.
With the information we have gathered in Stages One
and Two, we can then begin sketching and preparing
preliminary conceptual drawings to study alternative
design solutions. We will then meet with you to
discuss these drawings in detail. Sometimes we
need to make a few revisions of the schematic design
drawings in order to home in on the precise solution
to your particular design requirements.
Once you are comfortable with the schematic design,
we recommend that we
request a general contractor to prepare a preliminary
cost estimate. This is to give you a reasonable idea
of what the project will cost to build. If the estimate
is too high for your budget, we can easily make adjustments
to the scope of the project at this stage. This ultimately
helps save design fees.
STAGE FOUR: Construction
“Construction Document” is a fancy way
of saying ‘plans and specifications’. During
this stage, we prepare the actual dimensioned drawings
and detailed specifications which will be used for
taking bids and obtaining a building permit. We will
have meetings with you during this stage as the drawings
evolve to be sure everything meets with your approval.
It is our philosophy that the more information which
is put on the drawings and in the specifications
the better, since this allows for tighter bids, minimizes
change orders, and fosters better construction quality.
Robert R. Larsen, A.I.A. is known for our thoroughly
prepared construction documents.
STAGE FIVE: Bidding and Negotiations
Once the drawings and specifications are complete
and you have approved them, we assist you to issue
the plans to contractors for bidding. You may wish
to take competitive bids from as many as three
contractors, or you may want to negotiate with
just one contractor with whom you feel comfortable.
Either way, we will help you to analyze the bids
and to finalize a contract for construction with
the successful bidder.
STAGE SIX: Construction
We strongly recommend that we remain involved in
the project during the construction phase. Unlike
the automobile or aircraft industries, where many
prototype models are built and tested over many
years before a final product is manufactured, your
project will only be built once. No matter how
many drawings we draw, there are always things
which occur during construction which require our
being available to answer questions and work the “bugs” out
of the design.
In remodeling and addition projects, this is even
more important since it is not uncommon for unforseen
problems to come to light during construction which
need our attention.
During the construction phase
we act as your representative to guard your interests.
For instance, we usually review and approve the
to be sure they are appropriate for the work which
has been completed. We also visit the project site
periodically to monitor the quality of construction.
Other services include checking the contractor’s
shop drawings and answering the contractor’s
STAGE SEVEN: Project Completion
As construction nears completion, we will walk through
the project with you to make a final review of
the work and make note of any remaining items which
need attention. We often issue a “Certificate
of Substantial Completion” which establishes
the date at which time warranties commence.