My architectural services are billed on an hourly basis which I believe is the fairest method for both the owner and the architect. Sometimes architectural services are billed based upon a percentage of the construction cost, but this may give the appearance of an incentive for the architect to increase the cost of construction. A lump sum fee is also used, but because the scope of services often changes in single-family work, one party often feels dissatisfied. I realize, however, that most owners like to have some idea of the overall cost of the architectural services. Generally, the fees can total about 10 % of a general contractors cost, but this can vary significantly if there are some unusual conditions, if a large number of designs must be developed or other circumstances occur beyond the control of the architect.
An existing building must be field measured and then the floor plans (and sometimes the elevations) are loaded into the computer before any design work can be done. Photos are also taken as part of this process. Sometimes the owner has construction plans for the building or can obtain copies from another source. This will help in the development of the existing plan, but some measurements still need to be taken to confirm that the building was constructed as shown in the plans.
Schematic Design (click here for more information)
(Preliminary) The schematic plans show the proposed design. This design is used as the basis or starting point to create the final design. There may be several different preliminary designs created prior to proceeding to the next phase of architectural services. Preliminary elevations and character sketches may also be provided
Construction Drawings (click here for more information)
These are drawings that are developed to resolve the details of the design and provide enough information so that the plans can be accurately permitted, priced, and constructed. These drawings may include floor plans, exterior elevations, interior elevations, structural plans, sections, details, air conditioning plans, electrical plans, etc.
Variance Services. Based upon the accepted Preliminary Design it is sometimes necessary to obtain a variance for setbacks or other zoning restrictions. I can provide services to complete the necessary paperwork as well as represent owners at hearings.
Permitting. Upon completion of the Construction Documents it is necessary to obtain a building permit prior to beginning construction. I can submit the “plans” to the local building department, respond to any comments made by the building officials, and revise the drawings as necessary to expedite the process.
Contractor Selection. I can recommend contractors, distribute the construction drawings to the contractors and assist the owner in receiving bids and making their selection.
Construction Administration. These services in include coordination with the general contractor, visits to observe that the construction is following the construction drawings, review and certification of contractor pay requests.