The process begins with conceptualizing the main elements of the home and the site. Building code requirements such as setback and height restrictions, and the topography, will often dictate the number of floors, orientation to the view or setting and the spatial relationship of the primary living areas: kitchen, dining family and living rooms.
Your construction budget is a critical consideration in establishing the square footage and amenities, and must be factored in from the onset. The initial cost estimate is based on a cost per square foot formula. Only after the final working drawings are submitted for actual bids can an accurate cost estimate be generated.
Once the basic parameters have been established, simple sketches of a floor plan will be developed. Together, architect, builder and clients will modify and refine the preliminary drawings to satisfy the requirements of the project.
Floor plans scaled to one-quarter inch and outline elevations are generated from the preliminary drawings and provide additional opportunities to fine-tune the design. Although changes can be made later in the process, and usually are, it is better and less costly to make alterations at this point.
Working drawings include all the technical detail that is necessary to construct the home. They include all foundation and framing specifications, structural engineering calculations of beam and lumber and lumber size requirements, electrical and plumbing details, and all information that will be needed to obtain the necessary building permits. The construction cost estimate will be generated from the finished working drawings.