Residential Design Process

Standard Services

  • Step One – Schematic Design (SD)

The first step for us in designing your home is listening.  An interview process has been developed that allows the company to listen to you fully express your needs and desires.  It is  the goal of the designer to transfer your ideas and visions into reality. The home site is then studied to gain a thorough knowledge of its potential.  In doing so, measurements of the existing  building must be taken if the project is an addition or renovation.  Only after this does Tidewater Architects start to design a home, addition or renovation that responds to both.  The process begins by developing preliminary design ideas through sketches that illustrate the organization of rooms and how those rooms relate to the home-site.  When the client approves the schematic design, the designer then moves to Design Development.

  • Step Two – Design Development (DDs)

In this phase the Schematic Design is refined.  Most of the drawings are computer generated and are developed into a more formal, clear and concise representation of the project.  General design information from major structural elements to interior finishes are decided upon, as well as, specific design issues addressed and resolved.  Exterior architectural detailing is also included in the drawings.  This phase is the opportune time to get a qualified builder involved. With client approval, the designer will then move to step three.

  • Step Three – Construction Documents (CDs)

The construction document phase begins when all parties are satisfied with the design presented.  It involves the preparation of architectural drawings, commonly known as blueprints.  These drawings include detailed foundation, floor plan(s), exterior elevations, structural and electrical layouts and general notes.  When the construction documents are completed, the client may apply for all necessary building permits either on their own, or like many clients, retain Tidewater Architects to assist with the building process by continuing to step four.

Optional Services (a la carte)

  • Step Four – Bidding and Negotiations

As the Construction Document process nears completion and the owners have not already picked a general contractor, Tidewater Architects will submit the plans to qualified builders for pricing.  Each contractor’s budget given for your home will be obtained and reviewed to make certain that the bids received are equal in the scope of work to be preformed and are comparable in material specifications.

This process will help ensure that you will not incur unexpected costs during the construction of your home.  Tidewater Architects will review this information with you and help you make a sound decision in choosing a builder.  Tidewater Architects will also be available to answer any questions that may arise pertaining to the plans and project requirements.  Once the decision is made, Tidewater Architects will then assist in contract negotiations and act as the owner’s liaison.

  • Step Five – Construction Administration (CA)

Based on the client’s decision as to Tidewater Architects level of involvement, Tidewater Architects may provide Construction Administration (CA) services. Construction Administration commences at issuance of building permit and terminates at the issuance to the Owner of the Certificate of Occupancy (CO).

Services include:

  1. a) Shop drawing review
  1. b) Respond to contractor questions and requests for information (RFI’s)
  1. c) Site observation visits

Site observation visits are periodic visits to the site to determine in general if the work is proceeding in accordance with the contract documents.


Interior Design Process

  • Step One – Client Consultation

During the programming phases the client’s needs and objectives are identified.  Questions regarding the specific function(s) of the space, who will be using the space and furniture and equipment requirements will be discussed.  Measurements and photos are also taken at this time.

  • Step Two – Schematic Design (SD)

In the Schematic Design Phase, space planning and furniture layouts are developed. Circulation patterns and minimum clearances are considered and applied to the floor plan. Rough sketches and elevations are created, preliminary furniture and finish ideas are developed and then presented to the client for review and revision.

  • Step Three – Design Development (DD)

After final approval of the schematic design, the designer develops floor plans, elevations and other related items in greater detail.  Colors and finishes are refined and equipment is selected. The resulting design is presented to the client for review, revision and final approval.

  • Step Four – Construction Documentation (CD)

In the “first phase”, the specific details of the work are to be completed are documented. These details include millwork specification, finish selections such as flooring paint, lighting plans and fixture selection, plumbing location and fixture selection, and electrical layouts in regard to the total scope of work to be completed.  In the “second phase”, bids are obtained and contractors are selected.

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