Project Phases


AKJ Architects offers clients a forty-five minute meet and greet. During our meeting, we learn about you and your upcoming project's scope of work, talk about the time frame that you would like to complete the project and discuss your preliminary budget goals. If the project is a renovation or building addition to your current home or new construction, we will walk thru the building and/or site to get a sense of the project size, listen to you describe your ideas, the spaces you would like added or renovated and observe details of the building. Also, we will introduce our company, our processes and range of services to you.

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Programming is the phase where the design problem is defined and documented in both written notes and simple diagrams. This is the phase when you communicate your goals and aspirations. During our initial meetings, we will learn about your family's lifestyle, the type of spaces you desire, your style preference, and the spirit or feeling the spaces should evoke. We will review conceptual floor plans, photograph the site, discuss preferred views, note the summer and winter sun paths, photograph furniture, art or collections that might be used in the new design. At this point we will also discuss your project budget. Then, we will document the programming information for your review and approval so it can be used as a guide for the schematic design phase. What else? We will contact the city agency planning department and obtain paperwork defining the information required to obtain a building permit and if the project is a renovation, we will begin to work on the as-built drawings of your house.

Schematic Design

Using the information collected during the programming phase, the schematic design phase is where we establish the general scope, conceptual design, scale and relationships among the components of the project. We will draw schematic floor plan options, elevation options and quickly incorporate these ideas into the site. And we might build models, draw perspective sketches or build 3-D renderings to communicate the conceptual ideas to you. In addition, we will discuss materials and verify that the programming data is appropriately incorporated. Once you approve of the concept, we will assist you with the selection of a general contractor providing you tips of what to look for in a builder.

Design Development

In the design development phase, our primary purpose is to further define and describe all elements of the project. The building plans, elevations, and sections will be designed to the next level and we will review options for the door & window packages as well as interior & exterior materials. If necessary, the drawings will be sent to the structural engineer for preliminary design. And then, once the preliminary structural design is completed, the structural information will be coordinated into the architecture set. An outline specification will be prepared for the project. In conjunction with the architectural design effort, the package will be prepared for permitting (code compliance), and furniture will be placed in the plans. Once this phase of the project is completed, the design package will be submitted to the contractor for use in obtaining preliminary pricing. As the design is priced, we will work with the contractor to answer questions regarding the design in an effort to get the most accurate pricing for you.


After you have approved the design development drawings, we will finalize the permitting paperwork and the package will be submitted to the city or county building department for review.

Construction Documents

During the construction document phase, we will draw & specify what is to be demolished (if the project is a renovation), preserved and built. The construction documents will be comprised of the architectural, structural, & consultant drawings (examples include: site survey, geotechnical report, landscape architecture, interior design, or home technology systems) as well as the project manual or specifications. In this phase, an additional layer of detail is added: We'll add the dimensions of each room, select door and window sizes, develop a lighting design, and choose door & cabinet hardware. We will document stone, tile, fireplace, casework and millwork details. In effect the construction documents strive to visually communicate in detail how the entire building and its interior spaces will physically look when completed.

Construction Contract Administration

During construction contract administration, the design is built. We will serve as your representative and consultant. We will monitor the progress and quality of work to determine in general if the completed work is installed in accordance with the construction documents, we will answer questions, review submittals, issue design modification drawings, review change orders, conduct scheduled visits, participate in project meetings and issue site observation reports. We recommend that you continue to draw from our expertise throughout construction to assist you in the most complex and exciting phase of your project. Why? During construction, we collaborate with the contractor in resolving a variety issues that come up on site, we communicate with you & your contractor on design decisions as a team to keep the project moving forward, and finally, if we see the building on a regular basis it provides an opportunity to propose options for improving the project that would be missed if site visits were not regularly scheduled among the team of owner, contractor and architect.

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When the project is completed, we will observe the project work and complete a punch list or itemized list of issues that need to be addressed prior to the departure of the general contractor. Our goal will be to ensure that you are satisfied with the completed built design.

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