Our Process

How we work


We see architecture as a creative and connective process – giving form to ideas, and giving substance to form. And when we are designing homes, this becomes personal, reflecting who we are and how we live.

For each client, the priorities are a little different, and so we begin every project by listening carefully to your individual vision, needs and goals. We will then tour and discuss your house and site, taking time to understand the design cues it offers and any constraints it may present.

On a typical project, our design work progresses through the following phases:

Architect Westwood MAPre-design Analysis

Tasks may include measuring and photographing the existing house and site, zoning and building code review, analyzing energy usage patterns, preparing a detailed description of project requirements, and reviewing the project budget.

processSchematic Design

We typically generate and explore two or three possible design directions, and develop drawing studies of the alternative schemes. In presenting design drawings, I seek to provide sketches, images and other forms of information that you need to visualize and understand options, to identify important choices, and to make good decisions. The preferred option is then developed. Preliminary pricing by one or more builders may be requested, depending on budget sensitivity.

process1Design Development

The schematic design is refined in response to our increased level of understanding, including any construction cost information. Additional drawings are developed for review.

process2Construction Documents

Fully dimensioned plans, elevations, sections, details, schedules and specifications are produced. These documents provide the information needed to establish a construction contract, obtain a permit, and proceed with construction.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABuilder Selection and Contract Negotiation

Successful projects are the result of strong teamwork and clear communication between owner, architect, and builder. The selection of the builder sometimes involves competitive bidding, but often a contract is negotiated with a preferred builder who emerges from the process of obtaining preliminary pricing. In either case, we can assist with identifying possible builders, and with the builder selection and contract negotiation process.

process4Construction Administration

We will stay involved as your advocate through construction, making regular visits to the site to observe the job’s progress and help resolve problems and questions, and generally to see that the work is proceeding according to the drawings and consistent with your intentions.