Our Design Process

The Client Experience

Most of our projects begin with an assessment of what’s possible within your space: can we fit your desired program (rooms) within the existing footprint, or do we need to consider an addition? What size new home can we fit on the empty lot you just bought?

The feasibility phase establishes the groundwork for what we can do within your jurisdiction’s applicable codes. 


Step 1

The Schematic Design phase is the fun part: putting pen to paper to see all the options available within your scope.

We present our clients with a variety of initial schematic ideas (from the “conservative” plan A to the “aggressive” plan D) and see what resonates. From there, we refine to a final schematic plan. This is the ideal point in the process for clients to seek contractor feedback on pricing and timeline. 

Schematic Design

Step 2

Construction drawings are the custom technical drawing sets created for each project - commonly referred to as the blueprints.

We often say that the construction drawings are full of the “unsexy stuff,” but really it’s the (very valuable!) content of our architectural work. Used for both permitting and construction, this set is the field guide for building. 

Construction Documentation

Step 3

Once construction starts, we’re here to guide and advocate for our clients. We pride ourselves in our inclusive teamwork approach, thriving in our onsite relationship with contractors. We believe there isn’t any scenario we can’t figure out once the project gets going. 

Our construction administration role may include site visits, answering contractor and client questions, and issuing drawing changes due to field discovery or changes. 

Construction Administration 

Step 4

Ready to get started?

Yes! We are now accepting clients in locations outside of Northeast Ohio. If you have a home elsewhere that you’d like to work on together, we consider scope of work, age of home, accessibility to the project, and our overall capacity to travel to determine if the project is a good fit. 

Do you travel to other locations?

We are happy to share positive experiences that we or our clients have had with contractors. We refrain from explicit recommendations, as whomever our client hires is solely their decision. This disconnects any financial interest between us and our client’s contractor, and allows us to advocate fully for our client’s wants and needs. 

Do you have recommendations for contractors?

While we have a deep knowledge of residential construction, only contractors can provide up-to-date pricing to our clients. We can give our opinion if your budget is appropriate for what you want to achieve. 

We’re not sure of a budget or what our desired scope would cost, can you help us establish that? 

We are typically 3-4 months out from new client kick-offs. We’re excited to work with you, but do need to plan our timeline appropriately. We recommend a client reach out about a year prior to anticipating construction to begin. This allows for us to plan your place in our schedule as well as an appropriate timeline for design (the average design timeline falls between 6-9 months!). Our full-service design is meant to be a long-term relationship with our clients.

Can you start working with us immediately? When is the best time to reach out?

We work on an hourly rate, with the very rare exception. We understand a client’s need to budget our services, so we can provide ranges of hours based on projects of similar scope upon request. Please note that every project (and more importantly, every client!) is different and we cannot guarantee your project will fall into that range. Please let us know your expectations for design fees, as mutual transparency is key to establishing a healthy relationship with our clients. 

Do you work on an hourly rate or a set-fee? How will I know what to expect for payment?

Frequently Asked Questions

We’d love to hear more about what you want out of your home.