Home is a precious and warm place where one loves to be. To create a home that will reflect and accommodate the needs and desires of the individual, we begin by listening to the client.

With more than 20 years in construction and 15 in architecture and interior design, we employ both vision and ingenuity to arrive at a thoughtful, unique design that will convey the genuine feeling of home. This process is achieved by listening to the client, forming a thorough understanding of the client’s needs, and being available to lend a listening ear, even years after completion.

There are many stages and facets of the design process, beginning with the early design phase and progressing through the selection of a contractor to the completion of a project. The five basic phases are as follows:

1. Schematic Design.
The first step is the collection of information from interviews, measured drawings of existing conditions, photographs of the site, and an analysis of property constraints. This phase culminates in the preparation of drawings and other documents that illustrate the scale and the interrelationship of project components.

2. Design Development.
In this design phase, all design decisions are completed, including the development of the schematic design and the architectural detailing. The basic technical issues are resolved and described: plan arrangements; specific space accommodations; equipment and furnishings; and building design, materials, and colors. We begin to work with consulting engineers to develop complete definitions of systems serving the project.

3. Construction Documents.
We prepare and assemble all of the written and graphic documents necessary for communicating the project design and specifications for contract administration. These include bidding and contract documents and whatever may be required for the approval of the jurisdictional building department. The client is advised of any adjustments to previous estimates of construction costs.

4. Bidding and Negotiating.
After approval by the client, the bid packages are transmitted to several general contractors or construction managers to solicit bids for the project. Bids are reviewed and negotiated to ensure reasonable costs and an agreement is executed with a general contractor or construction manager.

5. Construction Observation.
Regular observation of actual work completed, through site visits and attendance at job meetings with the client and the general contractor. We monitor the payments requested by the general contractor or construction manager to ensure that payments are made only for work actually completed. We serve as an interpreter of the drawings in the event of a dispute

Every job presents unique situations that may arise in addition to these five basic phases. We communicate these specifics to the client and the contractor, and we outline and describe all available options before decisions are made.

We maintain a working knowledge of local trades in order to best suit the client and the specific project. The better the communication connection between the client and the tradesman, the smoother the process and the more successful the project.

I have set out to expose myself to many different types of experiences so as to learn as much as possible about this field. I am energetic in sharing these experiences with others, and I include them in my current projects to create new experiences.

— Zachary Schweter, R.A.