Most architects employ a five stage process:
1. Schematic Design
Review multiple concepts that solve the client’s need.
2. Design Development
Develop the best concept to a point where the design intent can be communicated to the owner and the city, and a general budget can be understood.
3. Construction Documentation
Specify details of the final design for approvals and to firm up budget costs. This creates the formal design document that directs construction.
4. Approval & Bidding
Obtain official approvals from municipal and other authorities. Request competitive bidding from qualified contractors.
5. Construction Administration
A key objective: collaborate with contractor and sub-contractors to ensure the project is built correctly, on time, and within budget.
Most architects use this five-stage process. The best architects deliver a highly personalized client experience throughout the process. The difference is the manner in which these processes are practiced for each client.