The Process

Don Duffy Architecture offers a wide range of residential services that are generally divided into five project phases (outlined below). While the working process is similar across most projects, the architect's level of involvement in each phase can vary widely. To help clients understand the level of services offered and the costs associated with each project phase, we have developed a Tier system that ranges from Tier 1, where DDA is least involved, to Tier 3, where DDA is most involved. For a chart depicting the specific tasks and costs included in each Tier of service, please contact Don Duffy Architecture.

Please read below to learn more about the process of working with Don Duffy Architecture on your home construction or renovation project. Below are the areas of service we provide leading up to your family moving into their new home.

bullet PHASE I "An idea is a point of departure and no more. As soon as you elaborate it, it becomes transformed by thought." - Pablo Picasso
Architect creates sketches Concept/Schematic
You have ideas. Great ideas. Or maybe, you're not sure where to start. During the Concept/Schematic Phase, we will meet with you to discuss the key features and scope of the project you are considering. Bring your photos, magazine clippings, wish lists, etc.—this is fun for both the architect and the client! During this phase we will generate preliminary sketches and help you manifest the ideas into the language of drawings. In the case of a remodeling project, we measure and generate "as-built drawings." With a new home, we start by evaluating the site through maps or by visiting the site to offer guidance on the best locations for building. Each step of this process is to help you make choices.

bullet PHASE II "Get a good idea and stay with it. Dog it, and work at it until it’s done right." - Walt Disney
Architect development of the design Design Development
You’re ready to get started in earnest. During this phase of the project, we will compose floor plans and all appropriate exterior elevations, building sections of the existing conditions and/or proposed new construction. These working documents will guide us as we further define the project and scope. At the end of design development, we should have the major decisions made about the home. At the completion of this stage, we like to send out our documents to a selected builder for preliminary pricing.

bullet PHASE III "Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort." - John Ruskin
Architect prepares construction documents Construction Documents
Let’s get specific. In order to build your home or begin your renovation, you will need documents that the construction industry can use to evaluate the requirements, pull permits, and eventually, complete your project. We will create these documents through a tier service laid out in our initial agreement. In addition to base documents, we provide items such as electrical layouts, interior elevations, interior details, project specifications, project selection schedules, and finish/materials assistance. The preparation of thorough and detailed construction documents assure that you will get what you want. Should any conflict arise during construction, these documents are the last word on what is to be built.

bullet PHASE IV "No design works unless it embodies ideas that are held common by the people for whom the object is intended." - Adrian Forty
Architect facilitating bidding & negotiation Bidding & Negotiation
Choosing the right contractor is key. From our many years of experience, we can offer a professional perspective and objective advice in the contractor selection process. Sometimes we host contractors on-site for the due diligence during the bidding process and can perform bid analysis once received. Frequently we generate a specification document that spells out for the contractor most of the details that they should include in the bid. This includes everything from how many coats of paint, what kind of paint, what level of workmanship we expect to appliances, tile, plumbing fixtures, and light fixtures you may have chosen. Our involvement during this stage of the process helps clients make informed, confident choices when selecting their contractor.

bullet PHASE V "Whatever we accomplish belongs to our entire group, a tribute to our combined effort." -Walt Disney
Architect Involved in Project Administration Project Administration
Once you have a contract for construction with the builder, the construction administration begins. We are there to observe the work for compliance and conformance with plans and specifications. This will include on-site visits at critical stages and conferences with your builder and assisting you or the builder in interpreting the documents and issuing bulletin drawings. On occasion, there are conditions that can't be anticpated beforehand that must be decided upon in process. Some clients choose to have us administer the application for payment from the builder to verify that the work for which they are invoicing has been completed. Lastly, final project close-out and punch review.


Please note: DDA is also available to perform additional services such as historic tax credits/approvals, neighborhood board reviews, code/zoning guidance, 3D modeling, etc.