On all typical residential projects, the architect will complete generally five stages These stages include the Programming stage/ Schematic Design stage, the Design Development stage, the Construction Documents stage, the Bidding or Negotiation stage, and the Construction/Construction Administration Stage. These should be figured into the written agreement, and should specify the services that each stage should include.
In the Programming stage, you will decide what exactly you want your project to include, and what you want out of your design project. This stage also provides the first estimate of how much this will cost.
In the Schematic Design stage is the point at which you will formulate the initial design of your project, including everything you want, along with the expertise of your architect.
The Design Development stage is when the design solution is developed and refined. This stage accounts for about 20 to 25 percent of the cost, and requires the most participation from you, the owner.
The Construction Documents stage is the stage in which all the little kinks and specific detail are worked out, and your architect documents the design in detailed drawings and specifications, that the contractor will use to determine the actual cost of the construction. About 40 percent of the total cost is accounted for in this stage.
The Bidding or Negotiation stage is the stage in which you select a contractor, because architects and contractors most typically deliver their services under separate contracts.
The Construction phase is the phase, of course, when the building of your project is followed through with. Most construction projects include a few last minute changes, but these can raise the price of the project and should be kept to a minimum, especially because they also affect the time in which the project will be completed.
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