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Residential Process

To give potential clients insight into the residential design process and design services typically provided, an excerpt from a residential agreement is provided here.  ​Some clients need fewer services than these outlined and some clients want more services and drawings to have more control over the construction and their investmen​​​t. 

​​Architectural Services Outline


Evaluating, photographing, drafting the existing context

Visualizing, designing, sketching, drafting & revising design solutions while recommending materials and alternatives.​

Drawings required for city permit-

    - Site Plan w/ setbacks, metes, bounds & building location​

    - Floor and Roof Plans​

    - Exterior Elevations​

    - Wall section

    - Door and Window Schedule​


Drawings always provided-  

​​    - Basic site design showing drives, walks and trees

    - Building section

    - Exterior perspective marker sketch ​

    - Details sketched or drafted during construction​


Drawings usually provided-

    - Interior elevations of cabinets and shelves​

    - Lighting ceiling plan w/ smoke detectors​ & electrical outlets

​    - Minimum exterior details to build the design


Drawings/service options to add-

   - Site landscape design

   - Additional marker perspectives

   - Additional Exterior details ​

   - Additional Interior details

   - More frequent site observations



Architectural Service and Phase Details


Design Phase- 35%

1. The owner provides a property survey.  Goals, ideas and a target budget will be discussed.  The existing context will be analyzed, measured and photographed.   

2.  The architect will discuss, visualize, design and sketch a plan diagram.  A floor plan will be sketched while collaborating with the owner to scale and proportion will define the size and relationships of rooms to each other and the site. 

​3. The architect will help the owner distinguish between wants and needs for the project while details will be avoided until the next phase. 

​​4. The architect may sketch alternative floor plan and elevation ideas. 

5. The owner and architect will choose a design for the architect to summarize in sketches of the floor plans, roof plan and one or two exterior elevations with materials recommended.

6. After design sketches are completed, the design phase fee will be due and the design sketches may be submitted to one contractor to determine a rough budget.  ​

7. Possible revisions and material alternatives may be discussed and recommended to be done in the next phase.​


Construction Documents- 40%

8. The architect and owner will collaborate and make decisions in several meetings reviewing plans and elevations as the design and drawings are developed. 

9. An alternative design for areas may be developed to reach the  owner approved design goals, solutions and more precise needs.

10. The owner will make  timely design decisions and approvals during or soon after meetings, so the architect can proceed efficiently to add detail and draft drawings outlined in the Architectural Service Outline section above.

11. The architect will sketch a marker exterior perspective to help everyone visualize the building design.   

12. After the design is approved, the structural / foundation system will be designed and drafted by a Texas registered structural engineer whose fee will be invoiced as a separate reimbursable expense. 

13. The architect's construction documents will be substantially completed with notes and dimensions and the fee for this phase will be due before the documents are submitted to a contractor(s) to estimate the construction cost.​

Bidding and Construction Phase- 25%

14. The contractor will submit the latest construction documents to the city for a building permit. 

15. The owner will require that  the contractor base a detailed and itemized cost estimate, the contractor-owner contract and build the project according to the substantially complete latest set of construction documents.


​16.   The architect may need to revise the construction drawings according to the detailed cost estimate, contract and city permit comments.​

17. The owner will require the contractor build according to the construction documents unless the owner, architect and contractor three party team agree to written changes.  ​​

18. The architect will review the work periodically and as reasonably requested by the owner and contractor. 

19. The architect will be the interpreter of the construction documents design intent , answer questions, verify document compliance and guard against deficiencies in the work.


20. The architect will problem solve, sketch solutions to construction issues and approve contractor construction suggestions or sketches.

21. The architect will expeditiously review, submit or return reviewed shop drawings, sample submittals, sketches directives and a punch list, as required.​​​

Copyright 2018

Gilbert Hickox Architects

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