The Architectural Design Process

We previously touched on our most common question of “Why Do I Need An Architect?,” but what happens after the architect is hired? Well, that’s when the architectural design process begins. To help shed some light on this process, we’ve summarized our Residential Services brochure and broken it down into phases.

The first phase, called Programming, is a time for information gathering. It is our time to listen, question and explore possibilities. There are many different ways to go about programming, the point is to utilize whatever works best for you. The more you can tell us about what you like and need, the closer we can come to fulfilling your architectural dreams. Other tasks, like a site survey or documentation of the existing house if remodeling or building an addition, also need to be accomplished before the start of design.

Once you have decided what to build, the architectural design phase begins with a series of rough sketches known as schematic design. These schematic design sketches convey the overall design by illustrating the shape, slope of roofs, approximate size and location of walls, windows, doors and cabinets. It is vital the schematic designs capture the essence of what your project will be and that you and your architecture in agreement about the design direction.

The design development phase is when the architect prepares more detailed floor plans, elevations, and cross sections to illustrate other aspects of the design. This is all decisions about interior and exterior materials, finishes, lighting, windows and cabinets as well as other technical matters must be determined. Many of these decisions impact other decisions so having everything decided is crucial to future phases.

The next phase sets down on paper all the decisions made to this point so they can be incorporated into the built project. The contractor will use these documents to establish the actual construction cost, and to build the project. Which brings us to the final phase before construction, hiring the contractor. There are a number of ways to select a contractor. When the time comes to hire a contractor, we can provide assistance in evaluating their qualifications and bids as well as in negotiating a contract.

The final step in creating your dream home is the construction and our involvement normally does not stop here. We continue to act as your representative by monitoring the contractor’s work for conformance with the working drawings and contract. We can ease the way by helping you avoid wrong turns and can direct you to solutions you never considered. The result is a unique home created to meet your needs, express your individuality and to provide enjoyment to everyone who uses it.

To read our Residential Services brochure in full, please click here. As always, if you have any questions, Fänas Architecture can be reached by calling 303.444.5380 or emailing us at We have offices in Boulder, Colorado and Durango, Colorado and we’re happy to help!