Now that the design process has kicked off there are a series of steps that will take place. You have hired an architect, who is an expert at this process, trust them. Personally I have had a building that I designed, have emotional attachment to, and a professional duty to make sure it is done right under construction continuously for the last 11 years. Trust me, I know the process.
There are three phases of design, schematic design, design development, and construction documents. Each phase will deliver a different level of detail and information and each phase requires certain questions and answers. Your architect is your guide to help you get through the process with comfort and confidence.
The schematic design phase sets the program for the project. The conclusion of this phase will see the creation of sketches of spaces showing connections and relationships, square footage estimates, basic section, renderings, and a general idea of the overall aesthetic of the project.
The second stage, design development, identifies the materials, window and door locations, room sizes, as well as solidifying the plans and elevations. The structural design for the project will be largely figured out during this phase as well as dimensions of all spaces. This is the last phase where major design elements evolve and most questions are answered at the conclusion of this time.
The last stage of the design process is the creation of construction documents. This stage develops the drawings needed for construction. Details are created, final selections are confirmed, notes are added for specific elements of the project and the structural system is finalized. The contractor can solidify a price for construction and the contract will be based on these drawings.