At On Point Architecture, we understand that hiring an architect can be intimidating. It’s no big deal to us, but it’s a big deal to you!
We’re here to help you alleviate your worries by explaining each step in the architectural process. When you know the process, you’ll be less frustrated and not feel overwhelmed.
Our team of bad-ass experts is here to help you develop a successful, budget-friendly, and time-conscience project that will blow your mind!
You say: I need to hire an architect.
What is the first step?
We say: It’s easy and we’re here to help. Let’s talk.
OK, sounds great.
Create the Plan (5 Elements)
- We will start with discussions about your facility and space needs to kick off the process.
- Next, we will research and review the city’s zoning requirements, constraints, and opportunities.
- Then, with that knowledge, we prepare a pre-design of the site plan.
- We will also develop a thorough project description to clearly demonstrate your desires so the city understands, which helps permitting and approval.
- In summary, all of these documents are the first necessary step with the city, which is called the Pre-Application meeting.
After Pre-Application (3 Elements)
- The pre-application meeting will provide our team with the necessary steps required by the city to get a permit for construction, which may include many applications with the city.
- On Point’s team will work with you to develop the necessary documents to entitle the land, including rezoning, city council, variance requests, and use permits, as needed.
- We work seamlessly with zoning attorneys and/or land planners as necessary to get the land city approved and ready for your development.
You say: What does
We say: A lot of great ideas and decisions!
- On Point will develop necessary design documents for city and owner approval, including site plans, building plans, building elevations, and 3D photo realistic renderings
- Our contracts include working with necessary engineering consultants to provide preliminary civil, site lighting plans & landscape plans.
- The site layout is developed, including utility lines, parking, and pedestrian and vehicular circulation, storm water retention, landscaping, and site lighting.
- COLOR! This is our favorite part! What colors and materials do you want for the project design? So many choices– including masonry, stone, metal panels, or concrete tile. The sky’s the limit! (although your budget does not always agree….)
- We use computer-generated designs to help you visualize the project for approval or help to raise funding. It is also just super fun to see your project as if it were already built!
You say: When should I start
talking to a Contractor?
We say: Any time, and the earlier the better!
- We encourage our clients to include their contractor early in the design process, which helps develop construction budgets and ensure your project can be delivered to meet your expectations and requirements.
- If you don’t know any contractors, no worries! We work with many great contractors throughout Arizona and can help you interview and choose one that fits your needs as well as your budget.
Design – This is On Point architect’s happy place.
From your initial spark of an idea to seeing the final building or space that’s ready to use (and even generate revenue), the design process is when we turn that spark into drawings and documents that tell the contractor what to build.
You say: What is the design process when working with an architect?
We say: It’s usually two simple steps.
1. Programming (3 elements)
- A good programming document helps create a thorough design that incorporates both the your needs and the city’s codes.
- We work with you to determine your project needs, including assessments to define space allocations for rooms, hallways and corridors, lobbies, restrooms, etc., aware that we must meet handicap and international building codes.
- We develop a site plan that meets zoning ordinances and city engineering requirements, including parking, setbacks, storm water retention, and landscaping.
- Based on your needs and building requirements, the On Point team then creates a spectacular building, new or renovation. You have envisioned it and now we bring it to life!
You say: Now that the design is approved by me and the city, then what?
We say: Next, we develop Construction Documents.
- These are the required documents that contractors use to price and construct projects.
- The architect develops these and works with specialty subconsultants, including mechanical, plumbing, electrical, structural, and civil engineers.
- These documents are sent to city departments for review and approval for the construction permit, a necessary step in developing any project in Arizona!
You say: Anything else I should know about hiring an architect?
We say: Yes!! Just a little bit more.
- Most architect/owner contracts include all subconsultants required for your project. This often includes structural, mechanical, electrical, civil, and landscape architect.
- If you want to hire your favorite (fill in the blank) engineer, we can do that to. Just discuss these options with our team prior to contract negotiation.
- All projects require a retainer payment of a minimum of 10%, depending on contract complexity. A fully executed contract and payment ensure your project is placed immediately on our project list!
- On Point’s architect can lead the entire project, which includes managing consultants, coordinating with the owner chosen contractor, and handling all the details so you are assured that the project will be completed smoothly.
- Good design adheres to sustainable strategies for natural light, clean air handling, reduced energy consumption, and water-saving elements.
- Most municipalities within Arizona have adopted some version of the International Energy Conservation Code.
- There are several sustainable building certifications available, including Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED), Well Buildings, Energy Star, etc. On Point services may include the process to document design and construction strategies that lead to building certification. Just be sure to let us know up front if you intend to apply for a certification, as this adds additional service fees to the project.
You say: How can my architect ensure a successful project after the permit is ready?
We say: Once again it’s easy!
- After design is completed and the project moves into construction, On Point’s architect is available to respond to contractor questions and any construction-related issues.
Construction Observation/Owner Representation
- This is typically an added service on most architect/owner contracts.
- This includes the architect working directly with the contractor on a weekly basis during construction to ensure project success.
- On Point’s architect holds weekly construction meetings on site to track and document progress of the construction for the owner.
- A written report is developed each week that documents construction activities and answers any questions for the contractor to ensure seamless construction process.