The Creative Process begins early.....

Our Design Process

What is our Design Process? our studio offers various phases of design and a client can choose what they would like to have our studio do for them, and thus our clients are not obligated to do all the phases. If a client just wants schematic designs- that is fine. If our client wants the whole enchilada performed by our studio then that is fine too.

Our design process is made up of various phases of design and each phase builds on the previous phase- beginning with our Pre-Design Phases: initial site analysis and As-Built Drawings and then moving into our Design Phases: 1.schematic design, design development and construction documents. We then can commence with our Post-Design Phases: Bidding and Construction Administration.

Below you will find detailed descriptions of what each of our phases entails. (Please note that not every client may need and/or desire all the phases that we offer. This is just a sample of what our studio can offer to each of our clients.) 


  • Phase I ~ Initial Site Analysis: here is where we figure out what can be built on your site through careful analysis of your area's zoning codes and your site's specific conditions. During this analysis we look at setbacks, height restrictions, site topography-just to name a few, as well as how to work a new structure or addition within these existing conditions. From this analysis certain key questions can be answered prior to design: How high can we build? How much square footage can we add to the site? Will we need a variance? Will we need to go before a neighborhood planning unit and/or the historic preservation committee?

  • Phase II~ As-Built Drawings: The on-site measurements of existing building conditions that are then placed into 2-dimensional drawings. The As-built drawings typically consist of both existing floor plans and existing exterior elevations.


  • Phase III~ Schematic Design: during this phase our studio will produce a few schematic design idea options for our client, based on the needs they shared with us and our own expertise. Once we have completed them we will share them with our client for review and discussion. After the options have been mulled over and one decided upon by our client, the next phase: Design Development – can begin. This is when Maggie Shannon- Residential Design fine tunes the design.

  • Phase IV~ Design Development:This phase takes the selected schematic design to the next level- allowing our client to have more of a feel for the design. Drawings will be fleshed out with such things as furniture plans- so our client can see how their current furniture or new furniture will work within the designed space, dimensions so the client can really get a feel of the space’s circulation and proportion, + material selections. Once the design has been finalized and all parties are happy, it is signed off on to move to the next phase: Construction Documents.

  • Phase V~ Construction Documents: It is at this stage where we will produce the design/drawings that are to be used for the general contractors’ bids, permit and construction. This set will be an even more detailed set than the design development. It will include such drawings as: details, proposed site plan and specifications etc. & coordinate all drawings with our necessary outside consultants. 


  • Phase VI~ Bidding: We can recommend General Contractors to bid on the project and also listen to who our client might want to bring to the bidding table. We typically review 1-3 bids for our client which entails us meeting with the bidders to walk the project and review our drawing set with them- then handing each of the bidders a set to take with them to produce their bid. The bidders are given a specific amount of time to get their bids complete- and at this juncture Maggie Shannon- residential design & consulting will review the bids and place them on a spread sheet to see how the bids compare, and thus guide our client to select the General Contractor that our client is most comfortable hiring.

  • Phase VII~ Construction Administration:  Once the General Contractor (GC) has been selected & the building permit is in hand- Construction Administration begins. During Construction Administration Maggie Shannon- residential design & consulting is available to watch over the project. We do this in various ways: the first is to have an initial “pre-breaking ground” meeting with the GC to go over the drawings again and to discuss any details and answer any questions. We perform scheduled site visits during the construction that are then accompanied by “site visit write-ups” for both the client and the GC– that address how construction is progressing. We review payment requests from the GC - to make sure that all has been performed in accordance with both the schedule and payment request. We are also available to the client as well as the GC for questions and answers during construction.