Process & Resources

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We are often asked by our new clients about what goes into designing and building/remodeling a home. Below is an outline of the process of designing and constructing a new home from an architectural standpoint. A majority of the same process applies to remodels as well.

Initial Design Consultation

Our design process begins with an in-depth consultation where we complete a detailed analysis of the client’s unique objectives including function, size, and style among other components. This process often starts at the building property – if it has been purchased – to survey and analyze the site for home placement, allowing for optimal space, view and sunlight considerations.

Schematic Design

Conceptual designs are developed to explore layout of the home and site. Greater definition of function and style are achieved by refining and defining schematic layouts and rough sketches. The result is a plan layout with which to proceed to design development.

Design Development

This phase is where the true character of the home starts coming to life. Exterior elevations and roof plans are produced, incorporating the style and materials desired. Feature elements are designed such as fireplaces, ceiling treatment, stairwells, and niches. Finally, interior elevations are produced in areas of great detail, including kitchens and baths. By the end of this phase the client has a very good visual of their new home. The design is 70% to 80% complete. If the client already has a contractor in mind, initial conversations about the project begin at this point as price points and suppliers need to be considered during the construction document phase.

Construction Documents

The construction document phase is where the design documents are turned into technical drawings for the building contractor to work from. These are sometimes referred to as “working drawings.” At this point lighting, plumbing fixtures, and finish materials are selected. A specification book or sheets are produced describing location and installation details. Framing and finish dimensions are indicated. During this stage additional design is typically required as technical aspects are defined.

Bidding and Construction

During the bidding process, we assist clients in obtaining competitive bids if a general contractor has not been selected yet. We will review the drawings and specifications with the contractor, answer questions, clarify details, and prepare any addendums or revisions. Once bids are received, we review them carefully for completion of scope. When construction begins, we will review the progress of work, verifying that details meet design specifications, approving all shop drawings, and facilitate any changes that might be required through a close working relationship with the general contractor. Though interiors are considered up to this point, during the construction phase, we assist clients with interior paint selections, window coverings, and often work into an interior design package including furnishings, accessories and featured art.

Click INTERIORS to learn more about our approach to Interior Design.


The result is a C REESE DESIGN custom home that exceeds the client’s expectations in form, function, detail and quality.