Here at Stewart Associates we separate the design process into five key phases: Preliminary Design, Design Development, Construction Documents, Bidding, and Construction Administration. We offer no cost consultations and prepare proposals including estimated fees from consultants that will be required to complete the project as discussed during the consultation.


Preliminary Design

In the first phase, we analyze the site and the municipal regulations governing it to start formulating a plan.  Our staff will take the owner’s desires into consideration and prepare a design concept. Depending on the exact project this may consist of hand drawn plans, computer drawn plans, or a combination of the two. Once the design has been approved by the owner, a preliminary cost estimate can be obtained from general contractors. This ballpark estimate will help to insure the scope of work is affordable before large sums of money are spent on plans and permits.


Design Development:

The design is inputted into the computer and refined. Generally there are several meetings with our staff and the clients to get everything perfect. Then the design is submitted for approval at the Planning Department, this may entail a hearing in front of a Design Review Board or a Planning Commission depending on the size and scale of the project as well as the community where it is located.  We have over thirty years of experience getting projects passed by these boards, our experience in this area insures that our client’s projects run smoothly from beginning to end. Since we know what these boards are looking for before starting the project we steer the project in the right direction from the start rather than eating up time and money trying to fix it at a later date.


Construction Documents:

These documents may include: architectural plans, structural plans and calculations, civil plans, landscape plans, interior design plans and specifications, energy calculations, etc. as required to obtain a building permit. The architects coordinate the consultants, submit the documents for a building permit and respond to plan check comments where required.



The architects will: prepare bid forms; answer questions during the bidding period; assist in obtaining bids and analyze them by preparing a spread sheet of the bidders cost breakdowns. We will then help to assist you in selecting a contractor and our staff will review the contracts between the owner and contractor.


Construction Administration:

In the final phase, the architect and consultants will perform periodic agreed upon observations to insure the work is being performed in general conformance with the construction documents. They can also approve: all change orders, payments to the contractor, review of shop drawings and material submittals, coordination of all inspections by municipalities, etc.

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