How we work

Services.

New Build Home

New builds, also called new construction, are homes that are designed from the ground up, typically on vacant land or lots where the existing house is not salvageable. Our new build services include designing the entire lot including the architecture and typically the interiors and landscape. We provide this full service design as we believe a home does not end at its exterior walls, but should flow seamlessly throughout the site to maximize your living possibilities.

Timeline & Process

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Design and Documentation: 3-9  months

This timeframe includes our 4 phases of design and documentation, as well as the time necessary for engineers to complete their work on your project. Our 4 phases of design and documentation are Existing Conditions, Schematic Design, Design Development, and Construction Documents. Below is a summary of those phases. If your project is in a historic district, HOA or has a Design Review Board of any kind, the timeline may extend for their requirements.

Existing Conditions

Existing Conditions is the foundation for the rest of the design and documentation process. It primarily includes information gathering and documentation of the site. Information gathering includes studying the context of the neighborhood and land, researching the zoning requirements and applicable codes, and photo documenting the site.  We spend time investigating and discovering what makes the site unique, which views should be optimized or shielded, what is the best orientation for the home, what is historically and culturally significant to the area, and more. Existing Conditions is the phase when we require a site survey to be produced by a site surveyor if one is not already available.

Schematic Design

Schematic Design focuses on the experience of the home, the location and relationship between different functional areas, how the new home affects the existing site, passive sustainable design strategies, and ultimately, the overall design concept of the home. In this phase we use the information gathered during the Existing Conditions with your project scope to design the floor plan and site plan, and accompany them with numerous 3-D renderings to convey the shape, massing, and other big ideas. Meetings are used to discuss these layouts and refine them until we create the best plan solution. This is generally done in 2-3 virtual meetings.

Design Development

Design Development is where the “look” or “style” of the home comes into the process. During this phase materials are chosen, a light and power plan and roof plan are created and details are discussed and developed in 2-D drawings with some 3-D renderings of main spaces. This is generally done in 2-3 virtual meetings.

Construction Documents

Construction Documents are the final deliverable you receive from us and when consultants such as Structural,  MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing) and Civil engineers are involved. In this phase we draw detailed plans to be used by General Contractors to price the design and obtain Building Permits.

Building Permitting: 4 months

A building permit is required for all new build homes. The time necessary for permitting is completely dependent on the the local jurisdiction and varies greatly on how well they are staffed and how many projects they are reviewing. For this reason, we suggest you start by estimating 4 months. The permit is issued when structures are designed in accordance with the building codes and all other applicable codes and ordinances, to ensure the safety of the structure.

Construction: 12-18  months

Construction for a new build home typically takes 12-18 months, but can take more time based on the size, complexity, and location of the project. The general contractor that you hire to build your project is responsible for the schedule and timeline of your project, but estimating 12-18 months for construction is a good start. Once the project is underway, we stay involved throughout the construction process to answer any questions that might arise.

Specialties

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Desert

Desert living is often what is pictured when dreaming of living in Arizona. When designing homes in the desert we aim to create homes that feel as if they are of the desert by using local and desert hardy materials and siting the structure to make the most of the natural vegetation. Studying the patterns of the sun and wind allow us to optimize the orientation and layout of the house to limit unwanted solar gain from the hot desert sun, capture cooling breezes, and create spaces that are ideal during different seasons and times of day. We believe that your desert dream home can be accomplished while limiting negative effects on the local flora and fauna of the site with careful planning and creative design.

Mountain

Mountains are more than just a place, they often define a way of life filled with hiking, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, or numerous other outdoor endeavors inspired by the wonders to be found in these areas.  When designing homes in mountainous regions we focus on providing a place of refuge from the extreme environment to recover, rest, reflect and re-energize before heading back out on your next adventure.

Water

There is nothing quite like a day on the water. There are so many fun activities to do such as boating, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, water skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing as well as quieter moments like fishing or sharing a few drinks and a meal with friends and family. We believe that the design of a home on the water should encourage and facilitate both your active and relaxing lifestyle. Our design process focuses on seamlessly integrating all the functional components that go with living on the water with your everyday life, limiting the challenges and making the most of the surroundings, creating a home that blurs the lines of indoor and outdoor living with the goal of elevating every second you spend at the ocean, lake or river.

Infill

An infill home is a home designed on a vacant lot where existing infrastructure and utilities are already in place, typically within an established urban or suburban neighborhood. Our design process for infill lots includes heavy research of the neighborhood to ensure your home respects its surroundings and positively contributes to the character of the community. We focus on elevating your living experience in an urban environment by incorporating inspiring indoor-outdoor living to make the most of your entire lot, modern open floor plans that are ideal for family living and entertaining, and places to retreat to for privacy and relaxation.

Hillside

Hillside lots provide fantastic opportunities for unique designs with panoramic views, but also come with increased code restrictions and design complexity. Our hillside design process focuses on minimizing lot disturbance, designing with the natural topography, optimizing views, and connecting open living spaces with the beautiful scenery.

Cabin

Much of the beauty of the American West is found in the remote and rural areas, lending themselves to ideal escapes from the hustle and bustle of the urban lifestyle. We believe that cabins don't need to be huge, but should live large by connecting us to nature while still providing us the shelter we desire and a cozy environment to spend time with loved ones.

Addition / Renovation

It is important to have an architect on board early when considering adding an addition to your home or tackling a major renovation. A poorly designed addition or renovation can actually devalue your house by cutting off access to natural light and outdoor areas, compromising the flow, or ruining the exterior look. For additions, our design process focuses on not only adding the additional square footage you require, but using that addition to better shape your outdoor spaces, highlight views, and improve the curb appeal or appearance while maintaining a functional interior flow and access to natural light. However, adding more square footage isn’t always the answer as new functionality and invigorating space can be created within your current home with a bit of reinvestment and design savvy. So, if you are looking to stay in the home where memories have been created, laughs were shared or proximity to your yoga studio is just too good to walk away, we can help.

Red Rocks balcony overlooking pool at dusk

Timeline & Process

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Design and Documentation: 3-9  months

This timeframe includes our 4 phases of design and documentation, as well as the time necessary for engineers to complete their work on your project. Our 4 phases of design and documentation are Existing Conditions, Schematic Design, Design Development, and Construction Documents. Below is a summary of those phases. If your project is in a historic district, HOA or has a Design Review Board of any kind, the timeline may extend for their requirements.

Existing Conditions

Existing Conditions is the foundation for the rest of the design and documentation process. It primarily includes information gathering and documentation of the site and existing home. Information gathering includes studying the context of the neighborhood, researching the zoning requirements, and photo documenting the property and existing home. We spend time investigating and discovering what makes the home unique, what gives it character, and what is historically, culturally, and economically valuable. Existing Conditions is when we require a site survey to be produced by a site surveyor if one is not already available. With the site survey, we measure the areas of the house that will be affected by the design to create a digital set of as-built plans that are used as the base drawings for the rest of the project.

Schematic Design

Schematic Design focuses on the experience of the home, the location and relationship between different functional areas, how the new design affects the existing site or home, passive sustainable design strategies, and ultimately, the overall design concept of the home. In this phase we use the information gathered during the Existing Conditions with your project scope to design the floor plan and site plan, and accompany them with numerous 3-D renderings to convey the shape, massing, and other big ideas. Meetings are used to discuss these layouts and refine them until we create the best plan solution. This is generally done in 2-3 virtual meetings.

Design Development

Design Development is where the “look” or “style” of the home comes into the process. During this phase materials are chosen, a light and power plan and roof plan are created and details are discussed and developed in 2-D drawings with some 3-D renderings of main spaces. This is generally done in 2-3 virtual meetings.

Construction Documents

Construction Documents are the final deliverable you receive from us and when consultants such as Structural and MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing) engineers are involved, and potentially a Civil Engineer depending on the project scope. In this phase we draw detailed plans to be used by General Contractors to price the design and obtain Building Permits.

Building Permitting: 4 months

A building permit is required for all additions and most major renovations. The time necessary for permitting is completely dependent on the the local jurisdiction and varies greatly on how well they are staffed and how many projects they are reviewing. For this reason, we suggest you start by estimating 4 months. The permit is issued when structures are designed in accordance with the building codes and all other applicable codes and ordinances, to ensure the safety of the structure.

Construction: 8-16 months

Construction typically takes 8-16 months for an addition or renovation, but can take more time based on the size and complexity of the project. The general contractor that you hire to build your project is responsible for the schedule and timeline of your project, but estimating 8-16 months for construction is a good start. Once the project is underway, we stay involved throughout the construction process to answer any questions that might arise.

Specialties

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Hillside Homes

There are many houses built on the beautiful mountains and hillsides in Arizona that don't take advantage of the views or fit modern lifestyles. These houses provide fantastic opportunities for unique redesigns because of their unparalleled views, like our national award-winning Red Rocks project, but also come with increased code restrictions and design complexity. Our hillside design process focuses on minimizing lot disturbance by making the most of the existing house while creating modern living spaces that connect your one of a kind site.

Midcentury Modern Homes

The Greater Phoenix area had an explosion of housing after World War II that shaped much of the design aesthetic prevalent in our cities. Most of these iconic designs broke from the traditional style and construction methods of the past creating homes of unique forms, massing, layouts, and elements. Although a majority of these homes are not protected yet, their contribution to our history is significant. If properly redesigned or added to, they are some of the most valued real estate in the area. We have worked on homes by acclaimed midcentury architects in Greater Phoenix such as Ralph Haver, Al Beadle, Charles and Art Schreiber, Bennie Gonzales, and Paul Christian Yeager, to date, and have won a national award in the process. Understanding the opportunities and limitations of these homes allows us to add to their legacy, creating a new chapter in their history. We have been turned to by Atomic Ranch Magazine as an expert Architect for redesigning and adding to Midcentury homes.

Homes in Historic Districts

We believe strongly in honoring the past when designing for the future. Adding an addition or doing a major interior renovation to a home within an historic district has social, cultural, and construction challenges. Many times these projects need further approval beyond the local building department by, typically, a Historic Preservation Office. Hiring an Architect with experience navigating the added design guidelines and having an in-depth knowledge of the local historic architecture is critical in achieving a result that saves and highlights the existing character that made you fall in love with the home while incorporating your modern living needs. We have worked in 11 historic districts in Phoenix to date, gathering a wealth of experience and knowledge in the process. They include Willo, Coronado, Pierson Place, Encanto-Palmcroft, North Encanto, FQ Story, Roosevelt, Yaple Park, Country Club Park, Campus Vista, and Cheery Lynn.

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