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Architectural design is a complex, multi-faceted process, whose aim is to translate your ideas, needs, and wishes into a completed building project.

Many variables and requirements must be taken into account in order to create a successful design project. They include (but are not limited to):

  • character and authenticity
  • compatibility with existing structure(s) and surroundings
  • comfort and ease of use
  • solid construction and craftsmanship
  • budget adherence
  • compliance with codes and regulations


Phase I: Preliminary Design

A project may start with as little as a statement of need, or it may be site specific or a drafted plan with ideas and objectives. We'll work with you during this most rudimentary of steps until we're clear exactly what you envision and what you need. And then we'll translate that vision into a number of specific drawings, and if necessary, design review and zoning drawing approval.

Phase II: Construction Documents

This phase is our “main course,” encompassing 50% to 70% of our work. Our construction documents are complex and comprehensive; they include structural design, working drawings, specification of materials and equipment, and energy analysis. They require the resolution of technical issues and design studies. These documents are carefully detailed, keeping many variables in mind, including your lifestyle. Our ultimate goal is to enhance your quality of life.

Phase III: Contractor Selection and Bidding

Without careful follow-through, the best construction documents may fail. This is why Graff Architects includes this phase in all of its projects. Not only will you be looking at the actual costs of the project, but you'll also be deciding on a team that will ultimately be responsible for producing the finished product—your home.

Graff Architects is in a very advantageous position to help you through this process. Our long-established business relationships have afforded us extensive first-hand experience as over the years we have worked with professionals, craftsmen, contractors, and suppliers in every facet of the building trade.

Phase IV: Construction Administration and Observation

The work of Graff Architects does not end when the working drawings have been completed. Your project manager will monitor the construction until its completion, ensuring that the drawings are correctly interpreted by the General Contractor as well as each subcontractor providing quality work.


Our professional architectural services for a new residence range from 8% to 15% of the cost of construction; services for remodeling work range from 12% to 18%. These percentages are intended for overall budgeting purposes only, as every project is unique and the effort associated with each phase will vary.

Based on our experience with past projects of a similar nature, we will provide you with architectural services estimates, including time and cost ranges, for each phase of the project. Also of note, the work of structural and civil engineers, retained from time to time by our firm as consultants, are included in these costs.

Building as a Team Effort

Nearly every building project requires collaboration and team effort. Surveyors, soils engineers, geologists, structural engineers, landscape architects, and interior designers may need to be brought into the project. In addition, most projects require hiring a general contractor, who will also have a major impact on the smooth operation and ultimate success of the building process.

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© 2007 Graff Architects