Any size project can be designed in any style. Prices and fees
vary depending on complexity and style. The process is as follows.
Phase I – Conceptual Design
It begins with the questionnaire and in meetings with the architect
ideas, looking at photos, and visiting the site. A great deal of time is
required in the initial phase to completely get across your vision to
architect and have a proper understanding of your needs, lifestyle and
We study the community and governmental requirements, survey
photos, the neighboring structures, lot orientation, topography, lot
and views. Then we start with the rough sketch.
Communicates the spatial planning of the lot and floor plan by drawing
of you getting instant feedback, brainstorming with you and
information from the questionnaire to develop a floor plan which best
advantage of all of the lots features.
Scale Drawings will be done with approximate room sizes and square
many overlay drawings, refinements and fine tunings. Hand drawn 3D
be used to convey special details and features.
Different concept sketches are developed of the front elevation and
styles are researched from magazines, books, etc. All this is combined
and the architect’s ideas. If the conceptual drawings are not to your
concepts are developed, until we get to a point where the roughs are
All of the sketches are then ready to be inputted into the computer
Phase II – Preliminary Design Development
To start the preliminary phase either a contract will need to be signed
agreement to work hourly with an additional retainer required. (see fee
schedule) The approved rough sketches are inputted into the computer in
format allowing the most accurate and detailed drawings available. We
with you and collect your ideas, comments, requirements and requests
meeting, which will direct the development and evaluation of the
The continued preliminary design development, meetings, reviews,
research and consultations with architect and staff are included in the
or billable hourly if that option was chosen. The time this phase takes
contingent upon the client’s ability to make decisions in a timely
levels of details are discussed until we achieve the desired results.
Approximate 50% of the time in the base contract is allotted for this
Items which will be discussed are extensive and include (but not limited
Kitchen design, floor, appliances and storage requirements.
Bath designs and fixtures.
Mechanical equipment requirements, locations and zoning.
All site features, pool, spas, decks, drives, walks, gardens,
Door and window sizes, manufacturers and types.
Ceiling heights and details.
Roof design and materials.
Wall finishes and details.
Stairways and railings.
Storm protection (if required).
All exterior elevations.
3D hand sketches of special features.
Plus many others
Change requests or changes in scope
It is common that changes in scope, size and level of detail occur
during the design process. After we have gone through two major
revisions, and you decided to make further major revisions, there will
be fee based on how extensive the revision is and how far we are along
in producing the final plans and
A major revision typically comprises more than 20% change in the design.
There will never be additional charges or work without your written
approval of this work. There are no charges for minor revisions as long
they occur before the creation of the construction drawings.
Any decrease or increase in size will adjust the contract amount
creating an addendum, if the contract decreases a credit will be given
on your statement towards the contract amount, in case of any increase a
full or partial payment will be required.
Just before preliminary drawings are completed, it is suggested that if
a community review board, or state supervisory board, or any other
governmental authority involved, that a preliminary review be presented
for approval. This prevents costly delays and added expenses due to
re-drafting. This may affect timeline.
Re-designing major aesthetic changes and CAD Drafting the aesthetic
changes directed by above mentioned officials, if requested and /or
required, if the architect’s design follows the approved communities
guidelines and codes but is denied for capricious reasons, this also
pertains to changes necessary to the presentation display boards is
billable at published rates. This may affect timeline.
It is also advised that in order for you to get a handle on the cost of
construction of your project, a builder or cost estimator of your
choosing should be consulted prior to sign off. Please be advised that
your architect is not a cost estimator or a contractor. If re-design is
required due to cost an addendum to contract will be issued.
Sign off is the final step before construction drawings are started.
Finalized preliminary design plans will be presented to you. You will be
asked to sign off on (2) copies of drawings, giving Ames International
Architecture the authority to commence with phase III of your plans, the
construction document phase.
Any changes/alterations after sign off will be considered above and
beyond the scope of work and is billed on an hourly basis as per
prevailing rates noted in the contract, by approved addendum.
Phase III – Construction Documents
To assure you that the creativity of our designs are achieved, the
drawings are prepared with exact detail; our designers, technicians and
consultants prepare your final construction plans using the latest in
computer technology. Plans will consist of necessary drawings and
details to communicate the accurate construction of your project. The
final documents being ready for your contractor to start permitting and
It is important that all major changes are completed at this time as new
changes are billable and become quite costly as the plans turn from 5 or
6 pages to 25 or so pages involving many outside consultants. Changes
cost exponentially more.
The first meeting we have after sign off will be a lengthy electrical
meeting going over all aspects of electrical components including but
Ceiling fixtures, pendants, chandeliers, fans
Wall fixtures, sconces
Switches and switching
Lighting control systems
Exterior lighting, wall, post, flood lights
(landscape lighting by others)
Air handler units and zoning
Electric drapes and shutters
Generator and fuel
Pool equipment & heaters
These mark ups are inputted into computer and a final review meeting is
with owners and consultants to incorporate changes from interior design
decisions and minor revisions. The plans are then sent to pertinent
The plans are then studied for structural efficiency. Preliminary
the chosen engineering firm and contractor if chosen are made to ensure
building from foundation to roof. After all structural components are
the plans are released to the engineering firm to do calculations and
Review and coordination of final A/C shop drawings and energy
Review and coordination of truss shop drawings supplied by chosen
included in contract.
A final review meeting will be made to go over entire set of plans prior
issuing signed and sealed permit plans. Note permit plans are not final
construction until building department comments are submitted and
final construction plans are issued.
Phase IV – Typical residential construction
documents consist of:
Site plan with setbacks and easements from survey, Site walls and
grills, plumbing riser diagram, outbuildings, general notes, general
electric, drive way and pool deck designed with materials noted. No
details included. Dock location, mail box location as per ARB
any other governing authority. No design or details included. Pool
size only. Pool drawings, details and permit by others. Roof plan,
equipment located as per governing authority. Layout by others. A/C
location only, layout by others. Trellises, gazebos, exterior bars,
Structural column schedule, footing schedule and notes, plumbing fixture
location, sewer lines location, stacks location, vents location,
recesses, downdraft vents location
Doors: location and size on schedule, windows: location and size on
ceiling: heights, appliances: location, attic access, soffits, ceiling
skylights, area breakdowns, dimensions, floor finishes, medicine
shower heads and controls, shower enclosures, mirrors, fireplaces, sill
staircases, hose bibs, bath fixture locations, arch heights and sizes
Front, rear, left and right sides, target heights, finishes, planter
heights & hidden elevations.
Cross sections, typical one or two story wall, Sections and cross
necessary to job.
Two story homes only, beam schedule, wood truss or concrete precast
Wood truss layout with tie beam schedule. Overhang details, gutters,
From roof framing plan for engineer.
Electrical panel schedule, electrical riser and notes, electrical layout
on applicable codes, phone outlets, TV, outlets, fan location, base
smoke detectors, meters, main and panel locations, appliances,
compressors and disconnects, electric hurricane shutter
Structural and general notes
Typical details and specifications
Paid directly by owner.