The process

Bringing your vision to life

Building a home is one of the most exciting, important, and challenging journeys our clients can embark on. Domain Design Architects can help you navigate the entire journey to achieve your dream. Our architectural design process is custom tailored to meet each client's unique needs. Guided by our core values of collaboration and inspiration, we strive to make our clients feel welcomed into the creative process and become a vital part of the design experience.


The foundation of your project

Our journey begins at the pre-design stage, in which the opportunities and constraints of a client's project are established.
Starting with an analysis of site conditions and land-use requirements, a solid foundation for the project is begun. This information reveals the outer bounds of what is possible on a given site and lends focus to the creative process.
Next, a program for the project is created, including a list of desired spaces within the home, as well as the spatial relationships between spaces. Square footages are assigned, based on the program as well as the client’s budget.

Finally, we collaborate with the client to create a mood board filled with inspiring images of buildings, materials,features and design principles that reflect your vision for the project. The mood board becomes a guiding influence throughout the design and construction processes.

schematic design

Giving shape to your home

The Schematic Design phase begins the architectural design process.
Starting with schematic sketches, we begin to explore the location of the home on the site, as well as the size and placement of spaces within the home. Hand-drawn sketches provide an opportunity to quickly explore different options for the floor plans and massing of the home. Views,indoor-outdoor relationships, and the entry sequence are all explored. Models at 1/8” scale are employed to test and refine different variables. With feedback from the client, both the interior layout and exterior massing of the home are finalized.

design development

Refining the vision

Once the schematic design has been achieved, a project moves forward to the Design Development phase. In this phase we expand upon the schematic design, working out details and beginning the selection of interior and exterior materials, as well as building systems.
Careful consideration is given to a client’s needs relative to livability,cost, and maintenance. Materials and systems are selected for their ability to provide long-term benefit and pleasure.
A variety of tools are employed at this stage to ensure that the design vision is maintained and enhanced. Three-dimensional renders can be employed to visualize interior spaces, test out exterior materials and colors,and view the home from the air.
Engaging with an energy consultant is an option we highly recommend, and the Design Development phase is the perfect time in which to utilize their knowledge. Using energy modeling software, energy consultants can“test” the efficiency of the design and provide critical information on the long-term livability of a home.  
At this point, the client may also wish to undertake value engineering with a selected builder. Domain Design Architects can provide drawings on which a preliminary estimate can be obtained. Working with the builder and client, further decisions can be made and/or refined to ensure that the project stays on budget.

construction drawings

A guide to the details

In this phase of the project a complete set of construction documents is prepared based on the decisions made in the Design Development phase. The construction documents also serve as the building permit set. The full drawing set will include architectural, structural,electrical/lighting, material specifications and HVAC drawings, if needed. The set may also include reports by a geotechnical engineer,archaeologist, biologist, septic designer and civil engineer, as required by county regulations.
Further tasks in this phase include the permit application submission, and all relevant paperwork needed to secure a building permit.

construction administration

Building the vision

In this final phase of the project, all the work of the previous phases comes together to bring the project to life. From foundation work to the final punch list, Domain Design Architects provides seamless coordination and critical overview to ensure that a project’s original vision is maintained. Site visits are scheduled,and material/color selections are finalized. Any changes that need to occur will be managed by Domain Design, and substitutions- if needed-are made in close consultation with the owner. Domain Design can also coordinate with interior designers, landscape architects and smart home wiring consultants, at the owner’s discretion. Our work is not done until the Certificate of Occupancy is obtained and the final punch list is completed.

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