Documenting Existing Conditions

All projects begin with a brainstorming session where ideas are thrown out for what goals we want to achieve through the design process. This is called a program, a written document outlining the goals and objectives. Once the program is agreed upon, a phase of documenting the existing conditions begins. If the project is on an empty lot, a survey must be found or preformed. Site orientation and views must be considered as well as existing vegetation and other features that might be important to the design will be documented.

If the project is a remodel, the existing structure must be fully documented and measured. Views, orientation and existing vegetation must be considered. If the remodel requires an addition, a survey will be required.

Schematic Design

Once the existing conditions are documented the design phase begins. Schematic design is the process of exploring as many options and ideas as we all can think of. At this phase, we encourage the removal of rules and constraints such as land availability, budget and existing conditions that might otherwise limit the creativity. Don’t worry you will be reeled back in before the end of the process and such constraints will limit our options, but we believe firmly that the process becomes limited if the exploration of design solutions is bound too early. Quite often the process reveals ideas not previously explored or thought of.

A series of sketches will be generated during this process, and meeting with the designer and customer will help define the parameters of the project.

Once we feel we have a direction to move forward with, and budget and existing conditions are brought back into play, the team will close the Schematic Design phase.

Design Development

As the name states, this is where the design is further developed. Much of this process happens away from the customer on the “drawing boards” (Or computer depending on the project). Periodic meeting will occur as the design becomes more defines. Such things as interior feature will be drawn and explored. Exterior and interior detail will be defined. Most every aspect of the design will be drawn so the customer can fully understand the design.

If a builder is known, this is a very good time to get them involved with preliminary cost estimates and suggestions for how to trim costs. It is encouraged to work with a contractor early on, so that real pricing can be determined. Remember, jdm designs is a design firm, we do not have current pricing and do not claim to have this knowledge. As the design progresses, the costs will be defined, and is necessary the design will require modification to meet a budget. The costs are what they are, and often little can be done to trim them. Once the team is comfortable with the project as defined, the Design Development process will close.

Construction Documents

These are the final drawings. The design development drawings are used for the final documents. They are embellished with dimensions, construction notes, finish materials and details as required for fully describing the project so a builder can have a good basis from which they will bid the costs and build the building from. No process is perfect, no set of drawings are able to fully anticipate issues unseen as in remodels or

unforeseen in new construction. This is fact, and part of the process.

These issues that arise cost additional funds to cover the costs, so we always encourage a 15% contingency fund. jdm designs prides itself on its knowledge and expertise, yet even our diligent service will be flawed, this contingency will keep us all happy and excited as we go through the construction phase.

The Construction Documents take up about 50% of the total time of our work. This means there is an extended time where little interaction between jdm designs and the customer will happen. Once the drawings are complete, we will walk you through the documents to help you understand what they are telling the contractor.

Bidding and Construction

jdm designs will be available to assist in the bidding process by answering questions that might come up. During the construction we can be available on a scheduled basis, or just to answer questions that might arise. Often we have found our drawings are complete enough that the contractor needs little from us during the construction phase. At the end of the construction process a punch list will be developed by the contractor, it is often helpful for the customer to have our expertise during the development of the punch list, just so nothing is forgotten.