Services & Process

What to Expect When You Work With Us

noun_25474_ccArchitectural projects and approvals involve many stages and have complicated procedures, so here is our guide to show you how it is organized, along with benchmarks, timelines and anticipated costs. We look forward to working with you, and encourage your active participation in this exciting process. Our total architectural fee based on a time contract will range from 8-15% of your construction budget, depending on the complexity and size of your project. Fixed fee contracts are negotiated at 12-15%.

 

SCHEMATIC DESIGN & PRELIMINARY PRICINGnoun_7285_cc

PURPOSE

Establish building program, space requirements, design direction.

TIME

Up to 2 months, typically.

MEETINGS

One to two, typically.

TASKS
  • Site visit to measure building/ documentation of field conditions and input into CAD format.
  • Create schematic level floor plans, hand-sketched perspectives, with discussion on finishes.
  • Explore different design directions and select one.
  • Preliminary Pricing from Owner’s General Contractor (if desired) and design approval by client before proceeding to next phase.

DESIGN DEVELOPMENT AND CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS

noun_16068_ccPURPOSE

Develop Schematic Design/ Construction Documents.

TIME

Usually one to four months for a typical single-family house project.

MEETINGS

One to four, typically.

TASKS
  • Develop site plan, floor plans, reflected ceiling plans including electrical and lighting, elevations (interior and exterior), sections (if required), and outline specifications (if required).
  • Finalize site plan, floor plans, reflected ceiling plans including electrical and lighting, elevations (interior and exterior), sections (if required), architectural details, door/window/ finish schedules, and final outline or full specifications of materials and products (if required).
  • Hire consultants and coordinate services and consultant drawings.
  • Building Permit Application for site permit if required (Partial Design Development).
  • Variance submittal if required (Partial Design Development)

PERMITTING AND FINAL PRICING

PURPOSEnoun_1484_cc

Obtain City approval for construction.

TIME

Usually two to four weeks for bid documentation for interested contractors. Permit processing once submitted can take from two months to up to a year depending on complexity of project and Building Department. Pricing will take approximately three to four weeks, depending on contractor.

MEETINGS

One, typically.

TASKS
  • Building Permit Application or addendum. Respond to various City Agency requests for information/ code interpretations. Assist with obtaining final pricing on project, and/or prepare bid documents to obtain bids.
  • Answer questions from the Contractor(s), assist with selection and preparation of the Construction Contract.
REQUIRED
  • Consultant(s) Documents (Structural engineer, lighting, mechanical/ electrical if required).
  • Title 24 Energy Report.

CONSTRUCTION ADMINISTRATION

noun_23827_ccPURPOSE

Administration of construction contract, Client representation.

TIME

Depends on construction schedule and contractor. Usually several hours per week for questions, bi-weekly site visits, etc.

MEETINGS

As required.

TASKS
  • Answer questions from contractor.
  • Site visits as required, construction observation.
  • Review payment requests.

COMPLETION

Issuance of Certificate of Final Completion, Punch List, Completion of Construction.

SAN FRANCISCO CITY RESIDENTIAL PERMIT PROCESS

311 Site Permit Submittal

PURPOSE

City Planning approval for increasing volume/height of existing structure/new construction.

CONTRACT PHASE

Partial Design Development.

TIME

At least four months (please note that we cannot predict the extent of time required).

PROCESS

Pre-application, community out-reach meeting with neighbors required if increase of height is 7′- 0″ or greater and/ or horizontal additions are more than 10′-0″ deeper. Application and City response time (two or three weeks) for review before 30-day┬ánotification to neighbors within a 150 foot radius of project address, along with interested neighborhood associations, then two to four weeks to send out letter of approval. The time outlined does not include a possible Discretionary Review (DR) filed by neighbors who may take issue with the proposed design which could delay the project for an additional two-three months when scheduled with Planning Commission. A further appeal to the Board of Appeals can add another two to three months of time to approval process.

FEES

Neighborhood notification address labels, cost of printing, stamps and envelopes for neighborhood mailings. Approximately $200. Building Permit Application for Site approval: (approximately 3-5% of declared construction cost).

TASKS
  • Consult with engineer regarding issues regarding structural requirements to design.
  • Possible pre-application meeting with Planning to discuss design.

VARIANCE – IF REQUIRED

PURPOSE

City Planning approval for project that does not conform with City Planning Code/Guidelines.

CONTRACT PHASE

Partial Design Development.

TIME

At least two months. Application and City response time (two or three weeks), 20 day notification, and then two to three weeks response time.

PROCESS

Project is submitted to Planning Department, where the staff determines if a Variance is required. If required, the notice/ plans will be sent to neighbors within a 300 feet radius of the project address, as well as interested neighborhood associations. Those parties can express support/ concern at the Variance Hearing, which is usually scheduled within two months of the Variance application submittal.

The Variance hearing is a public forum that is conducted by the Zoning Administrator, who determines if the Variance is supportable. The environment at these hearings is usually cordial and productive. Variance notification and 311/312 can be notified together or separately. Sometimes Variance decisions are linked to getting through the 311/312 processes.

FEES

Variance fee to City Planning: Approximately $3,000.
Neighborhood notification address labels, cost of printing, stamps and envelopes for neighborhood mailings. Approximately $200.

BUILDING PERMIT

PURPOSE

Approval for construction.

CONTRACT PHASE

Completion of Construction Documents.

REQUIRED

Engineering drawings and specifications (up to 5% of construction budget).
Title 24 Energy report- Usually $200-400 for envelope, $300 for electrical (commercial jobs only).

TIME

Upon submittal, usually about two months, possibly longer depending on the scale and complexity of the project. Possibly over the counter if simple remodel job without structural work.

FEES

Building Permit, approximately 2-4% of construction budget.