Design Process


As a small firm, we are able to work more intimately and effectively with our clients than the big guys.  In fact, we usually end up good friends by the end of the project.  Clients work directly with the principal, Freddie Valdez, which is a rarity in this business.  In most instances, the whole office is able to focus on one project at a time, providing lots of design input and moving the project along efficiently.

We pride ourselves on our detailed and rigorous design process.  As Mies Van Der Rohe said, "God is in the details."  We go further than most in providing a clear and thorough set of drawings.  We do plenty of building sections, interior elevations and at least one physical model to ensure that clients know exactly what they are getting.  With our meticulous set of construction documents, we are able to expedite design review board, planning and building department approvals as well as minimize costly construction delays and change orders.  

Design and construction services involve several phases.  The following is an outline of our preferred project delivery process with a brief description of each phase:

1.  PROGRAMMING:  Here we identify the scope of the project.  This is where we discuss what you want, what you need and what you want to spend.

2.  SCHEMATIC DESIGN:  When we have defined what is to be built, we will then do a series of rough sketches that show the general organization of the rooms, the location of the building on the site and the 3-D massing of the building.

3.  DESIGN DEVELOPMENT:  In this phase we refine the schematic design and prepare more detailed drawings to illustrate other aspects of the proposed design.  At this point, we like to select a contractor to provide input on construction methods and pricing.

4.  CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS:  We will prepare a full set of drawings that explain the design to the contractor and his/her subcontractors.  This phase takes the bulk of our time to complete and will involve the coordination of all the consultants.

5. INTERIOR DESIGN: Interior design is defining the interior finishes (selecting - tile, lighting fixtures, hardware, flooring materials, paint and the like).  

6.  BIDDING AND NEGOTIATION:  If a contractor has been selected, we help our clients transition from the pre-construction agreement with the contractor to a final construction contract.  If a contractor has not been selected, we will conduct a competitive bidding process to select him/her.

7.  CONSTRUCTION ADMINISTRATION:  The construction phase is when the project moves from the abstract to a physical reality.  Included in our fee are construction administration services.  In this phase, we observe construction as your advocate and make field reports periodically.

8.  POST OCCUPANCY:  We are there for our clients after the house is completed to help fine-tune and adjust things as they live in their new home.  At one year post occupancy, we re-inspect the home and, if needed generate a punchlist of additional work for the contractor to complete.

Having practiced architecture for over 20 years, Valdez Architects has found that this process is the most equitable for everyone involved.  We are here to ease the way (not only) by helping you avoid wrong turns, but also to direct you to solutions you might never have considered.  The result is a unique building project created to meet your needs, express your individuality and provide enjoyment for everyone who uses it.