The   "Process"

The process of taking hopes and dreams to a completed construction project has a hand full of predictable steps.    Those steps are:

  (click on a link)
Feasibility Study
Concept Design
Preliminary Drawings
Planning Dept. Approvals
Working Drawings
Bidding Administration
Construction Administration

The intent of a Feasibility Study is to determined the development options for a particular property.   It is one of the first steps which will give a designer the needed input to start generating a viable Concept Design.   There are many factors influencing the design of a project. These factors are obtained from the designers experience in the jurisdiction and through meetings with the government agencies which review these projects.   Also, a survey of existing site data is gathered at this point.   The study typically includes the following:
Planning Department - Zoning
  • Site Coverage
  • Building setbacks
  • Building height
  • Floor Area Ratio
  • Parking requirements
  • Slope issues
  • Tree removal
  • Submittal procedures and costs
Water Resources Agency
  • Flood plain requirements
  • Erosion control
Environmental Health
  • Septic system requirements
Structural Design
  • Conceptual structural design to provide possible remodeling options. This includes the possibility of removing existing walls and beams to allow for expansion. Seismic needs are included.
Fire Department
  • Fire sprinkler
  • Driveway design
  • Brush clearing and tree pruning
  • Other related requirements
Water Management District
  • Water availability
  • Retrofit options and timelines


This process is initiated by a meeting with the property owner.   At this meeting the designer discusses the proposed development with the owner and determines which government agencies must be contacted.
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The intent of the Concept Design is to quickly develop an overall plan which depicts the desired project.   Hand drawn sketches of the site plan, floor plans and exterior elevations may be generated.   A written “program” may be generated listing desired design features, budget restrictions and other design criteria.   Many different development schemes may be generated to compare the pros & cons of each scheme.   This is the brainstorming part of the design process, where every possible solution is considered.

Although these design drawings are conceptual only, every effort is made to incorporate all known design criteria.   Many design assumptions are made during this process and are listed in the program for later verification.

During the concept design, the owner plays a key role in directing the design.   Much of the work is performed in the owner’s presence during design meetings.   Additional study or research may be provided by the designer outside of this meeting.   Typically this work is reviewed at the next design meeting.
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These drawings consist of SITE PLANS, FLOOR PLANS AND EXTERIOR ELEVATIONS and are intended to accurately depict the selected concept design.   These drawings are for use by the Owner, Lending Institution and Planning Department.   Also they are used to define the general scope of work for the working drawings.   They do not necessarily show all features of the final design, but do show in graphic form all the main features of the design.   Preliminary bids may also be obtained from these plans.
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Once Preliminary Drawings are generated, they are used for the Planning Department's review.   This includes seeking the needed approvals from the Planning Department, related agencies and Architectural Design Review.   The actual Planning Department requirements varies from project to project.   These approvals can include Use Permits, Variance’s, Slope Exceptions and Tree Removal Permits, The Architectural Design Review is obtained through a separate committee which is part of the Planning Department.   In Pebble Beach, an additional Architectural Review is required by the Pebble Beach Company.   Once all of the above approvals are obtained, working drawings can be generated for use in obtaining a building permit.
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  • Site Plan, Grading Plan, Drainage plan
  • Floor Plan, Roof Plan
  • Exterior Elevations & Building Sections
  • Interior Elevations, Finish, Door & Window Schedules
  • Architectural Details & Structural Details
  • Title 24 Energy Conservation Compliance Forms
  • Foundation Plan, Floor Framing Plans and Roof Framing Plan
  • Electrical & Mechanical Plans
  • Architectural & Structural Specifications
These drawings are the final set of drawings which are used in the construction of the project.   During the generation of the working drawings, Design Development will refine and possibly revise the project as depicted in the preliminary drawings.   This is a normal process due to the continued study of the design and the input from structural and other consultants. The Working Drawings can be completed in 2 phases, The first phase is the “Permit Set” which is a set of drawings specifically designed to obtain a building permit.   While this set of plans incorporates all the structural and safety requirements needed to obtain a building permit, it lacks the detailing and specifications to completely describe the total project.   The “Construction Set” of Working Drawings, written Specifications, Bidding Instructions , Construction Contract typically represent the Contract Documents needed to fully document the project.
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Bidding Administration is the process of obtaining an appropriate builder for the project.   The intent is to locate the lowest responsible bidder in method which is fair to all bidders.
These services include:
  • Gathering a list of qualified builders and actively soliciting construction bids.
  • Providing copies of the Contract Documents to the Bidders.
  • Meeting with Bidders at the jobsite for a “Pre-Bid Conference”.   This meeting provides an opportunity for the builder to review the site conditions and ask questions of the Designer.
  • Updating all bidders with any Addenda created during the bidding process.
  • Determining a specific date, time and location for the bid opening which is fair to all bidders.
  • Administering the bid opening.
  • Reviewing the bids with the Property Owner.
  • Awarding the Construction Contract.
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Construction Administration is the process of administering the Construction Contract.
These services include:

  • Inspecting the Builder’s work as it progresses to verify conformance to the Contract Documents.
  • Reviewing the Builder’s progress payment requests.
  • Representing the Owner as needed with the Builder.
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