Design Process

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The Design Process begins with the interview between Architect and Client. Personalities and methods of working are relayed allowing for the client and architect to realize the possibilities of a future working relationship. For an interview, we offer a 1-1.5 hour free consultation to discuss the project in or near to the Asheville, NC area. If a local, face to face meeting is not feasible, we suggest a phone conversation to discuss the project and determine if the relationship should be pursued and travel is warranted.


The phase of the Design Process where information gathering and analysis leads to the definition of the project. Site information, client requirements, and municipality restrictions and codes are all pieces which define the project. This programming phase of the Design Process requires a meeting between client and architect which lasts about 2 hours. Items for the client to provide are Budget, Site Survey/Plat, Development Covenants/Design Guidelines, Grocery List of Needs, as well as Feelings and Intentions for the project. These last two will be further developed and defined through discussion with the Architect. The Architect will gather any additional municipality and code requirements. Also considered during this phase would be the use of any other team members such as Interior Designer, Landscape Designer/Architect, General Contractor, Engineers,…

Schematic Design:

The phase of the Design Process where the Architect lays down the design for an initial solution to the project defined during programming. These sketches include floor plans and elevations which are kept deliberately simple so as not to inhibit further changes. The intention is to define the scope of the project and begin with budget estimating based on this design and the programming work previously done with the client. With review and comment from the client, the schematic design will be revised 2-5 times, and sometimes more, before bringing the design, scope and budget to an acceptable solution. This phase requires minimal time from the Architect, 2-3 days per submitted design, but should be taken slowly and each submittal considered carefully by the Client. Decisions are big picture and changes during this phase of the Design Process are relatively inexpensive. From hereafter, the cost for changes grow exponentially, culminating at the end of construction.

Design Development/Construction Documents:

At Scott W. Bartholomew Architecture we combine these two parts of the Design Process into one phase in which we take the revised schematic design and develop buildable project with all the levels of information required. These include fixture and finish selection along with construction detailing and specification writing. All decision making is done in collaboration with the client and any other design professionals involved. This phase of the Design Process is where most of the design work is provided and often will require several months for completion. Please note that this phase is performed prior to the beginning of construction and, therefore, before the typical timing of receipt of any payments from a lending institution.

Bidding and Negotiation:

The Bidding phase of the Design Process where upon the Construction Documents are put out for bid to multiple General Contractors which we can help to select. Upon selection of the General Contractor through bidding or otherwise we can further assist with negotiating price, contract format (fixed price, cost plus,…), alternatives, and scheduling.

Construction Oversight:

This phase of the Design Process requires continued involvement by the Architect on behalf of the Client verifying the project is being constructed per the contract documents through site visits, evaluating submittals and alternatives, appropriate inspections, etc. We will also provide documentation of substantial completion of the project setting the beginning of the 1 year warranty period. For the out of town client, this service can be very helpful.

Any additional services required outside the typical Design Process as set forth above are available. Please inquire further. Also remember that the Architect is typically hired by the Client directly and therefore is an advocate for the client and none other. In most cases the Architect can act as a legal representative for the client or as an impartial arbiter as needs arise.

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