Design begins with your Wish List. If you haven’t already done so, jot down the things that you would like to add to or change about your home. For instance, you might want to renovate and expand the kitchen, add a family room and create an adequate mudroom, perhaps with a half bath. Include photographs of similar places and features that you find appealing, if possible. Be sure to include overall objectives, such as “provide more natural light”, “enhance curb appeal”, or “ improve access to outdoor living areas” .

At our first meeting we will discuss this Wish List as we walk through your house. We’ll review the opportunities of your existing property, and touch on construction schedules and budgets. We’ll review a case study of a project similar to yours to introduce you to the various phases of the design process. The case study will illustrate the explorations and decisions made as a project progresses from Schematics though Design Development to Bidding and Value Engineering and finally to the Construction Documents phase.

If selected, LHA will submit a proposal with a schedule and fee estimate that outlines the scope of architectural services to be provided during these various phases.


To make certain that new and old merge seamlessly, we need to understand what already exists. LHA will carefully measure and photograph your current house then prepare a set of existing conditions drawings as the basis for all further design work.


Guided by the Wish List, LHA will create several preliminary schemes. We’ll meet to review these schemes and discuss the pros and cons of each. You will probably like something from each scheme, and more ideas may emerge from our discussion. LHA will then develop one or more additional schemes that are a combination of preferred elements from the initial schemes, plus incorporate any needs or desires that we have discovered during our conversation. This collaborative refinement of options enables us to develop a design solution which best addresses your particular needs.

At the end of Schematics we’ll know the size and location of all of the spaces and elements from your Wish List and how they will fit together with your existing house, plus have a good idea of what your new house will look like from the outside. But there are still many decisions to be made.


During design development we will make initial selections of interior finishes, fixtures and furnishings. LHA will prepare a 3-D computer model that allows you to walk through your future home. We’ll explore cabinet and built-in configurations; select windows and doors, review flooring, tile and countertop options; discuss trim, paneling and other wall or ceiling treatments. We’ll discuss insulation, heating and cooling strategies that will result in the most practical, energy efficient construction. In addition to the plans, elevations and sections, LHA will prepare demolition, detail, structural and electrical drawings. At the close of the Design Development phase we will have completed a preliminary review and documentation of the decisions necessary to price the project.


During this phase the Design Development documents are distributed to one or more General Contractor(s) for pricing. Should quotes come back higher than desired, we work with the selected contractor and the pricing information s/he can provide to value engineer the design and bring the project in on an acceptable budget.


During the Construction Document phase the Design Development drawings will be revised, supplemented and coordinated to reflect any changes resulting from the Pricing and Value Engineering phase. These Construction Documents become a part of your contract with the General Contractor, receive the Architect’s registration stamp and will be submitted for the building permit.


During construction LHA visits the site at agreed intervals confirming what we designed is being built and answering questions that arise. We are a liaison between you and your contractor, and also assist with final finish selections and installation details such as tile layouts, paint colors, light fixture selection and placement, etc.