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"Unveiling the Magic: What You Can Expect When You Hire Shue Design Associates"

Hello. Thank you for your interest in Shue Design Associates. In this blog post, we'll cover what clients should expect when Shue Design Associates is involved with your project from beginning to end.

At the onset, our relationship begins with a conversation. This conversation establishes the initial parameters for the project, such as project schedule, construction budget, and scope of architectural work. The schedule is determined by the client, in terms of when they'd like to get started, when they'd like construction to begin, and when they'd like to occupy the building. The construction budget also comes from the client side, and includes the cost of permit fees, cost to build, cost of inspections, and any change orders. I have learned over the years that if possible, it's best to carry a 20% contingency on the construction budget for unforeseen circumstances, such as removal of outdated utilites, material delays, and material cost increases. The scope of architectural work includes the deliverables (such as drawings and specifications, but it also includes non-deliverables, such as research and coordinating consultant work.

Deliverables can include (many of these are required for commercial projects):

  1. Cover Sheet

  2. Code Analysis

  3. Specifications

  4. Demolition Plans (for additions/renovations)

  5. Site Plan

  6. Landscape Plan

  7. Heritage Tree Plan

  8. Outdoor Lighting Plan

  9. Life Safety Plan

  10. Foundation Plan

  11. Floor Plan(s)

  12. Roof Plan

  13. Exterior Elevations (ususally at least four)

  14. Building Sections

  15. Wall Sections

  16. Exterior Details

  17. Interior Elevations

  18. Interior Details

  19. Door Schedule

  20. Door Details

  21. Window Schedule

  22. Window Details

  23. Finish Schedule

  24. Civil Drawings (provided by consultant)

  25. Structural Drawings (provided by consultant)

  26. Mechanical Drawings Drawings (provided by consultant)

  27. Electrical Drawings Drawings (provided by consultant)

  28. Plumbing Drawings Drawings (provided by consultant)

There could be many more deliverables (or less) depending on the particular project.

A current building survey, by a licensed surveyor, is required for all projects that are changing the footprint of the building(s) or making changes to the project site. Information that is great to include on surveys:

  1. Site context

  2. Site boundaries

  3. Utility connection locations

  4. Tree locations and size

  5. Topography

  6. Building outlines and locations (if any)

  7. Proximity to closest fire hydrant

For additions and renovations, it is necessary to measure the existing building(s), inside and out, for use in demolition drawings, as well as the basis for new work to be completed.

Once the design phase has begun, conceptual drawings are produced for client review and comment. Adjustments are made and drawings are resubmitted to the client for review and comment until the client provides approval to proceed to the next phase of the design. Drawings are then developed further in terms of the specificity of information included. Revisions are made until the client approves the drawings to proceed into the next phase, Construction Documents. There is little design in the Construction Documents phase, as the design is complete - the only remaining tasks involve documenting the client-approved design.

Once the Construction Documents are complete, the project goes out for bidding by contractors interested in the project. Shue Design Associates parses the bids and works with contractors to produce an apples-to-apples comparison of the bids for client review.

The selected contractor then takes the bid documents to the governing authority for a building permit.

Once construction begins, Shue Design Associates is on-site (as necessary) to provide Construction Administration services. This entails making sure the project is built according to the client-approved Construction Documents. Field notes are provided to the client after each site visit to ensure the entire team is up-to-date. In the event of a discrepancy at the construction site, Shue Design Associates documents the discrepancy in the field notes so the client can make an informed decision when approaching the contractor for resolution.

Now for the section that EVERYONE wants to know about: cost. What does it cost to hire Shue Design Associates?

The cost to hire Shue Design Associates is based on hourly rates. The architectural fee for new construction projects usually comes in around 10% of the overall construction cost. For additions/renovations, the cost goes up to roughly 12% because of the existing structure documentation. These are estimates based on historical evidence. There is also an initial payment that is credited to the client's final invoice. Reimbursables are covered with a 10% service fee.

This information if intended for prospective clients and those interested in the architecture profession. It is also intended to share information from the architect's perspective, and does not cover the fees of consultant work.

If you have any questions, please email for more information.

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