Process

Schematic

A client’s first meeting with Cummings Architects introduces the schematic phase, where their dream project begins to take formation. The team starts by conducting a zoning study, measuring the property, and creating existing drawings, as well as acquiring any necessary site plan proposals. Mat Cummings will then meet with the client for the initial schematic meetings, and sketch by hand their desired scheme or schemes. More detailed drawings of the floor plans and elevations are then completed in the office prior to the next meeting. Cummings Architects will also visit the local building inspector or health department during this phase to make sure the project is feasible. If the client decides to utilize a Design-Build process, Cummings Architects will meet with the selected builder during this phase to begin discussing the estimated cost using these schematic plans.

Design

During this phase, the client’s chosen scheme is further developed within their desired budget. Detailed computer drawings are completed so that the client can begin thinking about building materials, paint, and finishes for their property. An initial electric layout is produced. If applicable, Cummings Architects will also attend an initial kitchen design meeting with the clients, usually at a kitchen designer showroom or cabinet supplier, to help make sure the layout is done in detail. If the client has chosen to do an Estimated Bid process, this phase is when Cummings Architects will make sure all the necessary paperwork and plans are provided to the selected builders so that they can return their estimated pricing.

Construction Documents

Cummings Architects will provide a full set of construction drawings, including plans, elevations, and sections, for permitting (and formal bid, if necessary). This also includes a detailed window schedule specifying all window items including lock colors, exterior trims, and energy glasses. Custom built-in designs by Cummings Architects and kitchen design by others will be integrated into our plans in detail. The construction set will also include interior views of entire walls and rooms as necessary to communicate the detailed design of interior finishes, such as wood flooring species and stair parts. As a licensed architect, Cummings Architects will also provide structural designs for all wood-framed designs in house, without the need for additional fees towards structural engineers. Lastly, Cummings Architects will coordinate with all other professionals, beyond simply providing them dimensions, to ensure that all plans are reconciled properly for consistency in construction and permitting. Cummings Architects will make the construction document process as stress-free as possible, so that the client can enjoy building their dream project.

Site Observation

When the construction documents are given to the builder, the relationship between Cummings Architects and the client does not end. Often, clients hire Cummings Architects for construction site observation to answer questions about lighting fixtures, plumbing hardware, and various building challenges that arise during the construction process. Cummings Architects is also available for interior design services such as tile selection, detailed interior and exterior paint color selection including samples at the site, and custom interior trim details, on a case by case basis. If the client desires further assistance from the Cummings Architects team, the scope of interior work will be decided upon at that time. Mat and team will work with the builder to make sure the entire project comes together seamlessly.