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The 5 Phases of Residential Architecture: How the Top Tulsa Custom Residential Architects Work

“Plan for the successful construction of your residence.”

Steel arbor over modern outdoor living with fireplace and pool
Modern Prairie Box - Outdoor Living

Are you ready to design the house of your dreams, or enjoy a living space that is tailored to a unique site or lifestyle? These are the kinds of desired outcomes that lead new clients to luxury custom home architects like Perkins Architecture. We help them to take their vision and turn it into an actionable plan.

Like all licensed residential architects in Tulsa, we expect new and potential clients to ask a lot of questions and have high expectations of our work. The process of designing and creating a new house can feel overwhelming, especially if you haven’t gone through it before. Luckily, there is a proven step-by-step process we follow that will guide us from our initial meetings to a finished construction designed around your life.

The first step, of course, is to work with your favorite Tulsa architects or residential design firm. In this article we want to walk you through the five phases of the architecture process. Once you’re familiar with them you’ll know what it takes to bring your custom home construction project to life.

Phase #1: Programming and Planning

When building a truly custom home, good planning is a critical first step. During the programming phase, you’ll tell us about the ‘Why’ behind your project. Understanding the root goals of the project helps inform important decisions down the road. Issues like size, layout, and usage are discussed. Any inspiration images, materials, or ideas can help jumpstart the creative process.

Often, this phase of the home design process takes a little longer than new clients expect. However, establishing the right goals from the onset is crucial to the success of a project. Until you and your team both know exactly what you’re trying to achieve, it’s difficult to create a workable plan. Rushing through the programming step could lead to expensive and time- consuming delays later.

By reviewing local zoning codes, building codes, site studies, budget and other limitations, our team will define the parameters by which we can design.

Phase #2: Schematic Design

The Schematic Design phase, sometimes called Preliminary Design, involves much of the work that new clients think of when they imagine hiring an architect to design their house. This is when high-level design decisions are made. Budget, layout, the orientation of a home on a site, architectural style, the division of public and private spaces all play a key role in Preliminary Design.

As with the general goals established during programming, the Preliminary Design will serve as a plan that guides the rest of the design and construction process. For that reason, decisions and details need to be handled with great care. An experienced architect can not only guide you but help identify potential issues that might not be obvious.

With a contractor selected, we’ll begin developing a construction cost opinion. After approval, we move on to the next phase, which is where your ideas really come into focus.

Phase #3: Design Development

The design development phase can be fun and inspiring. This may be the step where you really appreciate the opportunities that come with choosing to pursue a true custom home. Reflecting on the goals developed in programming, allows us to pinpoint opportunities to tailor the project to you. There’s nothing quite like watching your future home be filled in with the extra touches that bring it to life.

At this stage you’ll meet with your architecture team and finalize the design; from material palettes to lighting to mechanical systems that best suit your needs. We’ll help you compose and coordinate timeless elements that compliment the way you do life.

By the end of the design development phase you will have drawings your construction team can use to prepare more precise estimates. You’ll walk away with drawings, renderings and a clearer idea of what your finished house will be.

Phase #4: Construction documents and details

During this phase your architectural team will finalize all technical drawings and provide details relating to the engineering and materials selection. Because this serves as a final check on the design, clear communication and coordination of details are important. If your architectural team doesn’t have the patience or experience to take their time, avoidable problems can cause delays again and again.

After the construction documents have been finalized and approved, it’s time to permit. The architect or contractor can submit a residential permit application, and address any questions or concerns raised during the review. Review periods for permit application vary based on type of project and scope of work.

Phase #5: Construction Administration

An architect’s job isn’t done after finalized plans and a permit have been delivered to a contractor. They still need to be available to periodically visit the job site, answer questions (RFI’s), review material submittals, and respond to change orders as needed.

At Perkins, we work side-by-side with custom home builders in Tulsa to ensure that the decisions made during the design phases carry through the building process. We monitor construction progress and building costs to make sure our clients aren’t forced to make compromises or deal with any unnecessary surprises.

There are few things as exciting as watching a dream come to life. That’s why we see every job through to the end and don’t quit until you’re completely satisfied. That commitment is why our portfolio is filled with success stories, and why so many clients refer us to their friends and families year after year.

Ready to design your dream home in Tulsa?

At Perkins, we have established ourselves as some of the best modern residential architects in Tulsa, OK. Our reputation doesn’t rest only on design quality, though – clients rave about our work because we treat them like friends and family. We take the time to understand their needs and develop plans that account for their tastes, style, budget, and schedule.

If you’re ready to get started on your custom home building project, or just want

straightforward answers from a top architectural team, Contact us today!

Perkins Architecture Design Process
Perkins Architecture Process


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