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Remodeling and Home Design

Prospective Home Buyer Consultation

I am available for walkthroughs at your prospective home to discuss the general condition of the home including plumbing and electrical systems; conceptual layouts; the design process; navigating the Department of Buildings; the construction process and timeline; budgeting; and any other concerns you may have regarding this major life decision.

Design Consultation

For smaller jobs, or for a client who has construction experience, sometimes a simple plan might be all you need to get your job started. We can meet to discuss your ideas and I will give you some simple suggestions to improve your design. Once we have the general concept finalized I will put it to paper, with all the relevant notes, dimensions, and tags. If you feel you need additional sketches as your project progresses I am happy to work with you at whatever stage you are at.


Before you start thinking about design, I feel it is important to first hash out your needs and aspirations for the project. This is the time to dream about how you want your new space to feel and function. The specifics will come later. For now just focus on the big picture: room types and sizes, adjacencies, and flow. By articulating these concepts at an early stage we will build a solid foundation for all that is to come in the design and construction process. During this time the budget should also be analyzed to ensure it is realistic given the program. Additionally, preliminary code research might be required to ascertain there are no major roadblocks ahead.

Schematic Design and Design Development

This is where your design goes from a sketch on a napkin to a fully laid-out building or space. During this phase we will have discussions about everything from the layout of your kitchen and locations of your closets to the designs for built-in shelving and the best location for ductwork shafts. This is the time to get it just how you want it, so in the next phase we can work as quickly as possible to start construction.

Construction Documents

After the design has been developed to a point where all the programmatic elements have been met and the client is happy, it is time to begin the process of creating a detailed set of drawings that the contractor will use to construct the job. This may include demolition plans, construction plans, electrical plans, ceiling (lighting) plans, finish plans, exterior elevations, interior elevations, building sections, door and window schedules, and construction details. The client will be involved in all important decision-making along the way. All disciplines pertinent to the job, such as structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing will be coordinated with the architectural set so as to eliminate conflicts during construction. Once the Construction Documents have been completed, approval has been granted by the Department of Buildings (see DOB Documents), and a contractor has been selected (see Bidding), construction can begin.

Permit Set

At a certain point during the development of the Construction Documents (usually between 40% and 75%) a set of drawings will need to be developed to present to the Department of Buildings (DOB) for approval (if the job is requires filing). This set is similar to the Construction Documents, but with less construction and finish detail and more information pertinent to the DOB, such as distances to exits, locations of smoke alarms, fire-rated construction, air and light calculations, mechanical ventilation, among many other things. It is probably a good idea to hire an expeditor during this phase to assist in the permitting process. For most jobs it will take between 4-8 weeks to get approval from the DOB, but if your job is an interior renovation to a one or two-family home see the section for same-day review below.

Same-day Review at the New York City Department of Buildings

If you are planning an interior renovation of a single-family or two-family home in New York City, this is a great option to save you time and money. Instead of taking the usual 4-6 weeks to get a construction job approved, this option allows you to get the same job approved in one day. Contact me at 917-365-5524 and I can tell you all about it.


The construction drawings are completed, and it’s time to get bids from General Contractors. I will provide recommendations of trusted G.C.s that I have long-term relationships with, and the owner is also encouraged to bring in bidder of their own. I will coordinate walk-thrus with the G.C.s so they can ask any questions in order to fully understand the construction scope and timelines. Once we receive bids I will help the owner review and compare proposals and negotiate the final fee and scope of work. The final decision is always completely up to the owner.

Construction Administration

Once the drawings are complete and in the hands of the contractor you might think the architect’s job is done. But this is the most important of all phases of the project, and to ensure the paper design becomes the built design is no easy matter. Having the architect on site a few times a week for construction administration can play a big role in assuring the design is executed according to plan. At the very end, we will perform the “punch list” to ensure that substantial completion has been performed before verifying the final payment.