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we’re flexible and responsive

Some clients have a strong vision and we help them achieve it, others need coaching, and we guide them through the design process helping them formulate their vision along the way. Design isn’t a linear process, nor is there one right answer, but with the right partners, tools, and creative thought we can turn concepts into reality.

The most important thing to understand is that getting a project designed and built is a process, it takes time. Decisions are not made all at once but throughout the course of the project and we are with you every step of the way ensuring a successful outcome.

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We have a total of 6 Phases in our process. The design and construction process can be terribly confusing and this document was created to help you understand the phases we have that help us create spectacular projects.

The first four phases of the building process fall under the category of Design and Documentation and are controlled by the Architect. The 5th phase, Permitting is dictated by the city the project is located in. The 6th and final phase of the project is Construction and is controlled by the selected contractor.

Each of the six phases has a distinct purpose, and you as the owner will be required to make key decisions during each phase and sign off at the end of each phase to ensure the project is proceeding as you’ve envisioned.

designtank six phases | process | designtank
phase one | process | designtank

Existing conditions / pre-design

This is also where we critically examine the building site, and the existing conditions of the site (lot shape, size, views etc) and what is historically and culturally significant to the area. This is also where we order a site survey of the land so that we can build upon it. In this phase we make sure to solidify the building program or client brief so we can make sure to tailor the design to our Individual client needs.

phase two | process | designtank


In this phase We are utilizing the criteria that established together in Pre-design to explore design concepts. This is where we focu on the overall experience, look and feel, and spatial quality of the project in order to create the driving design concepts. We will generate sketches and diagrams, and these will start to lead into the creation of floor plans, elevations, and eventually a 3D model (client depending) that will help the client visualize the overall project concept.

phase three | process | designtank

Design documentation

The goal in this phase is to refine and develop the design of the project. Consultants such as civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineers are involved at this phase (if needed) to select and implement the major systems that allow the project to be built and function properly. Also, during this phase, the materials including siding, roofing, doors, windows, lighting, cabinetry, counters, hardware, fixtures, tile, flooring, color schemes, and all other finishing details are discussed.

phase four | process | designtank

Construction documents

This is where we take everything that has been learned and decided in the previous phases and prepare the detailed construction document set that will be used by the Contractor to accurately price the project, obtain the building permit, and build the project. This is the final deliverable you receive from us; however, we are always available during the permitting and construction process to troubleshoot any questions/problems that arise.

phase five | process | designtank


Designtank handles the permitting process on behalf of our clients. Permitting is always dependent of the city or local jurisdiction the project is located in. The time for permitting varies on how many projects they are reviewing and how well they are staffed. A building permit is required for all new construction and is issued only when the structure is designed in accordance with the building codes and all other applicable codes and ordinances.

phase | process | designtank


This is where all the hard work and planning that went into creating your home comes to fruition. The contractor is in charge of setting up the construction schedule and adhering to it, not the architect. The length of time varies widely based on size, complexity, and location of the project. Also, the length of time is largely dependent on your immediate action on decisions that need to be made during this phase of the project.

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