What to Expect

First, a phone call

We answer your initial questions and plan for the first steps.

Meeting & Proposal

We meet to discuss the project in more detail. Usually this meeting takes place at your property so we can experience the space we’ll be working with. We listen to your goals for the project, discuss your cost concerns, and explore your thoughts about design and use of space. When we have a clear idea of what you want, we write up a proposal for our services, detailing the project, our services to you, and our fee schedule.

Existing Conditions & Background Research

We gather information to provide a starting point for the design. We photograph and measure the existing spaces, and we produce initial scaled drawings. We consult zoning and code laws to determine exactly what rules and regulations apply to your property. We consider the context: geographical, historical, social.

Schematic Design

We work together to develop a design solution that fits your needs. We explore various design concepts, floor plans, and building materials. We sketch by hand and draw computer renderings. We may build digital 3D models to help you visualize the space. After going back and forth a bit, we narrow in on a design solution and begin to work out the details.

Construction Documents, Permits, & Contractors

We finalize the plans and translate our design solution into detailed construction documents. We prepare and submit all the documents required for permits and construction. We obtain bids from contractors and help you make a selection.


When a contractor is selected and a permit is awarded, construction begins. We conduct periodic site visits to review construction work, solve open issues, and deal with unforeseen conditions. We stay involved through building completion to ensure everything goes well.

commercial, residential, institutional, renovations, additions, new construction, space planning and programming, barrier-free design, facade repair and restoration, feasibility studies, existing facilities surveys, Life-safety evaluations and assistance, Design and construction documents, Construction observation, City of Chicago ordinance-required exterior facade surveys, City of Chicago ordinance-required fire escape inspections


  • Commercial, residential, institutional
  • Renovations, additions, new construction
  • Space planning and programming
  • Barrier-free design
  • Facade repair and restoration
  • Feasibility studies and existing facilities surveys
  • Life-safety evaluations and assistance
  • Design and construction documents
  • Construction observation
  • City of Chicago ordinance-required exterior facade surveys
  • City of Chicago ordinance-required fire escape inspections