Here you define the project – its scope, features, purpose, and functionality. This is the time to select an architect and establish an owner-architect agreement. Together with your architect, you develop and refine a “vision” for the project. Your architect leads you through a “programming” exercise to help you explore the needs of those who will live, work, or play in the space you create. You will identify the services you need from your architect, and the design team will begin to form a cohesive relationship and a shared concept for the final building.
The contractor who will construct your building becomes the most active member of the team during this phase. The contractor will make investments in materials and create timetables that are extremely important. Good communication within the project team is critical, as the need for changes often arises. This is typically the time of highest stress for the project owner. Your architect will discuss changes and options with you, and ensure that alterations are compatible with your vision for the project.