About the Design Process

Initial Consultations

Most of the general questions that clients have during an initial consultation are covered in an easy-to-reference format here. Once you've got the basics down and you're ready to talk about your project specifics, this is the perfect time for an Initial Consultation.

Free Phone Consultations

Once you're ready to discuss your project specifically, please reach out to schedule a complimentary initial telephone conversation of up to half an hour. In order to make this a more productive discussion, please review the Planning Guide prior to scheduling the phone consultation.

On-Site Consultations

Initial On-Site Consultations jump-start the Schematic Design process without the commitment of a written proposal. During this meeting, we meet at the project site to discuss your project goals, style preferences, and budget; do a preliminary evaluation of constraints of the home and site; brainstorm solutions; and I assist you in determining next steps and the path forward.

SAVVY Design Studio offers no-obligation 1-2 hour Initial On-Site Consultations at a flat rate of $300* payable by check at the time of the visit, or in advance by electronic check, in the following Maryland and Virginia Counties:
Montgomery County, Frederick County, Prince George's County, and Howard County, Maryland
Fairfax County, Loudon County, and Arlington County, Virginia

Please reach out to schedule your Initial On-Site Consultation or inquire about sites in Washington DC or farther afield in Maryland and Virginia. 

In order to make this a more productive discussion, please review the Planning Guide prior to scheduling the on-site consultation.

*Design-Build consultations scheduled through a partnering contractor may be billed at a different rate reflecting the value that they add to the meeting. For some initial on-site consultations, the inclusion of a structural engineer may be advisable; this can be arranged for an additional fee.

Moving Forward

You're ready to start planning your project. Now what?

Whether your project is a new home, renovation, or addition, the Savvy Design Studio process is similar and usually breaks down into three phases:

Hand sketches from the schematic design process.

Schematic Design

We start with an initial consultation to discuss your goals

This is a good time to mention if you would like to include environmentally sustainable efforts beyond code requirements.

The goal is to agree on the general design direction and prepare a pricing package. The package includes hand sketches and pricing notes, which are used to obtain an approximate budget price from a qualified contractor.

Schematic Design is done under a written proposal outlining the scope and fee.

Hand-sketched or computer-generated 3D views are an optional service at this phase.

A partial page from construction documents

Final Design

Once a client has the budget pricing in hand, they may want to make changes to the design. This is the perfect time for this to happen.

I will prepare a fixed-fee proposal for final design based on client feedback of any planned changes, and then we’ll work together to get everything right on paper.

If necessary, I’ll bring in a structural engineer and will let you know if you need to have a site survey done. I will draw a set of plans  for obtaining a permit, contractor bids, and construction. 

For larger projects, I will prepare a digital 3D walk-through or still views as a part of this phase. Interior finishes and fixtures will be generic in these views, with final selections to be chosen by the Owner or Interior Designer. See the Planning Guide page for more details on how this works. 

A photo of an interior space in a home under construction

Contract Administration

…also known as construction. This is the part homeowners dread. It is messy, disruptive, and loud, but worth it. Your contractor will build the project based on my drawings. 

During construction I can function as your resource and advocate. I can help you determine which contractors to invite to bid on the project and evaluate their bids with you. I can help you set your expectations, check on the quality and progress of the work, and help you determine if the contractor’s charges are fair. 

Contract Administration concludes when construction is substantially complete, and since the scope of services are negotiable, can be provided on an hourly or fixed-fee basis.