At Mary Sikes & Associates, we are committed to being an exceptional client-focused architecture firm. 

With that in mind, we begin each new project with the customer in mind. We view our projects as collaborations, and so we begin each new effort by taking the time to fully understand our client's vision, goals and objectives for their project. In addition, we work to understand the best way to communicate with each client based on their needs and preferences. Once we are aligned with the client on how we will approach the journey ahead we begin the project process. 


We generally follow a simple six step process for each project. Obviously each project will be unique effort based on client needs and the scope of the effort. The following high-level steps provide the framework for each individual project.

Step 1: Programming/Deciding What to Build

We meet with our client to discuss the requirements for the project testing the fit between our client's needs, wants and budget.

Step 2: Schematic Design/Rough Sketches

Next, we prepare a series of rough sketches, known as schematic design, which show the general plan for the project. We may also prepare models to help visualize the project. Our client approves these sketches before proceeding to the next phase.

Step 3: Design Development/Refining the Design

Next, we prepare more detailed drawings to illustrate other aspects of the proposed design. Floor plans show all the rooms in correct size and shape. Outline specifications are prepared listing the major materials and room finishes.

Step 4: Preparation of Construction Documents

Once our client has approved the design, we prepares detailed drawings and specifications, which the contractor will use to establish actual construction cost and build the project. The drawings and specifications become part of the building contract.

Step 5: Hiring the Contractor

Our client selects and hires the contractor. We are happy to be  an advocate for our client and are willing to make some recommendations. We can help our client prepare bidding documents as well as invitations to bid and instructions to bidders.

Step 6: Construction Administration

While the contractor will physically build the home or the addition, we can assist our client in making sure that the project is built according to the plans and specifications. We can also make site visits to observe construction, review and approve the contractor’s application for payment, and generally keep our client informed of the project’s progress. The contractor is solely responsible for construction methods, techniques, schedules and procedures


* Footnote - Six Step Process courtesy of  AIA Chesapeake Bay Chapter