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CDG Process

Our process is client specific. The team at Cushman Design Group has built a foundation on 30 years of lessons learned through the design and construction process of hundreds of projects. Time and again we are reminded that the simplest lesson we’ve learned, has proven to be the most important –it is all about listening.

The process is all about gathering stakeholders around the table and listening to each other’s stories. This is what separates so-so projects from great projects. It is our job to facilitate these conversations, listen with great attention, and translate into beautiful, crafted and energy efficient architectural forms and sensitive site development solutions.

We bill our services on an hourly basis and provide detailed proposals before setting forth on each phase of work. We guide our clients by tailoring our services to their project needs. CDG has a long history and experience of developing professional and honest relationships with our clients, contractors, craftsmen and suppliers.

Now, we encourage you to take a closer look at our process by reading the brief descriptions of our Scope of Services:

Pre-Design Phase

In this initial phase, we meet with you to discuss your personal style, space requirements, design ideas, and how these correspond to your budget and time schedule. We will meet with you at your building site to analyze its distinctive features including solar orientation, topography, septic, utilities, and vegetation. Additionally, we will research the zoning and permitting requirements specific to your site. If your project is a renovation or addition to an existing building, we will field measure the building and create a set of record drawings that will be used as a starting point for design work. Cushman Design Group will provide you with our thorough client questionnaire and preliminary cost analysis that will aid us in determining the unique programming requirements for your project.

Schematic Design Phase

Based on the information gathered in the pre-design phase, schematic hand-rendered site plans and floor plans and elevations are developed to explore and describe potential relationships of spaces and how the building might inhabit the site. Overall building massing is studied through perspective sketches, CAD modeling or three-dimensional models to assist in visualizing the project. An initial opinion of cost will also be developed to help evaluate the cost implications of design decisions and compliance with budgetary requests.

Design Development Phase

The chosen design concept is developed into more detailed drawings as mechanical, electrical, and structural systems will be assessed and integrated. Spatial relationships and dimensions are further refined.Detailing of the building is developed as exterior and interior materials are evaluated. We continue to adjust the opinion of cost along with advancement of the design concept. If a general contractor has been selected, we will coordinate with them as they can begin to develop pricing for the project.

Construction Document Phase

Comprehensive detailed working drawings (formerly known as blueprints) and written specifications are prepared which will be used to communicate with contractors as they establish more accurate project pricing. These documents include site, architectural, structural and electrical plans and contain pertinent door, window, electrical, plumbing and finish schedules. These documents will be part of the contract for construction with the chosen contractor and set the stage for interior design and supplementary design services.

Negotiation Phase or Bidding Phase

In some cases, the contractor has been selected earlier in the design process to help assess costs as the details of the project are developed. In other projects, construction documents are presented to qualified contractors in order for them to provide a competitive bid or a negotiated price for the project.In either case, we will assist in reviewing the qualifications and proposals from selected contractors.

Construction Administration Phase

As the physical building starts to take shape, we are on the job site observing construction progress and meeting with contractors. We provide clarifications and supplemental information as needed. Our primary goal during construction is to help ensure that the client’s vision is translated properly into physical form – drawings and specifications can relay how the building is built, however, communicating the unique design features of an individual project often requires hands-on attention by the entire project team in order to be crafted successfully. In addition, we can review contractor’s requests for payment, prepare any revisions that have been authorized, issue site meeting reports, respond to requests for information and review other submittals.

Supplemental Services

We offer and regularly provide complete design services not provided for in the basic service agreement between the owner and the design firm. These services enhance and reinforce the design and aesthetic intent of the project. We are highly proficient in kitchen and bath design; wood and stone flooring selection; interior and exterior paint, stain, and material finish details; built-in cabinetry, vanity and furniture design; fireplace design; selection and/or custom design of lighting fixtures; and tile and stone selection. The integration of the building into the landscape is very important to us and is viewed as an integral part of the whole project. We offer full landscape design services to enhance a building’s connection to the site.