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This is an overview of Alchemy’s Process. For more detailed information download Alchemy’s Brochure.


Hiring an architecture firm to design a new home or commercial space is exciting, but it is also a regulated and licensed process. Timelines can vary between 16-30 months for most residential or small commercial projects—longer if you live in an area where building schedules are hectic and building permits are complicated (coastal regions or major cities).

ALCHEMY DESIGNS. We do not build our projects, although we may handcraft some of the details. We work with independent factories, general contractors, builders, craftspeople, and panelized manufacturers to deliver our designs.

Along with our website portfoliios, visit our social media sites for stories, references, and interviews about our work. The website offers more information about working with architects.


A site visit including in-depth design discussions will be scheduled after preliminary conversations. Before we visit, Alchemy performs due diligence around design precedent, local codes, and availability of builders be they factories, panel manufacturers, or general contractors. During the site visit we meet with you, walk the site, discuss your program, and begin the initial design discussion. More about site visits in this flier. 

The fee reflects a daily rate + travel and lodging expenses (approximately $3500).


After the site visit, a Design Services Agreement is prepared detailing the project’s scope. A budget, project description, and timeline is outlined to begin the Feasibility Study—roughly 30-40 hours of work. Design, methods of construction, team members, the planning budget, and program priorities are discussed.

The fee is based on project scope. A single family home Feasibility Study fee is typically $5000.


Project designs suit program needs, the site, and follow parameters established during Feasibility. Time spent during Design Development (DD) is based on program, site variables, and communication. This phase requires considerable communication between all parties: the architect, builder, and owner, and also the vendors who will contribute to the project. It’s where we “push and pull” ideas, prioritize and schedule, research and study, draw/toss/draw again, and work on budget assumptions and priorities. Engineers are consulted, and the team comes together for the entire project.

The fee is 5% of the projected project budget.


The Construction Drawing Documents are the graphic and written record of the design process. The CD set contains all the information needed to construct the project, and is utilized by permitting authorities, lenders, and builders. It is often the lengthiest part of the process, and varies considerably based on the build method.

The fee is 5% of the current estimated project budget (this may have changed from the DD phase).

NOTE: A Sworn Construction Statement (SCS) is often requested by financing institutions. An initial estimates from a builder/contractor is not the same as a SCS. Typically, a SCS comes after the Contract Documents (CD) Phase. In other words, you may need to get through the Feasibility/Design/CD Phases of a project before lenders agree to financing.


Alchemy works closely with the builders and the project team through the entire construction cycle. This valuable phase produces an efficient and financially viable project.

The fee is 3% of the current estimated project budget (this may change from the CD phase).


Post-construction or ‘set,’ this is finishing work done by the architect (oversight) and builder (general contractor and/or factory subs) to get the project move-in ready.

When completed, the wrap-up fee is assessed at this time and reflects the amount needed to reach 15% of the actual project cost. All previous Phase payments are credited, including the Feasibility Study fee.

To read about our Process in detail, download Alchemy’s Brochure.

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