A client’s project will be researched prior to a full scale design and construction commitment. Factors such as orientation, topography, zoning regulations including setbacks, owners budget, time schedule and environmental conditions will determine the basis of our study.
Alternative approaches are explored in sketch form based upon the owners project requirements, existing conditions and property survey. Final preliminary design drawings and preliminary construction cost estimate will be presented for owner approval prior to preparing the construction documents.
A full set of working drawings and specifications are developed into adequate detail for obtaining municipal approval and contractor bidding. Whitelaw Architects will coordinate the work with other professional consultants as necessary. The construction cost estimate is finalized after all aspects of the project are documented.
Contractor Bidding and Municipal Approval
Bid packages will be sent to qualified contractors for competitive bidding. Whitelaw Architects can assist in bid analysis and negotiation process and award of contract. Application forms will be sent to the local building department for approval. Certain projects require variances and special permits that must be obtained prior to building department review and approval.
Construction phase services include the site visits at approved intervals to check the work for general compliance to drawing and specifications. We will approve of contractor shop drawings, document progress of the work, approve invoices, attend meetings as necessary, prepare “punch list” of unfinished items and prepare final completion of certificate. We foster open communication and timely decision making between owner, architect and contractor in order to minimize delays, change orders and avoid work not in compliance with the contract documents.
Whitelaw Architects is available to discuss a clients' particular concerns. Examples in the past have been water seepage, cracked or leaning retaining walls, non-A.D.A compliant entry, aged siding or windows, structural deficiencies, Building Department or Health Department violations and certificate of occupancy.
Commercial and residential inspections are performed for investors, owners and property managers in order to ascertain the condition of all aspects of the property. Whitelaw Architects will methodically inspect the structure and submit a detailed report listing any deficiencies along with our repair recommendations. Whitelaw Architects has performed hundreds of inspections on condominium and cooperative buildings, single family homes, apartments and commercial buildings.
We will prepare a report listing general conditions and deficiencies suited for Home Owner Associations and Cooperatives who wish to develop a Capital Improvement Budget. Whitelaw Architects will include photographs and a ten year projection of recommended capital improvements.
Variances, Commission and Board Approvals
We will prepare any necessary applications, floor area ratio calculations, zoning analysis, environmental assessment form, photographs and renderings and present to a local municipality for review and approval.
Local Law 11 Inspections
We are certified with the City of New York to perform the required inspection for any unsafe conditions or maintenance repairs within a five year period. The report and photographs will be filed electronically with the City of New York after the owner's review and approval.
Our services are billed by the hour or by fixed price, depending upon the client’s need.