Design Forty Five offers a full range of services, from Full Project Service to hourly consultation.  At the start of every project, we consult with clients to understand their goals and help them determine the type of service that best suits their needs.

Full Project Service

Full Project Service is the most complete service we offer: we work with our Client to determine the function and aesthetic of the whole of the project as well as the parts. Throughout this process we create design options and engage the Client in determining a single solution.  The product is a full set of Construction Documents including specifications (a booklet of selected items and processes for construction) and drawings (plans, elevations, sections, and details — at appropriate scales) that show contractors how to build the project, down to minutia like cabinet hardware and waterproofing details. These Construction Documents can be used to engage a contractor to determine a not-to-exceed Construction Cost of the project.

Existing Documentation

We field measure and document existing structure(s). The product of this service is a set of drawings at 1/8”=1’-0” for use as underlay drawings for design work. Depending on the level of desired accuracy for the project, these drawings can be as inaccurate as a general image or, with detailed Existing Documentation, the drawings can be accurate to the inch. When used for construction, the Contractor needs to verify key dimensions to ensure accuracy.

Schematic Design

Schematic Design is the process in which the Designer works with the Owner to determine the general appearance and space-planning of the new structure or addition/remodeling. In this process the Designer creates design options and works with the Owner to determine a single solution. The product is a full set of exterior elevations, floor plans and one section through the building, all at ¼” = 1’-0” scale and a roughly-estimated cost. The major elements of the building are designed as part of this process: windows, doors, rooms, roof, siding. These drawings can be used to engage a contractor to determine a cost estimate of the project (though not a contracted not-to-exceed fee).


Design Development is the process in which the Designer refines the Schematic Design and starts to develop pertinent details. Additional information, including the structural and mechanical information, is added. Material selections are confirmed and any major changes to the design are completed during this phase. The products of this phase include a record of material selections, plans incorporating mechanical and/or electrical information, initial designs of interior spaces and some drawings at larger scales.


After completion of Schematic Design and Design Development, Construction Documentation is the process in which the Designer produces specifications and drawings for construction including technical information on how to construct and finish the building. The products of this phase are a full set of drawings and a specifications manual. Also included are final designs of interior spaces and schedules for windows, doors, appliances, plumbing fixtures, and room finishes.


Bidding is the process in which the Designer administrates the bidding process. The Owners and Designer interview at least one Contractor. The Designer is available for any questions the Contractor(-s) may have and provides Addendums and Clarifications to the Construction Documents as necessary. The product of this phase is a firm bid from at least one Contractor.

Construction Administration

Construction Administration service follows Construction Documentation and the selection of a Contractor. Construction Administration is the process in which the Designer meets regularly with the Contractor at the site to ensure that the project is proceeding according to plan. These meetings also ensure that the issues that inevitably arise are dealt with in a manner that fits with the intent of the design. Construction Administration is available only for projects for which Construction Documentation has been completed.

Hourly Consultation

In certain cases, we work with clients on an hourly basis towards a specific goal. This is often done in order to narrow project options and determine an appropriate scope of work. Clients may also seek hourly consultation to explore the feasibility of their proposed project, for pre-purchase advice, or other reasons.

What can we do for you?

Design Forty Five is dedicated to a fun, creative and engaging design process, characterized by great service and grounded in social and environmental responsibility. We’d be happy to discuss your project, no matter what stage of planning you’re in.

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