Frequently Asked Questions


Do we need an architect?
We advise our clients to consult with an architect if permit-ready drawings are required. If the work you plan to have done is just cosmetic such as paint, carpet, tile, fixtures and display lighting, then you may not need an architect. If you plan to build walls, add electric, plumbing, HVAC or other structural building elements then you will probably need a permit and an architect may be required. We often associate with local architects and will help you coordinate the drawing requirements to keep costs to a minimum.

How long does it take to develop drawings?
We‘ve turned drawings around in a few days. We have also watched the design approval process take several months. To begin the process we interview our clients and try to get a feel for how much they want to spend and how they want the store to look. We then create preliminary drawings to get the ball rolling. These drawings are critiqued, red lined and discussed in depth so that we can develop a second set that is much closer to the final design. We again go through the critique process and eventually arrive, collaboratively with our client, at a final design that everyone is happy with. The final design goes in for bid review and typically we have to adjust the design as necessary to hit the budget (This process usually involves some vendor and contractor negotiation as well).

So what‘s the “standard” design turnaround?
2-4 Weeks

Can we do it quicker?
Sure, we often turn drawings around in a couple of weeks..

Can it take longer?
If the approvals process stalls, the drawings can take months. If a permit is required the drawings can be drafted and submitted quickly but the city can take months to approve them.

How do we start the design process?
Call us at 619.208.7527 and talk to Jeff Grant, our head of design services. He will be able to tell you what the design fee will be, how long the process will take