This probably isn’t the answer you’re looking for, but the real answer to the question of how the long the architectural process takes is, “it depends.” The timeline really does vary from project to project.
Sometimes, the architectural design phase of the project can go fairly quickly for clients with relatively simple projects or for those who come in with a good idea of what they want and have minimal changes during the process. For more complex projects—especially those that require bringing in specialists like engineers or Title 24 consultants—the design process may take longer. The process can also be lengthened by clients who want substantial changes after the original plans have been drawn up.
Once the plans are submitted to the city, it can take several weeks to several months to get approvals, depending on the complexity of your design project. Every city is a little bit different. In the City of Long Beach, for example, the first plan check tends to take about four to six weeks, and a subsequent review will require approximately another two weeks. If your project has to go through the Coastal Commission for approval, it can add multiple months to the project timeline.
Fortunately, Grisafe Architecture has good relationships with the city planning departments in Long Beach and the surrounding cities. We submit drawings in the manner in which the cities are accustomed to seeing them and our plans generally require few, if any, revisions from their planning departments.
We occasionally get asked by potential clients if we will help them forgo the permitting process to save some time. The short answer is no. We require that every project we work on goes through the proper approval process. Of course, we will do everything we can to help speed that process along, but every project needs to be permitted and meet all applicable codes.
The longest phase of a project is typically the actual construction. Our clients often retain our architecture firm to help with construction administration in order to reduce delays and keep the final project cost under control. We can work directly with our clients’ general contracting companies to answer any questions they may have during construction and we can also meet with city inspectors, if needed.
A good architect moves a project smoothly through each stage. Our experienced team does research into any applicable codes upfront, to avoid costly (in both time and money) revisions later. We pride ourselves in our excellent communication with clients, city officials, and contractors, knowing that good communication is often the key to keeping projects moving forward and helping them be completed in a timely manner.
At Grisafe Architecture, we typically charge our clients by the project, rather than charging an hourly rate, so we have no incentive to drag projects out longer than necessary. We want to see our clients enjoying their new homes or places of business as soon as possible!
Get in touch with us today to learn more about the architectural process or to start a conversation about your upcoming design project in or around Long Beach.