Historic & Urban Townhome Renovation

Having an expert partner by your side can make a major renovation less daunting. We’ll be with you from the very start to the final touches–we take pride in our relationships being as enduring as our design.

STEP 1: Pre-Design
Programing and Existing Conditions

Our first steps will be getting to know each other, beginning to craft our understanding of the space, and documenting how you want to live in it. We will focus on the “big ideas” that will guide the rest of our process. We will also evaluate and document what we have to work with—both inside and out—to understand if the bones are good. We come out of this step knowing what may need to be corrected so that we can design an amazing space.

STEP 2: Schematic Design
Concept Design

Schematic design is where the fun comes in. We prepare a series of design options for each level of your home and work with you to find out what suits you best. It’s like forming a picture together—we’ll work on figuring out the general arrangement of where to place different rooms, determine the areas, and relationships of all the required spaces to balance everyone’s items on their wish list. We will also explore the exterior and determine if the current home can accommodate the program or consider adding more space. This will become the basis of our design. Schematic design is the first step in taking a concept and turning it into a design.

STEP 3: Design Development
Refining the Design

Next, we prepare more detailed drawings to illustrate other aspects of the proposed design. Floor plans show all the rooms in the correct size and shape, the exterior and interior come together during this phase, and we start to dig into the details of everything from style to airflow. This is where your home comes to life in three dimensions, incorporating the materials and finishes on both the inside and out.

STEP 4: Preparation of Construction Documents
The Details

Once the finalized design is approved, we will prepare detailed drawings and specifications which the contractor will use to establish actual construction cost and build the project. These drawings include everything from materials and detailed floor plans to framing and electrical layouts. We make sure the documentation meets the local building codes and ensure we are fully prepared to work with the contractor in order to get all necessary permits.

STEP 5: Hiring the Contractor
Our Allies

The right contractor will complete your perfect project team. There are two approaches to hiring a contractor. A pre-construction pricing service or a multiple bid process. There are pros and cons to each, but we will help guide you through this process. We will meet with each contractor interested in the job, walk them through the plans, and answer questions about the project as needed. If you decide to continue with the multiple bid process, we will craft bidding documents for an apples-to-apples comparison and invitations to bid. We can recommend contractors we have worked with, but ultimately, the choice is up to you. Once the contractor is on board, we will proceed with project approvals.

STEP 6: Construction Administration
Project Observation

While the contractor will physically build your home or addition, we stay involved every step along the way to oversee the process. We can review all the practical details that go into crafting each element of your home—allowing the contractor to execute their construction methods, techniques, and scheduling at the highest, most efficient level.

Ready to talk through your ideas and explore options?


Architects aren’t just big picture thinkers–we tend to also be detail-driven perfectionists. Some clients opt to have an architectural eye on the finer design. We offer our expertise down to the smallest details—including custom millwork, selection of hardware and accessories, finish selections, and lighting.

After a large-scale renovation, those final touches can often be the most confusing. That’s why we’re invested in the process from the moment the first wall comes down to the second you stroll back into the finished space.

“We really valued the individual attention Kristin gave our project. While we know she had other projects overlapping with ours, she answered our questions and addressed our concerns. It was so very reassuring to feel like we weren’t in this process alone.”

—Brian / Historic Renovation in Jersey City