Working With an Architect: Phases Two & Three

In the first installment of our “Working With an Architect” series, we discussed phase one, design.

Following the design phase, we jump into the interior design and technical documentation phases.

This interior design phase will occur in tandem with the technical documentation phase to keep the project on schedule.

Once all the design selections have been made, the architect will incorporate them into the complete construction document set (CD set) so contractors can prepare accurate bids.

Read on for more details about phases two and three.

Phase Two: Interior Design 

Many clients greatly enjoy this process. Once you and your architect have established the form of the building, it’s time to select unique elements that showcase your style and personality.

You will work closely with the designer to make selections for stylistic elements, such as:

  • Tile,
  • Paint colors,
  • Flooring,
  • Cabinetry,
  • Hardware,
  • Appliances,
  • Plumbing fixtures,
  • And so much more!

At Mitchell Wall Architecture & Design, we include basic interior design services in all our projects. Clients can also choose to utilize our more comprehensive custom interior design services.

To learn more about our interior design services, please visit

You can choose how involved you want to be during this process. Our team of professionals will aid you in every step to customize your space.

Phase Three: Technical Documentation 

Technical documentation creation refers to the composition of construction documents (CDs). This phase takes about three times as long as the design process and does not involve much client input.

CDs are drawings that show the contractor exactly how to construct the building. They will incorporate structural engineering and civil engineering documents.

All this work will be compiled into a permit package providing the city with all the necessary information to obtain a permit. It is not uncommon for a CD set to be 30 pages or longer.

CD Set Contents 

A CD set consists of multiple details. These include:

  • Site plans
  • Floor plans
  • Elevations
  • Interior Elevations
  • Interior Details
  • Section Drawings
  • Schedules
  • 3rd Party Documents

Site Plans 

Site plans are drawings that show how the new construction fits within the overall site. They will involve topography provided by the civil engineer that often includes water runoff diagrams and mitigation plans, easements, setbacks, and other requirements from the city.

Floor Plans 

  • Demolition plans – (when required) detail portions of the existing structure to be removed to accommodate the new layout; limited to addition or renovation work and are not required for custom builds
  • Dimensioned floor plans – show the layout and identify doors to be referenced in the door schedule
  • Finish floor plans – provide information on materials used throughout the project, such as flooring or appliances
  • Electrical plans – detail where each electrical fixture will go, locate outlets, and provide switching plans
  • Roof plans – depict the layout of the roof, roof pitch, and materiality, as well as guttering and downspout locations

Floor plans will also locate and identify structural elements such as columns and supports.


Exterior elevations show materials, overall dimensions, floor heights, ceiling heights, and identifying windows to be referenced in the window schedule.

Interior Elevations 

Uses drawings to depict specific views in individual rooms that identify material selections, heights of elements (e.g., counters and windowsills), finish and fixture choices, and layout.

Interior Details 

These include trim profiles, woodwork or plaster detailing, custom furniture design, etc.

Section Drawings 

Section drawings show how the various levels within the building interact with one another.

Detail section drawings detail to the contractor how the building envelope and numerous crucial moments are to be constructed. These moments include everything from how a roof meets a wall to how the concrete foundation is built and will be included and cross-referenced with the engineering documents.


  • Door schedules – enumerate the location and type of every new door in the house; dimensioned floor plans allow contractors to know where each door goes, its size, and how it will be finished; hardware details will be noted
  • Window schedules – provide contractors with the make, model, dimensions, finish, and so on for every window in the new build
  • Finish schedules – outline the square footage of every finish material used in the new construction; include a room-by-room breakdown of materials so the contractor can prepare an accurate estimate and order the right materials in the correct amounts

3rd Party Documents

A 3rd party engineer provides:

  • Structural engineering documents – detail how every element in the building is supported and how the structure is to be constructed, with a breakdown of the necessary structural components for the contractor
  • Civil engineering documents – required in many municipalities; detail how the new construction impacts the site and how the slope and grade will be adjusted to accommodate the project; the civil engineer may have to provide plans for stormwater mitigation

Mitchell Wall Architecture & Design: Phases Two & Three

Together these phases take the most time for an architect to complete. However, without these steps, it would be impossible to ensure your project would be constructed as designed or even receive the permits to start construction in the first place.

For more information about Mitchell Wall Architecture & Design, please call us at (314) 576-5888 or fill out this contact form.

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