Our primary goal at Erskine Associates is that every client comes away with a design that inspires joy. Design is a collaborative process. We approach each project with the same hands-on commitment to your vision, regardless of size and budget. As a full service firm, we are involved in every phase of your project from the earliest consultations through the final stages of construction. Each project is unique, but we have found that they all reach their greatest potential when crafted within our firms’ basic project structure of four phases. Larger residential, educational and municipal projects may require additional sub-phases.
I. The Programming Phase is the "Getting-to-Know-You" phase. Here we refine our understanding of your specific needs and desires, by encouraging an open dialogue to establish preliminary thoughts about your design priorities and budgetary criteria. At this time we will often ask for informal wish lists and images of features that appeal to you as a way to gain further insight into your vision. We will also begin reviewing and identifying relevant regulations that pertain to your property. This is essential to clarify parameters and processes that may affect the design.
II. The Master Plan/Schematic Design Phase is when your project begins to take shape. We integrate the information gathered in the Programming Phase to create conceptual designs for you to review. A Master Plan enables you to visualize and implement areas individually over time within the framework of an overall desired scheme. For smaller projects with a more specific focus, a Master Plan may not be warranted. Instead we would present you with Schematic Design concepts. As we explore options for your project, discussions about stylistic preferences and budget are imperative. The best designs emerge from honest communication and feedback on both sides of the drawing board. Once you’ve approved the Master Plan or Schematic Design, we can explore preliminary pricing with an Opinion of Probable Cost or initial consultations with contractors.
III. The Design Development and Construction Document Phase, focuses on refining the concepts you’ve approved in your Master Plan or Schematic Design. We continue to work closely with you as we develop the specific details and materials that will complement the character of your project. Our team begins generating the technical documents that will be used for bidding, permitting and construction. Should your project require approval from any regulatory agencies, we will assemble and submit applications on your behalf during this phase.
IV. Upon the completion and your approval of the technical documents, your project is sent out for bidding. At this point, your project enters the Bidding/Negotiation and Construction Observation Phase. We will evaluate bids and review them with you. Our goal is to find contractors who are the best fit for the needs of your project. Once contractors have been selected and the work begins, Erskine Associates acts as your representative during construction. We conduct regular site visits to observe the work, meet with you and the project team on a regular basis, visit product showrooms and nurseries, place plantings and deliver the final touches. Our hands-on approach is an integral part of our process. It gives us the opportunity to minimize project surprises while adhering to your vision.
Each of the projects featured in our online portfolio reflects the collaboration design process described above. The quality of our designs and the personable nature of our firm has resulted in long-strong relationships with many of our clients over our more than 20 year history.