• New home
    • Styles from Modern to Historic Revival
  • Historic
    • Renovation
    • Additions
    • Re-purpose
  • Renovations
  • Additions

States require locally licensed architects to stamp most drawings, especially those that are of public safety concerns. However, there are exemptions from licensure state laws. These exemptions may vary by state, but often include:

Virginia exemptions:
“No license as an architect … shall be required … for single and two-family homes, townhouses and multifamily dwellings, excluding electrical and mechanical systems, not exceeding three stories …”

Pennsylvania exemptions:
Residential: “Architects licensure Act exempts detached one-family and two-family dwellings not more than three stories in height, and their accessory buildings.”

Maryland exemptions:
Residential: “Detached single or 2-family dwellings, including those to be utilized for home occupations, as defined by local ordinances, and sheds, storage buildings and garages incidental to the dwellings.”

    • At Stone Bow Studios, we are focused on providing energy efficient homes where compatible with the needs and interest of the client.
    • We strive to provide a balance of efficiency by focusing on the building as a system. All components are designed to work together, for a year-round comfortable interior, improved air quality & reduced utility costs.
    • The primary elements involved in a balanced system design are:
    • *The links provided were selected for their educational value and shorter length. No one short video will give you all you need to know. If you would like, I can recommend my favorite building science education videos. The best & most up to date information tends to be conference lecturers (not quite the attention-getters) and are between 45 min. & 90 min. 


consultant  DIY residentialWhether you are wanting to renovate your home or find the best site on your property, Let us help and be your guide – only as needed. Save money and do it yourself.

  • Programming: During this phase, I would get to know you and your project needs to better design for you.
    • Identify Clients needs
    • Identify Project goals
    • Create a Program  that shows opportunities and constraints to define Project scope.
    • Review of Proposed building site or Existing conditions.

  • Schematic Design Phase:  During the schematic design (SD) phase,  I get to know what the owner would like to see in the final project and is often more informal. I will:
    • Develop design options – sometimes more than one
    • Examine spacial relationships
    • Identify scale and basic forms
    • Research zoning requirements or local building code restrictions
  • Design Development Phase:  Often called the DD phase, is when the project is developed into specific design elements. To include:
    • Material types
    • Location of doors & windows
    • Building plans & elevations
    • The level of detail provided in the DD phase may change on a project by project basis, depending on client needs.
    • The DD phase often ends with a formal presentation to, and approval by, the owner.”
  • Construction Document Phase: Called CD’s. Construction Documents are started once the owner and architect are happy with the DD set.
    • Create drawings with greater detail to be used by the General Contractor to order materials and build the building
    • CD’s typically include specifications for construction details and materials.
      • Often on residential or smaller commercial projects, they can be included in the drawings.
  • Code Review Submitting: Typically this is done by the owner but I am available to help in the process under separate contract.
    • Submit for Zoning approval
    • Submit to local jurisdiction for Code review
    • Any comments during review can be addressed by letter or, I will be able to provide new drawing reversions if needed.
  • Bid or Negotiation Phase:  Once the CD’s are complete, it’s time to hand them out to potential contractors for pricing. The owner may elect to to these part themselves, but I am available to help in this process under separate contract.
    • Submit to General Contractors for bids
      • Depending on the project, the client my already have an idea of who they want to price the job.
      • Another option would be to have an invited bid. Request bids from 2-4 recommended general contractors.
      • The other option is to have an open bid and advertise to all that want to provide a bid.
    • Once the bids are received, I will help the owner evaluate the bids and select a winning bid.
    • Any negotiation with the bidder of price or project scope, if necessary, should be done before the contract for construction is signed.
    • The final step is for the owner to award the contract to the selected bidder
  • Construction Phase Services: Contract administration (CA) services can be provided under separate contract and the level of service varies depending on client needs and complexity of the project.
    • My primary responsibility during this phase is to help the contractor to build the project as specified in the CD’s as approved by the owner.
    • Questions may arise on site that require the me to develop sketches that offer additional clarification to finish the project properly.
    • Unforeseen circumstances may require changes in the design.
      • Site examples: bad soil or rock during excavation
      • Renovation example: finding a fireplace during demolition for a historic renovation
  • Work as a consultant as a part of a design team to support the production of CAD drawings.
  • Architectural; Engineering; Industrial Design; other.
  • “The American Institute of Architects has defined shop drawings as diagrams, schedules, drawings, and other types of data prepared specifically by a distributor, supplier, manufacturer, subcontractor, or contractor to show some part of the work. That is, shop drawings show how the architect’s design is intended to be implemented by the contractor. Although AIA gives separate definitions, ‘Shop drawings’ can be interpreted to subsume ‘Samples’ and ‘Product Data’. “
  • “Using shop drawings provide the contractor and the architect with an opportunity to review what the subcontractor or supplier intends to supply or construct before approving the fabrication or construction.”
    Read more: http://www.associationofconstructionanddevelopment.org/articles/view.php?article_id=10701

“Specification services comprise the research, analysis, and evaluation that lead up to preparation of written requirements for building materials, equipment, and construction systems. The scope of the research in this process depends on specific project needs and requirements.”
Read more:  http://www.aia.org/aiaucmp/groups/aia/documents/pdf/aiab089223.pdf

  • “Revised set of drawing a project or a particular job. They reflect all changes made in the specifications and working drawings during the construction process, and show the exact dimensions, geometry, and location of all elements of the work completed under the contract. Also called record drawings or just as-builts.”
    Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/as-built-drawings.html#ixzz40jQhJDCZ
  • Also, create As-Built / Existing Drawings for older buildings.

Industrial Design (ID) is the professional service of creating products and systems that optimize function, value and appearance for the mutual benefit of user and manufacturer.
Read more: http://www.idsa.org/education/what-is-industrial-design