Hillview Design Collaborative is primarily a residential and light commercial design firm.  Our versatile team of architects and designers can help you realize your dream project, whether it’s a renovation of a historic Victorian or a new net-zero ready, high-performance home. We look forward to getting to know you and applying our creativity and experience to the design of your new home.

The Hillview Design Collaborative Process

Designing or renovating your home is an exciting opportunity to improve your environment. At Hillview Design we’ve created a step-by-step process that makes this experience easier and more efficient.

We’ll identify your wants and needs, bring your future home to life with 3D digital renderings, and make that home possible with complete and clear design documents. Our design methods can even allow us to help visualize unique and difficult sites.

Every project is different and some phases are not required for all projects, but this is a general recipe that works well for most of them.

Our 3D digital models allow you envision your new home from any angle, inside and out.

Initial Meeting

We begin by meeting with you to learn about your dreams and aspirations for your project.  We’ll ask you about the project goals, budget, your anticipated schedule, the site, and whether you would like help selecting a builder or have someone already in mind.

This is an opportunity for you to discuss your expectations and learn about us and our process. We’ll share examples of our work to illustrate how we can assist you with clearly visualizing your project.

This is also an opportunity for us to gather information we’ll need to develop a proposal for architectural services. We will often take receipt of sketches, collected or sketched floor plans, magazine clippings, or online materials you’ve collected to help communicate your ideas and visions. 

Proposal for Architectural Services

Summarizing the information you share with us in our design proposal will give us all a chance to review where we think the project is headed and make sure we’re both on the same page. This summary will define our scope of work.

Once you’ve helped us define a scope of work for your project we’ll create a custom design proposal and estimate.  We’ll break down the estimate based on the amount of time we expect to spend on each of the design phases.  A proposal is just that – a proposal subject to your review, questions, clarifications and–most importantly–your approval.  

Owner-Architect Agreement

Once the proposal has been agreed on, we’ll develop an Owner-Architect Agreement to be approved and signed by both parties.  It formalizes the scope of work, architectural services and fees outlined in the proposal. Once we have received a completed Owner-Architect Agreement we’ll begin work on your design.


This includes gathering information about the configuration of the existing property as well as further definition of your program of spaces and space requirements.

Every site presents design constraints and opportunities.  We’ll carefully review the applicable zoning and building codes pertinent to your site. A survey of the existing property and topography is sometimes warranted.  We can also assist you in determining what is most helpful to a full understanding of the site.

Schematic Design

This very important phase is defined by the architect’s interpretation and consolidation of the site and program requirements into design schemes that best fulfill the client’s design criteria.  These preliminary models and sketches are then further formatted to present descriptive 3D model views, schematic floor plans, and elevations that best describe the building and its relationship to the site.

We strive to make this phase of the project an iterative and efficient process informed by feedback from you.  This is a step-by-step process which may involve several changes along the way. 

Design Development

This phase further refines the approved schematic design to incorporate additional information suitable for preliminary estimates by the builder, such as accurately dimensioned plans, elevations, sections, window and door schedules and schematic foundation plans.

Please note that Design Development drawings will be noted as “Not for Construction”.  The use of the Schematic or Design Development drawings for construction purposes shall be solely at the contractors and/or owners risk.  

Construction Documents

This is work to produce drawings and documents suitable for construction including fully dimensioned plans, elevations, sections and details. This work shall include all pertinent information required by the contractor to build the project as drawn.

Construction Administration

As the architect, our core desire is to work on your behalf to insure that the work is proceeding in accordance with the Construction Documents, and to assist the contractor.  Questions may arise that require supplemental drawings and/or documentation to provide additional clarification to the construction documents.  This service shall be provided on an as-needed basis only with your prior approval, and is a supplemental service billed hourly (not part of our basic service fee).

Supplemental Services

Supplemental services, if requested, are be provided on an hourly basis.  Some supplemental services may be expected for your project and we’ll note these accordingly.  For example, the services of a structural engineer are a requirement of drawings issued for construction but are not included as part of our basic services fees (See “Design Development” above).