Design Process

The Design Process forms the structure needed to build your home, but it can also ease your mind, be creative and fun.

2 Aerial Site Plan.psdDreaming of designing and building your own home? Many of us do, but it can be a stressful situation. There is eagerness to see the dream become a reality, mixed with the chaos of watching it get built. Hiring an architect provides you many benefits when it comes to making your dreams come true, and one of those benefits is taking stressful situations from your hands, so you can focus on the enjoyable parts like designing your home.

What is Schematic Design? They look like doodles….

Schematic design is just the beginning when Urban Design Associates builds your dream home. During this phase, we will discuss with you — your wants and goals.

When developing the program for your home, we create illustrative concepts and spatial relationships of the program on the site. We conduct research on zoning and design restrictions at your location.

By the end of the process, cost and estimates will be delivered based on the scope of the work.

The deliverables you will have at the end the schematic phase include:

  • Surrounding Views: (Mountains / City Lights) Sun Direction
  • Site Analysis / Zoning Code Check
  • Site Plan
  • Floor Plan
  • Concept Exterior Elevations
  • Other illustrative materials

What is Design Development? Hey, that kinda looks like a house….

After the schematic designs have been completed, the next step is the design development stage. At this stage, Urban Design Associates takes extra care to begin bringing your dream home into reality.

We will sit down with you, and between us, begin developing specific design elements for your home. This usually consists of deciding on exterior materials that will be used and the specification of items like appliances, fixtures, windows and doors.

The deliverables you should have by the end of the design development stage includes:

  • Floor plans
  • Sections
  • Exterior & Interior Elevations
  • Door and Window Details
  • Material Specifications

What is Construction Documents? I’m actually building a home….

Construction documents are detailed approval documents, drawings, and specifications as needed for constructing a building. They serve a couple of purposes: getting permits from the city design review board and constructing your home.

Urban Design Associates uses the plans, specifications and supporting documents to translate your ideas into your dream house. These documents are also used for the next step, which is the bidding phase.

The deliverables you should have by the end of the construction document stage includes:

  • Complete Set of Drawings
  • Construction Details
  • Specification Book
  • City Permit Approval
  • Design Review Approval
  • Structural | Mechanical | Electrical Drawings

What is Bidding and Negotiations? The numbers are in….

During the bidding | negotiating phase, the architects changes roles from a service provider to a consultant.

Urban Design Associates releases your construction documents to qualified contractors, and after cost submittals are returned, we begin renegotiating. Once the contract is finalized, it can be signed and construction can begin.

204-91-9The deliverables you should have by the end of the bidding and negotiating stage includes:

  • Bid: Proposed price the contractor offers to complete a project
  • Negotiation: Architect reviews offer made for more favorable terms
  • Construction Contract

What is Construction Administration? Just take care of that….

Construction administration is the last potential phase in the building process. It is when Urban Design Associates can help assure you that your home is completed to reflect the design intent. We can observe the construction is conforming to the drawings and specifications.

The deliverables you will have at the end of the construction administration phase include:

  • Ensured Quality
  • Advice and Consultation
  • New Home

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Improving Leadership Skills


Improving on the leadership skills of yourself and your employees is beneficial company wide.

1.      Understand your future from looking at your past

Learning to be a leader is understanding that it takes time to build those skills. When an employee leaves the company, it is time to reflect. Asking yourself what you could have done better to support that individual, is the first step to knowing yourself as a leader. Even if that person was not a match for the company dynamic, it is still good practice to ask yourself why and see if there are any areas the company can improve.

2.      Your voice matters

Treating others how you would like to be treated, is a good motto to live by. When you are in a leadership position, you have to take the extra step of presenting the company’s mission and values. What you show your employees when it comes to your leadership, is what they will interpret as the heart of the company.

3.      Hire to build your company

Everyone strives to hire someone who will fit with their business. Since you cannot be everything for all projects, it is beneficial to hire people who have stronger skill sets than you in certain areas. Hire to fortify.

4.      Support the strengths of others

Improving on the weaknesses of your staff, helps reinforce your core group of employees. But, focusing on their talents not only increases morale, it helps develop the skills your employees are interested in. Supporting their strengths is supporting their professional goals.

5.      Have personal meetings with yourself

You’ve been doing everything you can to grow your business and support your staff. Take some time to reflect on you. Make sure you schedule regular meetings with yourself; it’s during this time you can understand your own personal strengths and weaknesses. If you take the time to make yourself a better boss, you will be making time to be a better leader.

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Best Architect – Best of Our Valley 2017

Best Architect


Arizona Foothills Magazine is putting on Best of Our Valley 2017, and you can vote your favorites from all over the state. Don’t forget Urban Design Associates as Best Architect!

Make your opinions known and support your local communities because it’s that time of year again. Arizona Foothills Magazine is once more publishing the Best of Our Valley 2017, and Urban Design Associates features as Best Architect.

With multiple categories like: Art & Entertainment, Food & Restaurants, Kids, and Shopping (just to name a few), you can find all of your favorite hang-outs and people. Click away and let them know you appreciate them being here in Arizona.

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Feed the Children

     On August 3rd, 2016 Urban Design Associates teamed up with Facing America to help the Feed the Children Organization; a non-profit whose mission, for the past 35 years, is to “provide hope and resources for those without life’s essentials”. One of the services they provide distributes nutrient dense, soy and rice based packages that are delivered to starving children around the world. With careful diligence, 91% of all proceeds go straight to the children and families in need, and a large number of their work force is volunteer based.

     The Feed My Starving Children center is located at the Mesa Fiesta Power Center (1345 S Alma School Rd, Mesa, AZ;  480.626.1970). They manage volunteer shifts that start approximately from 9:30 am – 10:00 pm, six days out of the week.


     Even though Urban Design Associate had worked with Feed the Children in the past, this was my first experience volunteering with this particular organization. When I first entered the building, the atmosphere was charged with a warm, caring energy to help “The Feed My Children” cause. They took great care to educate the volunteers on policy and procedure before the work began, and they also gave out stylish hairnets!

     After orientation and a good hand-washing, volunteers split into lighthearted competitive stations. Filling the room with upbeat music, each station had people scooping supplements and food, weighing accurately to track product, heat sealing for secure transportation, and packaging. After everyone decided on their positions, that was when the fun began. Feed the Children team leaders kept an lively attitude, and each station worked together to try and package as many boxes as possible within an hour time frame. By the end of the shift, you are hot, sweaty and filled with a sense of accomplishment.


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     The volunteers are asked to stay for a run down of all their hard work. Urban Design Associates and Facings America packaged 141 boxes, which means we helped prepare 30,456 meals for starving children. We were informed that we fed 83 kids for a whole year!

     1 in 5 children faces hunger in America, and 1 in 4 children around the world suffers from chronic malnutrition. Help make a difference and contact the Feed the Children organization and lend them your support however you can; it is wonderful experience for a fantastic cause.

Feed My Starving Children

Mesa Fiesta Power Center  (1345 S Alma School Rd, Mesa, AZ)



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UDA Estancia Home for Sale

This beautiful custom home on Lot 47 in Estancia is for sale.  Check out the online tour and striking photography.  Contact us for listing agent information or to design your own dream home.


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