Client Process

Comprehensive Architectural Process

CMSA Architects offers a comprehensive architectural process grounded in meticulous consideration and excellence in Florida, particularly in the captivating regions of Sarasota and Venice. As trusted local architects in Southwest Florida, we delve into site attributes and zoning regulations, aligning with client aspirations for tailored architectural solutions. Our expertise shapes a refined preliminary design, harmonizing input from stakeholders, and providing cost estimates. Selecting a suitable contractor is pivotal for seamless execution. Detailed construction documents and necessary permits are meticulously prepared. The construction phase, guided by our oversight, ensures realization of architectural visions. With expertise spanning Sarasota and Venice, we streamline timelines within 5-6 months for preliminary design and documents, catering to project complexities. Through personalized service, CMSA Architects is your trusted choice for architects near you, guiding clients in realizing distinctive architectural dreams.


Site Review

Our first work on the project is to understand the site attributes and considerations. The site is first visually reviewed for the following considerations:

  • Geography
  • Topography
  • Climate
  • Sun Angles/Orientation
  • Surrounding Properties
  • Access Points
  • Views
  • Environmental Considerations
  • New and/or Remodeling Potentials

Zoning & Regulations

The site is then reviewed for these additional zoning and building regulations:

  • Existing and/or Proposed Zoning
  • Lot Coverage Considerations
  • Building Height Minimum and Maximum Heights
  • 3 Dimensional Zoning
  • Building Setbacks
  • Environmental and/or State Permits



Preliminary Design

CMSA will provide the preliminary design which includes a proposed site plan, floor plan(s) and exterior renderings. This preliminary presentation is CMSA’s visual interpretation and solution to the client’s goals, desires and dreams. After reviewing, the preliminary design can be massaged until all involved are comfortable with the design. At this time, the design will be reviewed by a contractor (if one has been selected) and CMSA to provide the client with a preliminary cost estimate for construction. Interior designers and landscape architects should also become involved to gain their input. This preliminary process then continues with input from all parties until an accepted preliminary design is achieved.


Select a Contractor

This step requires finding a contractor to work with. We will usually introduce the Owner to 3 contractors that we feel are suited to the needs of the Owner and to the project. Once a decision is made, and the Owner is comfortable with the selection of contractors, we work with the contractor and the Owner to evolve a more detailed cost projection. At this time, with all approvals, we will start the construction documents.


Construction Documents & Permits

Construction Documents will be started. These construction drawings are the drawings and specifications that the contractor will use to provide a final cost and to apply for and obtain a building permit. These drawings include architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical design drawings. If a state permit is required, CMSA will submit for these permits and act as the Owner’s agent with The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).


Finalize Build Contract & Start to Build

With a permit and a final cost available, we now assist in reviewing the bid and setting up a contract with the contractor. We suggest that this contract be reviewed by your legal counsel. The contractor is now able to start construction, and during the construction phase, we continue to work with the Owner, interior designers, landscape architects and anyone else involved in order to coordinate the shop drawings and review the work in place to ensure it is installed per our design. This process continues until the project is complete and we generate our final punch list. Each month, the contractor will submit their payment request along with lien releases.


The time frame for this process is about 5-6 months for the preliminary design and construction documents. The construction phase is dependent on the size and complexity of the home/buildings.

As with any work of art, each project will have its individual characteristics but the above synopsis remains consistent. Our work is custom for each client and is never repeated.

There is a lot that goes into every project we accomplish and through experience and expertise, we make the process fun and seamless. We pride ourselves on this and look forward to assisting our client’s in achieving their goals, desires and dreams.