Our Design Process

Services provided by an architect consist of five phases. The phases are sequential but overlap can occur between the phases. The phases are PreDesign, Design Development, Construction Documents, Bidding & Negotiation, and Construction Observation.

Are you thinking about building a new residence, an addition and remodel of your existing home or an accessory unit? Your first step is to find the right architect to design your project and guide you through the process of making it a reality. DZN Partners believes we are the right architecture firm for your project and we strive to build a relationship with each of our clients as their design partners. We are dedicated to creatively interpreting project requirements and providing excellent architectural services.

When you contact DZN Partners we will schedule a time to meet with you at the project site to discuss your ideas and obtain a visual picture of your existing property. This initial meeting comes at no cost to you and allows the architect to meet you and attain a better understanding of the project. Following the initial meeting the architect will prepare and send you a probable opinion of pre-construction services and fees for your review.

The Process

Services consist of five phases of architectural services and any consultant services needed to assist the architect in completing the project.



The existing site conditions and the project scope are reviewed by the architect. If existing buildings are part of the project they will be measured and photographed. Also, any other adjacent structures or conditions will be documented if they will impact the project. The measured buildings and site are then drafted into a digital format to be used to develop the project design.

Design Development

The architect evaluates the information received from client meetings, including; the desired spaces, vision images, sketches and predesign phase information to develop a design. The client and architect share ideas and communicate to develop the design together to reach the anticipated conclusion. When the design is complete the architect processes the design documents through any required municipal or association approvals.

Construction Documentation

The project design is enriched by the architect with detailed drawings to precisely convey the design intent. Consultant work is coordinated and integrated with the architect’s drawings to create a unified set of construction documents. The construction documents are processed through municipal review to obtain a building permit.

Bidding and Negotiation

The client and architect choose contractors to bid on the project. Bid forms are prepared and sent to contractors with the construction documents so they can provide construction bids. The architect answers contractor questions about the project. The client and architect review the bids to negotiate with the selected contractor to achieve an agreement to build the project.

Construction Observation

The architect observes the construction as it progresses to ensure that the project’s design intent is understood. The architect also acts as the client’s advocate by mediating matters that occur. If construction exposes unexpected circumstances the architect works with the client, consultants and contractor to achieve a solution.


Praises From Our Clients

"His [Bart’s] work is excellent, he is very friendly, knowledgeable and conscientious of his customers' needs and I would recommend him to anyone looking to hire a high standard, honest professional for their project."
"Throughout the process, they [DZN Partners] were very receptive to the specific design elements I had in mind, and provided expert guidance and direction for details that I would have never thought of…Overall, it was an amazing process and I cannot say enough good things about my experience with DZN Partners."
"Both our jobs were completed on time, in big part to DZN [Partners] staying involved through the entire approval and construction process. Bart and his team are very full of cutting-edge architectural and design ideas. They know Encinitas building codes, backwards & forwards."
"They [DZN Partners] were very adept at blending local codes and guidelines, along with our design feature and functional requests. They listened well, provided thoughtful inputs, and together we iteratively reached an optimal design."
"DZN [Partners] was a great firm to work with during the whole process, the results were way over what we expected and we consider ourselves very fortunate to have been guided by such a wonderful architect…I would highly recommend DZN Partners to anyone."
"Not only does DZN offer great Architectural design they also offer all the professionalism and promptness I desire for smooth projects. If you have any Architectural needs you should reach out to DZN [Partners] to see what they can do."
"OMG! You just made my day. Thank you so much for all your help and guidance on this. Hooray! Cheers, Dave Clark"
"Bart Smith & DZN Partners were FABULOUS!! Beyond thrilled with the end product. Bart listened to our needs, designed an ADU/guest house that fit perfectly on our property, and was extremely knowledgeable about new laws & ordinances for the city of Encinitas. Highly recommend Bart and his team. True professionals!! Jennifer and Zachary Taylor"
"I am very impressed with DZN Partners, and the job Bart Smith & Marisol did on our Cardiff by the Sea home. Their attention to detail, communication, and timeliness in getting our job done was very refreshing to see!. DZN Partners also implemented architectural ideas into our plans that we didn't even think about which made our finished remodel so much more awesome! Bart's years of local knowledge with the "City Departments" got our permits approved very quickly, which enabled us to hire our General Contractor and start our project sooner than later. If you are looking for the "BEST" Architectural firm - look no further, DZN is 2nd to none! Thanks again Bart & Marisol; I will be referring you to everyone in need of your great services. Chris & Kim Kimura"
"DZN Partners performed architectural design on two projects for us. Our second project was a full down to the studs remodel, reconfiguration and expansion of a 60’s ranch house. The design process included a new floor plan with additions to the master bath, enlarged kitchen, great room, office, new roof lines and all new exterior facade. Bart and Meaghan both were accessible and very helpful during the design process and jumped in when structural changes need to be made due to owner revisions. It was a pleasure to work with them and would use them on our next home building project. Paul and Robin"