The Swallowtail Process

We are passionate about helping people design custom living spaces that let them enjoy the beauty of our local landscape. Whether you wish to build your dream home on a LowCountry marsh, renovate your current residence in Summerville, or modify a historic residence in Charleston, the Swallowtail Design Process ensures success.

At Swallowtail, we take a lot of time at the beginning of the project to really understand what is important about the site, the needs and requirements of the homeowners as well as their dreams and aspirations. We check out the facts with the zoning and FEMA regulations, and we ask our homeowners a lot of questions. It’s vital in getting the details exactly right. Because a great building is about the details and the nuance. From the way the windows face the view, to the framing around the doorways.

Design Preparation



Your project will begin in the Research Phase. This is where you get inspired and dream. You are gathering information and playing around with ideas about what your new house could be.



At the point you want to firm up your ideas concrete, you are ready to move to the next step, the Analysis Phase. Firms such as mine offer clients a Readiness Report. We will analyze your project and discuss your options to achieve the best results for your lifestyle, site, and budget. We will check the feasibility of your ideas and understand the project constraints.



Once you have completed the Readiness Report and understand your options, you will work with your Architect and start the Pre-Design Phase, where you define the Program and the specific parameters of what you want for your new home and develop a conceptual site layouts.



Schematic Design

From here, your Architect will develop the Schematic Design and design the floor plans and elevations of your new home. With your approval of the design, your Architect will obtain any conceptual design approvals required and will invite several qualified Builders to meet you and give you your first real estimate of construction costs to ensure the design is on budget.


Design Development

With the approvals and budget in place, the remainder of the design team, including the structural engineer, interior designer landscape architect and pool designer finalize the design and obtain any preliminary design approvals required.


Interior Architecture

So the interior of your home is a beautiful as the exterior, the Architect designs the interior elevations, considering the finish and the interior details of each room and the built in cabinetry. The Architect will coordinate with the Interior Designer.

Construction Drawings


Construction Documents

Now the Architect and the design team begin the Construction Document Phase, and produce the construction document set, used by the builder to construct your luxury home. If required the Architect submits the construction document set to obtain final design approval.




With the complete construction document set, the Builder applies for the building permit and prepares the final Cost of Construction.



At last, the construction of your new home begins! Throughout this phase, the Builder is responsible for the construction of the work and the on site safety and the Architect is available to advise and answer questions and reviews the work for quality and compliance with the construction documents.


Move In

After your Architect submits the Punch List of outstanding work, and the Builder completes the all of the work, you are presented with the keys and you Move In! At last you are living the dream in your new luxury home!

Learn More About Swallowtail Architecture

Looking for an Architect in Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms, Kiawah Island, and in the Lowcountry area around Charleston, South Carolina? Swallowtail provides residential design services including custom, new homes, historic restorations, whole house renovations, additions, as well as commercial design services for coastal, lowcountry, island, traditional, and modern-beach homes, as well as commercial properties in the Charleston area.