What to expect.

Programming / Deciding What to Build

The owner talks and Gillespie Design Group listens. We discuss the requirements for the project in terms of size and scope, discussing the fit between the owner’s needs, wants, and budget.

Schematic design/rough sketches

We prepare a series of rough sketches, known as schematic design, which show the general arrangement of rooms and of the site. We may also prepare 3D renderings to help the owner visualize the project. The owner approves these sketches before proceeding to the next phase.

Design development/refining the design

We prepare more detailed drawings to illustrate other aspects of the proposed design. Floor plans show the rooms in correct size and shape. The major materials and finishes are designated. Building systems such as mechanical, electrical, and plumbing may be defined.

Preparation of construction documents

Once the owner has approved the design, we prepare detailed drawings and specifications suitable for bidding and permitting, which the contractor will use to establish actual construction cost and build the project.

Hiring the contractor

How the owner selects the contractor can take various forms. Gillespie Design Group may make recommendations and explain the pros and cons of methods available.

Construction administration

While the contractor will physically build the project, we can assist the owner in making sure that the project is built according to the plans and specifications. We make site visits to observe construction, review and approve the contractor’s applications for payment, and generally keep the owner informed of the project’s progress. The contractor is solely responsible for construction methods, techniques, schedules and procedures.

Buildings taking form.


What clients say.

“I had been working with a high profile firm but they weren’t coming up with any innovative ideas. They weren’t enthused about the project. We needed innovative ideas for remodeling a public building. Big firm said, ‘We can’t do it. We will do this instead.’ Gillespie offered an alternative that worked. They made it happen with the budget we had.

Good history of projects, references, licensed. Gillespie had everyone on staff or access to them. Shared four innovative ideas the first week. They were open to constructive feedback. Project came in under budget. Allowed for collaboration. Offered alternatives at various costs. Saved us money. Created a pleasing atmosphere. Took our ideas and made them a reality.” Jim Scholtz, Director
McHenry Public Library

“Dave - you helped shape, hone and create the most beautiful building we could ever (or never) have imagined. Your knowledge, patience, kindness and generosity have been greatly appreciated every step of the way! The building is so much more beautiful, efficient and ‘smarter’ than anything we could imagine...it's crazy good!“ Sara Foszcz, Board President
Main Stay Therapeutic Farm

“Looking for someone versatile that I can make a part of my team. Dave has his head on straight. He’s practical and can understand a budget. Not fancy, they get it done. We built an on-going relationship. Dave has a great bedside manner. He’s calm, cool, and can handle us and our idiosyncrasies. He gets things done in a variety of genre. I don’t draw anymore, so he supplies drawings that I can actually build from. He also does space planning, and can manage civil and structural engineering.

On a scale from 1 to 10, I would give them a 20. He’s very good at what he does for us - commercial, office interiors, industrial buildings, office warehouse and industrial. He understands manufacturing needs. Architects used to be project managers and Dave still is. He’s a good manager. He’s a bread and butter, competent architect.” Robert Peron, VP Construction
Van Vlissingen and Co.
“We hit it off, same values and lots of integrity. No lawyers needed, which is very rare. Dave is very patient, no condescension. I never felt like an idiot. Very empathetic, educated and helped us make decisions. Provided creative solutions to specific problems, no stumbling blocks.

Dave came up with a simple solution that no one else had thought of. Gained a lot of insight in the process. We talked a year before putting anything to paper. Great perspective with an interesting approach to relationships and ringing down emotions at the jobsite. He brings his reputation to the Village. Portrayed our image of what we wanted the building to be. Dave has a great construction site manner. He is the calm within the storm. “ Bill Collazo, Owner
Chocolate Sanctuary