The set design process will begin with a quick chat either in person or via web media such as skype or facebook to discuss the production, date and rough out some ideas.
Then if the project is accepted a few further rough sketches will be worked on to ensure the Director and Set Designers visions for the project line up and work well.
After the ideas are sketched out a scale model, commonly 1:25 scale, will be produced. The model, fully painted, will help inform all members of the cast and crew as to the look and size of the final set in a way that it easy to understand. It is also helpful in identifying possible problems with the original design and have changes made before construction starts.
With the model complete the set can begin construction along with painting and dressing.
Each set design and time to complete depends on a wide variety of factors such as budget, needs of the cast and crew, individuals abilities to work around the set and time to complete.