I enjoy designing houses.
I have been doing it for 20 plus years now (I’m getting old. Ha!). With the right architect, client, and contractor it can be a very rewarding endeavor for everyone involved.
Let’s discuss the process:
Step 1: Getting to know you.
One of the many advantages of hiring an Architect to design your home is having something that is uniquely yours. An Architect will take the time to ask questions about your specific needs, wants, budget, etc. and formulate a program to achieve those goals.
Also, I recommend that all of my clients create a folder (physical or digital) of houses or particular details that appeal to them. It’s a quick way for me to discuss architectural styles with them and figure out which style they may or may not be leaning towards.
Step 2: Finding the right site.
Every once in a while a potential client will come into my office and talk about the house of their dreams. They’ll bring in photos of houses they have either found online or bring in photos that were taken with their phone and say, “this is what I want…how much will this cost me?” The very first question I ask is, “Where is this dream house going to be built?”
The site is THE most important decision to be made when considering a new home.
Is it located in a subdivision?
Do you have a survey depicting the property lines, setbacks, site contours, etc.?
Is there a restrictive covenant?
Once you have decided where you’re going to live, I will visit the site with you and discuss many existing factors: site orientation, sun angles, existing predominant breezes, etc. All of this information is collected and discussed before discussions begin about schematic design.
An Architect can assist you in finding the right site for your home as well.
Step 3: Schematic Design
Schematic Design is where we take all the information from steps one and two and we start sketching ideas on paper.
We’ll sketch up site plans, floor plans, and elevations. At the end of this step, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how your new home will function and begin to see what it will look like.
This is by far the most enjoyable step in the process for me and I try to make it enjoyable for my clients as well.
Step 4: Design Development
Design Development is a matter of taking the Schematic Design and further developing the design. We’ll create a model that will allow us to create refined floor plans, building sections, roof plans, etc. By the end of this step, your house will be designed and details will be the next focus.
Step 5: Construction Documents
This is where we create the blueprints…not really, let me explain. Technically with the invention of large format printers, we stopped producing blueprints a long time ago. The process used to create those old blueprints was toxic at best and large format printers have made things much safer and faster.
Actually, this is where we create the technical drawings that the Contractor will use to actually build your home. Details will be put on paper and you will actually see how the pieces of the puzzle that is your new home are put together.
Step 6: Bidding or Negotiation
This is where I will help you gather bids from Contractors that we feel are best for your particular project. If you already have a Contractor, we will be there to answer any question they may have about the Construction Documents.
Step 7: Construction Administration
I will help make sure the contractor follows the construction documents, review change orders, create additional details if needed, and review payment applications from the contractor.
Step 8: One more site visit
After you have moved in your new home and settled into a routine, we pay you one more visit to discuss how the house functions. We’ll listen to any suggestions you have about the process and keep refining our process based on those suggestions.
We are providing a service and we want to constantly strive to be the best at what we do.