The design process can be a trying time for all parties involved. To have a blank sheet in front of you with endless possibilities can be overwhelming. I like to break each project down into 5 steps. Each phase of the design gets you a step closer to creating your dream home. Each job is a new adventure, and each step will be different for each person. I have found that putting some order to the design process helps myself to address the needs of each client. Some might spend more time in a certain phase than others and others will make quick decisions.
- Master Planning: This is the very first thing to start the design process. What is your main goal regarding this design/build? Once that is understood it is easier to move forward. Are you wanting to remodel to accommodate your needs or do you want to build an entirely new house that is a one of a kind? If a site needs to be picked this step can be used to show how a house could fit on the property to capture views, allow for privacy, etc. If a site is already picked, you will be able to hone in on exactly where you want the house and characteristics you want to capture.
- Flow Chart: Once your needs have been discussed and we know what details we want from the site, I like to focus on the function of the house. I would use this step to see how you want the house to flow. From the front to the back and side to side. At this stage we will start to see the floor plan taking shape, having areas beside others and how you traverse throughout the house will give me an idea of how to design spaces.
- Design Development: At this stage, I take what was given in phase 1 & 2 and start to create floor plans and elevations. You will start to see your house take shape and better visualize the layout. Not only with the placement of rooms but also windows and doors to capture views, let natural light in or whatever you want to accomplish with all aspects of the build.
- Construction Documents: At this phase the majority of the design is complete. Rooms, windows, doors, roof, etc. are in the correct places and function how you see fit. This phase is needed to be able to give contractors a detailed set of plans to accurately price and estimate costs across the board. The more information they have, the more accurate they will be able to be.
- Construction: The builder has been picked, the plans are now going from paper to actual walls in front of you. At this point you are able to stand exactly where your home will be, and see how each detail comes together to create your dream home.