Homeowner needs will vary from project to project, but here are some examples of how a designer can help.
3D Images and Conceptual Design: Sometimes homeowners simply need help understanding what their options are, especially when renovating. This service includes layout options, along with virtual images of the renovated space or new build. See examples in this blog post.
Full-Service Design: Work with the homeowner through all aspects of the home design: building site analysis, documenting needs and requirements, floor plans, electrical plans, and selecting materials and finishing details.
Space Planning: Assist homeowners who are downsizing or transitioning to a new home. Room layouts can determine whether existing furniture will fit in the new space, which items are no longer necessary or whether new pieces will be required.
Floor Plans / Construction Documents Only: Some homeowners may choose to sketch their own design and may simply need floor plans and construction documents prepared. Or perhaps they need modifications to an existing plan.
Electrical Plans: Good lighting is an important element of a well-designed home, improving efficiency and safety, but equally important, creating ambiance and interest.
Material Selection/Finishing Details: Assist with the selection of finishing details to ensure coordinated finishes, such as wall colour, cabinets, plumbing and electrical fixtures, trim, and flooring,
Call (506-365-0547) or email today to discuss your next project, large or small.
Designing a Home – My Approach
Understanding the homeowner’s needs, how they live and their aesthetic preferences is critical to designing a home that is comfortable, efficient and pleasurable to the homeowners.
Respect the Site
Never work against nature, take advantage of the site’s views, orient the home for solar gain and be creative when addressing the site’s less desirable features.
Lots of Light
Allow as much natural light into the home as possible, providing windows on 2 sides of each room where possible. Equally important is a good electrical lighting plan for safety, work and ambiance.
Look at the Big Picture
A home is more than a building; its design should consider the neighbourhood, the landscape around the home, the home’s exterior features, its construction (all the important details that you don’t see), the layout, interior details and finally it’s furnishings. Omitting any of these design components could result in a home that has not reached its aesthetic potential – a home that truly resonates with its owners.
Connection to the Outdoors
Plan the exterior spaces while designing the home to ensure efficient access and enjoyable outdoor spaces.
Plan for Existing & New Furniture
Ensure the layout includes space for your current and future furnishings. Open concept homes mean fewer walls for placing furniture and artwork.
It’s the Details
It is the details that can make a home special, especially when you add features you can relate to, create interest, or elicit a fond memory. It is also important to respect design elements the owners will innately respond to, such as colour, scale and proportion.
Building an energy efficient home creates a comfortable and affordable living space that is good for the environment.
Sizing a home or renovation that meets the owner’s needs and their budget can be a delicate process. Renovating an existing home means reserving a portion of the budget for addressing unexpected surprises while less than ideal building sites can mean extra foundation costs. Compromise is part of the process so encouraging client’s to prioritize their “wish list” will make the decision making process a little easier.
Designing a Home – The Steps
A lot of information is gathered during the initial meeting, in particular the homeowner’s requirements, their likes/dislikes, and their ideas for the new home or renovation; most homeowners have already given this considerable thought. Copies of their inspiration photos is requested, along with links to their Pinterest and Houzz idea boards. The objective of the first meeting is to identify the scope of the project, budget, and timelines.
Owner Requirements Document
Documenting the owner’s requirements and decisions is an important tool for communicating the design requirements and ensuring both the designer and owner have a common understanding. The document is not static; it will be continuously updated throughout the design process.
Design Options & 3D Images
Considering the homeowner’s requirements and the project’s constraints and opportunities, one or more design options (floor plans) are prepared for review with the client. Exterior elevations are also included, plus 3D images of the proposed new home or renovation to help the owner visualize the end result. Draft plans are often sent via email in PDF format and subsequently reviewed by phone or in person.
Designing is an iterative process with designs revised and details added to each version until a final design is achieved that is acceptable to the client. Any changes or decisions along the way are documented in the owner’s requirements document.
Construction documents include the floor plans and 3D images, as well as descriptions and drawings of construction details as required for obtaining a building permit. Depending on the design, construction documents may include foundation plans; basement plans if the interior is finished; wall, floor and roof assemblies; thermal resistance calculations (R-value) of these assemblies; roof slope, stair cross sections, interior materials (e.g. flooring, tile, etc.), house cross sections to illustrate ceiling heights, as well as any details the building inspector and contractor should be aware of. If accessible design features are part of the new home or renovation, the construction documents would include drawings and details such as grab bars, cabinet designs, ramps, etc.
Good lighting is an important element of a well designed home, improving efficiency and safety, but equally important, creating ambiance and interest. Use of dimmers and 3-way switches are often overlooked.
A site plan showing property boundaries and the location of the building is a requirement of the building permit application.
Material Selection & Finishing Details
Assist with the selection of finishing details to ensure coordinated finishes, such as wall colour, cabinets, plumbing and electrical fixtures, trim, and flooring.
Tell me about your new home or renovation project….
Every homeowner is unique – how they live, what they like or dislike. Some prefer a traditional style while others a like clean, modern home or something in-between. For others a more casual style may be preferred such a cottage, farmhouse or timber frame. That is why I love designing homes – I love meeting new people and helping them design a home their sanctuary. Simply fill out the form below or call or email anytime.