The Design Process

THE DESIGN PROCESS

A home is so many things – shelter, a place to eat, sleep, raise a family, enjoy hobbies, entertain family and friends, and for some of us, it is also a workplace.  A home must also be comfortable, allowing all these activities to be carried out smoothly and efficiently – our homes should work with us not against us.  And finally, a home is a work of art – its design, its materials, its craftsmanship – just being in its space should bring us  joy, pleasure, calmness; a respite from the world around us.

The planning or design phase is crucial and should occur well in advance of construction. This is the time for homeowners to think about how they wish to live within their home and what they want it to look like it, ensuring you have a home that matches your LIFE and STYLE. A designer can help you through this process, but the amount of input a homeowner provides will be reflected in the end product. A well thought out design is well worth the investment. Enjoy – it is a wonderful experience creating something that is truly your own.

To help you get started, I created “Designing Your Home: Getting it Right the First Time” which describes the design process and the many factors to be considered when creating a house that will be truly your “home”.  The guide is not yet available for download on this site, so please send me an email for a copy.

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Site Analysis Identify zoning regulations, setbacks, topography, drainage, noise, solar path, existing vegetation, prevailing winds and sight lines (good and bad), neighborhood style
Inspiration Gathering Compile inspiration photos that you find appealing to find trends of colours, styles and layouts you like. Magazine, house plan books and websites, like www.houzz.com, are great sources of ideas.
Storage AnalysisAnalyze your storage needs should also be considered – items need to be easily accessible and near the place where they are used most often.
Document Needs and RequirementsOrganize your inspiration photos and requirements information room by room, exteriors, garages and landscaping. Use the worksheets in “Your Home Design Workbook” to document your needs and requirements, likes, and dislikes.
Conceptual DesignSimple diagram to show the general locations of the rooms and their relationship to one another. The schematic considers sightlines (good and bad), winds if they are factor, sun passage, and general location of rooms.
Floor PlansFloor plans may go through several iterations as more details are added or dimensions revised.
Electrical PlansImportant element of a well designed and efficient home; improves the home’s efficiency and allows safe navigation within and around the home, but equally important, it creates ambiance and interest.
Mechanical PlansDepending on the size and complexity of the home, plumbing, heating and other mechanicals may be added to the plans.
Construction DocumentsFloor plans, exterior elevations, cross sections, construction details.
Material SelectionFinishing details, such as wall colour, cabinets, backsplash, countertops, plumbing and electrical fixtures, trim, and flooring.