The Design Process is a time for exploring ideas and options that result in the best project – by working collaboratively with you.
First, I ask questions - and listen to you.
Even though I have begun to learn about your project needs in our first interview together, you might explain what you like (and hate) about where you live right now.
A wish-list is often very helpful.
All this leads to a "program" and the defined scope of the project you need built.
During the initial Preliminary Design period, I come to know your house by measuring and photographing it as much as needed. Then, I start to draw up the existing house or analyze the characteristics of your piece of property: in all cases I take into account the views, where the sun comes in, in the morning or where the shade is on a hot August afternoon; an enormous number of other factors are always considered.
Also, basic kinds of structural ideas, wall construction and foundation, soil and ground water constraints, along with the building code and local zoning.
Soon we meet to review design options. It may take several sessions to get to the point where you see the best solutions for you. Along the way I show you realistic images of not just room layouts on plans - but views of the living spaces.
Using my three-dimensional software, rooms or the entire house are modeled so they can be seen from all viewpoints and in all seasons of the year as the sunlight comes in.
We have found it most cost-effective for an owners budget, to have a qualified General Contrator involved starting at this early stage. They can best advise us on the potential costs and savings of different options.
When the general form of the project has been established by picking the best option, we start to refine ideas about finish materials and products. Decisions about heating and lighting are integral also, as well as the choice of siding material, roofing and window performance.
At this point, the GC can give a initial but pretty accurate cost estimate.
Next is the Design Development period when any adjustments to the design can be made if needed based on to the GC's estimate or to add anything if your budget allows.
The final design period is when the final "blueprints" or Construction Drawings are produced.
They are largely a by-product of the earlier two stages - which provided a springing off point for necessary elaboration for the builder.
All materials are noted, special areas drawn at larger scale for clarity, and electrical / lighting diagrams added. The Specifications are written; they list the materials and quality levels expected, and products to be purchased.
Then the GC signs a contruction contract with you, obtains the needed permits, and we begin to see your project built!
WPA stays involved in your project until it is fully completed, ready to attend job meetings, see that the drawings are being followed and supply any additional details if needed to explain the work. Overall, the GC is responsible for supervising the actual work.