BIGGER THINKING.  BETTER BUILDING.  DESIGN MAKES THE DIFFERENCE.

 

We believe in the power of design.  When we talk about design, we’re not just talking about style.  We’re talking about an engaged process to identify and understand a problem, then using our imagination and experience to collaboratively discover a solution and execute it. Take a look at the five phases in this process and you’ll understand why we can’t imagine creating a successful project without them.

 

01. LISTEN

We listen to you to understand your experiences and expectations.

We want to understand what you experience – good, bad and indifferent – living in a house that you expect to make better. We want to know how you live, and would like to live, in a home that is presently incomplete.  We need to understand the opportunities and constraints offered by your house and site, the economics that will drive your decision making, and the ways in which you prefer to express your style and taste.  This understanding is the basis of our design work.  What we create will respond to everything we hear.

While we’ve been down this road hundreds of times, as new participants in the process, we want you to know what to expect along the way.

You listen to us as we make clear the process we rely on to guide and manage your project.

While we’ve been down this road hundreds of times, as new participants in the process, we want you to know what to expect along the way.  We’ll make clear what you should expect from us, and what we’ll expect from you.  We’ll describe our itinerary, calling attention to important milestones.  It’s a process we know intimately and manage carefully, so you don’t have to.  We expect that’s a relief!

And we listen to your house and site.

We ask to understand how it serves you; and doesn’t. We question its bad habits; and how you’ve been forced to adapt to them. We seek its virtues and are guided to build on them; preserving what delights and reconfiguring what frustrates. We ask what it offers easily; and what we may be required to struggle to get from it. And we ask always, what can we do with what we have before proposing the creation of additional space. Just as the woodworker, we strive to work with the grain.

Scheduling a Project Snapshot makes it easy to take this first step forward

PROJECT SNAPSHOT

02. LEARN

Coming up with a great plan begins by uncovering patterns that work with the grain and building out from there.

It’s often a puzzle, sometimes a maze, but we know our way around these corners. We’re familiar with the patterns that make a home great. Our goal is to reveal that potential to you.

Working from all we know about you and your house we sketch and scheme until a solution is revealed.

Again we meet and listen, this time making sure that the ideas we present are understood, then listening carefully to your responses. Together we discover what’s working in our plans. We imagine living in and using new spaces. We picture new vistas and imagine the functional organization of what the new plan offers.

As these ideas develop and are presented we share the experience and understanding that led us to each solution.

To our knowledge we add yours, bringing your life experience and familiarity with your home to enhance what we have proposed. At the conclusion of this “schematic” design phase we intend to hold in our hands a plan that is worthy of further development; a plan that exhibits the potential to make your good home great.

We felt they would honor the character of our home and design the new addition in keeping with the character of the home…and they did!

03. BUDGET

While we may be enchanted with our plans, we know that it’s essential to understand what constructing them is likely to cost before developing them further.

With schematic plans that express our intentions, we are able to develop reliable budget ranges for the project. We build budgets that anticipate costs for every category of construction that your project is likely to require; from foundation to finish. We break this budget into distinct phases that will allow us to evaluate each area of the project appropriately. This work produces a report that serves as an indispensable planning tool.

While tempting, guesstimates and budgeting shortcuts like square footage costing return information that can easily mislead us. That’s why we insist on taking this time to understand where we’re headed.

Because we know that the choices we will make about our design and its construction must be guided by these costs, we develop these budgets thoughtfully, consulting with our team of project partners to assure that we establish reasonable budget ranges for the work. This effort is essential to the careful planning we are committed to. While tempting, guesstimates and budgeting shortcuts like square footage costing return information that can easily mislead us. That’s why we insist on taking this time to understand where we’re headed.

You are now equipped to perform one of your most important roles in the planning process.

With our guidance and this information you are prepared to determine the scope of the project we intend to build. We want the assurance that we are pursuing a project that makes sense both functionally and financially. You’ll “do the math” and consider the value of the investment, including important factors like the equity in your home, the trends in market value, and the time over which the investment will mature. You’ll also evaluate the intangible values: the things you love in your home that are irreplaceable, your location, your neighborhood, proximity to friends, work, or school, and of course, the opportunity to make your home a great place to live that will delight you every day.

We will help you think through all this information, and share our experiences with the hundreds of others with whom we have traveled this path.

What is essential is that you arrive at a decision about the course we have set that is right for you. Comfortable with your choice and the financial framework we all understand and intend to operate within, we can now pursue the development of our design in earnest.

Thanks for a successful completion of the remodeling you did for us.  The attitude of your people was especially appreciated.  You helped us make the most of our budget.

Wayne

04. DESIGN

Until it was clear what the scope of the project was going to be we avoided spending time working out the details.

Once the scope is clear and everyone is comfortable with our direction, we’re ready to make all the choices that will create the look and feel of your home. In other words, its time to go shopping!

We have in our hands a set of plans and specifications to produce the project we’ve spent hours of hard work and thoughtful consideration creating.

Having established our budget framework we can begin making product selections with comfort about their cost.

The context allows choices. As we make selections, if we desire a more expensive product here we may choose to balance that choice with an acceptable bargain over there. One by one we make selections and quantify them in our project documents. Our goal is to identify every element of the project so they can be ordered and installed as needed, while assuring that we stay within our budget goal.

As you shop, we guide.

We rely on your taste in color, texture, and form to lead us toward a cohesive material palette. We respond to and comment on your choices, helping you understand how all the pieces will come together to create a delightful whole. We keep an eye on what’s already at work in your home’s architectural vocabulary to assure integrity with our choices. As we agree on the products to include, we document the choices in the drawings and written scope that will guide construction.

While you are shopping, we are busy adding detail to our plans.

We create drawings that display how your new space will look, document its engineering and mechanical systems, and produce details that insure that everything will be built as planned. We annotate our written scope to accurately describe every element. Throughout this process we continue to practice our habit of meeting and listening to each other, sharing the goal of clear communication to insure we end up building just what you want and need.

At the conclusion of this process we arrive at our design destination.

We have in our hands a set of plans and specifications to produce the project we’ve spent hours of hard work and thoughtful consideration creating. We have a contract to construct that project at a cost that everyone understands and is comfortable with. We are ready to begin building, confident of the result.

05. BUILD

Now that we’ve finished planning our journey, its time to pack the bags and set sail.

Once we have a finished plan and a contract to complete it, we mobilize our construction team and project partners to begin building. A binder is prepared to contain every detail of the project for your project leader to work from. A schedule is laid out and everyone involved is notified of their place in the plan. Products are ordered, building permits acquired, and start and finish dates set. We’re ready to go.

Before we begin we meet and listen again.

This time it’s to transfer your relationship with us from the design to the construction team. Though the designers remain on call to clarify details and provide ongoing design input if necessary, the construction team steps in to take control and manage the execution of our design. All our effort in planning is to provide a clear set of instructions for the construction team to be guided by. They rely on our good work and assume your intentions have been made clear.

Clear plans and a thorough scope of work allow our team to proceed with confidence to do what they are so good at.

At this pre-construction conference your project leader walks you through the construction process, including a review of the plan, methods of communication, and site housekeeping issues. As always we will strive to communicate the systems that we rely on for success. This includes a contract everyone intends to follow, a set of plans and specifications that clearly identify all the parts, and a system that can accommodate requests for additional work or deal with unexpected conditions without interfering with the workflow.

Living through a building project requires everyone’s active participation.

Your daily schedule and the ways in which you ordinarily use parts of your house are likely to be disrupted to varying degrees as the project unfolds. As with every other phase of this process, we have dealt with this hundreds of times before and expect to do everything we can to make the experience manageable. It’s an adventure and should be enjoyed for the process of change that it truly is.

The quality of the work is very high and the design is top notch.  We sensed a real pride in what they do.

WE CAN’T IMAGINE DOING IT ANY OTHER WAY. CAN YOU?

The place is beautiful and it works.  You did a great job on design and your staff did beautiful work, real craftsmanship.

George

What makes it possible?

You’ve seen how we approach the journey.  But what equips us to deliver you to your promised destination?

It takes resources: a good team, the right values, rich experience.  Read on.

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