The pre-design meeting is a free-style exchange of ideas and information. You don’t have to do anything in preparation for this meeting. In fact, the meeting will probably go better if you don’t bring a lot of pre-conceived notions with you. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there, and starting with a clean slate is a good idea.
We’ll begin with a series of questions to build a personal lifestyle profile. You’ll probably learn a few new things about yourself (and/or your spouse). We’ll use that profile to assemble a list of your wants and needs, and then we’ll establish priorities for each.
Then I’ll assess how your wants, needs and priorities impact the design, and present you with viable options. For example, if you like to cook out on your back deck, but have purchased a lot facing East, I’ll point out that the hot summer afternoon sun can take a lot of fun out of your afternoon cookouts. Options I’d present would include planting fast-growing shade trees, extending the roof to provide more shade, incorporating a canopy system or perhaps a trellis with growing vines. And I have other solutions.
After we’ve identified the main challenges and arrived at conceptual solutions, I’ll work up some loose diagrams of the floor plans and rough sketches of the exterior. These sketches are purposefully abstract so you can focus your attention on big picture issues such as the number and position of bathrooms, and amount of kitchen space. You can tell me how many electrical sockets you want on each wall, and their placement later in the process.
Imagine yourself in each room, walking through the house slowly. Envision what you can see from various places inside each room. Do you want to see the den TV from the kitchen as you cook? Do you want to see the dirty dishes in the kitchen sink as you relax watching TV in the den?
The schematic phase is the best time to experiment boldly, move things around, and make radical changes. I am very conscientious about giving my clients a good value so I feel compelled to tell you that making “radical” changes later in the process can bump the costs up. Please make good use of the schematic phase.
This phase involves larger and more detailed drawings. I refine the floor plan and we’ll start talking about building materials, and more interior design issues such as vaulted ceilings, closet structure, secondary lighting, etc.
Once you are 98% satisfied with the floor plan, I will start rendering working drawings. These “blue prints” serve as the detailed instructions that the contractor will follow. They include all the dimensions and information needed to apply for a permit and build your home. I’ll provide building code compliant specifications for everything from roof pitch to foundation drainage tiles, electrical schemes and more. Here is where you can tell me how many electrical outlets you want on each wall and exactly where they should go.
Just because I’ve turned the blue prints over to your builder, doesn’t mean I’m done. Questions arise. Changes still happen, and I’m more than glad to help you in any way I can.