Our Four-Step Design Process
There are many ways to tackle designing a home. We’ve discovered that the following works for our customers.
“Hi ….. [Our Home] is wonderful and laid out "just right". We love being in it. We can't think of anything that we would change.
You did an excellent job in the planning stages.”
- Customer response to our design process
STEP 1: No design can be done without first walking a client’s land with them.
The land will dictate the project, from the aesthetic to the logistical to the practical. For example, a client’s site’s best views should probably be enjoyed by the most important living spaces. Any key land issues, like erosion control,
potential solar energy usage or the impact of the sun and lighting
must be considered. Sometime issues like septic location limitations can really impact where a home can be located. On a current project we took months to get an alternative septic system approved, allowing us to finally place the house where it has the best views,
land use and water retention for reuse. On a recent project we had to work around the habitat of a protected water snake.
STEP 2: “The interrogation”, what our customers jokingly call it. This is where we listen to a client’s lifestyle goals and how they want to live, considering the many possible seasons of life. For example, one couple wanted to enjoy their dramatic view
with minimal changes to the environment, with a cup of coffee before leaving their master suite.
Preserving the environment was paramount. So, their bed is oriented so that when waking they see their fireplace, their flat panel TV, and a wall of glass overlooking their view with a door to a private patio. Next to their bed is a kitchenette for their morning coffee. Before they start their day, they’ve already enjoyed how they want to live because of careful & essential design planning.
STEP 3: The Dream Book. This is a process of discovery and/or confirmation. We encourage each client to fill a binder we provide with images and information that grabs their heart and interests them. The more practical things include items like radiant floor or geothermal heating. Items of the heart will be images of stonework, photos of room relationships, examples of timbering or light fixtures, etc. Then we sit and take notes as each client “explains” his or her Dream Book to us. In this process we may hear, “Yes, this is what we were thinking” but more often we hear, “We never knew we loved this, this is so stunning.” So much is revealed from this process including tastes, style preferences and what “wonderful” means to each client.
STEP 4: The Budget. Every project has a budget. Understanding this at the start is the best way to do reality checks. For example, customers will show us photos of multi-million dollar homes, features and craftsmanship, and then tell us they want it done for much, much less. Or, we’ve spoken with people who showed us things that even stretched our understanding of excellence ($250,000 for that one light fixture, and its in Europe?). It is essential to set clear expectations early and ongoing. This is a critical step to the success of the project.
Once we complete these four steps we begin with a written report of what we heard our client tell us. This is a confirming and/or realignment step between them and us. From there we begin concept hand sketches, working easily by email. Once the concept sketches are fleshed out, the project moves to the CAD phase. Budget snapshots are taken along the way to ensure the effort is grounded in reality. The steps are intentional and proven to be successful. It is each client’s home so we must take the time to really understand his or her priorities and goals.
If we listen well, create with passion, suggest things our clients may not have considered or possibly even known about, and walk them through the process until they say, “That’s it!" Then we’ve done our job.
Designing, Supplying and Building Luxury Log
Homes, Custom Log Homes, Mountain Homes, Timber Frame Homes, Custom Homes and,
Custom Hybrid Homes all with environmental responsibility.