The design phase is the creative process of resolving how your new home fits on the property, fits your lifestyle, fits the character of the surroundings and fits within the local ordinances. The design phase is best described as the melding of conceptual ideas and reality.  It is here at the design phase that we collaborate on what to build.  When completed, this phase is summarized with floor plans and exterior elevations.


Every project begins with the discovery phase. This is where we identify your dreams, needs, objectives and challenges. When we first meet, we begin identifying dreams, objectives and challenges. This is further developed into a program. This Program addresses the key elements of how you envision your home, exploring such questions as; how will you use your home? how should the spaces flow? what is the overall style? and what is your budget?

After the initial program is developed, we begin to investigate the actual property: Where are the primary views? How does the sunlight cross the property? Which rooms do you want morning sun, evening sun? How should the home sit on the property? Another key step in the discovery phase is our zoning research. This is a critical step. Zoning is a set of local ordinances which dictates the parameters and clarifies where your home can be built and how large your home can be. In certain locations, zoning even dictates what type and style of home you can build. It is imperative we have a firm grasp of what we can and cannot do on your property.

Recently, there have been a large number of new ordinances adopted by the surrounding communities. We have a solid grasp on all of the changing ordinances. In one village, we saw thirteen new or revised ordinances in a single year. What was allowed fifty or even fifteen years ago is rarely the case for today. It is imperative that this research take place prior to design. It is far better to challenge creativity with boundaries, than compromise final design with reality. We thrive and excel on challenging our creativity.

Design Drawings (Plans)

ddoc1This is the beginning of the artistic process of blending all aspects of the discovery phase.

We start with hand sketches that develop the placement on the site, relationship of spaces, views, arrangement and flow of spaces. This is our creative process of blending site limitations and zoning with your dreams and program objectives. These sketches will be further developed, resulting in floor plans which show room arrangement, size and amenities. The plans will convey how rooms are situated on the property, how the rooms flow and delineate private space from public space. It is the blending of how your hopes and dreams fitted to the actual.

Design Drawings (Elevations)

ddoc2Once the conceptual floor plans have been reviewed and approved, design of the exterior elevations begins. Careful attention is given to scale, proportions, materials and the overall character of your home. The exterior elevations convey the overall look and feel of your home. They will also indicate the different materials that will be used.

Along with the 2D plans and elevations, we provide 3D modeling for all of our new and remodeled homes. This is a very powerful communication tool that has become our standard. Rather than expecting our clients to understand a 2D (flat) elevation, it allows our clients to “see” their home before it is built. It allows our clients to fly around the home, see how the home sits on the site, see the effects of daylight at different times of the day. It also gives us the flexibility to change materials and colors in real time.

Final Review

ddoc3The final design drawings will include the site plan, floor plans and exterior elevations.