"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."

Leonardo Da Vinci

Are you looking to add an addition to your home or build a new one having a custom floor plan with elevations designed by an artist?

 

Allow me to give you a free quote on your ideas.

"It is not enough to say "you don't like that."

The important question is WHY you didn't like it.  And a good architect/designer answers the question.  Anyone can say they don't like something"

                                                    Frank Lloyd Wright

I provide 35 years design experience with many different types of clients and budgets - from a gourmet cook needing utensil space and extra room for ovens, to work-all-night artists or musicians needing only a small kitchen with half a fridge and microwave to an expanding family now completely out of closet and bedroom space or a couple wanting to sell their home and downsize square footage for less upkeep on a smaller lot. 

 

Every design is a different solution to make the lives of the owners a more efficient and enjoyable. 

The first stage involves preliminary floor plans and elevations to compare room square footage, how people move around the house, material costs, structural support and "street appeal" - the artistic beauty of the elevations.

The first design set is "loose" with ideas now on paper to critique and change elements such as room sizes, window placements, fireplace location, stairway locations and roof pitches. The second set is "tight" to better gauge cost and efficiency. Homes with a 3500 square footage and two or there stories might need a third design set. It takes time to make the same design elements perform the same functions using less square footage.

The design stage is usually $400 to $500. Construction documents are $1.00 per square foot.

Home buyers often have floor plans and elevations of ideas they want with room sizes and architectural style.

"Make it look like this! This is what we like!"  

I design for the clients lifestyle as they will be living in the structure - not me. There may be hobbies or skills to consider, such as a basement model train layout, the strict regimen

of a gourmet cook, or the work and tool space needed for

a mechanic. For the single person who spends nights on

the town, low square footage, a microwave and half- fridge

is sufficient. Large family gatherings require dining space

and a kitchen where food can be prepared without

bumping into everyone. As the designer, you have to ask

questions and understand how people live.

Cost determines many of the design limits.

I design tight.Eliminate useless square footage. Keep hallways short.A large entry foyer creates an impressive first impression, but what about the utility bills for the extra heat gain/loss caused by the large clerestory window? Is the square footage necessary?  Is there ample closet space?  What about the sound of the washer and dryer at night? Can we buffer that by moving closets ajacent to them? Can the existing trees  be saved to reduce heat gain and create shaded areas in the yards?

How is the structure supported? Bearing walls and beam distances can determine room sizes and placement. The third car bay in the garage produces a need for a longer girder beam. The 40 foot glass wall that is so kool-looking in the home magazine will need a steel beam only put in place by a heavy crane. Do you want to pay the $10,000 for that or break up that wall with doorwalls using much smaller beams?

One Saturday afternoon a man came running from his car into my studio. "We need a fifth bedroom to this plan.  How soon can you do it?"

I told him it would take the rest of the weekend to change all the floor plans, building sections, foundation plan and elevations.

Much of the plans would have to be redrawn. "We will pick it up Monday. Do what you have to do. Make it work."

On Monday, the man was early, said "thank you", paid me, then raced back to his car never even glancing at the new plans. A week later they were on many national television talk shows. The couple just had quintuplets.  

I am not sure they ever built the small 18" x 24" holes in the walls between the kids bedrooms so that they could play games and romp around when older. (They fit between the wall joists.)

The design stage usually takes two sets of changes with drawn floor plans and elevations.

A two-story house or one with large square footage might take three sets. After everyone is in agreement, the final construction documents consist of floor plans, elevations,foundation plan, section cuts, wall sections, the site plan and any schedules, notes and details. Electric receptacles and light switches are shown on the floor and basement plans. Plumbing and hvac are provided by those disciplines.