The Design Process

Any time you make your dream come to reality by building a new custom home, the experience can be exciting, creative and unfortunately often times overwhelming. That said the process has to start somewhere and that somewhere is with a quality set of drawings. Below is a list of stages that will help you get through the first step of the entire home building process – "The Design Process".

Stage 1: Dream and Imagine

Before we have our initial meeting, I ask my clients to take some time to do a little internal reflection and start daydreaming. Try to envision themselves in their new home, how each space will relate with the other and have a good idea of the type of style and design they want to come home too every day. When you are home ask yourself: where will we be spending the majority of our time? Will it be in the internal hub of every house, the Kitchen? Or is it, lounging in a large open family area. Maybe it's an exterior space that is designed to feel like it's an extension of the home. For more ideas or suggestions to get the dreaming stage started, please check out our section, "Questions to Get you Dreaming".

Stage 2: Discovery Meeting

At this point we've probably had a few conversations over the phone or have traded e-mails. Now is the best opportunity to put a face to the name. In this meeting, I urge you to bring forward all of your thoughts, ideas, brochures, photos, magazine clippings…whatever information you have that will give me the clearest vision of your home expectation. In my experience, this meeting has the potential to be one of the most important steps. It will not only give me an idea of the type of home you are looking for; but also allows me the chance to get to know you the customer; learn why you are building a new home or renovating.

Stage 3: Preliminary Plans

Now that I've had the chance to listen and learn your wants and needs in your new home; this stage will allow me to translate that information into a 'preliminary plan' or sketch and put "pen to paper". It is best for these plans to remain in preliminary form only at this stage, which is similar to what you would find in a magazine or newspaper. At the beginning of this stage, we will only be looking at the overall layout of the design and space planning; trying to determine the location and size of each desired room and how each space will flow from one area of the home to the next. As the design progresses, more detail will be added to the plans each time. Therefore, this stage typically takes some time as we will most likely being communicating back and forth a few times doing our best to get your floor plans just right.

Stage 4: Exterior Elevation Concept and Sketches

Once the floor plans have been 95% defined, we can now begin to conceptualize the exterior elevations. Although some exterior considerations have been taken into account during the previous stage, you will really begin to see the total home design take shape during this stage. If you are building your home in a community that has a developer or some type of architectural control; now is when we will be reviewing their exterior requirements. In most instances, we will be able to create an exterior that not only satisfies the curb appeal needs of the developer or controller, but more importantly capture the home owner's attention whenever they arrive home after a long day or are just relaxing around the property.

Stage 5: Working Drawings or Blue Prints

The plans have been thought out, the exterior elevations are determined and designed - now the 'working drawings' are ready to be put together. Working Drawings will include any and all information necessary to tell a builder or contractor how to properly construct the house. Full dimensioning, building sections and construction details are only a few items that all have to be completed. As a result, these drawings typically demand a certain amount of time to complete. Keep in mind that these are the drawings you will be sending for quotes, engineering and more importantly using to physically build your new home. Therefore, accuracy is as important here as ever. We want to get the drawings as close to perfect as possible and reduce or eliminate any timely and costly questions during the construction process.

Stage 6: Permits and Construction

Although Santha Design Inc. unfortunately cannot apply for any of the required building permits, we are happy to assist our customers in any way possible. We can supply our customers with a detailed list of permit requirements or even a list of builders if necessary. Even though the design and drafting process has now been completed, we like to remain available to our customers if they or the builder / contractor have any questions or concerns during the construction process. Therefore, feel free to contact us anytime you have any questions and we will do our best to help determine the answer you might be looking for.