THE DESIGN PROCESS
Your home may be the largest single investment you will make in your lifetime. Therefore the design of your home is perhaps the most important part of that investment.
At Habitat Architecture we offer a wide range of services to help you best in meeting your goals and aspirations.
Contrary to popular belief that “architects only draw blueprints,” preparing drawings for construction is only one element of the services an architect provides.
The process of designing and building a home consists of a number of steps or phases, each focusing on a different stage of the project development.
In order to know what to expect, it is helpful to understand the process of designing a home, or an addition and the services we have available. We briefly describe each step and what to expect, in the following.
PHASE I - Needs and Options Review
Before the design process begins, we need to make sure we have all the facts as they relate to your project by gathering information and evaluating their impact and consequences. This is called the feasibility study. It may include investigation of the local building and zoning codes, evaluation of the site or building and documenting the existing constraints and conditions. This is also time for us to listen and understand your objectives, design preferences, lifestyle and budget goals.
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DECIDING WHAT TO BUILD
This is a time for gathering information, also known as the programming phase. It’s time to listen and understand your objectives, design preferences, spatial requirements, lifestyle, budget, etc.
Other tasks also need to be accomplished before the design process can begin. If you already have purchased a property, evaluating the site or existing building, and the appropriate documentation of their conditions may also be needed as part of the information gathering. However, if you have not, this could be the most opportune time to benefit from our “Needs & Options Review”, a program we have created specifically for this purpose, before making the decision on this very important investment.
PHASE II – Design Concept
Also called “schematic design,” is the beginning of the design process. It’s about the big picture and the overall design approach. Rough sketches and diagrams are used to establish the basic design ideas and direction regarding layout, spatial relationship, form, solar orientation and other site considerations.
PHASE III - Design Development
Once the concept sketches are developed and the basic design concept is defined, it is time to refine the design concept into a final solution. We further develop and expand into more detailed design options and ideas through the use of computer-generated drawings. The more thoughtful decisions that are made during this phase, the better the final product will be and less likely the chance of any future costly changes. These drawings will be the basis for the final construction plans.
PHASE IV - Construction Documents
This next phase combines all the decisions made to this point into the construction plans (or as commonly called the “blueprint”).
The blueprint is the methodical result of many hours of exploration, documentation and coordination. It is the verbal and graphic illustration of the project’s intent and how it will be constructed. Clear, accurate and detailed construction documents are critical during the bidding and construction of your project. And since this document becomes part of the construction agreement with your builder, it also establishes his contractual obligations and scope of work.
PHASE V - Construction Observation
The presence and continued support from your architect is paramount to the ultimate success of your project. We help to ensure a smooth construction process by working with the builder, providing support while monitoring compliance with the plans, design specifications and the highest building industry standards.
We provide a complete array of architectural services, from the start of an idea to your dreams becoming a reality. For all sorts of homes, new or old, we will be there as your expert advocate, to guide and assist you throughout the process. From design and selection of material to bidding and finding the most suitable builder, we are there to protect your best interests and create the highest outcome.
Interior architecture and design
Design specifications and selections
Bidding and selection of builder
Our design services include:
Needs & Options Review
Site selection, analysis and evaluations
Design development and options
Sustainable design solutions