Overview of our design services and philosophy

Many of the homes we have built over the years we have also designed from concept to blueprints.  Our design approach is a client-driven one, we begin with exploring the client's design goals and then bring in our own input to create a final design in a 3D CAD program where together we can do a virtual walk through of your new home before we even break ground.  There are many more steps in the design process to get from start to finish and we share a flow chart with our clients so they know what the process entails and can keep track of where we are once we begin designing.

We have 4 pillars of our philosophy and approach to both design and building:

1) Listening and Understanding

Every client has unique needs and desires  for their home and understanding what these design goals are is the first step to any successful project.  If we are creating a custom home design for you we start with an extensive questionnaire.  We then carefully consider all of the answers and begin a dialogue to get a full sense of what your priorities are.  We will explore these subjects and how important each area is to you:

  • What green/sustainable means to you and what areas are priorities (if any)
  • Budget
  • Hobbies and specific functionality requirements
  • Aesthetic preferences
  • Spatial relationships of rooms
  • Relationship to the land and site-specific considerations
  • Aging in place options
  • Landscaping plans
  • Building materials and finish choices
  • Passive solar and active solar
  • Rain catchment
  • Lifestyle (cooking, entertaining, exercise, meditation, etc)
  • Grey water options
  • Preferred method of communicating
  • Specific features of the home
  • And many other aspects as well...

If you are working with and architect and have a full set of plans or would like to include us in the design process for some green or value engineering consulting we would have a similar dialogue to understand how you and your designer arrived at the current design.  We establish where you are, where you want to go, and the role you would like us to play in the design process, if any.  Even though we do design work, building is our core business and we are more than happy to work with architects.  Having been in the designer's shoes many times we understand how to be a team player and collaborate with architects and clients and avoid the pitfalls that can happen with this three member team.

2) Green & Sustainability

Green building is the inspiration for my choosing this career.  There are so many options for how to make your home more energy efficient, non-toxic, and inspiring to inhabit.  However our passion around this subject is not dogmatic.  We understand that this is your dream home and we always come back to what you want this home to be and what green means to you (even if it will only play a minor role).  We will offer suggestions that fit into your overall design goals and budget.  Within each choice we have spent a lot of time researching and developing the best benefit to cost ratio.

3) Value Engineering

"Value engineering" is a systematic method of finding the best building assemblies, products and services to provide the most value for a given design goal.  Value can be derived from either decreasing cost or increasing function.  We apply extensive experience, knowledge and research to find the best performing, most cost effective plan to build your beautiful new home.

4) Craftsmanship

Craftsmanship defines how we execute all aspects of the actual construction.  We want our houses to perform better and outlast homes built to the minimum standards.  Though everyone on the crew loves to be able to create finish work masterpieces, that is not the only definition of craftsmanship.  Craftsmanship also includes function and efficiency.  Every project has a budget that must be strictly adhered to, finding the most efficient way to build without compromising quality is another mark of a true craftsman.  We believe that our virtual tours and gallery showcase this quite well.