We have been educating clients about sustainable design for most of our professional existence. From the decades old vegetable roof garden over Barbara’s garage, to the sustainable building we designed and built for our own offices in 2006, we have refined and focused our skills in order to integrate the latest in sustainable design and materials. Please see our Sustainable Design projects.
A normal component of our residential design work is to review the house and the room locations in relationship to the view, sun angles, impact from neighboring properties and access to the various yard and garden areas from the indoor living spaces. However, we can also expand our scope to include a detailed landscape plan that defines the uses of the yard areas, the hardscapes and parking. In the end, you will receive a much more detailed set of plans, defining and showing the following:
- garden locations and raised planting beds
- raised deck areas and handrails
- terrace areas and paving patterns
- retaining walls
- fences, location and design
- rockeries or retaining walls
- parking court, paths & hard surface locations and designs
- any built-in benches or seating areas
- barbecue area
- play areas
- water features
Interior Detailing & Material Specification
We can also help you with the following interior detailing and material specifications:
- fireplace mantel designs
- staircase and handrail details
- typical door and window detailing - a home may often accommodate more than one style of detail for the various types of rooms, i.e., perhaps a more formal detail in the larger "public" rooms and a simpler detail in the secondary rooms
- ceiling design and molding choices for all the primary rooms
- design layout of specialty built-ins; specifically, the kitchen, the den, a workroom, any stereo or TV cabinets
- delineation of and documentation of computer and communication systems
Our work would also include the development of the material list that will assist bidders with project pricing and materials ordering. We can assist you with the following materials list:
- generic interior finish materials list
- appliance list
- plumbing fixtures and fittings schedule
- door schedule
- cabinet schedule
- material allowance list for those materials not specified at the time of bidding
Attention to lighting design is one of the key factors that makes for a superior home; we can work with you on lighting systems for both the inside and the outside your home.
With this service, we create a lighting plan for each floor of your home, plus a site lighting sheet, a fixture list, details, as required, to define mounting and alignment, and numerous Fixture Schedule sheets and specification sheets. Recessed fixtures can be fairly straightforward to specify and we can provide this with little or no involvement of your time. However, we find that it can require a great deal of time, and your involvement, to actually select the decorative fixtures. These fixtures will need to match the interior finishes of your home, and therefore we will need to stay involved as the interior details evolve and the final look of the interior becomes clear.
Construction Oversight & Field Visits
Our involvement can vary greatly with this service, according to the complexity of the project, the experience of the contractor, the number of field changes, and the degree of detailing. We have had clients who have required practically no assistance during construction, and others prefer to have us on site every other week. We will respond to your direction and needs. When site visits are required, we do our best to maximize their effectiveness. Our drawings are very thorough and often we can address issues by phone and make a visit every other month. We can also arrange to meet with you at the site to review details, tune up final material selections, and review any other late-breaking ideas.
Construction Cost Accounting Review
Another service that we can provide is to audit the monthly contractor draw process. This work varies depending on the type of agreement that you have with your contractor. With a “cost plus” agreement, we prefer to start the project with a detailed line item budget, which gives us a baseline with which to compare the actual costs. We have your contractor provide us with the details of the monthly payment request, which we then closely review with our bookkeeper and inquiring directly with the contractor regarding any questions we might have. We then provide you a monthly log of all costs and submit an approved payment request amount for you to arrange for the release of funds to your contractor. “Fixed cost” agreements are more involved, with percentage of completion issues and review of more detailed change orders.