WHAT we do208
The sole focus of Always by Design is designing contemporary single-family homes — directly with owners. We work to the specifics of each homeowner’s goals and resources, utilizing the best contemporary materials and practices we can.
Within the overall category of “single-family homes”, we do:
- New Primary Residences — in rural, suburban and urban communities
- Vacation Houses – in coastal, lakefront, mountainside and forest environments
- Building Conversions to homes, from earlier uses for worship or business
- Additions – either vertically or horizontally to create more livable space
- Renovations – to re-vitalize homes for new owners or new stages of their lives
Beyond the products of our work as described above, the other “what we do” is providing the services needed to get an owner to their desired outcome. Our process, of either creating a new home or altering an existing one, generally involves the following steps:
- Information Gathering – where we listen to what a client wants, learn about them and their lifestyle, familiarize ourselves with their property (land and/or existing building), and determine project constraints (financial, regulatory, scheduling, etc.)
- Schematic Design – where we determine how to fit all of the pieces of the puzzle together – so that spaces are of the right sizes, flow well from one to another, and result in an overall form or organization that expresses wholeness. By the end of this phase we know how big the house would be (area and height) and thus can also budget how much it is likely to cost to construct.
- Design Development – where we start to look in detail at the feel and aesthetic experiences we want to achieve in each space. In this phase we exchange ideas about materials and products, and where to apply them. We also refine layouts of built-ins and make preliminary selections of mechanical systems, plumbing fixtures and other building systems.
- Construction/Bid Documentation – where we develop the overall drawings, details and technical specifications needed to obtain competitive bids from builders and the requisite municipal approvals for starting construction.
- Construction Period – where we act as the owner’s representative to the builder – periodically monitoring on-site construction progress, reviewing progress payments and providing supplementary information to the builder as needed. Prior to Owner move-in we assure completion of “punch-list” deficiencies, turn-over of warranties and final certificates, and satisfaction of financial requirements.
Most of the clients we work for have never worked with an architect before, and/or have never built a new home, so we’ve become adept at fielding questions and helping people to feel comfortable throughout the process.
The goal of every project is to develop new and lasting relationships, inspiring clients, colleagues and contractors along the way to work together to create something truly greater than the sum of its parts.