What to expect when building a custom home: Part 1 – Architectural Design

By Dion Lamb, in Echelon Home Plans

what-to-expect-headerThis is the first in a series of blogs that will follow the client experience on a fully custom home from start to finish. The goal is to provide a hopefully easy to read, and sometimes entertaining look at the Echelon Custom Home experience.
Stay tuned for another group of blogs on our Echelon Series Homes.

This is often the scariest part of the process. The first meeting is essentially a blind date with what you are hoping is your future spouse… Ok maybe not that scary but it is the first time you sit down with Tim Tice and discuss the overarching goals for your house.

The first meeting is a get to know each other meeting and an opportunity to identify critical components. Things that are critical include: lot dimensions, property location, exterior style, are we capturing views, how do you plan to live in the space, and your budget goals. There are also a lot of special considerations that are different for every project: I want to use my kitchen for big family gatherings, I really want the owner’s bedroom separated from the rest of the house, I would like an open floor plan, we have an elderly relative we need to accommodate, a rooftop deck is a must, I have always wanted a rock star bathroom! This list is pretty endless and open ended. It is critical to the success of the project and your long term happiness to get every idea on the table, so they can be discussed and integrated, modified, or discarded as necessary.
Once the initial meeting is complete our team does some heavy research on all of the regulating bodies that may affect what you are allowed to build. These could include: town, city, county, DNREC, and HOA to make sure we understand our limitations. Once we have this information, the team will put together concepts that do their best to maximize the usage of the property and meet all of the needs you discussed at the original meeting.

At the second meeting, which can be handled remotely through computer conferencing or in person, the design concepts are reviewed. As our lead designer says, this is where the true start of the design begins. Floor plans are reviewed and tweaked, sometimes heavily revised, prior to taking a look at exterior elevations.

Starting Elevation Finished ElevationSo as you can see in the examples above, it really is a blank canvas painted to your specifications. The only limits we have are the rules of the regulation bodies, and of course physics. ☺

Check back soon for the part two in the series, interior design and selections.