Custom Design
STEP 1: The Imagination Phase
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STEP 1: The Imagination Phase: The first step, called "Programming" is really the most important part of building your new home. The process began in your mind and even your heart. You have been thinking, contemplating, dreaming, maybe for years about this house. And now you are ready to bring every thought together in one place and form them into the house that you will call home.

Over the next few months you will be making hundreds of decisions which will all be based on this first step and the groundwork that is established in the programming. This is the beginning of decisions regarding the style of the house, the size, the layout of the spaces, the materials, and the cost. The process all hinges on great communication, and the more effectively you can communicate your thoughts, the better we will be able to understand and create your perfect home. It is our time to listen, question and explore all the possibilities. It is vital for us to understand your tastes and preferences, as well as the needs and lifestyle of your family.

Many methods are available to help you describe your home. Some people like to gather pictures from magazines and books that appeal to them, of both the interior and exterior. Some bring photos they have taken of houses they like, or information they have collected from trade shows or building material showrooms. You may write about the activities you do in your home or prepare lists. You may want to take each room and describe everything about it - the finishes, the furniture, the colors, the lighting, or how it connects with other rooms. You may find it an interesting exercise to walk through your existing home noting your likes and dislikes, which areas you use frequently and those you hardly ever use. You may be able to sketch ideas you only have in your mind. When you meet with us, we can also review our portfolio of designs which may stir your creative thoughts even more.

The point is to utilize whatever works best for you, realizing that the more you can tell us about what you like and need, the closer we can come to fulfilling your architectural dreams.

A few other tasks will also need to be accomplished before we start the design. You will need to provide us with a site survey so the factors affecting the building can be analyzed. The survey should show all restrictions and setbacks, as well as any easements that may exist. If there are subdivision design guidelines or covenants, they will need to be included as well.

If you are remodeling or building an addition, it is necessary for us to document your existing house. This will include taking photographs, measuring and preparing scale drawing and/or verifying the construction with the original blueprints if you have them.

Most importantly, we will need to discuss your budget as well as any time considerations.

After this meeting we will provide you with a Proposal of Design Services in which we identify the scope of the project and the services we can provide, along with our estimate for fees. When you decide to commission PDG to design your home, you will return the signed agreement with a retainer, and we will begin an exciting journey together to create the home of your dreams.