Why On Earth Would You Pay A Designer To Assist You
With Your New Home Design?

We all live in a house, or at least most of us do, and when you are so intimately familiar with a place like your home, your first thought may be, "I've been in a house all of my life, it can't be that hard to design a new one". You begin to visit showhomes and stand in line at home shows. You pick up brochures, and you surf the net for ideas. Any magazine rack can provide you with a dozen publications with hundreds of ideas.

And now that you're fully engaged in information overload, you realize the challenge...

It's not finding information that's the hard part, it's deciding which few pieces of it apply to you and your family's lifestyle, and also suit the location that you want to build it!

The Elements of Design

Every designer has their favourite methodology with respect to new home design, but there are some fundamental principles that are usually present, regardless of the individual style:

The Process of Design

"The Wish-List"

Without trying to draw anything, create a list of the components of the 'ideal' home. As we proceed with the design, we'll be attempting to fit as many of these items in as possible. This way, we're working with the 'ideal' as our starting point and moving down from there, as opposed to starting with a plan that is merely 'adequate' and dressing it up.

"You can clean up a pig, put a ribbon on its tail, spray it with perfume, but it is still a pig." - quoted from a Wa. state newspaper

"The Bubble Diagram"

This is the stage where we identify the relationships between all of the design elements and the priorities of each component. The drawing style is loose to allow for a large variety of options without being constrained by too many rules too soon.

"The Double-Line Plan"

Upon completion of the single-line feasibility study, the single-line plan is converted to a double-line plan. This drawing simulates the 'real-world' dimensions that will determine the exact room, door & windows sizes to make sure that everything can actually be accommodated.

"The Single-Line Plan"

Once the relationships and priorites have been identified, it's time to begin making them conform to real-life conditions, still without getting into any more detail than necessary to determine the feasibility of the design.

The design process involves a great deal of back-and-forth communication between CGSI and yourself, in the form of email, PDF drawings, and in-person & online meetings when necessary. The level of detail in the design drawings is sufficient to begin asking for estimates from building suppliers and trades.

Once we've determined that there are no further design changes to be made and that all possible issues have been addressed within the design, the drawings then progress to the 'working drawing' phase. This involves the actual design of the structural components and all of the additional drawing information that is required by the local building regulations department in order to submit for, and receive a building permit, as well as various information on doors, windows, etc. that will allow suppliers to perform material takeoffs in order to supply firm quotations.

After The Permits Have Been Issued

This is when it really pays to have a designer that has actually worked in the field doing home construction so that they're able to communicate quickly & effectively with your contractor, and have working knowledge of the various options available for solving unusual problems that may be encountered.

Your contractor can call CGSI anytime during construction if he has any questions about the information on the plans.