Steps to Your Dream Home - 04 Design Development -

posted Dec 21, 2014, 1:40 PM by Keith Groninger   [ updated Dec 22, 2014, 7:11 AM ]

Project analysis seeks to understand the needs of the customer and determine the best course of action to organize their project. The first step is typically a property evaluation necessary to determine influences to the design. A design questionnaire is also a useful tool for stimulating ideas for functional and innovative design.

Schematic Designs are rough sketches performed to develop spatial relationships. Neighboring and existing structures; trees and vegetation; appealing or distracting views; the sun's path and shadows, and; interior zoning, all effect the location of rooms and flow of the floor plan. Conceptual budgets can be reviewed to keep design and construction costs in check.

Preliminary Designs are created as the design takes shape. The shape and sizes of the rooms and form of the exterior start to take shape. Challenges to meet the criteria established during the schematic design phase and budget expectations, may contribute to the length of time necessary to establish an acceptable design. This is the most creative part of the design process and allows the skills of the designer to reveal themselves. The builder should be working on preliminary estimates that can change many times as the design evolves.

Specifications are the written description that compliment a good set of construction drawings. Decisions about construction materials and products will be necessary to complete some of the details of the drawings. Specifications will also need to be provided to trade contractors and vendors for accurate pricing as part of the detailed estimate.

Construction Drawings are the instruction manual for how to build a house. The information must be conveyed to several different parties that are responsible for implementing their scope of work into the project. The best drawings anticipate the needs of each trade contractor and supplier, enabling them to be productive and perform their best work.

Engineering and Permits are the final steps to the design phase. After the construction drawings have been started, but before they can be completed, a licensed engineer must calculate wind and weight loads, and provide the necessary details and instructions for building very important structural assemblies. Engineered drawings are just one of the many documents that must be submitted prior to building permit issuance.

Our favorite designers:

Keith Groninger

Greg Hyatt
James Lucia
Dawn Beeman
Gary Hancock, Architect
Phil Kean, Architect
Randall Slocum, Architect

Design and Construction Ideas and Information about Homes in the South. Florida and the Gulf Coast have unique climate and environmental conditions that have influenced the design of homes since long before air-conditioning was available. Lessons from “Olde Florida” vernacular design still apply today. With energy efficiency and a new green awareness on the minds of many in the industry, building systems and construction techniques are evolving forward with an eye on the past. provides construction and green management services and resources to businesses and consumers that want to optimize the residential construction process.

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