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This project encompasses a series of additions and renovations to a three story builder home on Longboat Key. The main project, completed in 2015, includes a complete re-work of the entrance and interior circulation within the home, along with a new Grand Entry Stair, Guest Bath and Laundry addition. LED interior lighting, high-efficiency climate control, and Energy Star rated hurricane windows helped the Owners meet their energy efficiency and storm mitigation goals. A third story Game Room is planned for next year.
1. Determine what you want and need. Identify what your project would include and where it would be located in your home. If there is a long list of work, and a strict budget, then it’s a good idea to prioritize the list from the most to least important. Organize any magazine clippings, Pinterest galleries, or other examples of designs that you like, to share with your architect.
2. Interview and hire your architect. They should, first and foremost, listen to you and write down your list of needs. They should be able to provide a reasonable expectation of what your construction costs would be.
3. Document the existing conditions. Even if you have old drawings of your home, the architect field measures and photographs the areas of work to develop an accurate as-built plan to work from.
4. Draw the first draft floor plans. The floor plan addresses your functional needs, shows how the new work ties in to the existing areas, and establishes the basis for the total scope of work. Two or more options should be presented at the first draft, depending on the project. This is a good time to talk about interior and exterior finishes and revisit the construction budget.
5. Refine the overall design. Based on your commentary, and working from your preferred floor plan, revise the layout, draw exterior elevations, interior elevations and 3d views, as required to describe the overall scope of the project. Sometimes another meeting is required to refine and clarify the overall concept.
6. Nail down the details. Decide on components like air conditioning equipment, windows and doors, interior finishes, or other items as required. Some people like to pick finishes and colors themselves, some have an interior designer or cabinet specialist, and some just specify allowances and leave decisions for later.
7. Draw the construction plans. These consolidate all of the design decisions into one authoritative set of documents. It is good practice to provide one final review of the construction drawings before issuing the sealed set.
8. Issue the sealed set. They are used both for contractor bidding and building department permitting. The accuracy and completeness of the plans will determine how smoothly your project goes through permitting, and whether you are truly comparing apples-to-apples between multiple bidders. If time is of the essence, your architect can also submit them for permit.
9. Issue clarifications. The building department and the contractor sometimes need clarifications or offer substitutions for what is shown in the drawings, and your architect needs to handle these.
10. Hire the contractor. The contract is signed, your contractor submits and picks up the permit, and you’re on to the construction phase!
This 1,300 S.F. Bar addition to the Bradenton Yacht Club is located adjacent to the existing Clubhouse, and between the existing swimming pool terrace and the north bank of the Manatee River. I designed it as an illuminated canopy supported on un-braced columns, an approach that maximizes the sense of openness to the outdoors. The consistency of the palette of materials and colors between the new Bar and the existing Club support the sense that it’s always been there.
Design is a process that empowers you to make informed decisions about your project. It is a process of inquiry, discussion, testing and conclusion. Design can embody your values and help you reach your goals.
• Many people have “champagne tastes and beer budgets”. The design process helps to identify what is most important in a project, and find value within a range of choices.
• Design is more than fulfilling a wish, there are always real-world aspects like structural stability and constructibility that need to be considered. Designs that won’t stand up or can’t be built by available trades won’t leave the drawing board.
• Nature, climate and wildlife will play their part in the life of the building, whether they are considered during the design process or not. It is smart to anticipate and accommodate them.
• A thoughtful design can improve your health and productivity through better indoor air quality, low-toxicity building systems, and daylighting.
• Zoning, floodplain management, and building code requirements have a strong influence over what is allowed, and need to be considered every step of the way. Neighborhood associations have their own set of rules as well.
• Design can empower you to know what you are buying, more than ever. Multiple software packages now support 3d modeling from almost all desktops. It’s a far better way to communicate what a project would look like, internally and externally, than traditional 2d floor plans and elevations.
• The developed design is codified in the construction drawings and specifications, which illustrate and describe the intent of the project. All of the information must be organized by industry convention, such that the contractor and tradesmen know where to identify the work they are responsible for.
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