Never built new? Welcome!

Never built a new house or had one built for you? Don’t worry, there’s help and hope for you and your dreams. All too often, people fall prey to the notion that they don’t have any idea what their new home should be like or look like. In the past, I always encouraged my clients to look through magazines and, later on, websites that were devoted to house plans and home ideas. I explained to them that there would emerge a theme or a pattern of plans or portions of plans that resonated with them. Over and over, I had clients come to me with an armful of house plan books in despair that they couldn’t agree on “the one perfect plan”. Inevitably I would find a common thread in each of the plans on each of those dog-eared pages. Maybe it was a similar exterior that was catching their eye. Or maybe it was that amazing master suite or kitchen. There was always something that drew them to the myriad plans that they had dutifully color-coded with Post-It notes. I told them look at the house they were currently living in and discuss and make a list of the things that they loved about their home and the things they hated or were dissatisfied about their home. Make a wish list I told them. Make a list of all the needs and wants that you have and add that to the volume of information they were beginning to amass.
I do want to guide my clients through some dangerous ground, detouring them away from the odd, the obscure, and, in the end, the hard to resell. But beyond the blatant blunders that can beset them, I like to be the facilitator that holds their collective hand and walks beside them in the journey of home design. I don’t want to be that “artiste” that thrusts his ideas and preconceived notions of home design for the now on them, nor do I want to be the timid draftsman that walks along behind, picking up the scraps of what they may or may not want/need and trying to stuff them all into a package that will likely end up incoherent in design and unlivable in nature, let alone quite likely impossible to build. I like to remind them from the beginning that designing a new home is a process, not and event. There will be changes and revisions and second-guessing galore. I am a sounding board, a collaborator, a mentor, a skilled craftsman, a seasoned professional and even a marriage counselor at times, that is there as the ultimate resource for their endeavor.

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