Top 7 list for designing your perfect home

Oct 29, 2008 by Hiromi Ogawa

This is an outline to a talk I have given in the past.  I think it's important for everyone to be well-informed, so I hope you find this list to be useful when approaching your next wonderfully dreamy idea.

Living the Dream: an insider’s guide to designing and building your perfect home.

1.    Philosophy.  Most importantly, you’re trying to make your surroundings into a reflection of who you are.  Consider forming a “mission statement” of sorts, aside from the wish list, which explains who you are, what you enjoy, and how you want that to be reflected in your environment.

2.    Wishlist.  Here’s where you list everything you’ve ever wanted to do, even if you don’t think it applies to design or to your immediate future.  The more comprehensive the list, the better the design.

  • a.     Scope of work – divide the list between needs and wants
  • b.    Budget – include a 15% buffer for contingency
  • c.    Schedule – when do you want to start or finish construction?

3.    Your team.  Mainly, you need an architect and a contractor.  If you have a particular architect or contractor in mind, have them help you find the other.  You want to make sure that everyone on your team works well together.

4.    Logistics – your architect can help you determine the parameters for your project.

  • a.    Property information
  • b.    Planning code
  • c.    Building code

5.    Design.  This is the fun part.  It’s also very intense.  Your architect will help you navigate through each phase of design, while keeping everything on schedule and on budget.  The goal is to get exactly what you want!

6.    Execution.  Your architect and contractor will be working with you through all phases.

  • a.    Design
  • b.    Building permit(s)
  • c.    Bidding/negotiation
  • d.    Construction

7.    Maintenance.  With a new environment comes a commitment to a new lifestyle.
It’s a long process of design and construction, so make sure you have fun during the process.  With the right support (this includes your architect, contractor, colleagues, and family members) it will be smooth and enjoyable.

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