Metro is a strong advocate for custom designed homes. After searching books, magazines and websites for a home design, many clients come to us and say, “I cannot find the one I want.” We believe homeowners will be much more satisfied with their home if they partake in having it designed specifically for them. It is also important to work with a designer that “gets you” and embraces your preferences. Metro does not have a signature style and so you can be assured your preferences will be respected.
When a client calls us to arrange for a new home design, we encourage them to do a few things prior to our first in-person meeting. Have a conversation with those sharing the home with you to get an understanding of their needs. Write out a “wish list” of practical needs and style preferences, i.e. room type, quantity, size, 2 stories, etc. Gather images of features you see in magazines or on websites, the more the better. Even if you don’t know why a photo appeals to you, include it as it helps us understand your style preferences. If there are specific features you admire in the photo make note of them. Include copies of floor plans that do have attributes you like. Many clients use gridded paper to sketch out general floor plan layouts, they need not be perfect. They are a useful communication tool. You may want to create a paper or electronic scrapbook to contain all the information.
The first in-person meeting is very exciting and very important. We are being invited into the process of turning your dreams into a reality. The meeting is all about getting to know you and your dream. This is accomplished through casual conversation, with your scrapbook of data and images being the focus. We will ask many questions to ensure we are getting a clear “picture” of your needs, wants and desires. We often present some “outside the box” thinking to help you consider your options in achieving the dream. The dialogue continues until we have a solid understanding of you and your new home design dreams. This meeting is so important that it can be anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours. Experience has shown that it is important couples attend this meeting together. Some clients may feel intimidated by the idea of discussing the design and some couples have opposing ideas of what they want, we find that our conversational meetings not only draw out critical information, they make the process fun.
Next, we will start translating the understanding gained in the meeting to design drawings. This is an in-depth analytical process of bringing together room sizes, living patterns, design style, sound building methods and building code. The result is a preliminary set of floor plans and exterior views (elevations). Our goal is to be a “95% representation of dream” with these design drawings. Clients have often commended us on doing so.
When design drawings are ready, we will have another in-person meeting with the client. In this meeting, we present the drawings and discuss how it does or doesn’t accurately reflect client’s needs, wants and desires. It is critical this reveal of design be done in person so that communication can flow freely. We are best able to explain thoughts behind concepts represented in person. After the design reveal and discussion, the client takes a copy home with them to “digest” information at their own pace.
The design drawings are a great tool for assembling a client’s needs, wants and desires into a concise visual presentation. When the client is ready, we converse about what should be adjusted, added or removed from the design, i.e. design refinement. Communication for this process can include in-person meetings, phone calls or emails, whatever method proves to be effective. The goal is the client feeling they understand the drawings and believe the drawings represent the home of their dreams.
Once the design has been refined to this level, the process of converting them to construction drawings begins. This process includes adding details to the drawings needed by permit-issuing offices, material suppliers, tradespersons and general contractors. Information typically includes dimensions, exterior finishes, window and door sizes, construction assemblies etc. Metro is a supporter of using “green” construction methods that help preserve our environment, create a more comfortable living space and control utility costs.
Once finished, we will provide up to 10 paper copies and a PDF version of the construction drawings.
Even after the drawings have been handed over we are only a phone call away. If you or your contractor have questions or need clarification of some matter on the drawings we are very reachable.
Building a home is a significant accomplishment, and we believe careful planning at the beginning makes the process go much smoother leading to a more satisfying result. Metro would be honoured to partner with you for this step. Contact us to schedule an in-person meeting with one of our designers!