Ask the Editor
Q: Who will design my dream home?
AIf you decide not to go with the timber company’s in-house design staff — or if one isn’t available — you may need to hire an independent architect or designer to design your home.
Don’t know where to begin? Your timber company can usually recommend a qualified design professional to handle the job. If you hire an independent architect, it’s helpful for that person to be familiar with timber construction. No matter whom you choose, check references. And make sure your architect and your timber producer’s representative collaborate early in the design process to ensure the design phase goes smoothly.
Q: How will I convey my ideas to professionals?
AFirst, organize your ideas. (If you’ve been compiling a notebook of pictures and ideas — and you should be — now’s the time to pull it out.) Use the tips in this section to determine the direction your home should face and where rooms should go, then sketch your ideas out on a piece of graph paper. From your rough sketches, your designer will draw a set of preliminary plans that can be used to estimate how much your home will cost (including materials and labor). At this stage, you'll want to incorporate any design changes,
especially if the plans need to be modified to fit your budget. (Make the changes now, not during construction when they can be costly, if not impossible.)
Once the preliminary plans meet both your budget and your expectations, your designer drafts the final blueprints that show your timber producer, lender and general contractor how your home will be built.