Ask the Ed­i­tor

Timber Home Living - - Annual Buyer's Guide -

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.

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