A great home starts with a beautiful building
site. We are fortunate to design homes in many spectacular
settings: sites with panoramic views, beautiful lake or ocean
frontage, raging rivers. You may have already selected your
building site when you contact us to design your home. If
not, we can offer invaluable advice on your selection process.
Our experience will help you choose a site that covers all the important
decisions: views, topography, solar and wind exposure, privacy,
natural features, access, building placement and more. The
Your Building Site, may also be of assistance as you start the
When you start the design process it is important
to clarify the role you want us to take in the design of your home,
whether it is a log home, a timber frame home, a post and beam home, or a conventional home.
We try to help you answer some basic questions:
- How active a role do you wish to play in the
- What level of creative input or freedom do
you wish us to have?
- What role will we play in estimating construction
costs, selecting mechanical systems and materials, selecting your
builders, the details of kitchen and bathroom design, supervising or administering the construction contract?
- What are your expectations of us, both in
terms of scope of work and working relationship?
A good fit is important in the relationship between
designer and client. Our respect for your vision is key to
the entire process. We will not push our agendas or ideas on you;
nor conversely, try to appease yours if they do not support your
greater vision. We listen carefully to your needs, yet question
you enough to fully expand your vision. We strive to be open-minded
and flexible, trustworthy and patient.
You may be wondering how you work with
a Designer whose office may be thousands of miles away. Our
experience has shown it is more important to have knowledge and
experience than close proximity.
Our projects normally start with a site visit with three primary objectives:
- Whether you are designing a log home, a timber frame home, a post and beam home,
or even a straw bale home, we endeavor to fully appreciate the opportunities
and constraints of your building site. What led you to this
beautiful piece of Mother Earth?
- We take the time to fully understand your
goals and your vision. How will your home reflect your values,
lifestyle, personality and needs?
- We seek to establish a cooperative and synergistic
relationship. Do we have the foundation, trust, and inspiration
to work together to create a truly wonderful home?
Once we have accomplished this, the design process
can unfold easily over any distance. We can use multiple methods
of transmitting or reviewing concepts or drawings in progress.
We work to tailor the communication process to reflect your specific
needs. Our success at designing homes throughout North America
and beyond has given us the tools to work with just about any situation.
Whether we are designing a custom home or working from our plan book of sample plans,
or simple doing a kitchen renovation, we use an approach of creating maximum value for our clients.
The articles, Selection Process: the Hows
and Whys of Choosing an Architect, Steps
to a Successful Design and Working With
A Designer, may be helpful as you approach the design of your
home. We believe the experience of working with Heartwood
should clarify, reflect and enhance how you live!