Design Process

Every project is unique and has its own design objectives, but all start with your ideas. Together we can turn those ideas into reality by focusing on four elements:

  1. Dreams – Where do you imagine yourself?
  2. Goals – What is possible?
  3. Opportunity – How can you maximize your resources?
  4. Commitment – Let’s make it happen together.
No matter what type of project, the design process looks similar. It can be broken down into 4 key steps:
Design Process Graphic

Key Steps


Site Assessment / Field MeasureSite Assessment bg
Preliminary SketchesPrelim Sketches bg
Design & DevelopmentDesign Development bg
Permit & Construction DocumentsDocuments Icon bg
  • Look at overall site topography and how you enter the site
  • Site features (trees, hills, rocks, water)
  • Primary views (what do you want to look at)
  • Orientation to the sun
  • Review zoning information
  • Measure existing structures (if any)
  • Establish general location for new cabin or structure
  • Establish your design objectives
  • Establish big picture design concepts and approach
  • Sketch various design options for new space
  • Look at how the new structure is connecting to the landscape
  • Refine the overall design
  • Layout plans and elevations in the computer
  • Set building placement and orientation.
  • Review how the layout is achieving your design objectives
  • Setup building sections to define building volume
  • Establish core details
  • Fully work through and define all elements of the new structure
  • Work out site grading to show new structure integration
  • Add construction details, schedules and specifications

Additional Steps


Construction AdministrationConstruction Admin bg
Variance ApplicationsDocuments Icon bg
Structural EngineeringStructural Engineering Icon bg
Interior FinishesInterior Finishes bg
  • Assist the contractors with construction questions and details
  • Review window selections and finishes
  • Ensure the drawings and specifications are followed
A variance application may be needed if you have a nonconforming site or current zoning setbacks are unreasonable for the project. I can assist with the drawings needed for these types of submissions.
Larger projects may require working with a structural engineer. I can assist with this coordination and ensure the design aligns with any structural needs.
Some clients want help with selecting interior finishes and paint colors. I am happy to refer you to an interior designer. Selections will then be coordinated with the final construction documents.

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Range of Involvement

Most projects have a baseline of steps that they will go through during the design process. Additional options can come into play depending on how the project progresses.

Standard pROCESS

Field Measure

Preliminary Sketches

Design Development

Ballpark Pricing

Permit / Construction Documents

Design Process Range of Involvement Graphic


Fireplace design

Exterior finish selections

Interior Elevations

Structural coordination

Construction Administration