Conceptual Plans

Every project begins with an idea, a rough sketch on a napkin, an existing floor plan from a magazine, or perhaps a house you have seen and like. One of our best services is taking your ideas and converting them into a visual form that you can see and then modify. Our primary drafting software is Chief Architect which has powerful visualization tools. We always start by drawing a basic, conceptual plan from whatever information we have to start with.

The conceptual plan creates a 3D model which makes it so much easier to visualize your idea. The beauty and power of modern software like Chief Architect, is that once a model has been created it is then easy to make modifications and see the resulting changes. For example, we can change a roof type, a roof pitch, add or expand a section of the house, play with window configurations and much more. It is very cost effective to play the look of a house at this conceptual stage and not while the building is being constructed.

The ability to visualize design ideas before construction is particularly useful for remodels. When we do a remodel we typically create a basic model of the existing house which is reasonably accurate. This allows us play with different remodel or addition ideas. We can then see how various ideas work with the existing house. We can look at how a new addition will visually affect the look and design balance of the existing house. We can also check for any potential construction problems - for example, how a new roof line may intersect with existing roof lines or windows.

Another very useful feature of the 3D model is looking at different exterior materials and the look they create. It is very easy to change materials and colors. The drawings below give some idea of how different materials can affect the look and feel of a house.

We can also create 3D perspectives or overviews of the floor plans showing interior room layouts and details. We can also insert "real world" furniture, cabinets and appliances to get a better idea of space planning. It is fairly common for a person to have some existing furniture that is important and needs to be worked into the house design. Being able to generate conceptual overviews really helps in this sort of space planning.

Building a new home or adding on to an existing home is a big commitment and a major expense. Often this is the single largest expenditure a person will ever make. Unfortunately, we all have probably heard stories of projects gone bad, of the new home not turning out as expected or dreamed of. That is why we feel that the beginning conceptual stage is so important. It is easy and cost effective at this stage to explore different ideas, to get the input and advice of contractors and engineers. It also helps the approval process for design boards and home owner associations. Even a simple house is a complex project with lots of people and variables involved. Getting a project off to a good start with everyone on the same page is so important.

The Artwork & Photography

of Roy & Jeff Kastning