Why Custom Construction Details are Worth It
March 15, 2018
Have you ever walked into a beautiful space and just been delighted at everything you see? When a space just clicks, there’s usually something magical about the entire experience that pushes it above an everyday space. Chances are, that space was thought through very carefully, down to the architectural details. Creating a beautiful design isn’t just about nailing the perfect plan that sings, and it isn’t just about nailing your building permit as quickly as possible. It is also about spending the time to carefully turn that basic design into one that feels custom and special — because creating something special is what we love.
The projects that we tend to love the most — and the ones people tend to respond to the most — are the ones with those special, beautiful, little details that just shine. Design takes time, and successful designs tend to really come together in the final phase of detailing during the construction documents phase. It is often a phase where clients think they may want to dial back services a little, or where they may want to try and get by with less, but it is this final phase that can help turn a very good design into an outstanding one. If you’ve gone this far down the road to hire an architect or designer, you really won’t get the full benefit of our services without the final level of detailing.
The value of great details shows… in the details!
Below are some examples of where custom detailing helped elevate a project. Think about your project — where might the extra value of custom architectural detailing help elevate the design and really make it just that more beautiful?
A Built-In Dog Crate
Think this dog crate just came together? In a permit set, the dog crate wouldn’t even be really described, it would just a line on a drawing indicating it as a piece of cabinetry. In order to ensure it all worked together, we not only had to draw it in elevation, but needed to design a special detail to describe it. This ensured that the contractor was able to provide more accurate pricing for something critical to me, and that the final product ended up looking the way we intended. Spending the time and money to detail something acts as insurance that the design you want ends up being the design you actually get.
A Sliding Mirror
One of the “most liked” details in our project photography is this slick little sliding “barn door style” mirror in a master bathroom. Often, exterior windows can be right where the best placement for your master bathroom vanity is. You can’t really look into a window and shave, style your hair, or put on makeup, so our team came up with this great detail that adds personality and flair to an otherwise normal bathroom. With a detail like this, field coordination is often necessary, as the barn door hardware was an off-the-shelf specification. Details are often accompanied by detailed product research and writing in our specification documents. Preparing all of this, and then coordinating the specific details with the general contractor during construction, help ensure that everything comes out just as you had hoped.
Special Millwork Details
Older homes are filled with special detailing that makes them something many of us love. Those details were built by talented individuals who put their artistry into getting things right. When we remodel an older home, it is critical to ensure that the new details we add in blend in seamlessly with the old. We’ve all seen bad remodels where it is clear that someone thought they would “jazz up” some old details. Blargh! Do it right! In this historic remodel of this beautiful Capitol Hill mansion, we not only had to restore what had been damaged by fire, but we had to re-introduce some elements which had been removed over the years. On the third floor, we introduced some new columns which echo the details in the rest of the home. This creates continuity with the rest of the house and introduces the kind of special detailing that gives these beautiful old homes such character.
There’s so much more!
There are countless examples of how taking the time to really think about the specifics of something pays off in the end. It is a big reason why we aren’t into producing countless drawings of spec homes. They have their place, but there’s something immensely rewarding about creating something beautiful and specific to a project. Creating your space isn’t just a straightforward slog through the mundane detailing, it is an art. Allowing for the freedom of expression and the time to draw up custom details in a set of construction documents means that your project will have that extra bit of magic that will make you happy for years to come.