Our Bespoke Home Creation Process
The Oxford Dictionary’s definition of the word bespoke is ‘something that is made for a particular customer or user’. As we specialise in working with clients to create their bespoke home, this means every house we create is designed from scratch specifically to meet the needs of everyone who is going to live in it. To achieve this, we start from a completely clean sheet, and work through our unique architectural design process with all our clients.
To some, this can at first appear to be quite a daunting prospect. We are often asked things like ‘How can you design us a home without looking at an existing design as a starting point?, and ‘I need to look at visual examples to show you what I’m looking for”.
We understand how at first this concept can be tricky to grasp, but feel very passionate about adopting this approach. “If you start the design process with visual references, you skip too soon into solutions and don’t spend enough time in the understanding and enquiry stage.” says Luke Jackson, architect at Complete Oak Home.
Starting with a blank canvas can feel daunting, particularly as some architects keep their design process to themselves and only share the ‘outcomes’ at each stage, presenting you with what feels like a series of rather inflexible solutions.
The best architecture evolves through collaboration, bringing together your needs and wishes with our skill and knowledge. It should, in our view, be a ‘client up’ evolution. We are designing your house, on your land with your money whilst bringing our expertise to bear to deliver the best solution.
We use a layered process of enquiry to ensure that we don’t make any assumptions. If our clients tell us they would like a traditional style of house, we make sure we explore exactly what they mean by traditional, as our view may be quite different to theirs. Do they mean they would like to use traditional materials, have a traditional layout, or incorporate traditional design features into their scheme? A design can only be the architect’s interpretation of what you tell him – we need to make sure everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet!
Designing a bespoke home is a unique opportunity to create a home that properly meets your needs now and in the future. Whilst many people know a lot about what they want before they speak to us, their first briefs are often largely functional, listing the rooms and spaces they need and photos of houses they like.
We think the best way of working to develop our client’s briefs is face to face. Working with you, we enquire about the things that will make your new house a home, what will give it the character you want, and how your lifestyle might and should impact the design. We’ll explore your appetite for different construction types and guide and advise you as we develop a more comprehensive description of your new house.
1. Spatial arrangement of your bespoke home
Using plastic shapes to represent different rooms and spaces, together we arrange them to create a flow to the house that best suits how you want to live. Through a process of mutual enquiry, we look at the various options, considering everything from views, privacy, and connection to the outside. We explore how you’ll enter the house, from how it will be used day to day compared with when you have visitors, to where your pets might live.
2. Site analysis
Many sites offer alternatives for the location and orientation of your new home. Understanding the possibilities and challenges is key to finding the best solution. Who in the UK wouldn’t want to make the most of the good weather when it appears? Could the shape and orientation of your bespoke home help create sunny sheltered outside spaces to be enjoyed at every opportunity or provide privacy from neighbours or delivery couriers? It is sometimes beneficial to explore the art of the possible.
3. Designing your bespoke home
With the brief, spatial arrangement and site analysis clearly articulated and understood, our design team can prepare the first draft design. Its purpose is to articulate, by way of a drawing, our interpretation of what we have understood so far. It is not intended and is highly unlikely to be the final solution. That will evolve.
From your feedback at each stage, and with our guidance and architectural experience, the design will develop to a point where the planning application can be submitted. It isn’t necessary to have decided upon every aspect of your new house yet, only those things that will affect the external appearance of it. Phasing and layering decisions makes the process more manageable, easier to comprehend and more enjoyable.
4. Detailed design development
Once the planning submission is made we’ll work with you on a detailed finishes schedule. This will document every finish in every room as well as fixtures, fittings, internal joinery and so on. This enables us to develop the construction drawings from which the house will be built.
Crucially the construction drawings and finishes schedule also enable the production of the buildings regulations drawings, accurate pricing, and provides robust documentation to support the construction contract itself.
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HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:
The team worked with us throughout the duration of our project, from the early design stages through to completion. We now have a wonderful oak framed home which we’ve been delighted to show to many other clients.
Because we used an architect first who was absolutely useless. He didn’t listen to us at all or give us a design that we wanted. In fact his design was so poor that I could have drawn it myself or just copied it straight from the internet. When we spoke to The Complete Oak Home you actually listened to us and provided us with a design that met all of our requirements.
We have both had a good look at the designs and we absolutely love them. It hugely exceeds our expectations and for this we are truly thankful of your superbly impressive work! We are so excited to think that this could be ours - you are very talented indeed.