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3 elements to consider early in the design process

“Don’t worry about that. The contractor can just add it in later.”

Those are words that make us cringe.

As part of our ongoing series, 40 Misconceptions in the Planning of High End Residences, we highlight three categories of features that are often overlooked in the initial concepts or home designs.

Pushing these less glamorous (but vital) components off, to be added later will require significant compromises – compromises in the aesthetics of the home, the type of amenities used, as well as compromises in the schedule and budget.

HVAC and electrical systems

Projects like those that Sebastian routinely builds have more in common with commercial construction than typical residential buildings. That includes the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and the electrical systems, which are often commercial scale. These systems must be included from the onset of design development, not left as an afterthought.

Plan your lighting as part of the architectural design

Why not wait until construction is complete? One big reason – you must have the compatible wiring available for your lighting fixtures. Tearing up a ceiling to add wiring later is an expensive and disruptive proposition. You also want to be sure that the builders include the right support and boxing for heavy fixtures, like chandeliers.

By integrating the lighting plan into the architectural design, the contractor can build the necessary infrastructure to make it a reality.

Window treatments, fireplace design and flue routing

Interior designer Elle Cole, Founder and Creative Director of Elle Cole Interiors, explains the best approach, “Speaking for window treatments, it’s best to walk the project during framing/electrical phase with the General Contractor in the event you’re using hard-wired motorized shades or need additional blocking to support treatments.”

Integrating these systems into your architectural plans early avoids problems and compromises later!