Fine-Tuning the Design During Construction

This spectacular new home we designed on the Muirfield Village Golf Course is coming along nicely. Like all homes of this complexity and caliber, the design process includes some fine-tuning the design during construction.

And for me, that’s one of the most exciting parts of the process.

The fine-tuning of a house while it’s still under construction is an important – critical, maybe – phase of the design process.  It’s a team effort, with the Architect, Owner, Interior Designer, and Builder all on the site together.

For the Owner, it’s often an “aha” moment – walking through and touching the actual house is a different experience from seeing the drawings, sketches and models we produce throughout the earlier phases of the design process.

Sometimes, that means the Owner comes to fully appreciate things they’ve had to take on faith up to now, and sometimes, that means the Owner sees something they’d like to change.

But most of the time, the fine-tuning process involves little changes – rerouting an HVAC duct to avoid building a soffit or adjusting the patio design to accommodate the slope of the lot.

The fine-tuning of a house while it’s still under construction is an important phase of the design process.

On this home, one such change was the two clay chimney pots that cap off the home.

Chimney pots are decorative extensions of the fireplace flue that add beauty and character to the house, but also help the fireplace draw the proper amount of air through the fireplace opening.

In fact, the size of the fireplace opening determines the size of the chimney pot – the bigger the fireplace, the bigger the chimney pots.

We have two fireplaces sharing this stone and brick chimney – hence the two pots – and as the final fireplace sizes were determined during construction we were able to size and select just the right chimney pots.

That meant working with the mason, the builder, the chimney pot supplier and the Owner to find the right combination of size and style.  In this case, we chose the Kensington XL and the Halifax from Superior Clay Co.

They’re big chimney pots…how big, you ask? It’s hard to tell when they’re installed, since they’re almost 40 feet in the air.

But this photo I took just prior to installation gives you a better idea of the size – note the water bottle! The Kensington XL, on the left in this photo, is 36″ tall and 23″ wide at the bottom.

Need expert Residential Architectural advice for your new home or remodeling project? Contact Richard Taylor, AIA at Richard Taylor Architects to arrange a meeting or an online consultation.

Richard Taylor, AIA
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