Now you question "what should I build?" How should I go about designing a new construction or remodeling this existing home to make it feel right? Will my vision work? It's an investment so you need a return even if you plan for this to be your forever home. You want it to feel as right as the site you've chosen. Your family will play there, entertain there, love there, and live there. It will be the central theme of your life, and it will be what you come "home" to everyday, and what you wake up to every morning . Planning a design can be stressful, but it need not be.
This is where I can help. I have 22 years experience getting people into the home that's right for them by designing specifically to their needs.
Firstly, we need to determine your needs. Do you entertain? Do you have children? How many Bedrooms, closets, baths etc. Open concept? Do you need a basement, or attached garage? And most importantly, budget. Is it a lake home? Will it be in a subdivision, or will it be on a larger piece of property? How does the property lay? Does it slope? Is it flat? Does it need to meet an Architectural review board's approval? What do the local codes allow for as far as expansion of an existing home? Will you need a variance? These are all things I can help determine, answer and design for.... I help with every step of the design process.
Secondly, after we determine your needs and what is possible with your project, we begin with an initial design. You walk me through your dream and cast your vision to me. It's my job to pick up that vision and make it a reality. It may take several iterations of design to get there, but don't worry, I am used to redesigning it to get it just right. And after 22 years, I have gotten pretty good at catching your vision. I take that same design and convert it to 3D virtual reality so you can see it as it really is. See some Examples Below:
I can take you on "virtual tours" of your home so you can see many aspects of the design. I can also make changes in front of you, and you can see it updated immediately. This makes for a good solid design that fits your needs and "feels right."
During this process you will see various floor plans as well. Below is a typical layout of an initial design.
Finally, after we have everything the way you want it, I begin generating the construction drawings. These are accurate, detailed documents for you to be able to get your local permits, for your builder to build from, and for your bank to appraise from. Below is a typical set of construction documents.
From initial design to finished construction, I will work with you to get the home that you have dreamed of at an affordable price.
So you are getting ready for your new dream home and you start your search for that perfect plan. Hour upon hour is spent on the internet, searching through literally millions of home plans. You like the bath on this plan, but the rest is out of the question. Maybe the exterior of this other home is "sort of like" what you want, but it just doesn't pop. You see that the site offers changes, but exactly what you will get and how much it will cost is a mystery.
I have heard this story hundreds of times over the years. I am used to seeing a dilapidated printout of a plan (or several) from the internet with marks all over it. It is convenient for the customer to get their ideas from these plans sites, but that is about it.
When comes down to brass tacks, it is imperative that you have a living, breathing designer that will make the changes exactly as you want and not charge you any more for it. You need a capable designer who will work with you throughout the process to help you reach you vision. He should be willing to stay with the process and make as many iterations as it takes to get you that perfect plan.
That is exactly what I do.
What Do I need In A Bunker?
The answer to that question depends on how you envision the future, and your current circumstances. What are the possible reasons that you will need a bunker? How many people do you plan on protecting? What do you want your comfort level to be? And so on. All of these things effect the budget.
Some Ideas I've Had
Okay so now I'm here thinking on how to go about something that would protect me and my family and ways to keep costs down. I'm an above ground kind of guy and have designed homes for 20 plus years, but this is very different. So here are some things I have come up with.
I need the entrance accessible to me and my family and to no one else? A hidden entrance comes to mind. It must lock and be incredibly strong. But how do I hide it and keep it hidden? The old sod topped stainless steel hatch comes to mind. Or hide it in plain sight using a tree stump as a cover. Either way I'll need to be artistic in the construction. I'm open to suggestions.
The Emergency Exit:
Again, it will need to be hidden, but this seems easier as this entrance will not be used as often (I would hope). I'm thinking a long hallway with several steel doors that I can lock behind me as I head toward the surface entrance.
This may sound simple, but underground, keeping things dry is very difficult. The entire structure will need to be vented and the exterior concrete walls will need to be sealed very well to prevent moisture in the first place. I think that a double seal coat where you roll on a thick layer of block seal, then start at the bottom with 40 mil rubber and overlap it 6-8 inched all the way to the top. Then do it again. That would need to be covered with 1 inch Styrofoam board. The vents again need to be hidden from view on the surface. Nothing says "I'm here and I have food!" more than 6 inch white PVC pipes sticking out of the ground.
To Be Continued:
Here are a few ideas I have had. If any of you have thought about your own ideas I'd love to hear them. I will take these ideas and build upon them in my next post.