Posts by bacwp

Sorting the Puzzle Pieces of Design with Your Naples Architect

Sorting the Puzzle Pieces of Design with Your Naples Architect

Remember putting together jigsaw puzzles from the time you were just a child? These puzzles may contain as few as 25 pieces, or reach to over 1,000 pieces or more. Planning a new home, remodel, addition, or a commercial project has many similarities to putting a jigsaw puzzle together. Similar to a jigsaw puzzle, these building projects range from comparatively simple to highly complex. In both cases we need to sort all the pieces before we can begin planning and assembly. However, architectural projects will contain far more pieces than a jigsaw puzzle, and the shapes of those pieces can change along the way. For now, this blog will address the sorting process. Later blogs will address the planning and assembly process. First, the client (that’s you!) and your architect who is familiar with the Naples and Southwest Florida area will work with you sorting all the pieces. Below, is a brief review of the major parts of the building puzzle. Early in the sorting and design process, the SITE must be determined. The site survey and elevation certificate are a must. Your local architect from Southwest Florida (Naples) must have this information. Then the required building setbacks and easements can be established. The site requirements must comply with zoning, sub-division, city, county, and FEMA codes and regulations. A big question is, “Will the house be one or two stories?” How many vehicles will be parked in the garage? Of course, the site configuration will be a factor in the size of your home. As a home owner you will want to experience the best views possible. Which direction will the sun come from? How do we get the right amount privacy without feeling closed in? What is the landscaping for the outdoor spaces? A major part of the puzzle includes the BUDGET. How much can you or are willing to spend? The budget influences pretty much the whole nine yards! To a large extent it will be a factor in the overall square footage (or square meters), the number of rooms and their sizes. Also ceilings heights and shapes are affected. The budget will also help to determine indoor and outdoor building materials and finishes. Appliances, equipment, heating, air conditioning, electrical, and plumbing contribute to the bottom line. O.K., now let’s consider the INTERIOR ROOMS & SPACES that you want to have. So; you have some furniture, paintings, artwork, collection(s) and antiques to include. Well, they have to be parked somewhere. Do in-laws and/or children live with you? Do the grown-up children and grandchildren come down to visit? Do you live alone? These are some issues that help to determine the type, number, and size of spaces to consider. Do you prefer a great room or a separate living room and family room?  Most likely there will be a dedicated dining room. How about a casual dining area near the kitchen and family room? How elaborate will the kitchen be? How many bedrooms and bathrooms are needed? Will one of them be a cabana? Then there is the master bedroom and bath maybe with an exercise or sitting area nearby. A study or office is not uncommon. Will that be over the garage or near the master bedroom? Will two work areas be needed? Let’s not forget about the closets in all the bedrooms and cabana, and maybe the study/office. The laundry room near the garage and kitchen is a space that will most likely be included. But, will it be for more than just for a washer, dryer, and laundry sink. Some clients like to include a hobby area in this space. These are most but not limited to the indoor spaces which you might want to include. Work with your Naples Florida architect to help you with the right fit. The OUTDOOR SPACES are just as important as the indoor spaces. After all, this is Southwest Florida. You’re not in Kansas anymore! You and your guests will spend a lot of time out there. By outdoor spaces, we are talking about the covered screened in lanai (mosquitoes not welcome!),...

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Bringing the Outdoors Indoors with Windows

Bringing the Outdoors Indoors with Windows

It seems that no matter what the design topic is, regarding residential design in Southwest Florida, it usually deals with our outdoor surroundings. Such is especially true when we work to have the indoor environment connected to the outdoors. Doing so is essential for safety, comfort, and the experience of our usually pleasant weather. It is not necessary to look out onto the gulf or the golf course to enjoy a great view. A garden view can be spectacular during the entire year. However the best choices of exterior door and window selection and arrangement goes a long way to enjoying the outdoor view. One of my last blog posts addressed bringing the outdoors indoors with exterior doors. There, we discussed the most common choices with their characteristics, advantages, and limitations. Yet, another way of how to bring the outdoors indoors is through the selection of windows. Any architect in Naples, Florida ought to be accustomed with the door and window selection process. Yours truly who has lived here in Naples since 1977 is no exception. So, let’s look at the windows that are available. Windows allow us to connect with the outdoors, and protect us from the elements (summer heat/humidity, thunderstorms, and hurricanes), intruders, pests, snakes, gators, and noise. They also give us privacy when treated with drapes, blinds, shutters, awnings, etc. Your Naples Architect and you will work together to select from the following options: Single Hung, Double Hung, Casement, Awning, Horizontal Sliding, and Fixed Glass. Let’s begin by looking at SINGLE HUNG WINDOWS. These are probably the most popular type. These are the windows in which the bottom half slides up and down to open and close. The screen is on the outdoor side. Because the window slides vertically, they do not get in the way of outdoor traffic (Lanai, Pool Deck, Front Entry, or Patio). However, because these windows slide up and down, only half can be open. Many of the larger sizes can be used for emergency egress. These can also be configured to where the top and bottom halves are each non-divided or they may each be divided, by half by 2 horizontally or vertically. Each of the halves may also be divided into 4,6, or 8 parts, depending on size. One can even have the top half divided and the bottom half not divided. Two or more windows can be ganged together in order to expand the opening for a more panoramic experience.        The window frames and sashes can be aluminum, vinyl, wood, or wood with vinyl cladding or wood with aluminum  cladding.  Many varieties come with a choice of colors. Now, we can also choose from single glazing or go with double glazing which will help to keep the cool air in and the hot air out. Of course, these can come with impact resistant gazing. Now, with all of these options it becomes clear why an experience Naples architect can help with these decisions.  DOUBLE HUNG WINDOWS are similar to single hung windows except that both either of the top or bottom half may be opened. Having the top half open may feel less drafty. CASEMENT WINDOWS are also commonly used for many homes. These are opened and close by using a cranking mechanism which swings the sash which pivots on one of the vertical sides. The entire window may be opened which allows for more air circulation. Also these units tend to appear more contemporary and streamlined than single/double hung windows. The screen is on the indoor side of the window assembly, so you may  not to use them in the shower areas. Casement windows are rather attractive when they are ganged together. Casements may be ordered with built-in louvers. Because, these windows project while opened, they should not be used near traffic areas. However they could be buffered by a planter or garden area if space permits. Like single/double hung windows, these may be made of aluminum, vinyl, wood, wood with vinyl cladding or wood with aluminum cladding. A choice of colors is usually available. Typically these...

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Protecting Your Home From Hurricanes

Protecting Your Home From Hurricanes

The 2016 Hurricane Season has not yet begun, but the recent storms and tornados we’ve been having are giving people a lot to think about. You need a meaningful strategy for protecting your home from high winds, water intrusion, floods, the scorching sun, insects, snakes, and intruders, regardless of what the weather decides to do. For now, let’s focus on protecting your property from hurricane damage. As a Naples, Florida architect who has lived in Southwest Florida for over 35 years, I can help during the design process of remodeling, adding to, or building a new home or business. Benefits of protecting your investment such as your dream home include: saving your property from major damage peace of mind saving lives and most likely, reducing insurance premiums.   When it comes to building an addition or building a new home, the building code requires hurricane protection. In other words, protecting your new addition or home is the law! As you Naples architect, I consider hurricane protection as an important part of the design process. A home is likely to suffer the most hurricane damage when openings such as doors and windows are breached. Doors typically include the front entry doors/sidelights/transoms, overhead garage doors, garage service doors, Lanai sliding glass doors, and French doors. Windows include fixed glass, glass block panels, transoms, operating such as single hung, double hung, casement, awning, and horizontal rolling/sliding. If these opening are damaged by high wind pressure or by airborne projectiles, the integrity of the roof system will be compromised. In plain English, your roof will blow off. So how do you protect your existing, remodeled, extended, or new dream home? First, let’s get the openings secured. Even if you don’t wish to remodel or extend your home, protection is still a recommended option. You can however choose not to do anything or cross your fingers and hope a hurricane never come our way. This is definitely not a good plan. In fact as stated earlier, this isn’t even an option for additions or new homes.   How to Protect Your Home There are several options in protecting your home. Probably, the least expensive form of protection over windows is the installation of plywood panels. They need to be cut to fit the openings, and holes drilled. Then it will be necessary to attach wing nuts to the installed bolts. Don’t forget the ladder to reach the top of the panels. You can buy metal clips which fit between the plywood and the opening perimeter. Remember, these panels are heavy to handle. They might stay wet for a while. They also require the most amount of space to store of the options we’re addressing. I, your Naples architect think we can do much better. A better option for protection would be the installation of corrugated aluminum panels. Usually, these lightweight approximately 16 inch wide panels are custom cut by a fabricator to fit the height of the openings. They slide into an aluminum top track and rest on a bottom sill in place with bolts installed. Then simply fasten the wing nuts to the bolts and you are good to go. These are also easier to store than plywood panels. Because one must reach the outside of the openings, the corrugated panels are best suited for one-story applications. Acrylic panels which allow light to enter indoors are also available. Horizontal accordion shutters which stay installed can be used by closing and opening as weather conditions dictate. Screens, fabric and even window films can be acquired to help reduce the risk of hurricane damage. A popular option for hurricane protection is the roll-up shutter system. A coil of narrow horizontal panels are stored in a box type housing at the top of the opening. The panels slide down on vertical tracks on each side. They may be manually (by crank), electrically operated (by pushing a button) , or electrically operated with a manual override in the event of a power failure. I like this last one! It is strongly recommended that the customer contacts an architect if roll-up shutters are...

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Bringing The Outdoors Indoors

Bringing The Outdoors Indoors

One of the main reasons for living here in Southwest Florida is to enjoy the abundant amount of sunshine. During winter months, we can also enjoy the wonderful weather and the refreshing breezes. Even during raining weather, it is great to be connected to the outdoors. So wouldn’t it be great if we could open up the house to enjoy the views, even if it’s only the gardens in our back yard. No matter what the size of our home is, let’s enjoy the outdoors that Southwest Florida has to offer. The best way to bring the outdoors indoors is making the best choices with the arrangements of windows and exterior doors. I as your Naples Architect who has lived here since 1977 am accustomed to making the appropriate selections concerning windows and exterior doors. Once we have an idea of how our interior and exterior spaces will take shape, we can focus on the fenestration. In this blog we will focus on exterior doors. Therefore let’s look at what is available. First let’s look at EXTERIOR DOORS. These include the front entry, overhead garage door, garage service door, other side doors, and doors leading to the lanai. When it comes to door section concerning the relationship with the outdoors, it is usually the doors leading to and from the lanai which we are focused upon. So Your Naples Architect and you will work together to select from the following options: French Doors, Sliding Glass Doors (SGD) Entry Doors and other glass doors. FRENCH DOORS best allow for a cottage, country, retro, or formal feel and appearance. While a pair of French Doors is limited to six feet wide, Multiple sets can be specified. Sidelights can help to broaden the vistas and to allow a place for the operating doors to rest while open. These glass doors and fixed sidelights can each be one large single pane or they can be divided into several smaller panes. Several widths of 2’-0”, 2’-6”, 2’-8”, and 3’-0” wide are available depending on the manufacturer. Heights of 6’-8” or 8’-0” are the most common. Transoms are sometime recommended to extend the opening and visual experience. SLIDING GLASS DOORS allow for the widest and largest openings. They can be a pair of 2’-6” wide doors (5’-0” total), pair of 3’-0 wide (6’-0” total), pair of 4-0” wide (8’-0” total), (3)3’-0”(9’-0” total), (3) 4’-0” wide (12’-0” total) or (4) 4’-0” wide (16’-0” total. That’s not all! We can make two sets of doors turn a corner to make an even more impressive experience. These may stack behind one another, to one (or both) side(s) of the clear opening, or become concealed behind a recessed pocket. Humm we’ve got lots of choices. These are available in heights of 6’-8” or 8’-0”. Sometime heights of 10’-0” can be ordered. Sliding glass doors require the least amount of space while open. They are usually available with aluminum frames. Smaller configurations are also available in wood framing often in aluminum or vinyl clad. OTHER GLASS DOORS include Entry Doors which may be solid or with glazing. Some entry door assemblies include glass sidelights and/or glass transoms of above. The Entry Door’s importance is that it is what the inhabitants and visitors first experience upon arrival. The use of sidelights and/or transoms is often the main source of daylight for the foyer. The transoms may be rectangular, arched, or circular. Garage Doors are usually available with glazing at the top sections. However such glazing often detracts from the visual esthetics. Daylight into the garage is best achieved with the use of windows or glazing in the Garage Service Door. Exterior doors do more than allow us to enter or exit the interior space. They also allow us to be continuously connected with the outdoors. Rarely do we wish to be removed from the outdoors. Severe storms such as hurricanes are such occasions. Even then we can still “enjoy” the views if impact resistant doors are the product of choice. Ahh, this is so much better than the use of cumbersome...

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Naples Architect Design Process To Create Your Dream Home

Naples Architect Design Process To Create Your Dream Home

Now that you have considered building a new home or an addition to your existing home, and have pulled up my website, chances are you have begun the process of working with a Naples architect such as myself. So, let’s get started by briefly outlining the steps as you work with me, your architect during the process of the designing your dream home or addition. It is most important that you select an architect that you feel comfortable working with.   Step One Once you have selected your architect in Naples FL and have arranged for your first meeting, the actual design process is underway. If you are working with me, first, I will ask you many questions about your dream home. You should already have several ideas of what you want. For example: How big will your home be? How many rooms do you need, and what size shall they be? Will the home be one or two stories? How many cars do you intend to park in the garage? What should the house look like? Will it be Mediterranean, Caribbean, Modern, Colonial, Old Florida, Pueblo Revival, Etc.? I will ask you for a copy of your site survey and elevation certificate. Also, let me know of any deed or sub-division restrictions and requirements. Pictures and plan sketches are also helpful. Do not use copyrighted material. Do you want a swimming pool? How about an outdoor kitchen? Maybe a gazebo, trellis, and/or cabana is on your gotta have list. What about the views? Don’t forget the importance of the front entry. At this meeting we will also discuss other issues such as fees, construction budget, contract, time frames and inclusions to be agreed upon. Of course, I will welcome any questions you may have at this time and any time. Finally, and before I begin preparing preliminary plans, together, we will visit your building site. Step Two The first drawings are the Preliminary Schematic Design Concept plans, which help us to determine if we are all on the same page. These are likely to include Floor Plan(s), at least the Front Elevation(s), Area Summary, and the Site Plan. At this point, you the client will review and tweek the design with me, your Naples architect. Maybe you want to add a few items, such as more closets, baths, or change some doors and/or windows. Maybe some room sizes should be changed. Mainly, this is the time to work out the bugs and glitches and get it all cleaned up. If you come up with anymore brainstorms, ideas, changes, must haves, and “Oh one more thing”, now’s the best time to say so!   Step Three The next step is the preparation of Design Development Drawings. These drawings are the actual beginning of the construction/ permit drawings. I will add major dimensions and notes. Floors Plan(s) become more detailed. All exterior elevations are drawn with notes. You will notice the addition of the Roof Plan, Building Sections, and a Typical Wall Section. Once again we will review these drawings together. More fine-tuning takes place. Once you are comfortable and satisfied, we are able to get preliminary estimates (Not bids, we’re not there yet) from builders. For larger projects, these drawings are now issued to the consulting engineers for structural mechanical, electrical, and plumbing design.   Step Four Now, I, your Naples Architect who is familiar with the local building codes, will substantially complete the Construction/ Permit Drawings. The Floor Plan(s) is/are completely dimensioned with all the notes added. Foundation and Electrical Plans are ready. Door and Window Schedules are present. Building and Wall Sections are Complete. Additional details are added. I will review drawings from consulting engineers and make sure that the architectural drawings are compatible. If you have selected a builder, the builder will consult with the truss designer/manufacturer to obtain a Roof Truss Plan (and Floor Truss Plan for two story projects) and details. Step Five Finally, you can expect that I as your Naples Architect will make a another review, add any final notes, and make...

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