Our Approach

The ACM Design Process for Developing A Mountain Home

When designing a mountain home in Western North Carolina, Upstate South Carolina, and the mountains of Tennessee the breadth of inputs and the decisions required can be overwhelming; this why you need an experienced team who knows how to get the job done and why we've developed the ACM Design Process.

ACM Design Process: Design Preparation

Design Preparation

Identify with the client.
The first step in the ACM Design Process is understanding how you live or how you want to live. This is critical to the success of designing a home that meets your needs. We start each project by having you fill out our Residential Architecture Questionnaire.  We’ll also ask you to share photos or magazine clippings that you have likely collected over the years to shed further light on your vision of home. Even the smallest detail provides us with insight.

Embrace the site.
Walking the property to get the feel of the land and its natural attributes is crucial. We’ll observe how the sun moves across the land; pinpoint the best views; assess form, function and accessibility all to understand how the home will “fit” on the site.

ACM Design Process: Preliminary Design

Preliminary Design

Dream, think, create.
The information gathered is processed. Design ideas begin to take shape through a unique balance of technical analysis and creative intuition. Conceptual sketches take form to illustrate how the house could work on the site, how the rooms could work together, and how the home might look from the outside.  This will generate robust discussion amongst the client and designer to shares ideas and discuss what is working and what needs to be adjusted.

Function and aesthetics.
We’ll study the conceptual design of the floor plan and exterior elevation sketches to ensure that the functionality of the spaces balances with the aesthetics of the design.  We’ll also review how to “ground” the home with landscape.

ACM Design Process: Design Development

Design Development

Think, draw, think, draw.
In the next step of the ACM Design Process we’ll expand our drawings from floor plans and exterior elevations to building sections and details to show the particulars of the design and construction. At this stage, we will finalize the overall skeleton of the home structure, from the floor to the roof.

Now you see it.
At this stage, clients often begin to more clearly visualize and understand the detailed aspects of the design and how the spaces will actually “feel.”

Continue the conversation.
Ongoing communication with the client ensures that the design works and stays true to the vision of home.

ACM Design Process: Architectural Interiors

Architectural Interiors

“Weaving in the creature comforts”

Life on the inside. Once the architectural design of the home has been developed, the focus shifts to interior details.  We’ll discuss and detail the interior finishes such as trusses and exposed beams, ceiling vaults, wood work, flooring, cabinetry, and lighting.  Once again, balance is key between function and aesthetics.  We want the home to reflect your vision on the inside as well.

Details, details, details. We will design every detail of the interior of the home. Don’t be surprised if we ask you to “try out” bathtubs and door knobs to see if they “feel right.”

ACM Design Process: Construction Documents

Construction Documents

“Being thorough and complete”

Time to Document.
Once the design of the home has been thoroughly developed, both inside and out, it is time to ensure that the technical drawings are thorough and complete. All of the details and specifications must be clear for construction to avoid confusion and to ensure accurate pricing and cost of construction from your builder.

ACM Design Process: Construction Phase

Construction Phase

“Making sure it all gets done right”

An extra set of eyes.
Things always come up during construction… rock underground,  material’s aren’t available, substitutions which offer options for savings, “found” space in a corner of the attic. We are there through construction to help you manage challenges and take advantage of opportunities.

Common thread.
We know the design of your home inside and out so that when changes come about, you know ACM Design will advocate on your behalf to ensure that even the smallest details are not overlooked.   Clear communication is critical as your team expands to include the builder and the trades that will construct your home.

See the Homes We’ve Designed Using the ACM Design Process

At ACM Design, our home design approach in every architecture and interior design project is about more than simply delivering services.  It’s about making a difference for each family—from the way you experience your home to knowing you have invested in quality and have the right systems for the construction.  The ACM Design Process that we’ve developed will bring value and certainty to your project.  Our client-centric design approach includes all the big picture pieces about how you envision your life in your mountain community, but also gets to the heart of the matter with all the small details that make your home special and uniquely you.  Having every detail of the home reflect your family’s needs is the definition of a custom home.

We follow this design process as we work with you to create a beautiful and timeless home, weaving together function and aesthetics while staying true to your vision in each of our design services options: new custom home design services, renovations & additions, historic home restorations, interior design, and outdoor living design.