The process of design

How does all of this work?

Our first intentions of buying in Mérida was to find an old home and renovate it. Building from scratch wasn't really on our radar. In fact, it seems rather daunting.

With a house in place, you're somewhat restricted by what the bones of that house offer you. However, that restriction takes away some of the terror of staring at a blank sheet of paper and not knowing where to start. Having that starting spot can help you envision the space, the layout and the style in a real and concrete way. It becomes more like finding solutions to a puzzle.

Staring at a white and empty canvas can be daunting. You can do anything, but there's a fear of touching brush to canvas because what if that isn't the right choice? What if there was a better choice? Because there are an almost infinite amount of choices!

It gives us the chance to have anything we desire, let's hope that what we think we want is what we actually want.

The process which began with finding and settling on an architect firm continued with some more details.

They sent us what amounts to being a contract. Maybe more of a description of their process.

There are three processes in the design stages.

The first stage of the design is the floor layout. They went and measured the lot, noted where the trees were located and any other features. Then a layout of where everything will be placed is created. This is just a flat layout of the floor space, and is fairly basic.

In an attempt to aid them (or hinder them) in the process and help understand what we were thinking, I drew up a super rough sketch of a layout and included some images that I had found for inspiration from other places. Not that any of those things had to be included, but it just was meant to say "this is the type of stuff we think is cool."

It's a kind of 'C' shape with the pool in the middle of the 'C'. If we had more space, it would be an 'O' with the pool in the middle. We also liked the idea of having an area for maybe a fire/lounging area somewhere to socialize with guests in the evening.

I thought it would be cool to have steps to a rooftop level, Angie didn't agree. So, she won this round. I hope they find my crappy drawing helpful. It's not 100% necessary for them to follow it. They are more than welcome to wow us in any way they choose. They're the pros.

My terrible layout attempt
After you've agreed on a layout that you like, the process moves into the more detailed stage. Where the finishings and the architectural details are hammered out.

The third stage is when all the engineering takes place. With all of the structural details, the wiring, the plumbing, etc.

After that, they will bid out the construction work. Now, at this point, we can either have them construct it, or we can find someone else to construct it, or we can have nobody construct it and just enjoy all the nice plans we have.

We paid $4,000 dollars for the design, which includes all of the stages. This amount can fluctuate depending on the number of revisions, the architects, the value of the peso or a number of other things. So, don't take that amount as written in stone but as more of a general number. You can also pay this out in installments. Paying certain amounts as the project progresses. We chose to just pay it all up front so I didn't have to deal with wiring money multiple times.

For us, it was an easy decision. Even if, ultimately, we can't afford to build the house, it felt like it was worth spending $4,000 to have it designed and find out, for sure.

It's an exciting step and we are on our way!

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