Our design/build process is the most cost effective way to produce the compact, coherent and site specific traditional home designs which have delighted and served our region so well for centuries. Long established by custom, this method produced 99% of the existing historic buildings we admire and love:
Consultation. Almost always, our clients begin the process citing a specific exemplary historic building, room or elevation which they judge to make a particularly delightful and efficient use of space. They want us to know what it is about this specific period building that moves them or that promises to fit the life they lead today. Sometimes they emphasize their belief that credible traditional principles can most efficiently achieve their personal design goals. They may admire the healthy management of natural light or ventilation in period structures or they may wish to use healthy or environmentally friendly materials. Often they share with us their disappointment with supersized, standardized or minimalist design. Neither do they want to live in a museum piece and they inform us of their requirements for functional, unobtrusive kitchens, baths, closets and the like. This consultation serves to establish viable project goals and to confirm for us both that we can work together to produce work that is lasting and effective.
Research. The client's specific design models embody everything that they admire about the period, often without knowing quite why. In order to understand the role that scale, siting and period detail may play in making this specific example effective, we seek to isolate the defining elements. To this end, we conduct informal surveys of local buildings (where possible) and review related examples from period pattern books, photos and from our own experience. Visiting the building site, we ask what role the climate and terrain will play in this design. Period builders were masters at siting a building not just to mitigate the rigors of the climate but for ends such as enhancement of security or social status. For historic "infill" projects, we consider what themes the existing architecture of the community imposes on us. To be credible, our project must tell its own story without loudly contradicting that of the buildings nearby. A plantation house, for example, cannot be plausibly dropped into a village setting. Our building designs come by their grace and coherence naturally, taking their cues from the natural and built environment while incorporating the client's personal requirements for living. Like historic buildings, we seek to make our own work unsurprisable: we want it to look good no matter what direction you come upon it from.
Project Documents. As builders and restorers working exclusively in the historic mode, we have established an intimate, hands-on relationship with regional period buildings, learning to recognize the essential elements that define their perennial charm and relevance. We furnish project documents which define these elements with drawings and specifications as complete and as flexible as is necessary for the work. As historic builders and restorers, we know the role that credible detail plays in producing work with conviction and can specify both salvaged and reproduction goods for credible, cost-effective period work. In addition, as contractors, we can furnish a firm project cost and schedule for all work fully specified. Because we are a single source design/build company, we can be fully accountable to you for all the consequences of our design. This is a most cost-effective way to produce a fully detailed, project ready traditional home design.
Call us if you are specifically seeking to replicate the unmistakable virtues of our regional vernacular architecture, both high and low, urban or rural. We suggest that it is most cost-effective to put us on your design team at the very earliest opportunity. Traditional Builders, Inc. offers building and restoration services to owners and architects who share our commitment to the rich architectural heritage of Maryland, Virginia and the Washington, DC area. We look forward to talking to you about your plans for renovation of an historic building or for new construction in a functional, traditional style. Contact us by email or call our office at (410) 991-1834.