We all like to have options. It’s hard to be faced with a decision and be told “this is your only choice” and feel happy about it. When we are working on a project I see options all the time. Sometimes too many. A lot of them have budget constraints, practicality issues, time requirements beyond the project limits but most of the time they are options which we can consider.
We try to discuss options with clients before we start spending too much time on creating drawings. Our objective is to present at least 2 viable options for each major design decisions. Sometimes it might be hard to limit what we present to just 2 options and sometimes there is an option which is so obviously better that it’s a no brainer.
On our Ugly Duckling cottage renovation project, here are the two options we presented for the exterior:
These are really just colour change options. Red roof with black trim versus paler colour palette.
We liked them, they were a reasonable improvement to the house, addressed the program requirements of the client to enhance and add more usable space and stayed within the budget.
Then there was option 3 which we had developed with the architect we hired for the project. This option went beyond the budget and moved the house into something more dramatic and contemporary. It was an option which went beyond expectations and radically altered the quality of the house. None of us were sure this would be within our client’s comfort level.
One guess which option we decided to move forward with………