Plans to Meet Rocky Bay

Rocky Bay Home is a project that is being run as a project under Amy Dutton Home and is a personal investment property located in Spruce Head, Maine.

I invite you to watch the process of the project by following on Instagram (@rockybayhome) and check out the preliminary website:

I am treating Rocky Bay Home as a tool to explain the design process of any project. In this blog we will visit the process of creating plans for not only my project, but yours as well!


Architectural Plans are important for several reasons but first and foremost is communication between the designer, homeowner and the contractor. Typically, the architect and homeowner are not on site every day and it’s important to keep the project going with clear and updated plans.

I work in a three-phase process through plans with my clients.


  1. DISCOVERY PHASE: This is when I would measure and put existing dimensions into CAD (Computer Aided Design) or if it is new construction, I start with determining the footprint and rooflines. In the case of Wheeler Bay, I was lucky enough to have the original blueprints from 1984.
  2. SCHEMATIC PHASE: This is an organic and collaborative process with my clients and one that we use to flesh out the many options that lay before a project. This can take as much time as they want and we look at it in 3D as well as floor plan. We do discuss some material selections (such as appliances & plumbing fixtures) at this point to make sure we have accommodated for everything before Construction Drawings. Wheeler Bay didn’t have much in the way of Schematic drawings, most of it happened in my brain as I run or drive but then I did need to communicate it to my husband (not an easy task).
  3. CONSTRUCTION DRAWINGS: Editing Construction Drawings is time consuming so I try to have all the major decisions done before starting on them. Below is the list of drawing that I do on all my projects (minus a lot of detailed and perspective drawings). After Appliance, Plumbing and Tile selections are made, I edit any cabinetry that needs to be changed for the appliances specs are provided and I create plans for the plumbing and tile layout so that the installer knows what to expect. Of course these details are reviewed several times on site but this is a good jump off point.

These are the plans that I always include in an addition / renovation project:

  • FLOOR PLAN – Existing
  • FLOOR PLAN – Demolition
  • FLOOR PLAN – Proposed
  • ELEVATIONS – Kitchen and Bath Elevations to show heights and vertical layouts.
  • PERSPECTIVES – in 3D this will show the overall concept.

I always print my plans in color to ease the reading of the plans. It’s well worth a few more dollars in printing to avoid mistakes. Lastly, always, always date the plans!

SITE VISITS – Plans are extremely important but there is nothing like a job site visit to clarify any questions or conditions that came up unexpected. There are surprises and changes made on every single project. This is not a science it’s an art and I ask my clients to be flexible and ready for changes until the very end.

Worth noting: I can express on site in a few minutes what would take me a few hours to draw. I figure, why not be on site to review everything at the same time. To be blunt, the contractor has to be on board with this plan. Be sure to discuss with your builder that he is able to work with a designer to make sure that everything is highly communicated. Some contractors have an ego trip going and working with a designer is a difficult. That is never the intension, the goal is to move the project along in a timely and efficient manner and pay attention to detail.


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