Q: Can you get great design without spending a lot of money?

A: Most people think great design is what a home looks like. That is true. We tend to use a lot of Mascord Home Designs (www.mascord.com). They are beautiful and affordable.

We also believe that great design is how the home functions for how you want to live. It is the little things that really matter. Most often it costs very little.

The details matter. The more we know the better the design. The key to great design is to ask the right questions. I find most often people already know—it’s our job to know what they know and then make it happen.

I like to get our clients to really think about things like: How far is the kitchen from where you bring in the groceries? Can one unload the dishwasher while someone is cooking? Is there a place to charge you electronics? If someone is watching TV can they hear the dishwasher? Is the laundry area easy to get to?

House placement becomes important to many clients hobbies. Many times gardening plays a major role in how we place a home.

In green design, the sun is our friend. We like to place the home so that passive solar techniques will help minimize energy bills. The sun is free let’s use it to your advantage.

We live in exciting times. Tools such as websites like www.Pinterest.com and www.Houzz.com are tremendous for finding design ideas. We collaborate with clients on a daily basis via these websites. Guess what—these are free.

I suggest that clients spend the time upfront to do their research. Ask lots of questions. Really think how you want to live now and in the future. Great home design will follow.

I wish you all a happy and safe holiday season—Happy New Year.

Build well and enjoy life.

Please submit questions to jon@quailhomes.com Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800. Tune into Green Building with Jon Girod on 1550 a.m. on Saturdays at 9 am. See you next week!