Joan Heaton, AIA, provides architectural services from concept sketches through construction.

We work closely with clients from conceptual sketches through construction to create thoughtful and inspired residential designs. Our enthusiasm for each project is evident from the first meeting and continues throughout the design process.

Each of our residential design projects incorporate the lifestyle and tastes of a particular client or family. We get to know each of our clients and in a collaborative process design a home that both reflects their dreams and is tailored to their needs.

Design Process

joan-heatondefine programwish list
We meet with you to discuss your lifestyle, develop a “wish list” and determine the functions, budget, and scope for your residential design project.

dp_2site selectionwalking the land

We visit your building site to gather information. Often we measure and photograph existing structures, natural features, and views. The site informs the design; first-hand knowledge helps us to integrate the building with the site.

dp_3schematic designsketches

We create sketches of your project which give form to the qualities and functions described in your wish list and respond to the unique features of your site. Together with you, we review the sketches and refine the scope of the project.

dp_4design developmentrefine the design

We develop the schematic design by enlarging drawings to the appropriate scale and drafting plans and elevations. We also begin integrating materials and building systems. If consultants such as mechanical or structural engineers are required, we contact them. Often we build a model or provide colored renderings to help you visualize your project.

dp_5construction documentsplans and specifications

We prepare dimensioned architectural drawings and detailed specifications for construction which describe the materials, sizes, and relationships of built components. These often include large-scale details, window and door sizes and specifications, enlarged kitchen and bath drawings, lighting layouts and fixtures, and product selections.

dp_6contract administrationfielding questions
During construction, we serve as your advocate both on-site or over the phone from the office, to interpret the construction drawings, answer questions and work out details as necessary.


Sustainable Design

We integrate sustainable design principles and green building practices into all of our projects. We seek to make the best possible use of resources by creating energy-efficient, sustainable, homes. We achieve this goal by designing energy efficient homes and utilizing building materials that are local, renewable, recyclable and durable and employing low VOC finishes. We place particular emphasis on the use of local building materials and local labor. We draw from the extensive selection of stone and wood products and talented craftspeople in Vermont and the Adirondack region of New York.

All of the homes we design are energy efficient and include high levels of insulation, high-performance windows, and tightly sealed construction. We specify energy-efficient heating and cooling systems and make use of renewable energy sources such as geothermal, solar (photovoltaic and hot water) and wood whenever feasible.

Often we will renovate an existing home or reuse an existing building site to minimize the impact of new construction on the environment. New homes are sited to maximize solar gain, day lighting, and cross ventilation.

We help our clients evaluate options in this ever-changing field and make choices that are suited to their unique needs.

Please view our portfolio to read about the specific sustainable design principles and green building practices that are integrated into each project.