Another part of the big picture is the total home. If you are working on a remodeling project, ask to take a tour of the existing home. Observe the size of the home, the number of bedrooms and other bathrooms. How will traffic flow to the bathroom you will be designing?
A tour of your client’s home will also be useful to get a sense of style and color. Ask your client to describe what they like and do not like about other rooms in the home. Use this information to give you clues about design preferences.
During the home tour, note what rooms are on the other sides of the bathroom walls. This information might be useful as you think about factors such as "borrowing" space from another room, planning for sound insulation, or reconfiguring plumbing. Look for details that might give you valuable information and prevent surprises during the construction phase, such as the presence of heating or cooling ducts. You might want to make a sketch of the bathroom space, or do this as part of the jobsite inspection (see Form 6).
Take along a copy of Form 2: Getting to Know Your Client’s Home, when you do a home tour. This form can be used to gather information about the "big picture" of your client’s home and their bathroom.
A camera can be a useful tool during a home tour. Be sure to ask permission first. Use the camera to make visual notes of features that will be useful to remember during the design process. A digital camera is particularly helpful for this type of documentation, as pictures are easily transferred to a computer file. Also, take pictures of family members, favorite accessory items, or views from windows. Later, you may be able to incorporate these into presentation drawings for a wonderful personal touch.