Moving from the design program to the completed design solution is an exciting and creative process. It is also a process that requires accuracy and verification. In this section, we will discuss a process for moving from the design program to a dimensioned design drawing of your design solution. We will emphasize the importance of checking and rechecking dimensions to verify that your design solution will work in "real space." This section tells you how to manage the technical details—you supply the creativity!
We discussed moving, in the design process, from visualizing the activity spaces with a bubble diagram to developing a visual diagram. As you take your conceptual ideas, the bubble diagrams, and begin refining them, it is important to begin working to scale. First, this gives you a realistic picture of space relationships and possibilities—very important in the often-limited spaces of a bathroom. Second, it helps prevent you from making mistakes. If you work with the right proportions and sizes from the beginning, you tend to "see" the space relationships more clearly and are less likely to misjudge clearances and space needs.
A helpful way to develop your visual diagram is to use design templates (see Figures 10.2, 10.3, and 10.4). A design template is used to represent an activity space or a center, and includes any fixtures or equipment, plus the clearances needed.
For example, you can have a toilet center template, which would show the toilet, plus the recommended clearances in front and to the sides. A shower space template would include the shower, the thickness needed for the plumbing wall, the shower door swing, and clearance for access to the shower.
It is a good idea to prepare design templates in both plan and elevation view. This can be very useful as you evaluate your design in three dimensions.
Draw your design templates in a scale of 1/2 inch equals 1 foot (or in a ratio of 1 to 20 in metric with mm or cm as your base). Since these are the recommended scale for bathrooms drawings, starting in one of these scales will be a time saver.
Based on your design program, you will need to develop a number of design templates for a particular bathroom design. Consider special needs and requests of your client. You may develop alternative templates for the same activity space. For example, you may develop two design templates for different sized showers and then determine which will work best in the final design.
Label your design templates. This will facilitate using them to lay out the bathroom plan. It will also help you develop a timesaving file of design templates for future use. For example, if you have design templates for 36-inch (914 mm), 42-inch (1067 mm), and 48-inch (1219 mm) showers with clearances from one project, you can likely use them on many other bathroom designs. Depending on your preferred style of working, design templates can be saved in computer files or on sturdy paper.