Welcome to Rui Duarte DESIGN.

Thank you for finding me and your interest in my residential design projects. My focus is on creating a personalized living experience for the homeowner which contributes to design solutions that are unique to each residential project. I am a residential designer with nearly 3 decades of experience and take pride in providing high quality design services for new residences, additions and alterations.

I often discuss writing a book and naming it “My House”, because no matter where we live, there is a home where we spend most of our time. Designing a new home is a perfect opportunity to get everything right, from number of rooms, storage and even the ideal garage with the adjacent shop. In other cases, we move into an existing residence and consider modifications to personalize spaces. Regardless of the age of a home, there is always potential in making it yours (and this is where I can help).

Working with a residential designer is not something you do every day and I am asked many different types of questions.

Q: Do you build the house after the drawings are complete?
A: I would really enjoy building your house however I am better at designing.

Q: Are you an architect?
A: Good question. I went to architectural school and graduated in 1993 with a 5 year bachelor’s in architecture degree from a local university. I worked in small private and large corporate architectural offices learning and designing how buildings go together. The answer to your question is legally no, until I pass a registration examine (some day). I am allowed to practice residential design but not commercial projects unless I am working with a registered architect/engineer.

Q: How long will the process take?
A: It really depends on the scope and complexity of the project. On average an addition or alteration will take 2-4 months (please read below) to complete a set of construction drawings. A new residence is similar but will require extra time coordinating with site/property considerations.

Design is a non-linear process that combines communication and experience. I like to start every project with an informal conversation to discuss your current house and your future objectives. From there we can begin to outline a project narrative and determine goals, wishes, expectations and add a touch or reality  to include finances and schedule. Here are the steps:

  • Initial meeting
  • contractual design agreement
  • document existing conditions
  • schematic design
  • review design
  • develop design
  • review and approve design
  • construction drawings

At the beginning of a residential project it might be necessary to request a zoning variance from local officials, prior to construction, when a property and the local ordinance don’t align. This is often times a simple process involving paperwork, 30-60 days, and attendance at one public meeting. Furthermore other types of applications are required for waterfront properties, proximity to wetlands and septic designs – adding time to the process.

My services don’t exactly conclude when the construction drawings are complete and a builder begins. I will be there through construction to observe the information on the drawings is being built as planned.

I will proudly take photographs when everything is complete!  -rd