What’s on the Architect’s desk? 01 September 2016

I am in the middle of working on a Zoning Study for an ocean front lot.  Our most immediate concern with this property is regarding the flood zone.  Most properties in this area are in some sort of a flood zone and those along the coast (as is logical) tend to be in more restrictive flood zones.  This particular property is in a V zone, which indicates that in a hurricane or other flood event, there could be waves in excess of 3′ rolling across the property (these 3′ waves would be in addition to the concurrent flooding).  So, for good reason, we need to ensure this project is safely above the projected flood level.

While the flood zones are determined at the federal level by FEMA, the application of the FEMA guidelines is performed at the local level by each jurisdiction.  In this case, we are working with the local County to determine the parameters within which we can design.

What’s on the Architect’s desk? 03 August 2016

Today, I have several piles on my desk related to getting approvals for a new home that we’re designing in Beresford Hall (on Daniel Island).  Earlier this year, we received preliminary approval from the neighborhood for our conceptual design.  The paperwork that I have on one side of my desk is the application for the final neighborhood review.  This particular neighborhood review process is more involved than many other neighborhoods, so I do have some work to do to ensure that we have all of the information that they have requested.  They also require a thorough set architectural drawings, which we have ready to submit as soon as the drawings from the Landscape Architect arrive.

The neighborhood does not require us to submit structural drawings.  But, I also have a final draft of those drawings on the other side of my desk for review.  After we secure the neighborhood approval, we will need the structural drawings in order to submit for our building permit from the City of Charleston.  Many neighborhoods in the Charleston area have similar layers of approvals which must be navigated in order to begin construction.

A house with 2 front doors

Typically, a house has a main door somewhere on the front facade (or elevation, as architects call them).  In most cases, this elevation faces the nearby road.  There are exceptions to this, however.  One exception of particular note is when a home has a significant natural feature on or adjacent to the property.  drayton hallFor instance, the historic plantation home Drayton Hall was constructed with two front elevations.  One faced the Ashley River and the other faced the main road.  Many believe that the river-facing elevation was considered to be the primary front of the home as the river was the more preferred mode of transportation in the 1750’s.

Drayton Hall

Few people today utilize water features as essential means of transport.  However, homes adjacent to bodies of water can present design opportunities to create a home with two fronts: a street front and a water front.  In the Charleston area, we often work with properties which face both a road and water.  If you are a water front property owner, we would love to help you design your home (no matter which side you consider to be the primary elevation!)

Sweet Summer Time

Yesterday marked the first day of Summer. For many who grew up in the South, Summer often stirs up images and memories of sitting on the porch, sipping sweet tea, and enjoying the long days.

Southern homes are famous for their relaxing and beautiful porches, which provide views and breeze.  Here are just a few porches that we’ve done recently.

Robert E Lee Blvd

24th Ave


Go ahead, grab a glass of ice tea and daydream of your perfect porch (then give us a call to help make it a reality!)

Mirror, Mirror

We recently learned that a picture from one of our projects on Isle of Palms was featured in a Houzz story!  The article 10 Ways to Make Your Statement Mirror the Fairest of Them All highlights a bathroom in one of the remodel/additions we did of a beautiful beach cottage.

15 24th Ave

If you remember from our portfolio, this project only added 23 square feet of interior space to the home, but repurposed existing space; renovated, expanded and combined rooms; and simply cleaned up other areas with lighter colors and better lighting.

The bathroom mirrors were a great way to tie in the nautical theme and as Houzz contributor, Jessica Prince-Montague, points out, “Two can look even better. Especially in a symmetrical situation like this nautical-themed, dual-basin bathroom.”

If you are interested in seeing our other projects on Houzz visit our profile at


Portfolio Update – Grand Pavilion Blvd

slide2We are excited to share with you a new project in our portfolio! The remodel of a home on Grand Pavilion Blvd. was completed in 2015 and we recently received the pictures from the photographer.

As you will see on our portfolio page, this project started as a simple renovation to enclose an existing screen porch. As I worked with the owners and they saw the potential of their home, we decided to expand the scope of the project. We ended up also renovating the outdated kitchen and bathrooms in addition to enclosing the porch.

After working with the clients, we saw an opportunity for increasing energy efficiency by upgrading the exterior windows. We also replaced the aging cedar siding with cement board siding, which dramatically increased the curb appeal of the home.

TMD Architects is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work with these clients on this project and appreciate the chance to be a part of the process.


Walk for Water 2016

Join with the TMD Architects team tomorrow as we participate in the 10th annual Walk for Water.  This Walk is organized by Water Mission and simulates the daily trek that many people around the world make just to reach their water source.  It’s a humbling reminder of the struggle many people face every day just for their basic needs.  TMD Architects is proud to be a Presenting Sponsor of this event for a 5th year.

2016 Walk for Water

The Walk begins at 10:10 on Saturday, March 12th at “The Joe” baseball stadium in downtown Charleston.  The gates open at 8am.