Peter Cummings is the principal of Peter Cummings Inc., a design firm with 26 years of experience designing and constructing residential homes and small commercial buildings throughout Fairfield County as well as homes in Ireland, St. Kitts, Martha’s Vineyard, New Orleans, Nevada, Washington D.C., Vermont and Rhode Island. He has over 15 years of hands-on experience running his own projects which include framing, exterior and interior trim, operating heavy equipment, and site development including cutting in roads, building sanitary pump stations as well as the installation of sewer mains, underground electrical wiring and water mains.
In addition to his home and commercial designs, Peter is considered an expert in building homes in high hazard areas and has been a guest speaker at several Building and Engineering conventions throughout Fairfield County. He also custom designs and fabricates furniture and built-ins for his clients at his PCI facility located in Bridgeport CT.
Peter’s hands-on experience and extensive knowledge of designing and renovating new and existing structures gives him the ability to provide clear cost estimates for the design and construction of new homes and building projects. Working 3D models of new and/or existing structures at the concept level allows Peter an insight into what the actual final fixes or structural design will be. This 3D model creates a better understanding of how the structure will be engineered as well as the most cost effective way to accomplish this.
Jose-Miguel Albaine, M.S., P.E.
Jose-Miguel Albaine has over 23 years of experience in the design, review, analysis and evaluation of new and existing structures and substructures for residential, commercial and industrial buildings. In addition, he oversees project and construction management, assistance to owner/client with project development, marketing of services, inspection and monitoring of construction, special consultation to other professionals (architects, engineers) in the field of construction, and independent review of threshold structures. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
Jose-Miguel is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and an adjunct faculty member in the School of Engineering at the University of Connecticut, teaching basic structural design in steel, concrete, wood and foundations at both the undergraduate and graduate level. He is also a Board Approved Continuing Education Provider for Professional Engineers, Geologists & Land Surveyors, and AIA/CES Registered Provider for Architects.
Mr. Albaine’s design philosophy is summarized in his own words: “Structural design is a field of great responsibility and challenge. It is the best combination of two of the most satisfying activities known to the human mind: art and science”.
Our Design Process
Step One: Concept Design.
Our design process is a more holistic approach to creating a home that involves listening to how the client would like to live in their home in order to design a home that fits their lifestyle and needs, as well as the overall ambiance of what they would like to achieve with the look of the home. The more detailed the wish list the better we can understand what the client wants to accomplish in the design of their new home. A better way to look at this is we turn words into pictures.
During the concept phase we are also continually developing how we will be engineering the structure. Because we work in a 3D format to create the working model of a home we have to format the model by putting in the framing elements that will be used to construct a new home. This allows us to use definitive language as to cause and effect when making changes to the preliminary design that will affect the structure of the home which has an impact on the overall cost to the project. Another benefit of working in this 3D platform is that clients are able to view photo renderings of what interior and exterior designs will look like finished before the construction even begins. Our main objective is to give the client as much information as possible during this process so that we eliminate change orders down the road.
Step Two: Pricing Out the Concept.
Once we have completed the Preliminary Concept Plan, consisting of all floor plans, one to two cross sections, a site plan illustrating all hard and soft landscaping to the property, and exterior and interior 3D rendered views of what the house will look like finished, we do a preliminary pricing on the cost to build the home including all landscaping. Our goal at this stage is to create a realistic budget, within 5-10% -/+, of what the final budget will be. Please keep in mind that we are pricing out the preliminary concept plan and that is why we have to allow a 5-10% + or – margin on the budget. At this stage, if the budget is less than or greater than you expected we are still only at the concept phase and can make all of the necessary changes needed to keep the budget in check.
Step Three: Final Construction Documents.
This step puts in motion local and federal codes that we will have to follow as well as all of the final details of the exterior and interior design, foundation, and the framing system that will be used to obtain all town permits and to construct a new home. Our main objective in designing and building homes is to develop a set of construction documents which contains enough information to build a home without questions.
The 3D platform that we have been using since 1993 gives us the ability to create an interactive working model of the proposed home where we are able to design within this model – creating textures, trim detail, furniture placement and color as we set in motion the final details of the home. This ability allows us to produce an interactive set of documents with unmistakable details for carpenters, journey men, and laborers to build the home. As soon as we finalize the engineering structural aspect of the model we then work with the client throughout every room of the home as to how they would like to finish each one using camera views of the completed model for the client to review each step of the way. With this ability the client will be able to see their home completed before it is built allowing them to fine tune details in the architecture of the home without having to make change orders during construction. We also do sun studies to show how the sun will illuminate the house during the day as well as turn on lights to see how the rooms will appear in the evening. The main objective of our Construction Documents is to eliminate anything unforeseen in the building of your home and avoid costly change orders in the field during construction.
Step Four: Construction of Your New Home.