Understanding your project
We will meet with you, often on the site, to discuss your desires for your home. During this meeting we will prompt you with many questions to help you to think about how you will “live” in your home. We also ask you to do a bit of homework by providing us with your “wishlist” – many people are finding social media sites such as Pinterest or Houzz to be beneficial for this.
Based on the information we discuss, we go to the drawing boards and start the design process. What comes out of it will be what we call the Schematic Design – a 1/8″ scale floor plan and front elevation of your home. The process will be interactive, as you will have opportunity to review these drawings and make changes until you are satisfied with the creation.
Once you are happy with the Schematic Design, we begin the Design Development phase. This is where we transfer your design to the computer and continue to develop the floor plan, all elevations, and section in greater detail. This is a opportunity to work out potential issues, starting to work with the various consultants. This phase may also include modeling your home in 3D.
Once the Design Development phase is approved (as well as any other necessary approvals) we begin completely finishing your plans, including all the necessary detail to get your building permit. We will work very closely with the other consultants on the team. When everyone’s plans are complete, we do a complete coordination of everyone’s drawings so that conflicts in the field are minimized.
Permitting and Approval
Our office will package up the submittal documents for your contractor to submit. Each jurisdiction has processing times that vary from 30 to 120 days. During this time, they are reviewing for building code compliance and will provide comments to address on the plans. Our office will handle the responses and resubmittal to the jurisdiction for final permitting.
During the construction of your home, we are available to answer questions and clarify situations. Typically we will make informal visits to your site to check on progress and work with your contractor. If you desire a level of involvement beyond this, we are able to offer that as an additional service
Home Building Costs
One of the first questions we hear is “How much is this going to cost?”. That’s a lot like walking on a car lot and asking “how much is a car”? Obviously, it depends on the model, the level of quality, and the options desired. Similarly, the cost of your home will depend on a variety of factors including size of home, site constraints, desired materials, and level of quality. Once we have begun to discuss your project, we can begin to dial in estimates of cost. We also recommend bringing in a professional contractor early in the process, even if only as a consultant, to assist in refining your budget.
Before a submittal to the city, the project will be worked on by our office and several different consultants including structural engineers, civil engineers, energy consultants, and landscape architects. After a preliminary meeting, these costs can be estimated with fairly high accuracy.
Site and Soft Costs
Each site is unique and thus are the costs associated with them. To adequately account for costs, we recommend clients working with a general contractor for the entire process. Expenses such as driveway installation, tree removal, or utility hookups should be considered in the total budget.
After design development drawings are complete, your contractor can begin to bid the home. The more complete the construction documents, the more accurate the bid will be. Our firm can assist with finding a general contractor if needed.