While the dream & concept of designing your custom home is exciting, the actual process of designing the home of your dreams may seem daunting at times, but we are here to make your dreams a reality and will work with you through each step of the process. We have laid out the basic steps for you here, so that you have an idea of what to expect, the time required and actual process of taking your dreams and turning them into the working drawings that are required by the city and your builder.
The first step in the design process is meeting with John, discussing your needs & vision for your home. When you come in for this meeting; please bring any photos, sketches or notes you have. John will take all of this information and using the enclosed pricing guides he will create a quote for you. Once you decide the quote is acceptable you contact the office manager who will then send out a contract and our initial invoice, sign a copy and forward it back to our office with the payment. If you have any questions about your quote, invoice or payments please contact our office manager.
John will then begin to sketch out his vision of what you have explained to him and give you a check set, a copy of the plans for you to mark with changes and ideas and return to our office. This initial design process can take several weeks, once the sketching process has begun; this depends on the complexity of the design and may be delayed due to the surveyors' timeframes.
Once you receive the initial design you can take your time and review the drawing, then call to schedule an appointment with John to go over any issues or changes you have. You will communicate back and forth in this process until you are satisfied with the initial design. One of our architectural technicians will sit in on all of your meetings with John, from this phase forward, this ensures that everyone is seeing the design from the same perspective.
Once you are satisfied with the design John will make any changes you require then the file goes into the queue to be assigned an architectural technologist who will transfer these hand drawn sketches into AutoCAD format. When you file goes into the queue your second invoice will be issued. Again if you have any questions about your project or invoices please contact us.
As soon as an architectural technologist is assigned to your file they will give you a call to introduce them selves and answer any of your questions. Once this process is under way other issues may arise, the program we use is very precise, and translating a hand drawn sketch to such a precision program can bring out issues not noticed in the rough design. You can contact the technician working on your file, our production manager or office manager at any time with questions, or concerns. You will be issued check sets at regular intervals and after any major changes are made. You will work closely with the technician and John to ensure you are happy with the design throughout every step of the process.
After the design is completely in the Auto Cad format, the technician and John will meet with you to ensure all of the changes have been made and that you are satisfied with the design. You will be issued another check set at this time. If you have not yet selected a builder or contractor this it the time to do so, this gives them a chance to review the design and make their recommendations. As well as give you rough cost estimates and time lines.
If your home is in an 'Established Community' this is the time when applications to the city for Development Permits can begin. Please contact your technician as this process can vary greatly and in some instances is not required. The usual time line for DP application is 6 to 8 weeks. If your project requires a Development Permit your third invoice will be issued at the time of DP application.
Once the design phase is completed the technician will begin on the creating of 'working drawings'Ě this can include the addition of electrical, mechanical and construction related details. This process can be time consuming and you may not see much progress but rest assured that work continues on your design and the builder and trades hired to build your home will appreciate the time and detail we put into our working drawings. However, if they or you ever have questions or issues, please don't hesitate to contact our office.
Upon completion of the working drawings you will be issued a check set. This is a crucial time for you; please take these drawings to your builder and trades people for review. This ensures that we have not made any unrealistic design choices; they will also be able to give you more precise pricing estimates and time lines from these working drawings.
Once you are satisfied with the working drawings your final invoice will be issued and upon payment you will receive your final 15 sets of plans and you will be able to move forward with Building Permits and the construction of your home. Please remember though the process may seem daunting we are here to make the process as easy and enjoyable as possible. Please contact us at any time with questions, comments or concerns.