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When new clients come to us for a set of drawings, typically, we are presented with several questions about their new home, or renovation. We created this page to help in answering some of your questions about our entire design process.
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We begin every project by having a kickoff meeting. During this meeting, we ask if you have a plan in mind, such as your desired square footage, or if you have a particular plan that you like. We also note how many bedrooms and bathrooms you want and if the home is going to be a multi-level, have a basement and we also look at the proposed site for the addition or new home. For renovations, during our kickoff meeting, we always take measurements of the existing home and examine it thoroughly to help in our design process. This meeting will give us a place to begin and help us fully understand what you want to accomplish with your new home or renovation. During this time of the pandemic of Covid-19, we also offer the option of a virtual meeting to discuss all your ideas. However, for most renovations there is still a requirement to have measurements, and that can be done either by the client, or we can schedule a time to come out and take them ourselves. In order to cover time and costs, there is a charge for initial site visits. Once we have a meeting and submit a proposal to the client, then if they decide to use our services, the initial site visit charge will be put towards the overall cost of the project. With rising costs due to inflation and gas, we’ve had to change our site visit policy. We hope you understand but also know that if you decide to use our services, then the initial fee will be included in the overall proposal costs. We're flexible in our scheduling and work with you in any way we can to help bring your project to reality.
Schematic Design Phase
Once we have all the information sketched out from our initial meeting, then we'll insert that information into our CAD system and provide a schematic design of the plans and/or changes we're going to make to your home, depending on if it is a renovation or new construction. This will be the design we will develop into the finalized plans.
Design Development Phase
In the Design Development Stage, we take the designs we created in the Schematic Design and Develop those into more refined version of the initial plans. You'll be able to review the plans, in 3D, and see what we have developed for your new addition or new home. This will give you a more "hands-on" feel to design the new home or renovation. Once the design has been completed, at the end of this phase, the client will sign off on the final design and we'll begin construction drawings.
Construction Drawing Phase
At this point of the design process, we create a dimensioned and noted set of plans, exterior and interior elevations. We also create the roof plan, typical wall sections and details, and set up the foundation and framing plans and get those ready for the structural engineer. At the end of the Construction Drawing phase, we'll provide a PDF set of plans for you to review with your contractor to begin preliminary pricing of the project.
When the architectural drawings have been completed, then we send the Construction Drawings to the structural engineer for him to calculate all of our structural needs for the project. There may be structural issues that cause changes, but in the end, the final design approved at the end of the CD Phase will be adhered to as closely as possible. For renovation work, this sometimes requires a site visit by the engineer prior to the beginning of the Schematic Design Phase. The Structural engineer will provide us with a set of sealed foundation and framing plans and provide any details as needed. The client and their GC typically review the drawings prior to finalizing their contract with the engineer and once that is done, the drawings can be printed and submitted for permits.
Once engineering is completed, we create a PDF set of the drawings for your use and the structural engineer provides a set of stamped PDF drawings. We combine the two sets into one PDF and the plans are ready to submit for permitting. We can also provide printed sets of drawings for a separate cost.
Scheduling and Time Frame
The timing involved during a new home or renovation project varies considerably, depending on the size and complexity of the house and/or renovation. It can range from as low as 20 hours all the way up to 80 hours and beyond. However, we keep a close record of hours and can provide a close estimate of how long it will take from project to project.
What will it cost?
This is by far, the one of the most important and frequent questions we are asked about drawings. We typically charge on a per square foot basis on new construction and a combination of per square foot and hourly work on renovations. We won't know what to accurately charge until we have more specific information on your project..
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Whenever you are ready to start, give us a call to set up an appointment to meet and discuss your project face to face. We do not give quotes over the phone because we want to make sure we are fully aware of your design specifications and needs for your project, and the only way to do that is to meet face to face or on site. Then, we can discuss your plans, renovations, etc. and give you the best personal service you require for your project.