Design Planning

steve kneeling over plans.gif

Great. You've found a lot and know what you want in the way of a new custom home. It should be about time to pour that slab, right?

Whoa. Slow down. We have a long way to go before we start thinking about a foundation.

Let's take a moment to talk about your relationship with your designer/architect.

You know, there are lots of ways to get the architectural plans you need to build a house. 

  • DIY. Lots of software out there will let you draft up just about anything, but be careful here.
  • Find some stock plans. Buy them cheap on the internet. Be careful here, too.
  • Hire an architect. Registered by the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners.
  • Hire a CPBD. Certified Professional Building Designer.
  • Hire a design/build firm. Many design/build firms are driven by architects or designers.
  • Hire a consult/design/build firm. Consult/design/build is the approach Solluna follows. It's team oriented to include the client, designer, and builder early in the process.

Fortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all. Each method has pros and cons and is worthy of a deeper discussion in blogs to follow.

Suppose you want to hire a professional Let's come up with a list of questions you should ask.

  • What's the best project you've designed?
  • What was your worst nightmare project?
  • What are you designing now?
  • How do you manage the engineering and permitting process?
  • What tools do you use to manage client communication and selections?
  • Who's in charge of the budget?
  • When do you engage the builder in the design process?
  • How are you involved during construction?
  • What would builders say about your processes?
  • What do you charge?
  • What is and isn't included in your fees?
  • How do you handle overages for additional work or change orders?
  • Do you have references I can speak with?
  • May I visit one of your projects?

Make sure you ask enough questions to understand the design process.

  • Time
  • Length of process
  • How you plug into the process
  • Who are the team players

In future posts, we'll talk in more detail about different ways to produce architectural plans for your custom home.