Saturday, 17 July 2010

Custom Architect Designed House Plans for $10K?

So how much does good home design cost?

To have an Architect tailor a home design specifically for you and your building site it can cost quite a bit. Full service Architectural fees can cost anywhere from 8% to 15% of the construction cost of your home. As an example a $400,000 home could run from $32,000 to $60,000 in architectural fees.

Many clients however do not have the budget to accommodate those kinds of fees. So are there any alternatives to this approach?

  • You can spend countless hours searching through pre-designed house plans trying to find one that fits your needs.
  • You can try to find a residential designer that has lower rates (but you might sacrifice on design quality and creativity).
  • You can find a Residential Architect that has created a special package of services to provide a home design tailored for you and your site for around $10,000. This is exactly what we have done at Simply Elegant Home Designs.

We call this the $10k home design solution. We believe that anyone that is going to invest several hundred thousand dollars on a new home ought to have high quality design available to them; and that $10,000 is a reasonable investment that nearly everyone should be able to justify. Through our experiences working directly with many individual clients and builders we have identified the most important elements in the design process and what needs to be communicated in the drawings. We have taken our understanding of these most important elements and incorporated them (leaving out the fluff) into our $10K home design solution. Below is a brief summary of that package:

  • Program Review - This begins with a meeting where we discuss your building program in detail; your list of space needs, important adjacencies, interior and exterior aesthetic goals, views, site orientation and other site issues. Ideally we meet at your building site so we can get a feeling for the lay of the land together. Then we take what we learn and summarize it into our Building Program document. This serves as our guide for beginning the design of your home. For an example of a completed Building Program see the following link: Sample Building Program

  • Schematic Design - This is where we look at preliminary design solutions for your project. We will look at plan and exterior image sketches which describe possible options for the layout of your new home. After meeting with you to review the options we then refine them into one cohesive design that meets your needs. For an example of a completed schematic design see the following link: Sample Schematic Design

  • Construction Documents - This is where we put all the detailed pieces together which explains to the contractor the elements of the house so they can complete the bids and begin construction. As we prepare the construction documents we provide you with updated plans that are increasingly more detailed. This helps to ensure your complete understanding of the project. In the end we provide you with a concise set of plans, elevations, sections and specifications which together describe the project to your contractor. This is what they will build your home from. For an example of completed construction documents see the following link: Sample Construction Documents

The $10K Home Design Solution may not work for everyone. Because the fee is limited to this modest amount there are limits to building size and complexity of the design. To find out if this is the right solution for you give us a call at Simply Elegant Home Designs. Or call a good Residential Architect of your own choosing to see if they have a similar package available.

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