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Initial Meeting:

The first step in the design process is for us to meet so we can begin to understanding your vision and the parameters of the project.  This can be done at our office, over the phone, or virtually.  The complimentary meeting allows us to get to know each other and discuss the project in a little more detail.  We will go over our overall process, design ideas, project scope, your budget, and your property (if you have already acquired).

Determine Scope:

Some of our clients contact us with a very specific project scope in mind.  Other clients contact us with some ideas about what the project scope could be, but need professional input to determine feasibility.  If you're unsure on an exact scope when you contact us that's okay, we can provide input to help you determine what the scope of the project could be.  At this point, moving forward, we would be entering into the Design Contract. 


Examples of scope - Design and drafting only, site feasibility, construction consultation, help finding a builder, etc...  Click HERE to see our list of professional services we offer.

Suggested Build Budget:

When building a custom home there are several categories where costs need to be accounted for which will shape the overall budget.  Because every property and custom home are unique they need to be assessed on an individual basis.  However, we can use past projects to get us averages for preliminary budgeting purposes.  Additional costs would be the land purchase, land development (if needed), getting utilities to the property (well, septic, power), road access (driveway), permitting fees, landscaping (if desired), and any other development (fencing, outbuildings, etc...).  It can be beneficial to identify your builder early on in the process to solidify these costs.  We work with a select group of builders and are able to offer Design-Build services if that process is desired.  If you already have a builder selected then that's great too, we're happy to work with them as well throughout the process.

Based on your desired project scope, we can identify the suggested budget for the Design, Development and Construction of your project.  The project scope and budget may be revised multiple times at this stage, to ensure that the scope will meet your needs and that it can be built within your budget.*

*The suggested budget is a cost range that represents what is anticipated for a comfortable budget for the project, given the project scope and your desired level of finishes.  The suggested budget is not to be assumed as the actual budget, this budget may be derived from value engineering or your builder as the design begins to solidify.

Finalize Scope:

After reviewing the suggested budget, you have the opportunity to add or subtract scopes to suit your needs. We also go over the project scope in greater detail at this time to ensure that all desired scope items are included in the final scope.  At this point we will be able to proceed with creating the schematic design plans.

Schematic Design:

The first phase of design documents (drawings) for your project is Schematic Design. During schematic design, we create two dimensional study drawings and three-dimensional renderings that illustrate the concepts of the design, including spatial relationships, scale, and form.  Zoning/Planning requirements and other jurisdictional restrictions are also researched and addressed during this phase of the project. At the completion of the Schematic Design phase, the basic floor plans and elevations have been determined.

Three-Dimensional Design (3-D) - We utilize state of the art 3-D rendering capabilities that allow us to do virtual walk throughs, spatial rotations, and you will even be able to download the model viewer to fully engulf yourself on your own time.  This is a truly amazing process allowing you envision your home to it's fullest capabilities before it's built.  

Design Development:

The second phase of the project design process, Design Development, takes the Schematic Design and resolves it further. The design development documents include door and window sizes and locations, some material selections, floor plans, electrical layout, elevations, sections, and full dimensions. At the completion of the Design Development phase, floor plans, elevations, and sections have been finalized.

Construction Documents:

The final phase of design drawings is the creation of Construction Documents. Construction Documents add an increased level of detail to the documents created during the Design Development phase. The Construction Documents include all information required by the building department to obtain permits and all the information necessary to for our construction crews to build the project. At the completion of the Construction Document Phase, the design documents are done.


If the project requires Engineering, the engineering documents will be created during the Construction Document phase. The engineering documents are then added to the Construction Documents.  Examples of engineering could be structural, geotechnological, and civil.  ​

Construction and Engineering Documents are submitted along with the permit application and application fee to obtain building permits. The lead time for permit receival will vary for each permitting jurisdiction, we will be able to determine the anticipated lead time at time of permit submittal.

Order of Construction:

In general you can expect your project to follow this order of construction: Staging/site prep > demolition and debris disposal > excavation  > concrete > framing > utility rough in (plumbing, electrical, mechanical) > roofing > windows and doors > siding > insulation > drywall > finishes, fixtures, trim > paint > punch list and final completion. The required tasks and order can vary depending on project scope.


Building inspections vary depending on the nature of the project, but generally, inspections are required at the end of each of the following tasks: reinforcing steel (rebar in concrete) > rough plumbing > rough electrical > rough mechanical > framing > insulation > drywall > final plumbing > final electrical > final mechanical > final building. Each inspection must be passed before moving on to the subsequent task.  

​Final Completion:

This is the stage where the journey is nearing it's end.  Typically, this is the where final punch list items are wrapping up, final inspections are being schedule, and your new dream custom home has become a reality.

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