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Do You Need A Custom House Plan ?

Have you been looking for the perfect house to build?  Hint, the search would take forever and you will not be happy with the result.  A Custom House Plan might be the answer to your quest for the perfect house.  Here are a few questions that you should consider when designing your dream house.

What is A Custom House Plan?

Custom House Plans are created by the owner and designer to the specifications agreed upon by the owner, designer, and contractor.  This process must be a cooperative effort to achieve the best result.

Architect & Designers.

Custom House Plans can be completed by an Architect or designer.  Architects are professionals in their field and offer design and construction insights resulting from their formal training.  Many times architects will see relationships that persons with less training might miss. Designers, like me, can produce house plans that may meet client needs. Architects are responsible, by law, for the performance of the structure.  Designers have only a moral obligation for the resulting structure.

Agreements & Contracts

Here Custom House Plans should be defined by written contract or agreement between the client and person producing the plans so that misunderstanding might be reduced or best case eliminated.  The document should identify what the set of plans will include with price and time line for completion. I use a very simple one page agreement. See the “Agreement” page.

Construction Costs

Construction costs vary with the geography.  The best way to determine local costs would be to contact local contractors to determine their estimated cost per square foot or other method used for estimates.  No one should give you a firm bid without seeing the final construction documents.  Ball park bids will help you reach a realistic budget for you house.  And no, you cannot build a house cheaper than a licensed, bonded contractor because you uncle is a carpenter and your cousin is a plumber.

See Your House in 3D.

I use Chief Architect software to develop 3D plans for my clients.  Many clients have difficulty visualizing floor plan information which is 2D.  Floor plan detail that shows size, shape, and circulation is most meaningful to architects and contractors but leaves many home owners guessing how the structure will appear when completed. 3D programs, such as Chief Architect, can show the client perspective views of the inside and outside of the house.  Send me an E-Mail request to receive a FREE pdf of  designs given to clients.

What Size House Do You Need?

Younger clients seem to want more than they really need while older clients may want to downsize their living quarters.  Sometimes the house size, room arrangement, and other design considerations are not known when they walk in my office.  I use a simple  INTERVIEW sheet to attempt to force the client to focus and give me basic information to start the design process.  The interview does not capture everything needed but it has been a good ice breaker and does gather some useful information. See the Interview page.

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