How long does it take to design a custom home?
The most frequently asked question in our client meetings is: “How long will this take?”
Every Client is Unique.
Each client that reaches out to us is at a different stage of readiness with their project. We meet some people when they start looking for property or just begin considering a move to our area. Other clients we meet have owned their lot and been planning their dream build for years.
Every Lot is Unique.
After many years of design work, we’ve seen a pattern emerge in custom home design and we’re able to predict the time needed to design most any home with reasonable accuracy. The complexity and overall size of the build can add time to the design period as well as enhanced engineering for flood plain builds. The clients decision making process can speed up or slow the process too.
As we built the residences in our custom home portfolio, we found that a crucial balance must be maintained. Speed must not affect quality and the time required to get approvals from home owners associations and cities must not be underestimated.
It normally takes us between 4 and 6 months to get a custom home designed after a client has tapped us for the job.
Here is a basic timeline for single-family residential design.
It can take a few days to a few months to get everyone together for an initial project meeting. In our initial meeting we learn more about the scope of the project and determine if we are a good fit for the prospective clients.
Phase I: Feasibility Study
Lifestyle Analysis, design proposal and detailed cost estimate
The Lifestyle Analysis© is an integral part of our Feasibility Study. It consists of an interview with the client where we ask a series of detailed questions. The interview examines all aspects of the lot itself, how the clients plan on living in their home, and, of course, establishes a budget. Information and ideas gathered during the Lifestyle Analysis© will drive much of the design and style of the home and keep the plans on budget. At the same time we develop the Lifestyle Analysis©, we also present a design proposal with a conceptual design plan including floor plan and front elevation. A detailed cost estimate is also provided to determine feasibility of the project. A selection schedule and vendor list is provided to the client for material selections.
After about six weeks, the client will know what their home will look like on their lot AND what it will cost.
Phase II: Design Development
During design development, we make revisions to the initial plan, present preliminary plans to the home owners association and begin to process the site plan. This time can vary depending on the permitting entity and can include meetings and city reviews. Meetings with the design team, consultants and the client will be coordinated during this phase.
Phase III: Structural Engineering/ Septic Engineering/ Interior Design
6 weeks (in conjunction with Phase II)
During Phase III, design development will be finalized, construction documents and plans will be produced, geotechnical soils reports will be finished and allow us to make our structural foundation and framing plan. Our in -house interior designer will assist the owner with paint color, lighting fixtures, granite and tile selections and layouts. If required, a 3rd party will permit and design the septic system.
By the end of Phase III, design is substantially complete. The next step is to deliver a final estimate and the homes specifications to the client.
We love talking about design. If you’ve got a project or just an idea, we want to hear about it.