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The design process getting started on your new project is simple. With a little bit of planning on your part, it can be even easier! Here's what you can expect once you've contacted us.

The project will be divided in several work stages as described below:

  • Stage #1: Field measurements and the preparation of as-built drawings.
    Description: We visit your property to capture the measurements of the existing condition and to prepare its as-built drawings. Deliverables: A pdf exhibit that includes the existing condition of site plan, roof & floor plans, exterior elevations and cross sections. Time estimation: 30 to 40 hours depending on the size of your property. Cost: We ask for an upfront initial payment. This amount is an estimate of the cost of your project and it holds you a spot in our calendar. An hourly rate will be charged against this amount for actual time to process your project. The actual cost may be more or less than the initial payment. If the actual cost exceeds the initial payment, additional funds will be required to continue processing the project. If the actual cost is less than the initial payment, upon your approval, it can be used toward the next stage(s) or refunded in case of stops or cancellation. Through sharing a timesheet, we constantly update you about the hours we spent on your job so far. In the other words, you pay only for the work completed to date. If the client chooses to hire us for a specific number of hours only, it does not obligate us to perform all requested services during the requested time period. We will perform the maximum number of tasks possible within the fixed time allotted without diminishing the level of quality we adhere to. Alternatively, the client may look for the original blueprints of the building in the City or County archives. In this case, we just digitalize and convert them from pdf into CAD format. Deliverables: The same as above. Time estimation: 15 to 20 hours depending on the size of your property. Cost: As described above.
  • Stage #2: Feasibility studies, schematic design and preparation of proposed plans.
    Description: We verify with you different design options of the project and prepare their proposed plans. Deliverables: A pdf exhibit that includes the proposed site plan, roof & floor plans, exterior elevations, cross sections, 3D and rendering views of each design option. Time estimation: 10 to 40 hours depending on the size of scope of work and number of options. Cost: As explained in stage #1. The client can stop the work whenever he prefers, or keep it going as long as it is necessary to achieve the best design option. The drawings prepared in stages 1 & 2 will be enough for HOA review and for helping you to bid a contractor. Once you hired a contractor, we can proceed with the next stages.
  • Stage #3: Developing the final option proposed plans in coordination with the selected contractor.
    Description: We work with your contractor and engineer of record to address any possible issue on the proposed plans of the final design option and add the necessary details and notes. Deliverables: the complete version of deliverables of stage 1 & 2. Time estimation: 20 to 30 hours depending on the size of scope of work. Cost: As explained in stage #1.
  • Stage #4: Preparing the structural drawings and calculations by a registered engineer.
    Description: A structural engineer will prepare the necessary details and calculations based on the proposed plans prepared in stage #3. Deliverables: The structural plans, details and calculations in pdf format. Time estimation: Two -three weeks depending on the size of scope of work and the engineer's schedule. Cost: This stage will be billed separately by the engineer. Note 1: In some jobs, a soil report may be requested by the City. In this case, similar to the structural part, a third party will take care of it. Note 2: To avoid substantial additional charges to implement owner's changes, any changes to the plans and designs by owner must be made prior to the submittal, by designer, of the Construction Documents to the professionals for required professional specification, stamping, and preparation of additional plans.
  • Stage #5: Preparing the energy calculations by a third party (If requested by the City).
    Description: A third party technician prepares the energy calculations. Deliverables: Title 24 energy calculations in pdf format. Time estimation: One-two weeks depending on the size of scope of work and the technician's schedule. Cost: This stage will be billed separately by a third party. Usually stages #3, 4 and 5 run simultaneously.
  • Stage #6: Submission to the City for permit request.
    Description: This stage, its application forms and relative fees will be fully managed by you (Owner) or your builder (General contractor).
  • Stage #7: Answering and addressing City's comments if any.
    Description: The City's possible comments and corrections will be addressed/answered by us and by the structural engineer. Time estimation: One-two weeks depending on the amount of corrections requested. Cost: This stage will be billed hourly as explained in Stage #1, if the City' comments regard the project design. If structural, the cost is included in the stage #4 fee. Some jurisdictions require a few items not typically provided by design firms & engineers. These are normally provided by your builder through one of their subcontractors or suppliers at zero or nominal charge: + Gas line diagram, + Plumbing diagram, + Sizing of furnace, air conditioning, and ducts, + Premanufactured roof truss design & engineering. Cities usually require a letter from the structural engineers stating they have reviewed the truss design and it is cohesive with the rest of the engineered home design.
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