Here’s a quick Video: (Please note a few changes to our process are detailed below.)
And here’s a more detailed description of the process:
Before We Begin:
We recommend, whether you want to build a completely custom home or want to look through our files of stock plans, that you bring some basic information with you to our first meeting. We will need to know where you will be building– on acreage in the country or a specific city lot. We appreciate as many details about the site as you can provide. We also recommend that you make a wish list, prioritized if possible, of the things you want in and from your home. Many clients also bring snapshots and magazine pictures to help us visualize a style they like, but while these may be helpful, we cannot do anything that may infringe upon any copyrights. We may not legally be allowed to look at all of the pictures you bring. Also, we will ask you if you already have a builder. This is not necessary, but if you were recommended to us by a specific builder, we like to know. Some of our clients have already been pre-qualified for their home loan as well. This is not necessary, either, but it will help us to help you stay within your budget.
A typical wish/need list might look something like this:
- 2000 square feet of living area, min., 2200 sq. ft. maxi
- 3 bedrooms-master to be isolated, and room for king-size bed
- Master bath with 2 sinks, 2 closets, big shower, whirlpool tub
- Hall bath with 2 sinks – if possible, also tub/ shower combo
- A small office (about 10′ x 11′)
- Kitchen with island and breakfast bar, also walk-in pantry
- Nook and Formal Dining Room – we have a 6′ antique hutch
- Utility must have hanging rod, room for freezer, ironing board
- Game room for kids’ TV and computer
- 3 car garage with workbench
- Like English Cottage style with high pitch and arch at porch
Meeting with Us:
We recommend that you call before you come in for your first meeting. We can set up an appointment with you at our office between the hours of 9 AM and 4PM Mondays thru Saturdays. We usually book 3 to 5 days ahead, so please call as soon as you know when it will be convenient for you. If you just want to browse through our stock files, without a consultation, we do take walk-ins from 10:30 AM to 3 PM on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Our browsing area is limited, however, and offered on a first-come-first-served basis, with preference shown to clients with appointments, so it may be beneficial to you to phone ahead if possible.
In-office consultation time is free, and we usually allow an hour to 90 minutes for each meeting. If you decide you wish us to proceed with preliminary sketches, you will need to put down a deposit of $250.00. This will cover your first sketch as well as any changes you order before your plan is finalized. This deposit will not be refunded, but will be applied to your final bill.
We do not charge extra to meet with you at your office or building site or meet with a second party away from our office, unless we are required to travel outside of Amarillo area. Site visits are usually unnecessary for the average city lot, but if your lot or land has unusual topography, you may find it helpful. If you just want us to drive by the site (on our own time) to acclimate ourselves to the surrounding home styles, there is no charge, as long as it is within the Amarillo area. (Travel beyond the Amarillo area incurs a $75 per hour charge, due with deposit.) During our first meeting, we will discuss your wants and needs for your family, as well as your budget and your typical household routine. We will talk about the different types of homes and the features that are usually included in each style. If you have questions about builders or the building or design process, we will try to answer them as fully as we can. We try to keep up with many of the newest products and innovations for your home. If you have questions about features and products you might want to include in your home, let us know, and we’ll do some research for you.
Preliminary Sketches: $350 Deposit Required
Once you have ordered preliminary sketches, we put your name on our work order list. We work on jobs in the order they are received. It usually takes 3 to 7 business days for us to have your first sketch drawn and printed, ready for you to pick up. We will do our best to meet your needs and wishes, and still keep you within budget. We will email a pdf file of your plan to help you see it right away. We can also provide you with 2 copies of your sketch (more can be made upon request) that you can use to make notes and drawings on. These are just copies, so you can cut-and-paste them to show us how they can better meet your needs. We will also provide you with a page of furniture cut-outs that are the same scale as the sketch, so you can arrange your furniture in your home, and make certain of window placement and room sizes. You may find that there are rooms that can decrease in size while others may need to increase to accommodate your furniture.
Most builders will be able to get an approximate bid from our sketches, and they will be able to consult with you and make suggestions for changes or adjustments to your home. Your sketch will include room sizes and basic notes. We will figure your square footage of living area, and that will be noted on the sketch. We will also include an elevation sketch of the front of your home. If your building site is particularly complicated or limiting, we may also elect to provide you with a sketch of your lot with your home placed on it.
As you work with your family and/or your builder on your sketch, you may have questions about changes. Just give us a call and we’ll be happy to help. Many times changes can be made over the phone and new pdf files emailed within 24 hours. When you are ready to bring your sketch back for changes or to finalize your plan, call for another appointment, and we’ll get you in as soon as possible. You may make changes to your sketches as many times as necessary to achieve the home of your dreams, but our clients often try to get as many changes made as they need after the first sketch, in order to cut down on turnaround time. Though we try to expedite sketch changes, it still may require 3 to 7 business days to return sketch changes. Once a house sketch is returned to finalize, expect 5 to 7 business days for it to be printed as a check-set. At this time, we will require a payment of 50% of the approximate balance on your account. This amount will be due on or before the receipt of the check-set. Also note: once you receive a check-set, please examine it carefully for any omissions or additions of notes. All CHANGES should be made BEFORE you ask us to FINALIZE your plan, as any changes made after we print final plans will incur additional by-the-hour charges. Please remind your builder of this, in case they have any suggestions.
Finalizing Your Plan: Balance Due
You should make ALL CHANGES to your sketch BEFORE you ask us to finalize your plan. Once you order FINAL PLANS, we will complete your plan, and get you a copy of your check-set. At this time the balance will be due. Your check-set will be a nearly complete set of plans: Foundation (if needed), Floor Plan, Elevation (all 4 sides of the home’s exterior) Plan, Roof Plan, and Electrical Plan. The final plan will also include your Plot (site) Plan and any other documents required. You should spend a little time looking over this check-set copy to make sure we have not missed anything on your plan. If you wish to add notes, like appliance model numbers, flooring or cabinetry notes, finish notes, etc.–this is the time to do it! Ask your builder to look it over at this time. They have knowledgeable eyes that can see things others might miss. If, after looking your plan over, you are ready for final printing, give us a call and tell us how many full sets and additional sheets you need. You will want to consult with your builder about this–some contractors or subdivisions may require more sets than others. Also, the size of your home may help determine this.
When we finish printing your plan, we will call you to let you know, and then you can pick it up at your convenience. You will be expected to pay for any additional changes and for printing at the time your plan is picked up. You may order additional copies of your plan at any time throughout your building process, and even afterwards. We also recommend that when your home is completed, you order a clean, complete set of plans to keep with your family’s important records. This can be of help if you ever decide to remodel or add-on in the future, and could add perceived value to your home when it comes time to sell. Please look over our Prices Page for pricing details.
click here for prices
The process described above is applicable to Custom Home Designs and for the Redraw Process for our Stock Plans, with just minor adjustments. If you have browsed our files and selected one of our stock plans, but wish to make changes, we can redraw the plan to customize it to your family’s needs. You can simply select a stock plan, and we’ll make a copy for you to take home as a substitute for the first step of the sketch process. Make your notes on the copy, cut-and-paste, etc. and the process picks up just like a custom plan. This process may take a little more time on your part, but could save you some money in the long run.
Receiving Your Plan: Remaining Balance Due
When your plan is complete and printed, we will notify you, and ask if you wish to have the plan mailed or delivered to you. We accept cash, checks, PayPal and credit cards through PayPal. We also email a full set of pdf files of the final plans once the balance has been received, and these can be distributed at your discretion.