Custom Design Process
The following tutorial illustrates the process of designing your one-of-a-kind custom home with Mark Stewart. The experience of watching your dream home become a reality begins here.
Initial Input Session
Bring or send us any of your preliminary dreams, thoughts, ideas, sketches and photos. We’ve had clients share everything from sketches on napkins to pages torn from magazines. Together, we’ll work through your vision and your wish list to produce a “program” for your design. Throughout this process we exchange ideas and ask questions of one another until we have mutually agreed upon the direction of floor plans and elevation.
Price Quote & Scheduling
Once we establish a very clear direction and understanding of your wants and needs, we can then produce a firm price quote and schedule your project. Although pricing can vary widely depending on several factors, a typical custom design will cost between $2.50 and $5.00 per square foot of habitable space. To facilitate the process, we will need materials and information such as plat map, topography, local building jurisdiction, building budget, architectural elements, etc.
Agreement, Deposit & Deliverables
After we provide you with an acceptable quote, list of deliverables and proposed schedule, we ask that you sign a design agreement and pay a deposit of one-third of the quoted fee . Mark himself then begins the design of your custom home. Deliverables on a custom design project include design sketches (including floor plan, elevation , drawings, site plan and sometimes renderings), final approved design drawings (including floor plan, elevations, and site plan), complete working drawings and engineering.
Initial Design Concept
At the initial design phase we produce sketches, or renderings, of your design. This usually takes approximately two weeks. We then meet with you in person (or remotely by phone, or online if it’s more convenient) to present the initial design and review it with you. Quite often at this meeting very minor modifications are made as the process moves forward into working drawings. Sometimes further design reviews and modifications are needed.
Preliminary Design Approval
When a preliminary design is finalized, approved, and agreed upon, we move into production of working drawings. At this time we receive the second 1/3 payment of the design fee. Our staff takes tremendous pride in our work and will insist on timely, accurate, and cost effective design and drafting.
We offer you another review session after your floor plans, elevations, and site plan are firmed up and drafted. Any minor revisions can be made at this point without incurring further expense. At this point, we can also provide your financial institution with enough detail for loan processing and appraisal. Once confirmed, we move ahead to finish your working drawings.
Working drawings include the following detailed plans:
- Site plan
- Floor plans
- Foundation plan
- Roof framing plan(s)
- Floor framing plan
- Cross sections
- Electrical schematic
If needed, we also provide:
- Structural engineering
- Lateral engineering
- Foundation engineering
Any site survey or soils engineering are usually a separate cost, and if required, should be delivered to us near the beginning of the project.
During and sometimes after working drawings are complete, we order any necessary engineering for your project. Required engineering is provided with the final construction documents package prior to building permit application. Often final engineering details follow working drawing completion by two or three weeks.
Construction documents typically include eight to ten final copies of your plans and/or computer files as needed. Final payment is due when working drawings are completed. If any changes are made after completion of working drawings, additional fees may be billed, based on time needed to make necessary changes. We can also deliver a completed photo realistic rendering of your design within three to four weeks of working drawing completion.
After delivery of your project we remain available to answer questions that may come up during the permit process. We will also make ourselves available for any routine questions or clarifications needed during construction of your home. It is our sincere goal and desire to provide you with a friction-free experience and the most outstanding and creative design work available anywhere.
Mark Stewart’s designs have been used to create hundreds of custom homes across the country. Once your dream home is complete, you’ll take pride in knowing that it’s a one-of-a-kind masterpiece crafted by a world-renown designer. You can also feel secure in knowing that homes designed by Mark Stewart typically appreciate far beyond the average plan.