The Custom Plan Process

At DesignNW we have developed an efficient workflow for creating high caliber custom home plans. As part of this process, you will be presented with three preliminary drawings before the final floor plan is completed. This ensures that the plan for your new home will be just what you expect. You’ll work with a designer who has a good deal experience putting dreams on paper. In fact, Gary is one of the most experienced designers in the region.

We recommend choosing a builder before the design process is completed so that you get an idea of approximate costs. Some plans may require lateral engineering; this depends upon complexity of the structure and/or building location. Ask your designer for more information.

Formulating an Idea

Many home buyers are unsure about where to begin when planning their new home. A great way to get started is to look through the house plan books we have in our office, or browse our online plans. Whether you’re just browsing for ideas or looking for inspiration, our staff is available to answer any questions you may have, and can personalize any plan you may find by integrating the particular components that interest you.

It’s a good idea to compile specific information about the home you want to build, such as: approximate square footage and ceiling height desired, and places to store or display large items, such as an heirloom piano. At home, make sketches of your plan ideas, clip images from magazines, and print out information you find online. This compilation of data will help us to more clearly understand your goals.

When you have finished your initial research, bring in the information and notes you have gathered for your dream home. A designer will meet with you to go over your ideas. He will use this information and his expertise to create a floor plan that incorporates your concepts.

The Design Stages

The First Preliminary: After your initial meeting, your designer will collect the information you supplied during the first visit and flesh it out on paper. This first preliminary is your rough draft. Take it home and indicate the modifications you want. It is very common for the first preliminary to return to our office covered with markings.

The Second Preliminary: This preliminary will incorporate the changes you marked on your first preliminary as part of the plan. This iteration should look much more like your desired home, but you can still make revisions.

The Third Preliminary: At this stage, the plan for your dream home is almost ready for completion! The third preliminary is the final stage with nearly all of your information in place. Look over this preliminary closely to ensure that you are ready to have the plan completed.

Working Drawings: Working drawings are completed plans that are ready to take to your builder. You will receive five sets of your plan, but you may purchase additional sets as needed. Some plans may require additional lateral engineering due to the complexity of the structure and/or building jurisdictions; ask a designer for more information.