Custom Designs

Creating a custom home is a wonderful and exciting experience. It is certainly the most rewarding part of our residential design work. If you’re considering either a custom residential design, or would like to have our help in a remodel we would be delighted to speak with you about your project.

Residential Remodel Design Services

For residential remodel work, please check our FAQ section regarding common questions about remodeling design services. Please email us or call if we can be of assistance to you.

Custom House Plans

The very best of our custom designs may become one of our stock plans or highlighted as a sample of our work. Because custom homes are site specific, modified versions of the homes may be used as a base for a stock plan.

A custom designed house connects most deeply with a prospective new homeowner. The experience of working with a design professional creates a wonderful bond between you and the home because it truly reflects your taste, needs, wants and dreams.

Many people wonder if they know enough about their needs and wants to provide sufficient information to the design professional. The answer is yes. The design professional’s job is to draw out vital information, to present concepts related to the interior and exterior of the home, and then develop these for you.

The scope of the project and cost architectural services varies greatly depending on the needs and wants of the client. Here is an explanation of the various levels of scope of service. This expanded view of full architectural services will help provide a framework for your understanding of scope of service.

Blondino Design, Inc. doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all approach to meeting your needs. Before we give you a price or price range for our work, we define the scope of the project with you. Here are the things you should know about the custom design process when speaking with any design professional.

Programming Phase:

The very first stage of a project is to create the program. This is a written narrative and specification of the objectives of the client. It will often include what the prospective client wants, why and what known objectives to be met. It provides a framework for the project so that the client is able to understand the scope and phases of the project and generally defines the end product.

Design Schematic Phase:

The design schematic is a rudimentary balloon or box drawing of various rooms and their relationship to one another. In the design schematic phase pictures of preferred architectural styles, interesting house plan components the client has seen and likes, and other contributing information may be gathered and discussed. From this smattering of information the initial design is created.

Design Development Phase:

The design development is the fun part of creating a house. This is where the creative capacity of the designer and the aspects of the client’s interests and needs become a creative event. Over the period of the design development the plan grows and then eventually is refined and “tightened” so that the plan reflects the best use of all spaces. Each component of the house is finished when the client determines. Design development typically will have revision and meeting limitations intended to maximize the time spent in meetings and revisions. When a client exceeds the allotted meeting count hourly fees are charged for additional work. The number of revision meetings range from 3 to 7 depending on the cost and contract stipulations. A greater number of planned meetings will generally be reflected in higher design costs. The process ends when the client approves the design. Often people wonder if they will “like the design when it’s done.” The answer is yes, absolutely. The reason is simple; we aren’t done until you say so.

Document Creation Phase:

There are two main choices that you can make at the completion of the Design Development. You will choose the level of detail you want in your plan. It will either be a “Builder’s Set of Plans” or a “Bid Set of Plans”

“The Builder Set.” Documentation can vary from the most rudimentary set with floor plans, foundation, and roof, and limited structural information notes and cross sections of the house. Typically, this is what someone buys when purchasing a stock plan online or from a house plan publication. Sometimes plans do not have window specifications, or lighting plans. They are designed for a builder who understands that they will be filling in the blanks with their client or interior designer. The lack of information is not a problem because the builder may appreciate not having to pay for information that they will review and likely change. This is the least expensive approach to design and production of your construction documents.

“The Bid Set.” Many prospective homeowners feel uncomfortable with the bidding process and want as much information as possible in their plan set. To ensure competitive and accurate bidding, they want complete information; trim styles, door selections, window and door specifications, plumbing and lighting fixtures and finishes. They want a plan that can be put out to bid to any builder and nothing will be left to guess work. This is therefore referred to as a “Bid Set” of plans. The time to create a “Bid Set” is significantly greater, and requires additional documents to be created to the client’s specifications. Understand that these pages are not required for obtaining permits, rather, they are a tool to guaranty that competing estimates by builders are for the same work, and same end product. The documents typically added in one of Blondino Design’s Bid Set plans are trim details, focal point details, cabinet elevations, individual room finishes from floor to ceiling, and complete lists of all plumbing fixtures, appliances and electrical fixtures. This information is gathered from the clients’ meetings with representatives in various trades. The information gathered is then collected and organized into the plans. Moving from a Builder Set to a Bid Set can be determined during Design Development.

Contract Negotiation and Project Observation

Design professionals generally offer the Contract Negotiation service and Project Observation as additional services based on a percentage of the overall build out price of the structure. The percentage ranges from 4% to 8% depending on the project and the design professional’s standard rate of pay. Typically these services are determined prior to the start of the project. The design professional includes everything expected in the “Bid Set” but also serves and the agent of the client in managing the process of gathering information from the various trades during Design Development. Complete architectural services often include the cost of structural engineering and interior design work. While we do offer these services they are seldom used in residential construction.

Flower beds along home
Mike took our simple draft floor plan and turned it into a stunning showpiece. He has incredible artistic talents and an ability to turn common home elements into works of art. His understanding of the importance of key focal areas of the exterior and interior of a house ensure that those areas are given the attention, detail and creativity needed.  Jeff J.