What are plans for?
This article explains why plans are important, and what the term ‘Plan Use’ means. CLICK HERE FOR PLAN USES.
Design Process Policy and Procedure
This is a statement of my policy and procedure to design a successful project for you. This is the way it will be as we work together. It sounds a little too formal, but that is just so I can be more precise.
DESIGN FEE : $ To be Inserted
A residence for : Your Name, Here
Location : Your Home-site Address
ARTICLE 1 : Fee and Payment
Before we begin your project, I will provide a fixed price based on information and desires which you have made known to me. If the nature of the design project remains consistent, the fee will not change. You can make changes to fine-tune the plan; you can adjust the location of walls and openings; you can alter the square footage up or down; you can change interior and exterior features, materials, and styling. However, if you should change your mind during the process and alter the concept in such a significant way as to render useless work that I have already completed, then the project will be reassessed, and a new agreement and price will be set, based on the new project. We will work together to determine what amount of money, if any, from the initial project might be brought forward and applied to this new project.
To order the plans, pay the fee in full.
Why pay all up front? The nature of modern planning has been altered by television. Home-and-garden-style TV shows cause people to have the desire and expectation of seeing virtual models of the proposed house from the very beginning. To create such models for you to see, I must create a virtual, 3D model which is essentially complete from the very beginning. Since I must start as if a plan is finished, though it may be revised during the planning process, the fee must be paid as if the plan is finished.
After receiving your payment, I will begin working on your design project almost immediately, which means I will dedicate money, time, and resources on your behalf. For this reason, this payment is non-refundable, but for the following exception. You may cancel the project within 48 hours of making the initial payment, at which time I will refund the full amount less any expenses I have incurred, such as :
- design time billed at $120.00 per hour charged accurately at $2.00 per minute,
- travel-time billed at $120.00 per hour, charged accurately at $2.00 per minute;
- NOTE : Travel-Time includes the drive-time to and from the site, as well as time on the site.
- associated travel expenses such as meals, and overnight accommodations, if any.
- any money spent on your behalf such as postage, materials, printing.
Plan Phase 1 – Preliminary Plan Development :
I will provide :
- Drawings of preliminary floor plan(s) showing :
- Wall and Opening locations.
- General notes about construction materials and finishes. Detailed specifications are part of Plan Phase 2.
- Room Sizes.
- Cabinet locations.
- Plumbing fixture locations.
- Appliance locations.
- General notes about any special requests you may have concerning electrical fixture locations. The final electrical plan is part of Plan Phase 2.
- 3D exterior concept images. These are sufficient to reveal the shape of the space, but are not specific as to lighting, colors, fabrics, textures, or sunshine directions.
- Revisions to preliminary plans.
- Meetings of best convenience including face-to-face, on-line, telephone, and email.
- COMMUNICATIONS NOTE : I prefer not to “text.” I receive an average of 400 text messages each day. I simply cannot keep up with the volume, so I don’t even try. So – pretty please – don’t send me any text messages. Instead, communicate by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and telephone: 334-834-1714.
- Preliminary plan development includes sufficient travel to the building site to gather information as needed.
You will need to make provisions for someone to meet me if the building site is an existing structure, such as a remodeling project or gated property.
- Depending on best convenience for all of us, I will provide PDF files and/or Physical prints on paper as necessary to convey preliminary concepts to you. If the entire plan process turns out to be all electronic, lack of the provision of physical prints on my part will NOT result in a fee reduction.
- Plan Phase 2 – Final Plan Development :
This is the Nuts-n-Bolts phase and is when the construction details are drawn, like cabinet shop-drawings, the electrical layout, wall framing details, foundation, duct route diagram(s), specifications, and final site plan. During this phase, you may still revise the plan. Some such revisions may be significant enough that we must stop and step back to understand their effect on the project, possibly stopping work on the nuts-n-bolts drawings, returning to the preliminary phase, and redeveloping the project, again.
- PLAN DELIVERY
The Final plan will be provided as 8 sets of prints-on-paper, and PDF files of all drawings and specifications, which will be emailed or uploaded to you.
- What’s in the plans?
- The Final Plans will include the following ( as applicable ).
- Site Plan. Based on the survey you will provide.
- Specifications ( aka Description of Materials ) Based on standard construction codes and practices.
- Room Finish Schedule. Based on information you will provide
- Floor Plan(s) including dimensioned wall locations; openings, electrical fixtures & appliances, plumbing fixtures, construction notes.
- Cabinet Elevations for Kitchen, baths, and other cabinetry are typically included.
- Exterior Elevations. Typically, at least five views, including Front, Rear, Left Side, Right Side, and Roof diagram. For inside courtyards and areas not seen from one of the typical five views, other views will be added if needed.
- Foundation Plan based on information about the bearing-soil of your site, which you will need to provide.
- Floor System Diagram for multi-story or crawlspace designs. This is used to coordinate space and installation requirements for floor framing, plumbing, and HVAC systems.
- Framing Details and Cross Sections as needed.
- HVAC Duct Route Diagram(s) : HVAC System installers normally prefer to plan duct-work installations themselves. Therefore, my Duct Plan is diagrammatic to coordinate space allocation between duct work, electrical systems, and plumbing pipes.
Plan Phase 3 : Changes After Finalization, but prior to Completion; Additional Charges if any – paid in advance of revisions
After the plans have been finalized, but during the completion process, you can still make revisions. But if you get wild and crazy with your changes, we may have to reassess the project. Extenuated work based on client-requested changes will be tallied at the rate of $120.00 per hour counted on a two-dollar-per-minute basis to include additional time to redraw, according to your wild-and-crazy changes, time spent in personal meetings, phone conversations, e-mails, additional travel time to the building site, travel time to other sites on your behalf, and time used on such sites. Travel time includes the drive-time to and from the site, as well as time on the site. Tallied charges must be paid in full before final, printed plans (on paper or digital) will be released to you.
Plan Phase 4 : Charges for Changes After Printed Plans (paper or digital) are delivered.
When final plans are delivered (paper and/or PDF), the project will be deemed complete. After the final plans have been delivered, if design modifications are desired, then any additional meetings, travel, and revisions will be billed at the rate or $120.00 per hour, counted on a two-dollar-per-minute basis, to include additional time spent redrawing, and in personal meetings, phone conversations, e-mails, additional travel time to the building site, travel time to other sites on your behalf, and time used on such sites. Travel time includes the drive-time to and from the site, as well as time on the site. Tallied charges must be paid in full before printed plans (on paper or digital) will be released to the client.
- Payment in full of any balance for extra services is due upon completion, and before any final drawings are supplied, whether on paper or digital files.
- Please note that my construction drawings are prepared under the assumption that the home will be built by a licensed and experienced contractor and not by the homeowner or other unlicensed persons with little or no construction experience. If you are planning to be your own contractor, when you get yourself in trouble from lack of ability or experience, I will help you. But be warned that there will be significant charges by me to you for any questions or consultations required, whether in person or by phone or e-mail, for matters which are not design-related, but construction-related and would normally be handled by a licensed contractor. Such items which are beyond the scope of the design itself will be billed at the rate or $360.00 per hour counted on a six-dollar-per-minute basis to include additional time spent with you, or with others on your behalf, in personal meetings, phone conversations, e-mails, additional travel time to the building site, travel time to other sites on your behalf, and time used on such sites.
Hire a competent contractor and avoid this extra expense.
Helpful Tip to save money on printing :
If anyone asks for an extra set of plans, ask them what page they want. Most sub-contractors only need one or two specific pages.
- OUTSIDE SERVICES : If I must involve outside services ( with your prior approval ) such as architectural, engineering, surveying, etc., their fees shall be due and payable, by you, directly to them, upon their billing; and are not included in my fee. You are responsible for payment of such charges.
ARTICLE 2 : Timely Design Review and Decisions
You have a MAXIMUM of 14 days after receiving drawings for each review to contact me with changes, questions, comments, or approval to proceed. After this time, you will lose your place in line in my schedule. Other clients will be placed ahead of you. I will bill you for any unpaid time and services. I will hold unfinished plans and related notes for 365 days from the date printed on the most recent preliminary. If you should return within that time frame, you may resume the project with the only penalty being that you must go to the end of the line. After 365 days, you could be subject to fee changes and a new commitment.
Why? The application of Building, Energy, and Mortgage Regulations is in an unsettled state because of the 2008 Home Mortgage Bubble collapse. As time passes, and more regulations are adjusted and added, then plan content requirements increase, thus increasing the work I must do to produce any given plan. My design fee is based, in part, on the current and near-future state of these codes at the time we begin.
ARTICLE 3 : Termination
Termination can be accomplished by communication or by inaction. You, as well as I, have the right to terminate this process at any time with written notification from one of us to the other. If you terminate this project formally or by inaction, you are still responsible for any unpaid balances.
ARTICLE 4: Extra Copies on Paper and by PDF
- Additional paper copies may be purchased directly from the printing company.
- At my discretion, if you need extra copies of PDF files for this project, for instance if you forget where you stored them on your computer, you do not have to purchase the entire plan again. You will only have to pay $25.00 per file for replacement PDFs. Typical sets of plans will contain 4-16 individual PDF files. In such a case, you do not have to order ALL of the PDFs. You may order just a specific page.
ARTICLE 5 : Construction Affordability Using House Plans :
This is your experiment, not mine. You are hiring me to create drawings, which will convey your desires to any involved parties, including home builders, remodelers, interior decorators, contractors, sub-contractors, architectural review boards, building departments & officials, appraisers, and bankers. I will do all I can to guide you through the design process, and create technically useable plans, but you are responsible for ALL final decisions included as content in the plans. Because final costs for construction can only be derived from final plans, it is not possible for me to predict any final costs during the planning process. Experience has taught me that you will ask me how much this project will cost to build. But, because final costs can only come from final plans and are affected by wildly fluctuating economic conditions, any answer I give you during the planning process will be nothing but a guess. But, even after final plans are completed, there is no way for me to predict what any given ‘builder’ will charge. Therefore, I am not responsible if you are financially unable, or unwilling to build from the plans we prepare.
ARTICLE 6 : Wearable Technology, such as Google Glass:
You agree to NOT wear any type of technology or device, such as Google Glass or Ray Ban Wayfarer Stories, any video-recording eye-wear, camouflaged or concealed camera, and audio equipment, body camera, camera spy-pen or button, and any devices with similar capabilities with the capacity to take pictures, and/or record video, and/or or record audio, in my office, and around any drawings or created works. You agree to NOT wear any such devices at locations outside my office, even your own property, when I am showing you concept drawings and sample plans and works.
Why? Any items I might show you, such as sample writings, videos, recordings, drawings, and plans, are sensitive material in the form of projects for others, whose privacy must be protected; and unpublished projects in development, which must be protected from public exposure before publication. Google Glass, and any similar type of recording device has the potential to be used, whether inadvertently or intentionally, to infringe on the privacy of others as well as the protection of my created works.
Should you desire to execute this document as a contract, then contact me and we will discuss your project, the design fee, a timeline for completion of the plans, and create a copy of this document for our signatures to be added, as well. Below is an example of the signature lines – grayed-out – because this is not an official contract. If you desire to have an official contract, then one will be prepared for your specific project.
BOTH PARTIES AGREE TO THE TERMS CONTAINED IN THIS AGREEMENT.
Andy Bozeman, Owner, Dream Home Designs
Client (signature) date
Client (signature) date
PO BOX 3134
Montgomery, Alabama 36109