Question: I want to have a new home custom designed. Where do I start?
Answer: Start by imagining the type of home you wish to have as well as considering what has – or has not – worked for you in your previous living spaces.
- Think about such aspects as land and building costs
- Collect photos from magazines, catalogs and newspapers
- View existing homes - watch for Open Houses
- Visit showrooms
- Attend home shows
- Let your design vision remain your priority
Question: Why do I need EDOBA? Why can’t I just ask a contractor to draw up my plans?
Answer: EDOBA Design, as opposed contractors and traditional architects, does not charge fees based on the overall construction costs and works to create a design within your budget to accomplish your project goals.
We will help you define what you want to build, present cost-saving options you that your contractor might never have considered.
Question: How can you design a house or addition from photos and documents? Don’t you need to visit the site?
Answer: Designers are professionals with a highly developed set of visual skills and are able to create design concepts from photos, measurements, or even descriptions of practically any location.
For a conceptual design that can still be used as a basis for your design program, a site visit is not necessary. Once the decision is made to build on the lot, then a site visit will be required during the design development stage.
Question: How can I visualize my home from a set of two-dimensional drawings?
Answer: We find this to be a problem for most clients. Our 3D design process will help to eliminate this problem.
Question: How can I avoid ending up with a design which turns out to be impossible to build on my lot?
Answer: Research the site before beginning the design.
If you use a stock plan, you must take it to a designer or architect to have it adapted to your particular lot. Each lot comes with its own physical and legal limitations.
As part of the design process, we conduct research on the building site. A simple suburban lot might require a very little research, where a challenging site with legal and physical restrictions or complicated topography would require a great deal. We investigate various aspects of a particular property, including legal, geological (if available), weather conditions, sun and wind directions, title restrictions such as easements and CC&R's (also known as Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions), topography, availability of utilities, road maintenance, fire protection, and possible features shared with neighbors.
The site research phase may be done either before or after purchasing land.
Question: How do you work with clients who have strong ideas of how they want their home designed?
Answer: With clients who know their own needs and desires, a good designer will work closely with them to find out what they are trying to accomplish.
Question: I read in a home plan catalog that custom-made plans cost 5% to 15% of construction costs. I’m planning to spend $200,000 to build my house. Would a custom home plan really cost from $10,000 to $30,000?
Answer: Custom design rates vary widely between different architects and designers, and for different types of construction, from as little as $1 per square foot to as high as 20% of construction costs.
Our rates are based on the square footage of your house and the elaborateness of the design rather than a percentage of the construction costs. To purchase a set of stock plans (priced anywhere from $500 to $2500) and have them modified to suit your building site, local codes and personal needs, could cost anything from $1000 to $3000, sometimes more, for a 2000 square foot house. A comparable custom design from EDOBA might cost $6000 to $8000. So, while using a stock plan does usually cost less than a custom plan, the savings could be as little as 50¢ per square foot.
Question: How can you create design for my location that will be able to qualify for a building permit?
Answer: Nearly all city and county residential building permits have requirements based on one of 3 standard building codes. These are all very similar and easy to follow.
Additionally, we research your local permitting requirements before we start on your design. If during the permitting process you find that the plans require changes for a obtaining the building permit, we will do them for you and ship you the relevant pages at no additional charge.
Question: We are planning to build a house on a steep river front lot. What questions should we ask our contractor regarding soil, foundation, and erosion?
Answer: Ask an engineer your questions, not your contractor.
You have identified some crucial data for the longevity of your house. Do not depend on a contractor to have sufficient knowledge of soils and foundation methods for an erosion-prone site. You may need to have an engineer design your foundation and do follow-up site inspections
If you have yet to purchase your lot, we suggest that you have a good talk with a city or county planner. You may find that a geological or engineering report is required. If an official report is not required, consider obtaining an on-site consultation from a geological engineer.