Welcome to Homeplan Concierge...
Your Online Source And Resource For
Floorplans, Custom Designs And Decorating
Ideas For Your New Custom Home.
Some people have specific and definite needs when it comes to building a new custom home. Consequently, they have no choice but to hire an architect and spend the money to design their custom home.
For the rest of us, however, there are literally thousands upon thousands of published floorplans to choose from. Many of these not only provide a near-perfect floorplan, but they do it a whole lot faster… and for a fraction of the cost of hiring an architect.
Homeplan Concierge helps you in two important ways. First, Homeplan Concierge helps you work through understanding if you truly do require the support of an architect… or if you could achieve what you’re looking for by purchasing, using, and/or modifying existing floorplans.
Next, Homeplan Concierge provides you with direction… helping you locate floorplans that meet your need… and your budget… and providing you with valuable planning tools and checklists to make sure your floorplan will serve you well today… and into the future.
Do You Really Need An Architect?
It always starts with you! People don’t just walk up to an architect and say, “Design a house for me.” The architect would need a lot more than that to go on.
So think about this. Whether or not you hire an architect, chances are you’ll start your process in about the same place. The reason is that most architects will ask you to provide them with “rough ideas” about what you like or what things you can’t live without.
So, one way or another, you’ll spend time digging through books, magazines, and websites. When you find things that you like, you’ll turn those ideas over to the architect who will then “consolidate” your ideas… and pull them all together.
By the hour! Another thing to consider is that because architects charge by the hour… or according to the size of the home… many have no gripping reason to keep the cost –– or size –– of the finished home within a range you can afford. See, the architect receives payment whether or not you actually build the home. Essentially, you pay for time. And that time doesn’t come cheap.
The price you pay! Most people don’t really know how much an architect will cost them. So here’s the answer you might not want to hear.
If you choose to design from scratch, you could expect an architects total fees to be between 4 and 6% (sometimes more) of the cost of the finished house. On a $500,000 home, fees and services could (and probably will) run $20,000+. Double that figure for a Million dollar home!
And remember, the architect receives payment as their services are rendered. Let's say you get halfway through the design process and realize that the house the architect is designing for you –– while very nice –– no longer is fitting the mental picture or budget you had in mind when you started. By then, you have spent thousands of dollars on drawings and ideas that you will never build. The proverbial “back to the drawing board” dilemma could cost you a tremendous amount of money as you pay for starting over.
Look for awards! It’s a strange phenomenon, but most of the local architects you speak with may never have entered, much less won a design competition. Yet they downplay the publishers that offer low-cost stock plans. And many of these stock plan providers have won numerous awards. In addition, the plans offered in books, magazines, and online often represent proven and workable designs.
Most architects make it sound like “stock” homeplans are designed by people who don’t know what they are doing. In actuality, highly qualified designers create them.
In addition, “stock” homeplans tend to be from larger firms who market nationally… or small, highly qualified architect/designers that often will enter their best designs in design competitions sponsored by the NAHB or architectural magazines.
But be on guard. When you mention the idea of buying a plan from a book or online source to a local architect, most if not all will be less than enthusiastic.
Think “green!” If you intend to design and build with energy efficiency in mind –– you’ll want to research the latest building technologies such as ICFs, SIPS, or other “green” building methods or products. Many online resources can help you in this regard. (See our handy links below.)
When it comes to green building, you’ll certainly want to educate yourself first and fully because many architects and designers will discourage you from green building.
One reason is that most architectural design software is set up for traditional, albeit obsolete, building materials such as 2x4s and 2x6s. The 13-inch wall thickness typical of ICFs –– walls that are much more energy efficient and could keep you and your family safer from fire, wind, flood, noise, etc. –– become a design hassle.
An increasing number of homeplans offered in books, magazines, and online are available with working drawings for insulated concrete forms (ICFs), SIPs, or other green building methods or products.
Some providers such as Design Basics, Inc. of Omaha, Nebraska provide an ever-increasing number of designs using ICFs. In addition, when you find something on their website that you like, they’re able to convert it to ICF. Many of the other online resources below provide handy links to floorplan resources that are in tune with green building practices.
Too busy to learn. It’s not what you want to hear, but it seems that some architectural design firms are either too busy or too lazy to relearn. They want to turn jobs as quickly as possible and take on the next client who has money to spend.
Here’s who to talk to. If you ultimately decide that your needs are so specific that you require an architect, Homeplan Concierge can provide you names of progressive architects, designers, and builders in your area who see the future –– and are friendly toward alternative green building materials and techniques.
Let’s start looking for your dream home! Now that you have a little better understanding of the process and our online resources, we encourage you to start the home design process by looking at pre-drawn floor plans at the online sites listed here.
After narrowing your choices, you can customarily order study plans rather than full working drawings.
Get started! One of the best places to start your journey is by clicking on the links below and simply begin searching floorplans.
Another way to get started is to have Homeplan Concierge help you locate floorplans that meet your needs… and your budget… and providing you with valuable planning tools and checklists to make sure your floorplan will serve you well today… and into the future.
Local Representatives Wanted:
Homeplan Concierge is looking for local representatives throughout the U.S. If you have an aptitude for architecture and design, enjoy working with people, have entrepreneurial aspirations, and can see yourself running a part-time business that could become full time, contact Mark L'Boe at 1.866.321.LBOE.
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