Custom Home Design Process

We work with a variety of clients – some are new to the custom home design process and some of our clients are experienced builders. For all clients, we feel its critical to understand what to expect when working with Elements House Plans. We’ve narrowed it down to a simple seven-step process.

1. Client Consultation

Our consultants spend a great deal of time asking questions about your lifestyle and preferences. Some clients come to us knowing exactly what they want and others have an idea in their head, but can’t easily communicate it. This first session is about getting your ideas out of your head and on paper.

2. Making The Decision

If you feel like Elements is the firm to design your new home, the next step is getting in the project queue. We handle all of our clients on a “who’s next” basis. This allows us to meet set deadlines as well as make sure that all projects are given the same level of attention and priority. An initial deposit is due to be placed in the queue.

3. Preliminary Design

The first step in the design process is setting the foundation for the new design. This is done by creating the first floor and front elevation of the home. The size of the home play a factor in this, but the general turn around time is between 2 – 3 weeks.

4. Additional Revisions

The next step is a Review and Revise Meeting. Its a “best practice” to have this meeting with your consultant. You’re going to have questions and we are going to have ideas and suggestions. This is perhaps the most important and exciting meeting in the collaborative process and it’s your first look at your new home! Once the revisions are worked out, we put the project back in the queue. A second payment is due at this point and in another 2 – 3 weeks we will have the first look at the whole house. The project is now back in the queue and has the additional floors and both side and rear elevation designed. The home is really beginning to take shape and the overall look and feel are reaching completion as we layout the roof design.

5. Final Design Meeting

This is the big day when we look at the whole house for the first time. We are going to take yet another look at the floor plan, elevations and roof to make sure we have captured your vision in its entirety. If there are no major direction changes, a Final Design Approval is signed and you are a few weeks from showing your friends and family your new home!

6. Construction Documents

Here its all about the details. The technical side of the documents are added and tweaked. The design is also about to undergo a final Checklist by our Design Analyst. This is the fourth checklist and the most detailed and crucial. We pride ourselves on a home that looks great and builds as it was designed. This process takes about 2 -3 weeks.

7. Plan Completion and Construction

Its done! After about 1,260 hours, 3 crucial meetings (or more), several internal meetings and 4 checklists, construction documents are ready for you to pick up. For some this may have been a process of down sizing from a larger home, for some that vacation lake house and yet for others its the home they’ve planing for years. At this time your final payment is due.

Inside Tips:

  • Have pictures of the lot, with dimensions if possible.
  • Bring clippings, websites, magazine articles, home sketches, etc. You can never bring too much… promise!
  • Make sure you are getting asked questions – a lot of questions. Ranging from style and past experience to how you live and what your quirks are.
  • Don’t make it about “cheap” plans. This is NOT the place you want to scrimp. A bad plan can cost you tens of thousands in wasted space and building issues.
  • Know your lot setbacks. What are the building restrictions with the lot?
  • Do not buy a plan “online” without consulting with professionals. We can’t tell you how many plans purchased online end up in our office, never used by our clients!
  • Have at least three builders bid on your plans. Even if you know a builder, this is a fairly large undertaking and we tell our clients to approach it as a business deal. Elements would be happy to bid it with our design build department if your project is in the Upstate of South Carolina or Greater Asheville area.