Services

Consultation

We consult with clients from nearby and far away about a range of needs and concerns.

We help clients find a good builder in situations in which we can't build our designs.

We offer a review of contracts between our design clients and other builders.

We act as client advocates and as technical advisors in the construction of our designs by other builders. 

We site houses and evaluate prospective building lots. 

We help in making conversions to AAC wall systems and to solar orientation in the conventional plans of other designers. 

We evaluate building plans made by other designers with the goals of increasing their solar performance and making them more livable and affordable.  

We especially enjoy working with owner/builders.

Renovations, additions and gardens

We redesign conventional houses that are difficult or unsatisfying to live in. 

We design and build solar renovations and additions. 

And we design garden rooms that are living extensions of houses.

Custom designs

Many designers and architects begin by asking, "What do you want?" We begin with the question, "What is your building budget?"

We have designed houses for clients who have already spent a lot of money on plans that they could not afford to build. Because we build houses, we know what they cost to build.  We emphasize making a building budget and sticking to it. 

Our design fee for an original custom house plan is 4% of the projected total cost of building the house (but not including the cost of the lot and infrastructure). We calculate projected costs for building in our area of North Carolina. You may find costs are somewhat higher in some areas of the country; talk with your local builders.

For example, if you want to build a house that would cost $200,000 to build in our area, your design fee will be $8,000. There is a $1000 deposit to begin work and it is deducted from the first design phase.

The total is broken into thirds that are paid on completion and acceptance of the three design phases:

1. Floor plans

2. Elevations

3. Sections and details

These three design phases usually require a total set of six to ten sheets; they are complete prints for building our houses. If your building inspection department requires an engineer's stamp, our engineer can provide this for an additional fee, or you may wish to have your plans stamped by a local engineer.

Our design fee includes a site visit to clients who are building within a two hour drive from us. We will help you site your house in this visit. More distant site visits are billed individually. For clients who cannot have us visit their site, we supply directions for siting the house.

What Custom Plans include

Custom plans include:

  • dimensioned floor plans
  • window and door schedules
  • all elevations of house
  • detail drawings
  • suggested interior and exterior finishes
  • checklist of decisions and specifications for homeowner and builder
  • instructions for passive solar landscaping
  • foundation, floor and wall sections
  • construction notes.

Our foundation, floor and wall sections, and our construction notes will save you time, money and mistakes. As builders, we accumulated many years developing clear instructions for the correct and economical building of our plans.

We supply 6 bound sets of plans; two sets are 24"x36" and the remaining four sets are 8"x11". Although we include basic specifications for plumbing, electrical and HVAC subcontractors, complete schedules are not part of our standard package. Clients and their general contractors usually prefer to work directly with these subcontractors to develop their own plumbing, electrical and HVAC plans; this consultation by subcontractors is included as part of their bid process and is usually not billed to the client.

We have developed an extensive questionnaire to focus on what a client needs and wants and most importantly, what they can afford. We can't overemphasize the importance of sticking to a budget from the beginning. It's easy to design a dream house that is impossible to pay for. We avoid this at all costs so to speak.

Getting Started

If you would like custom house plans, please email us with your wish list and budget, and give us a good time to contact you by phone. We will then send a design contract; on receipt of the signed contract and $1000 deposit, we will give a starting date for beginning work and we will send a detailed questionnaire.

The length of the design process varies from client to client. It seems to take most people about four to six months to make all the decisions necessary, although we have had clients who required a year!

If at any point a client doesn't wish to continue, there is no obligation to complete the design process. (This has never happened, however.)

Contact us: (Please make sure you have first carefully read our website.)

Copies of Plans

Below are some examples of our recent custom house plans. Copies of these plans are for sale ranging in price from $900 - $1500. Click on the images to learn more about each house and to see additional views.

Riverine

RIVERINE - North Elevation (Main entrance)

3128 heated square feet, 4 bedrooms, one library and 4 baths
Learn more and see additional views

Hollyhock Cottage

HOLLYHOCK COTTAGE - East Elevation (Main entrance)

1215 sq. ft, 2 bedrooms, & 2 baths
Learn more and see additional views

Meadowsweet II

MEADOWSWEET II - West Elevation (Main entrance)

1802 sq. ft, 2 bedrooms, a study, & 2 baths
Learn more and see additional views

Arietta

ARIETTA - South Elevation

2200 sq. ft, 3 bedrooms, a study, & 2 baths
Length: 60' 6"   Width: 33'
Learn more and see additional views

Firefly

FIREFLY - South Elevation

1920 sq. feet, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths
Length: 63' 4"   Width: 34' 3"
Learn more and see additional views

Winter Wren

WINTER WREN -
West Elevation
(street view)

2410 sq. ft, 2 bedrooms, a study, & 2 baths & powder room
Learn more and see additional views

Sunnyside

SUNNYSIDE (2-bedroom) -
East Elevation
(main entrance)

1103 sq. ft, 2 bedrooms & 2 baths
Learn more and see additional views

Larkspur

LARKSPUR (2-bedroom) -
East Elevation
(main entrance)

1103 sq. ft, 2 bedrooms & 2 baths
Learn more and see additional views

Sundrop

SUNDROP (2-bedroom) - East Elevation (main entrance)

1103 sq. ft, 2 bedrooms & 2 baths
Learn more and see additional views

Snapdragon

SNAPDRAGON (2-bedroom) -
East Elevation
(main entrance)

1103 sq. ft, 2 bedrooms & 2 baths
Learn more and see additional views

Bel Canto

BEL CANTO - South Elevation

2456 sq. feet, 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths
Length: 53'   Width: 29' 4"
Learn more and see additional views

SUNNYSIDE (3-bedroom) -
West Elevation
(main entrance)

1103 sq. ft, 3 bedrooms & 1 1/2 baths
Learn more and see additional views

Sundrop

SUNDROP (3-bedroom) -
West Elevation
(main entrance)

1103 sq. ft, 3 bedrooms & 1 1/2 baths
Learn more and see additional views

SNAPDRAGON (3-bedroom) -
West Elevation
(main entrance)

1103 sq. ft, 3 bedrooms & 1 1/2 baths
Learn more and see additional views