After studying the large array of sun-inspired house plans, it can be a good feeling to find one that almost works! Perhaps the choice resulted from a search with the tools from Select-A-SunPlan, or perhaps a local builder or design professional assisted with the process. Or the Sun Plansí architect may have helped with the detailed Select-A-SunPlan Consulting. In any case, congratulations on getting further down the path to a living in a sun-inspired home!
Quick Quote Adaptations
Changes made by Sun Plans can sometimes be very inexpensive. This Quick Quote service within Adapt-A-SunPlan is for those who desire only a few straightforward changes that do not require the lengthier, more involved process of consulting about energy, design, and structural implications with the architect. Perhaps only the exterior needs to be changed or the basement, garage or second floor needs to be taken off. Maybe thicker exterior walls are desired. If so, please Contact Us about obtaining a "Quick Quote" to have those changes made by Sun Plans. Send a short list of changes at the same time.
If after review of the initial Contact Us information, Sun Plans finds that detailed interaction is required to discuss feasibility and energy implications, then most likely it will be suggested to change to the more involved Adapt-A-SunPlan process described extensively in this section of the website.
While not necessary, you may find it beneficial to first order the Review Set (deductible from price of Construction Prints) so that the implications of the changes to the design may be more fully understood - especially if the builder has already been chosen and will be assisting in the evaluation.
It is requested that as a minimum you purchase the Study Plan. (It takes us several hours to prepare a Quick Quote so we request that the customer first make a small purchase to show their intention of working with us. That price is later deductible from upgrade orders.)
The Quick Quote process does not include extensive evaluation of the changes by the architect. If the changes are extensive or require detailed evaluation by the architect, then please engage the Sun Plans architect in the Consulting and Review stage of Adapt-A-SunPlan. (After the review is completed, there is an option to either engage Sun Plans to make the changes or purchase the CAD files to have the changes made by a local architect or design professional.)
If, however, you are not sure about the implications of the possible adaptions, then the normal Adapt-A-SunPlan process would be appropriate. Making changes to an existing Sun Plan can save time which permits construction to begin sooner that starting with creating a new design.
Although construction costs may not be as low as what might be achieved starting from scratch with Create-A-SunPlan (where there are no unwanted spaces or features), often home owners simply do not have the time to create a custom design. The example on the right shows a before and after version where this client wanted to change the exterior style as well as make other changes.
The Adapt-A-SunPlan process is completely different from the Create-A-SunPlan process, although in both the end result is a passive solar home. Adapting a plan involves reacting to and accepting the primary features and spaces in the existing design. Less information and involvement are required from the home owners. (With Create-A-SunPlan the home owner first state only the primary interior and exterior features and spaces important to them.)
To assure that the appropriate house design service is selected, please study and compare both services for what works for you.However, it is common for clients to start with Adapt-A-SunPlan and then change to Create-A-SunPlan when the changes become drastic. In fact, often the fee for Create-A-SunPlan is only a small amount greater than a fee for Adapt-A-SunPlan. (And there have been occasions when the changes are so complex and the client keeps adding to the original list of changes that the fees have been more so Sun Plans now tries to encourage those to start with Create-A-SunPlan. If an existing design is found to be close to the needs, we can at that time switch to a plan that the architect may recommend would be a less involved to adapt.)
While architects are not trained specifically to adapt house plans that have been created by other design professionals,increasingly it is being done. However, requesting that the original architect make changes to one of their own designs can often be a win-win situation. The Sun Plansí architect Debra Rucker Coleman knows the reasons behind the sun-inspired designs intimately. Not interested in working with an architect, or prefer to work with an architect nearby? Sun Plans has solutions for those instances too! Read further.
Adaptations by local design professionals
Not everyone wants to work with an architect, especially if they know exactly what they want in the way of changes and prefer not to have their decisions questioned. (See Quick Quote above for exceptions.) In that case, working with a local design professional experienced in residential design may be preferable. An architect, engineer, home designer or sometimes an exceptional builder may possess those qualifications.
The intent of CAD Files sold by Sun Plans are to allow local design professionals to make changes, and several types are available. Unlike Construction Prints, CAD Files come with a Copyright Release which allows the design to be modified or copied. If a list of the proposed changes is sent along with the CAD File order, the Sun Plans architect can address any major energy implications of the proposed changes while she is preparing the Custom Energy Specs. (If a review and consulting of the proposed changes is desired prior to placing the CAD File order or, if the changes are lengthy, Sun Plans suggests engaging the architect first in Adapt-A-SunPlan Consulting.)
Adaptations by Sun Plans
If the choice has been narrowed down to one or two similar designs, then the Adapt-A-Plan process can be started with Sun Plans. The architect can help decide between two similar designs. And occasionally she may even recommend that a third design be considered. Adapt-A-SunPlan is for home owners who:
- Plan to start construction in 3 to 6
months (The process averages about 2 months from when Sun Plans
begins the changes...lead times may vary; check our schedule.)
- Prefer to react to designs that have already been created
- Have studied in detail the design they wish to change and discussed budget with builder(s)
- Communicate confidently their likes and dislikes in the existing house plan
- Speak openly with their spouses, partners and other family members regarding priorities
- State realistic goals with their schedule
- Remain flexible and open minded with options presented
- Rise to the challenge of assisting with research
- Trust professionals to assist them in many aspects of their life
Adapt-A-SunPlan fees are only a fraction of a realtor's fee when compared to purchasing a home of the same size. As Sun Plans' fees for extensive changes can sometimes equal those of custom design developed through Create-A-SunPlan, design fees saving should not always be the reason to choose to adapt an existing design. It's been shown that a custom design often results in a more efficient layout and therefore smaller home inside and out, which translates into construction cost savings for the home owners.
* It is illegal to copy or modify the house design of another architect or home designer without possessing a copyright release from them.