Sun Plans is continuously adapting the Adapt-A-SunPlan process to suit the client. Since 2002, we have been refining the internet-based process, although some clients still like to meet face-to-face. Architectural services are customized based on the communication style, schedule, ability to visualize, level of technical understanding and the ability to research and complete homework that the architect often suggests. The process is different for every home owner and also very different from Create-A-SunPlan.
- Sun Plans relies on the client for the initial passive solar, sun-inspired house selection.
- The client communicates their changes in a questionnaire that can be supplemented as needed.
- The architect then performs an extensive review of the information including the site plan if provided.
- A dialog begins as both begin questioning and commenting on the path to conforming changes.
- Preliminary Design changes are made first if the changes are extensive or need to be completed in parts.
- Construction Drawings include more than a simple set often found in the house plan industry, but less than may typically be provided with full architectural services. (See drawings included with Construction Prints.)
- Custom Energy Specs are more than simple specs often found in the house plan industry, but less than the bound spec book that often accompanies full architectural services.
- Additional services, such as performing more changes, 3D, extra construction drawings, coordination with structural and HVAC engineers, assisting with builder selection, consulting during construction, etc. are billed as extras on an as-needed basis or can be included in the proposal.
Sun Plans also strongly recommends that a local structural engineer review the plans, especially in areas with high winds, earthquake activity, high snow loads or unstable soils. Coordination with them can be a part of Sun Plans' services.
Sun Plans is a licensed architectural firm in Alabama. In other states, "design" services instead of "architectural" services are provided. This is seldom a problem as it is not usually necessary to have a state-licensed architect design a house. However, sometimes building codes and subdivisions require that a state-licensed architect or engineer prepare house plans so it is advised to investigate prior to engaging Sun Plans in changes and to consider utilizing the CAD Files along with a local architect or engineer.
Each client's needs are different, and not all modifications can be accommodated—at least not without excessive construction complexity and costs. In addition, sometimes after the Adapt-A-SunPlan Consulting is completed, the architect finds that the changes are so extensive and complex from a design standpoint that it is less expensive to utilize the Create-A-SunPlans process of starting from scratch. Often concepts or parts of the previously selected plan can be used in the new design and sometimes there can be a substantial fee reduction. In any case, and to assure that Sun Plans puts the home owners' best interests first, please read the comments from other clients who have entrusted us to create their custom sun-inspired dream home.
Sometimes after the Adapt-A-SunPlan Consulting is completed, the architect finds that the changes are so extensive and complex from a design standpoint that it is less expensive to utilize the Create-A-SunPlans process of starting from scratch. Often, concepts or parts of the previously selected plan can be used in the new design and sometimes there can be a substantial fee reduction. In any case, and to assure that Sun Plans puts the home owners' best interests first, please read the comments from other clients who have entrusted us to create their custom sun-inspired dream home.
Although sometimes changes are straightforward and completed quickly, most are not and it is hard to tell ahead of time which changes will be more involved and more importantly which home owners will require more research and time from Sun Plans. The architect will point out implications of changes from an energy, design, structural or aesthetics point of view. She will also respond to the questions from the home owners about the same subjects. All of this takes time and sometime more than was initially planned. Clients have not complained about fees in addition to the estimate even when the fees for changes have equaled those of a custom design. Instead, they often give thanks for pointing out implications and cost savings. We hope that you, too, will trust that Sun Plans is fair with our services and pricing.
With our limited service Adapt-A-SunPlan, we recommend a planning budget of about approximately 1-2% for architectural services and another 3% for the additional professionals that will be needed in the planning stages and paid for directly the home owners. The total planning fees are typically less than a Realtor's fee if an existing home were purchased instead.
For further details about Sun Plans' adaptation services, please see the Adapt-A-SunPlan Summary List.