Comments from Create-A-SunPlan Home Owners
Regardless of the size, budget or style of the custom designed home, one thing that we've noticed that the Sun Plans' clients seem to share is enthusiasm for their new home!
Conni and Craig looked through house plan after house plan. Being outdoor people and having three children on the downhill side of growing up, they sensibly realized that they only needed a small home. Unfortunately, there was not a small enough plan on the Sun Plans website to meet their needs and their budget. They could have "settled for" the relatively small first floor of an existing Sun Plan with around 1400 s.f., but instead chose to Create-A-SunPlan. They saved over 300 s.f. with a custom design. That was almost $50,000 worth of first floor and daylight basement square feet. The Sun Plans design fee was less than 20% of that which saved them over $40,000. That sums up a primary goal with custom design - to save the clients money in construction costs. The life-long energy savings are a bonus!
Conni was very excited after we sent the preliminary design for their home: "Wow, wow, wow! We love the last set of floor plans you sent. They are perfect! We really can't think of a thing we'd change. I guess that means it's time to move on to the next step. Let us know what you need us to do and we'll get right on it. Thanks a million, Craig and I were visiting and know we never could have come up with this plan on our own. You're great! :-)"
Later after they moved in, Conni shared: "We've been in the house since Sept. 27th and we LOVE it! It has performed amazingly well. We've had an exceptionally cold winter and it's so nice to come home to a cozy, warm house - often over 70 degrees Fahrenheit - when it's been below zero all day (and the heat is free!) After working on this house, our heating guy is sold on passive solar and highly recommends it to others. We're comfortable when just the 2 of us are home, yet the house handles crowds well too (30+ for a 4-H mtg/lunch, 16 for Thanksgiving, etc.) There was never a "breaking-in" stage; this house immediately felt like home." - French Cowgirl
Steve and Peggy (retired) drove over a 1000 miles to meet for the start of their custom design and shortly after provided these comments: "First of all, thanks so much for the sketches. After your note on time constraints we did not expect to see the drawings this soon. The sketches were a pleasant surprise (although you did tell us you get pretty close to your customers desires on the first pass). We could see all of our layout thoughts and exterior appearance ideas in the drawings; it is exciting for us....as our "dream house" is starting to develop....while we were walking today, we talked about you and how happy we are that you are able to work with us in this project." - Chapel Ridge
After sending an invoice for some extras services that were requested for the project, Nenad wrote: "You are doing an absolutely phenomenal job in design and education and the last thing I would do is to complain about it. ... I think we established a really good working relationship and that will not be jeopardized."
- Cheers, Nenad
"...And really, you made our dream house come true, and I must say it looks EVEN BETTER than the house that we were dreaming about :)) Thank you ..."
"It was wonderful to talk with you today. I am very excited and feel we are really homing in.... I figure if I am going to go through all the effort of building a new house, I really don't want the design of it to fall prey to unproven brainstorms by an inexperienced designer....Your point of custom design costing less than a typical realtor's sale commission is right on but until you mentioned it recently, I had never made that illuminating comparison. Custom design may not be for everyone but I imagine that your typical client has more knowledge of the process and has some definite ideas about what they want. Once I realized I couldn't find anything 'pre-designed' to fit the bill, it was clear that custom design was necessary.
As I mentioned, I started with two other architects in the past 7 years, but quit after a disappointing preliminary phase. I made my own efforts at design and that helped solidify my ideas and wish list but I couldn't resolve spending ... dollars on my own unproven house design. Hence, I went looking and happily found you! You have an excellent balance of the creative mind for solving design issues while keeping the technical details in mind. Sometimes, architects garner the reputation (fairly or unfairly) of drawing beautiful designs without consideration of how to build it. I found that you can provide both a great design as well as foresight into the engineering issues."
- Steve, Adirondack Atrium