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Create-A-SunPlan Summary List
 
After reviewing the information about Sun Plans' custom home design process on the other pages, some prospective clients like more detail. There are layers and layers of refinement that are not evident in this list. The architectural design services provided are much more enjoyable and interactive than reading this list! Passive solar design strategies and analysis are woven throughout the process.Typically, this is the process, but each client and their home is different so the process adapts:
  1. Client reads The Sun-Inspired House esp. Chapter 5: Custom Design Process. (available from Sun Plans, the library or a bookstore).
  2. Client emails a brief summary of the house requirements (size, location, land type and design style preferred) and proposed schedule to see if this fits within the Sun Plans' schedule and general philosoph.
  3. Client requests and Sun Plans sends the Create-A-SunPlan Questionnaire that helps assemble the project requirements and wish list. (Free with a previous purchase from Sun Plans or $30 payable through Custom Payment in the Online Store.) After the questionnaire is reviewed, but before it is sent in, a phone call can be scheduled if preferred to talk about services in general.* 
  4. Client reviews, completes and supplements the Questionnaire with words, photos, ideas. Some fill in only the 20 page Custom Design Questionnaire (which is much more comprehensive that the Custom Changes/Adapting questionnaire) while others send in additional lists and ideas and some have even prepared an entire tabbed notebook! Increasingly, clients send various types of computer files. A floor plan is not necessary.
  5. Client emails a brief summary of the house requirements (size, location, land type and design style preferred) and proposed schedule. A phone call can be scheduled if preferred.* 
  6. Client sends in the requested information by surface mail or email along with a payment of at least $495. (Higher if some initial sketches are first desired or if the client anticipates that extra detailed consulting will be needed.)
  7. Client supplies information about the building site: site plan, survey, photos, movie, etc. or schedules a site visit if the land is within a day's driving distance (extra fees apply with the latter).
  8. Architect begins review of information typically within 2 weeks of receiving the package.
  9. Client responds to architect's questions, concerns and requests for additional information as she begins reviewing the submittal.  For complex issues, often a phone conference is scheduled, or an office visit is scheduled if the client prefers 
  10. Architect prepares detailed list of concerns and items to be further reviewed and discussed along with a preliminary budget, proposed house size range and concept thumbnail sketches of the home. (Extended review and consulting may be extra.) Sometimes it is discovered at this stage that another of Sun Plans' designs may be adapted to achieve the desired features and if so, the subsequent services and fees can be adapted.)
  11. Sun Plans prepares a proposal for the architectural services giving options for some services. (Min. fee of $6,500 for one home for a custom client. Fees for specs homes can be less. Let us customize a proposal for your development. We are also open to reduced fees for projects for non-profits and low-income housing.)
  12. Client signs proposal and sends in the first payment for the preliminary design. If not accepted, the review and consulting information, as well as the concept thumbnails, can be used by the client to continue the work with another architect or design professional.
  13. Architect begins Study Plan, preliminary design of a new design or adaptations of another Sun Plan. Drawings include your furniture, which helps determine if the spaces are properly sized.
  14. From here on out, client and Architect exchange ideas and information typically initiated by the architect sending partial drawings and asking for feedback.
  15. Sun Plans prepares optional 3D drawings if desired with both fixed and rotating models
  16. Architect prepares Custom Energy Specs to allow client to begin detailed research of their own for finding local building professionals: builders, HVAC subcontractors, structural engineers, home energy raters, green building raters, etc. that will be needed to help construct the home
  17. Sun Plans sends Construction Prints and coordinates with any local building professionals that have already been identified by the client and if these services are chosen.
  18. Sun Plans coordinates with additional services requested such as HVAC consulting.
  19. If required or requested, many additional services can be performed such as making more changes to the design, coordinating with other planning professionals. Typically these are extra services, but they can also be written into the initial proposal.
* It is sometimes not possible to tell if the client and Sun Plans make a good match until after the questionnaire is reviewed. An email or phone call to briefly discuss the project scope and schedule can be a good way to identify issues of concern early on. Sun Plans primary reasons for not accepting work include the house being too large to be considered sustainable, too unusual with complex structural systems or a requested completion date that does not fit the current work schedule. 
 
(See Chapter 5 in The Sun-Inspired House about options for working with architects or Contact Us if you would like the Create-A-SunPlan questionnaire mentioned above where more information can be found about the fees and the process. If you are ready to start the process, please pick up the phone and call us!)