FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I want to build a house, carriage house, townhouse, duplex, or secondary suite in the Okanagan, where do I start?
Assuming you already have your site or are looking for a site to purchase you are going to want to check the zoning requirements for your property. Your realtor should be able to help you out during the purchasing process otherwise you will have to get in touch with your municipality to confirm building constraints.
Once you have that information you can call us to begin the design process. During this time we can recommend builders (South Okanagan) or if you have a builder in mind we welcome open dialogue to keep your vision and budget in tact.
How long does the design process take?
Every project is different as you can imagine. Depending on the design, zoning requirements, site, clients needs, communication, season, coordination with municipality and builders, etc. the process can take anywhere from 3-18 months. Because our services combine creative analytical, and structural considerations there are a lot of processes that we must go through to ensure your plans are approved on submission to your local municipality.
I only want drafting and it doesn't need to be in 3D, are there cost savings?
The software we use automatically generates 3D images; it is an incredible tool for designers to really inspect the project as they are drawing it, insuring walls, roofs, windows, HVAC, etc are clearly and concisely laid out for the builders to do their job well. So no, there is no cost savings in our process but the quality of plans we provide ensures a successful permitting and building process (where it really counts).
What is the best time of year to start the process?
Our busy seasons are in the spring (Feb-Apr) and in the fall (Sept-Nov) so if you are able to get your design process started in the summer or winter you will likely face less backlog in the design and the permitting processes.
How much does a set of custom house plans cost?
Another tricky question but we have a formula! We will estimate a range of hours required to complete your project (say 80-100) at our rate of $145/hr + tax. We require a 60% deposit on signing of our contract in order for the design process to begin. Any additional hours spent or changes above the original contract will be billed accordingly.
Can I buy stock plans off the internet to submit for building permit?
We do not recommend this approach as every plan, property, people, and permitting authority is different, it's not cookie-cutter or cut + dry. These buildings are expected to last 100-150 years and deserve the time to think it through properly, safely, and effectively.
You CANNOT copy and paste or screenshot someone else's plans and ask us to copy it. That would be copyright infringement, and we're not about to get into that. We are Architecturally trained professional designers, we've given our lives to the art of designing and planning spaces for people to spend their days in, and our responsibility is to make sure the laws of gravity and the industry have been met.