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Custom Home Building Process

Designing a custom home from just a list of ideas and needs, is exciting.  It's an opportunity get things just right from the beginning, and make every aspect of your home your own.  But we’re not really starting from a blank slate. We’re starting from where you and your family are now, and where you may be in the future; and what you need from your home. So new home design should explore that direct, intimate relationship between architecture and the way your family lives. Working with a dedicated Design-Builder can eliminate the scary unknowns.  With a detailed analytical approach; through smart and careful planning, and a professional team of experts; we help remove the stress of decision-making and budgeting. Blue Sky Custom Homes is the right fit for your family and your lifestyle.

New home design also presents the opportunity to build excellent energy performance into your new house, ensuring comfort, indoor air quality, and energy savings throughout the home’s long life. Green design means making homes more sustainable and gracious to inhabit. Beyond mitigating impact on the planet, it's about making homes healthy and optimized for our needs.

  • Smart electrical and mechanical systems, reducing energy consumption through use of high efficient lighting and mechanical equipment and well-designed systems; insulation; and even passive designs to maximize solar and shading.
  • Better indoor air quality through smart materials selection, and focus on providing a source of filtered air, with moisture control and radon mitigation
  • Efficient use of water in appliances and landscaping 
  • Use of durable and recycled materials to reduce waste and find local suppliers to reduce transportation

We employ a 6 phase process approach to designing your home:

  1. Conceptual Design:  Research
  2. Schematic Design:  Preliminary Plans
  3. Design Development:  Outline Specs
  4. Construction Documents:  Technical Drawings & Specs
  5. Final Contracting:  Building Permit and Construction Agreement
  6. Administration:  Financing
 

 process

CONCEPTUAL DESIGN: Research and Determine the clients criteria for the project

DOCUMENTING REQUIREMENTS

The first step is to determine the client’s needs such as design style, number and type of rooms, square footage of rooms, use of space, and relationship of home to outdoors.

Design

Consider what you want both aesthetically and functionally from your project. What is the time frame for occupying the structure? What are the indoor and outdoor space requirements or the likely movements and interactions of those using the building? Answering these questions will not only save time with your architect, but provide insight into uses and operating conditions.

Location

Think about what you need from a site. If you've chosen or are considering specific sites, begin to match your list of needs to what the actual properties offer. Your architect can identify unusual or troublesome site conditions such as soil irregularities, drainage difficulties, or problematic slopes. You and your architect will also make site decisions involving orientation and design, depending on your specific preferences, such as the use of sun for heating.

Lifestyle

For residential design projects, your architect will consider aspects of your lifestyle, like your desire for privacy, plans for family, entertaining needs and interest in gardening. In addition to your immediate requirements, discuss your thoughts or expectations concerning future uses of your home. While concrete answers may be elusive, including them in discussion can enlighten your architect's design.

 

BUDGET ANALYSIS

Budget analysis consists of determining if the client’s budget can meet the design requirements or if adjustments need to be made.  The budget includes the rough construction costs, finish materials, landscaping, permitting fees, consulting fees such as architectural and engineering fees and taxes.

ARCHITECT SELECTION

Blue Sky Custom Homes consistently works with 3 different architects.  They each have their own style and expertise.  Based on the project requirements Bella Terra Builders will schedule an initial meeting with the client and 2 potential architects so the client can determine which would be the best fit for them.  We are also happy to work with an architect brought to them by the client.

SITE ANALYSIS AND SELECTION

Whether you already own a site or would like our assistance finding one, we are diligent when it comes to site analysis. Great design comes from a building’s relationship to its site, so we analyze how it can be best utilized for views, sun, land, access and enjoyment.

CODE ANALYSIS

Cities and specific regions within cities have different sets of rules governing many aspects of your project. Our experience in researching and understanding codes is critical to preventing costly errors.

AS-BUILT DRAWINGS

If an existing foundation or home is being modified, the architect will first take measurements and create floor plans of the existing conditions.  A site plan will be created and all required surveys performed.

SCHEDULE DEVELOPMENT

A few factors contribute to the project schedule:

  • Owner’s schedule
  • Owner’s decision ability
  • Architect’s schedule
  • Consultants’ schedules
  • Project complexity
  • Permit process
  • Contractor’s availability

SCHEMATIC DESIGN:  Create initial concept plan

FLOOR PLANS

Schematic design begins in rough form as sketches, floor plan studies, and 3d or physical models. Several client/design team meetings are typical during this phase to make decisions and determine a direction for the design to evolve. At the end of this phase it is common to have the following documents:

  • Site Plan A drawing depicting the buildings location on the site and zoning regulations.
  • Floor Plans Drawings of each floor showing the size and locations of the various rooms/functions.
  • Key Elevations Drawings of appropriate building sides (elevations) to convey conceptual design direction for the project.
  • Key Sections Building cut through drawings depicting the heights and relationships of the various floors and roof.
  • Area Analysis A summary of the sizes of the various rooms/functions in the building.
  • Renderings or Model 3D renderings or a physical model depicting the overall look of the building.

PRELIMINARY COST ESTIMATE

A rough estimate is made by us based on the schematic design drawings and design requirements.  It is rough in nature as not all mechanical and electrical systems or engineering have been determined yet.  

DESIGN DEVELOPMENT:  Refine & Develop design so most major design decisions have been made. Preliminary layout of structural & mechanical systems.

FINALIZING THE DESIGN

The design development phase includes finalizing the size of the rooms and spaces, refining the look, selecting materials, determining the systems, and deciding on door and window types and locations. This phase may also include several client/design team meetings, which are critical to finalizing decisions so the detailed documentation can begin in the next phase.

SYSTEMS CONSULTANTS 

During this phase, the systems consultants design and budget their portions of the work.  These consultants include structural engineers, mechanical and electrical subs, sprinkler contractor, and energy consultants.  Our job is to coordinate the work of these various consultants and implement their plans into the design and cost estimate.

DOCUMENTS

At the end of the design development phase the documents from the schematic design phase have been updated in further detail. It is common to also have the following documents:

  • Outline Specification: Preliminary written description of the project’s major systems and materials.
  • Key Interior Elevations: Drawings depicting the relationship and material choices of the project’s interior rooms.
  • Reflected Ceiling Plans: Drawings of the ceiling depicting locations of lighting, equipment, & level changes.
  • Interior Schedules: A preliminary list of the type and location of interior finishes.
  • Key Details: Preliminary Large scale drawings of specific elements within the project.
  • Systems Consultants’ Drawings: May include structural, civil, and mechanical drawings.
  • Revised Cost Estimate: A revised estimate by a contractor of the cost of construction based on the current building design.

CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS:  Prepare technical documents required for construction and obtaining government agency approvals.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR BUILDING

The construction documents phase (blue prints) involves adding a level of detail and technical information to the design documents so the builder and all subcontractors have a set of instructions to build the project as designed. It also includes selecting and finalizing interior finishes, plumbing fixtures, appliances and decorative light fixtures. This phase is when the architect and consultants work through the technical aspects of the project.

DOCUMENTS

At the end of the phase the documents from the schematic design and design development phases should be updated in full detail. Additional documents will also be created and can vary depending on the scope of the project. A completed construction document set is highly technical and extensive and may include:

  • Site Plan: A drawing depicting the buildings location on the site.
  • Floor Plans: Drawings of each floor showing the size and locations of the various rooms /functions.
  • Key Elevations: Drawings of appropriate building sides to convey conceptual design direction for the project.
  • Key Details: Large scale drawings of specific elements within the project
  • Key Sections: Building cut through drawings depicting the heights and relationships of the various floors and roof.
  • Outline Specification: Written description of the project’s major systems and materials
  • Key Interior Elevations: Drawings depicting the relationship and material choices of the project’s interior rooms.
  • Reflected Ceiling Plans: Drawings of the ceiling depicting locations of lighting, equipment,& level changes.
  • Interior Schedules: A list of the type and location of interior finishes.
  • Consultants’ Drawings: May include structural, civil, and mechanical drawings.

FINAL CONTRACTING

During the final contracting phase, we will present a final and comprehensive budget based on all plans, specifications, and consultations the design team has created and been a part of.  The details of the Construction Service Agreement (CSA) and Terms and Conditions (Ts&Cs) will be finalized as well.  If no financing is involved the CSA will identify the construction draw milestones and required payments.  

BUILDING PERMITS

We will submit all plans and documentation to the city or county building departments.  BSCB will ensure all of their requests for information are met and updates to their progress is passed along to the client.  Changes or resubmittals of plans will be coordinated with the architect and engineer.

ADMINISTRATION

If a bank loan will be used by the client, Blue Sky Custom Builderr’s will assist with providing the bank with a complete budget for the project.  we works with 3 different banks which have very favorable construction financing loan programs and recommend them to the client.

Once all permits and financing is approved, it is time to start building!

Custom Home Services