John Jr. Piazza Construction - Design Build Renovate

Home Plans

Home plans can be obtained in many different ways. You can engage an architect or a design/builder to create your plans. Either one can make modifications on some existing plans that they own or start with a blank piece of paper and create a totally unique design. Plans can also be obtained from plan books that are available in most bookstores however these plans rarely conform to local building techniques, structural engineering requirements or they may not fit on your site and would need to be redrawn to fit those requirements. Plans can also be created by combining many different ideas from many different sources into a unique plan that fits your needs. Many times the custom home plan process is actually a combination of the above. The home design process should not start until an overall budget review has been agreed upon between the owner and the design team. Before the first pencil meets the paper, the builder/ designer and the owner must come to a general agreement as to what the overall size of the home should be, the general specifications and to what the overall budget is for the structure and finishing items. National statistics indicate that if this policy is not followed, the money and time put into the design process probably will not end up in a home being built. I have had potential clients come to my office that have already purchased their lot and have a complete set of plans end up never building their dream home, because the overall cost to build the plan vastly exceeds their budget. Unfortunately, this happens all too often, but with the aid of an experienced design team, like John Piazza Jr. Construction, we can help guard against doing this.

Perhaps, the most infectious disease in the custom home process is the “while you are at it” syndrome. Everyone is guilty of this including architects, builders and home owners. The syndrome works like this, “While you are at it”, let’s add 4′ to the master bedroom, because that would really be nice. “While you are at it”, lets make the kitchen bigger and add and island. “While you are at it”, lets add a bonus room over the garage, etc. etc. We find that this area is where the architects and the design/builders are really separated. Unfortunately, there are some architects who do not have the discipline to say no to budget busting ideas and/or the owners will not listen to them. The project that starts at 3000 sq ft ends up being 4200 sq ft and everyone is amazed when they consult a builder and find out that they are decidedly over budget. I should point out that architects generally make their living by drawing and not building. A design/builder, however, realize that their income is based on actually building the home. It is in the design/builder (as well as the owners) best interest to make sure that the entire design process ends up with a plan and specifications that fall within the owners budget. Trust me, you don’t want to put your heart and soul in to spending many thousands of dollars and several weeks of time designing your dream home only to find out that it will never be built. The construction process, like life itself, is a series of compromises. Those compromises should be made at the beginning of the design and specification process and not as an after thought when the wish list has been finalized and the plans are complete. Cost surprises at the end of the design process are not fun.

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