FAQ

What is a Residential Designer?

How is this different than another type of designer?

What is the difference between a Designer and an Architect?

Do you only draw high end expensive homes?

Is there an initial consultation fee?

What do I need to do for the design interview?

How do you charge?

How much do you charge?

Will I need engineering or a survey?

How do you calculate the size of a house?

Can I see one of the homes pictured on your site in real life?

How long does the design process take?

Do I own the final design?

I’m a builder- do I get a discount for building a subdivision?

 


What is a Residential Designer?

  • A Residential Designer can be described as a professional who is familiar with all aspects of the building trade, and who prepares plans and designs so that a builder and other sub-contractors can construct the house while meeting the style and budget of the client. What this means for you is that Lasting Traditions will listen to you, interpret your needs and constraints, and work with you to produce a set of construction drawings that a builder can then take and build your home.
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How is this different than another type of designer?

  • A Residential Designer (sometimes called a Building Designer) typically focuses on residential and even light commercial work, and helps move a project from conception to obtaining permits. Interior designers and landscape designers, for example, are specialists in their own fields that you may also choose to use. They can and do overlap but an interior designer will not draw foundations, and a landscaper will not coordinate with the truss company. Likewise a Residential Designer will typically not match drapes or pick plant species. We are here to design the home itself.
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What is the difference between a Designer and an Architect?

  •  Simply put, mostly cost, from the home design point of view. And generally speaking, both must know the building codes. Both may share a passion for style. But an Architect usually works on larger structures such as Churches, office buildings, and skyscrapers, and will be familiar with cutting edge trends. A Designer normally practices on smaller structures like homes, will understand traditional styles, and may be more in touch with local trades. Furthermore, Architecture is a legal practice defined by the State and Architects usually come from a firm while Designers are very often independent or work in small offices. Due to the nature of being an Architect the costs of hiring one are almost always much higher than working with a Designer.
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Do you only draw expensive homes?

  • Not at all! We design all across the spectrum of residential needs, from simple one room additions and garage shops on up to large elaborate homes in high end golf communities.
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Is there an initial consultation fee?

  • No, consultations over the phone and by email are always free. Locally, a site visit is also free. If you’re further away then we can travel to meet you but a fee will be required (though that fee is credited back if you contract with us). Consultations are usually brief, but then if you choose to hire us a much more in depth interview will take place.
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What do I need to do for the design interview?

  • Think about how your daily life functions. Does your family like to cook? Do you entertain a lot? Or Never? Do you have pictures of homes and rooms that you think are just fantastic? Are there features in some homes that you just don’t like at all? If it comes down to it, what are you willing to compromise to stay in budget? Experience has taught us it’s best to think of home features, like a breakfast nook or a game room or even skylights, in one of three ways: “Must Have”, “Maybe”, and “Must Not Have”. Try to make a list with three columns for each of those categories. It’s better to make those choices earlier. We’ll also need whatever information you have about your property as well. A design interview usually takes up to 2 hours. This is what we’ll use to compare where the design is going with what you want from your new home or addition.
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How do you charge?

  • For new custom homes we usually bill four times, each about a quarter of the total contract. The first quarter is due at contract signing, the second portion when the preliminary design has been accepted, the third part when drawings are ready to go out for truss and floor design (which are done by those providers), and the final bill is due when the plans are finished and ready for permits. For remodels or smaller structures such as ADU’s and shops we charge either a two part or three part flat fee. Invoices are always due at time of service and payment is expected promptly. There are no rolling accounts. Checks are preferred but credit/debit is available through Square or PayPal with a 3% service fee.
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How much do you charge?

  • We find that charging a flat fee is best for design. This takes the uncertainty of hourly billing out of it and makes it easy to budget for. We come about our rate based on the scope and size and complexity of the project, with engineering or surveying and any other third party fees separate. To find out how much your project will cost to design, contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss it.
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Will I need engineering or a survey?

  • Maybe, depending on what is required by the jurisdiction or what is simply needed for the design of the home. Since your house and property are a unique combination, this would need to be discussed during consultation.
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How do you calculate the size of a house?

  •  Square footage is listed as conditioned space. So a 2000 sq. ft. home has 2000 sq. ft. including the walls that is heated or cooled and considered livable area. The attached garage, porches, attic, etc., are simply included (so long as they are not too unusual) and not counted as extra for our billing purposes. Detached or accessory structures are billed as extra.
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Can I see one of the homes pictured on your site in real life?

  • For privacy reasons, we usually can’t give out names or addresses. Sometimes a home will appear on the annual Central Oregon Tour of Homes and can be visited.
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How long does the design process take?

  • That varies widely, but for custom homes usually 6-12 weeks depending on the engineering, more if an architectural review committee  is involved with the design process. Your ability to make decisions is probably the biggest factor initially, and after the preliminary design is completed the the trusses and floor structure have to be done by those providers and their schedules depend on their work load. Also, if a survey needs to be done or if engineering is required, that has to be taken into account. Lastly, even though the design is done, the building permits can take anywhere from a few weeks to over a month to obtain depending on how busy the department may be. For these reasons we recommend starting the design sooner rather than later once you’ve decided to build your home.
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Do I own the final design?

  • Copyright is kept by us, and this is normal for house plans from any company. You have the right to produce the home one time at your location. You receive reproducible prints that you or your builder can use to make as many sets as needed for construction. The plans sets we release are typically PDF’s and are marked with the building site address as well as the Terms & Conditions.
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I’m a builder- do I get a discount for building a subdivision?

  • Of course. For everything from a license to build the same design more than once (like a stock plan), to subdivision planning with different homes sharing a common theme that your future buyers can choose from, we are happy to discuss a package deal. And later on if a potential home buyer wants to make a change, that’s possible too. Just contact us to get started.
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