Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Adapting architectural house plans to your needs

Hiring an Architect to design a one of a kind home for you can be a time consuming and expensive endeavor.  The design process will take at least several months - maybe up to a year.  And the fee can run from 8% to 12% of the construction cost or even higher.  That being said I believe it is well worth it - but not everyone has that luxury of time and money.  So what I want to do here is present you with an alternative approach that can work for many people.

The basic concept is to purchase a set of plans "off the shelf" directly from an Architect, and then work with them to customize that plan to your specific needs and tastes.  The two images below depict a house designed by Ron Brenner Architects in Stillwater, Minnesota.  
It is a beautiful Cape Cod design.

The client loved the design inside and out.  But the plan would not fit on their own lot configuration, the room arrangement did not satisfy 100% of their needs and their aesthetic tastes tended more towards the contemporary.  So Ron Brenner Architects sold the plan to them for a flat fee, and then worked on an hourly rate basis to modify the plan to reflect their needs.  The images below reflect the modified design.

The client loves the new design and they were able to reduce the design schedule and design costs significantly.  The house is now under construction - I'll update this post with photos of the project when available.


  1. Any updates on the construction progress?

  2. Its looks so very very nice. Thank you for sharing......

  3. It is very challenging decision to decide home plan. This is so sweet design. Thanks for post.