New Home Design FAQ’s

New Home Design FAQ's

Are 3-dimensional images possible?

Yes. Any angle of the exterior of the building can be viewed. Interior views are also possible, and this can be especially helpful for kitchens as well as living spaces with dramatic architectural features. 3-D floor plans provide a realistic looking representation of the layout.

How are house plans by DesignWorks created?

Many avenues are possible. Rick will work from your sketches, or modify an existing plan you have purchased from a plan service. (All house plans from plan services need modification to meet our local codes and conditions, in addition to any plan changes you may desire.) Rick can also create a custom design, developed from your criteria and informed by the unique characteristics of your building site.

How complete are DesignWorks plans?

Typical drawings included in a set of house plans would be:

  • Foundation Plan
  • Floor Plan(s)
  • Floor and Roof Framing Plans
  • Building Section(s)
  • Construction details as needed
  • Exterior Elevations
  • Cabinet Elevations
  • Electrical layout
  • Window Schedule

DesignWorks utilizes a licensed structural engineer to design critical structural components. Unlike plans obtained through magazines and plan books, DesignWorks plans will be approved by the City & Borough of Juneau Building Dept.

How does DesignWorks charge for plans?

Rick charges for designs by the hour. Many factors influence the cost, such as size of the home, complexity of design, and site considerations. Multi-story homes and hillside designs are more costly than a single story home built on a flat lot, given the same square footage for both homes. A rule-of-thumb would be $2 to $3 per square foot of living area, depending on complexity. Structural engineering fees are additional.

How involved are clients in the design?

My goal is to reflect your needs and desires in your home, utilizing my accumulated knowledge of design principles and construction methods from the past 30+ years. The design process is divided into three phases; Conceptual Design, Preliminary Plans, and Construction Plans, which allows you plenty of opportunity for input. Review of any phase of design by the client’s preferred building contractor is also welcomed.

How long does it take for the design process?

The time frame will vary depending on many factors, such as size and complexity of the home, time of year, ability of the client to make design decisions, etc. Although some designs have happened faster, 6 weeks seems to be the minimum, with 8-10 weeks more typical.

What is the design fee payment schedule?

Before a project is started, a $1,000.00 retainer is required. An invoice will be submitted at the completion of each phase of design development or at the end of the month, whichever comes first. Payment is due upon receipt. Final plans are released only when payment has been made in full.

Who owns the design concept?

DesignWorks grants the client a license to build only one structure from the plans, and the plans cannot be resold unless by express written authorization of Rick Thibodeau dba DesignWorks, the design copyright holder.

The designs and drawings provided by DesignWorks are protected by the Federal Copyright Laws and may not be copied, reproduced, modified, distributed or used in any other way without the specific written consent of the copyright owner, Rick Thibodeau dba DesignWorks.

Any plans, sketches, drawings, or photos provided by the client for any purpose including that of informing the designer of the client’s desires, needs, and objectives, will not be returned, unless by specific prior agreement. These plans, sketches, and drawings do not in any way constitute any design ownership on the part of the client of the plans and designs provided by DesignWorks.