"David: Thank you for taking my question. We have been in the home building process for over one year.
We own our lot, and have met with builder after builder. Each time we meet with a builder, we find that we keep coming back to the same custom designed house.
I think this is a good sign that we know what we want. However, because the plans are custom, I have concerns about how we move forward with construction, without compromising control of the project.
Each builder wants to draft the plans as part of the construction
cost. If I take this approach, I will not be able to bid the various parts
of the job and I will be locked in with a builder that will control pricing.
Where do I turn? Do I look for a local engineering firm, make the
investment, and pay them to draft the plans?
What are the typical steps I should take to ensure that I am spending wisely, but not surrendering my ability to control costs through competition?
Thank you very much for your time!
Dave - confused in Pennsylvania"
One of the main advantages of hiring a design professional to draw your plans is that you can request multiple bids from various contractors.
If there's a particular house that you like, I suggest that you try to locate the original designer. He or she can sell you a copy of the plans or customize the plans for your requirements.
Hiring another designer, or a contractor, to copy the original design would be a violation of copyright laws.
Good luck with your project,
David Moore, AIA
Original Home Plans
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Carl Heldmann, byoh.com