When embarking on a project as substantial as a home addition, renovation or custom design, you need to feel confident that your designer can create a custom home plan that captures the essence of you and your family. Prior to signing a contract or paying anything to a architect, the initial stage in the design process is an introduction meeting. This is a chance to convey what you want the designer to create with you.

The designer will conduct preliminary research of your property and review the regulatory guidelines associated with building on your lot. If you have not purchased your property yet, a designer will work with you to determine the most appropriate lot size and layout for your custom home.

Once you have selected a designer for your project, we will clearly outline the project timing, fees and requirements so that you have a firm understanding of what lies ahead.

A designer will then collaborate with you to gather all the information required to initiate the design:

  • Property Evaluation – considering vegetation, topography, orientation, views, and neighbouring structures
  • Regulatory Guidelines – and walk you through any restrictions or obstacles
  • If the project is a renovation or addition, the designer will take measurements and photos and create “as-built” drawings

Next, there is usually a requirements meeting where you’ll share your wish list, your favorite designs or features, and the practical needs for your new home. It is here that a custom home planner’s extensive experience helps them to fully ascertain what makes a home your dream home.

A designer will then create a hand-drawn design concept – unique to your property and your needs. You will review this with the business and discuss the merits of involving other design consultants and builders to review the initial design and to solicit feedback. The feedback will be incorporated and your questions and concerns addressed until a final version of the design is to your satisfaction.

Upon final approval of the design, the next stage is to create the technical drawings and construction documents. This will determine the final pricing of the project and ensure the proposal complies with applicable building codes and by-laws.

The process is followed up with closely with the client and custom homebuilder to ensure the project is executed in accordance with the applicable municipal guidelines.

Custom home design is a service offered by many high-end builders in Calgary and in the surrounding areas. Custom home design ensures that your custom home is built to specifications, and provides the homeowner with a visual representation of their idea, before the plans are put into place. When designing a home, there are a few terms to understand that are included most designer’s custom home design plans:

  • Cover Sheet: The cover sheet includes the general notes and building code information, design standards and structural materials specifications required to construct your home.
  • Schedule Sheet: The schedule sheet includes the window, roof and foundation ventilation schedules, insulation and vapor barrier specifications, and exhaust fan ventilation schedule.
  • Detail Sheet: The detail sheet shows building components at large scale as required to explain construction of footings, foundation walls, concrete slabs, framed floors and walls, posts, beams, insulation, eaves, roofs, vents, stairs, skylights, and connections.
  • Foundation Plan Sheet: The foundation plan sheet shows the layout of the crawl space, walk-out basement or slab foundation. The foundation plan includes all necessary notes, dimensions, concrete walls, footing pads, posts, beams, bearing walls, crawlspace vents, footing schedule, steel reinforcing, and structural information. If you require a different foundation type, please contact us for modifications to your plan.
  • Floor Plan Sheet: Floor plans are horizontal cuts through each floor level of the home, usually at 5′ above the floor. The floor plan shows the location of interior and exterior walls, doors, windows, stairs, closets, cabinets, flooring, appliances, plumbing fixtures, fireplaces, posts and beams. Floor plans also indicate vaulted, coffered, or box beam ceilings, cased openings and areas with ceiling soffits.
  • Roof Framing Plan Sheet: The roof framing plan shows the geometry of the hips, ridges, valleys, dormers, roof pitches, wall and plate heights, and overhangs. The plan also shows all individual roof framing members, trusses, rafters, beams, skylights, roof vents, gutters, downspouts, skylights, bearing walls under framing members, and point loads.
  • Elevation Sheet: Exterior elevations show all four sides of the house, describing the roofing, siding, and trim materials, doors, windows, roof pitches, skylights, gutters, chimneys, wall heights, finish grade and overall building height.
  • Building Section Sheet: Building sections are vertical cuts through the house from the roof to the foundation. The sections illustrate the construction sequence from bottom to top starting with excavation, proceeding up through the foundation, drainage, wall and floor framing, stair framing, roof framing, windows, doors, venting, and exterior and interior finishes. Wall plate heights for each floor are also delineated.

After the design is completed and reviewed, the next stage is to contact a custom homebuilder with a great reputation to ensure that your dream home comes alive.

A custom built home is a one-of-a-kind home, designed for a specific client and for a particular location. The custom homebuilder may use plans created by an architect or by a professional home designer. Custom-built homes afford consumers the opportunity to control layout, lot size, and accessibility.

In most cases, custom homebuilders construct on land that is already owned. Some developers sell lots, sold specifically for the construction of a custom home. The process of buying land and then making it “build-ready” makes it easy to build a custom home since the builders can focus purely on the design of the home.

Custom home builders generally:

  • Build on land already owned. Some custom builders also build on land they own which is known as a spec home – short for speculative.
  • Build unique houses. A custom home is a site-specific home built from a unique set of plans for the wishes of a specific client. For this the services of an architect are used. Some custom builders may offer design/build services.
  • Build single-family homes.
  • Are generally small-volume builders
  • Tend to build high-end or luxury homes

Make sure to contact a custom homebuilder to help you and your family out with the design, build, and everything else to do with a custom built home.

The architectural design process and values make up an important part of what influences architects and designers when they make their design decisions. Architects and designers are not always influenced by the same values and intentions, based off of their differences in architectural movements. Value and intentions differ between different architectural movements. Intentions and values also differ between different schools of architecture and schools of design, as well as among individual architects and designers.

The differences in values and intentions are directly linked to the variety in design outcomes that exist within architecture and design. A big contributing factor as to how an architect or designer operates in his/her relation to clients is also based on these differences in values and intentions.

Different design values are found to have a long and dense history and can be found in numerous design movements. The influence that each design value has had on design movements and individual designers alike has (and will continue to be) varied throughout history.

The expansion of architectural, industrial design ideas, and vocabularies, which took place during the last century, has created a diverse aesthetic reality within these two domains. The diverse aesthetic reality has typically been created within different architectural and industrial design movements such as: Modernism, Postmodernism, Deconstructivism, Post-structuralism, Neoclassicism, New Expressionism, Supermodernism, etc… All of the aforementioned aesthetic realities represent many differing values, in addition to differences in general values and theories found within these movements.