Our Custom Design Process

1. LISTEN TO CUSTOMER NEEDS. Customer describes the scope of the project and provides sketches, drawings, and ideas. This information is discussed and major problems noted.

2. EXPLAIN SERVICE. We provide Computer Aided Drafting and Design. Our major product package includes drawings and calculations. We routinely provide site plans, foundation drawings, all floor plans, roof plans, all exterior elevations, cross sections and details. We do NOT provide engineering. 80% of all jobs do not require engineering. Foundation walls above four feet tall, walls with little space for "brace panels", ceilings higher than ten feet, and structures in unusual areas may require engineering. Unusual areas are areas with steep slopes, high earthquake probability, or high winds. We are able to provide an estimate of the cost to complete the package by the area of the construction. This is a "not to exceed" cost if all customer-provided information is correct and there are no major revisions or additions. The actual cost is determined by the number of hours required which may be less than the estimate. Additional requirements or major design changes will require more time and will increase the final cost.

3. MAKE AN AGREEMENT. When we prove to the customer that we can solve their problem and the customer agrees that the cost is reasonable, then we have an agreement.

4. RECEIVE 50% RETAINER. The receipt of the 50% retainer starts the work. If the project is cancelled by the customer after it is started, the retainer is used to cover time spent.

5. ACCEPT CUSTOMER INPUT. Customer provides sketches, drawings, photos, and ideas. This information is recorded and notes are taken. Acceptable input may range from verbal descriptions to complete sets of drawings.

6. DESIGN SPACE, STRUCTURE AND STYLE. A designer enters the input information into the computer and evaluates the living area, and provides for construction and code requirements. This step is the most time consuming step.

7. PROVIDE PRELIMINARY DESIGNS (Optional). The preliminary design consists of scaled floor plans and a front elevation. The design process will continue upon approval of the preliminary design by the customer. Some customers have preplanned the project and do not require a preliminary design.

8. CONSTRUCTION DRAWINGS AND CALCULATIONS. The product package that we provide will allow obtaining a building permit, obtaining bids from contractors, and the construction of the structure. Custom home designs and remodel designs are furnished in master drawings with ink on quality paper suitable for reproduction. Beam calculations that relate to the structure are provided on individual sheets.

9. RECEIVE BALANCE OF PAYMENT. When the customer accepts the master drawings we receive the final balance payment.

10. PROVIDE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION PER PLANNING REQUIREMENTS. We design to National Building codes and Residential codes. Each planning department has individual requirements and they are continually being updated. Some areas have specific home design requirements such as maximum height and exterior finish. Occasionally updated information is required from the planning department.  Cad Northwest is not responsible for delays or costs due to errors or omissions on the drawings. It is the responsibility of the customer and the builder to thoroughly check the drawings before construction begins.

11. UPDATE DRAWINGS (If required). Additional information may be added or minor corrections made to the blueprints or the master drawings. Telephone conversations withbplanning people and/or faxes may solve minor problems. Corrections or additions required by the planning department or the builder will be provided at no additional cost to the customer.  We do not provide engineering, engineering calculations, engineering reports, or an engineers stamp on the drawings.

12. REDESIGN AS PER CUSTOMER CHANGES. Occasionally when a customer sees the final plans they realize that the original design was flawed or can be improved. Corrections such as adding or removing square feet, reversing the plan, or rearranging rooms can be accomplished with minimal effort. Design changes that do not correspond with the original input information will be made at additional cost to the customer.

13. PROVIDE REVISED CONSTRUCTION DRAWINGS. The revised drawings are reprinted and made available to the customer. A final payment is received at this time.