+ What areas do you service?
New homes: We service all of California. We also take on design only projects in other states.
Remodels/Additions: When it comes to remodels, we typically have to create as-built drawings and have to take detailed field notes/measurements of the existing home. Our rule of thumb is to be within a 150-mile radius of our office in Fair Oaks, CA but don't hesitate to call if you are outside of that area.
+ How can we meet if I'm not local?
We have clients from different parts of the country and consistently have video conference calls where we can chat "face to face", share our screens and even go through designing/redlining the plans.
+ I'm a spec builder/contractor and need something done fast at a good rate. Can you help?
We are glad you're here. We love working with contractors and/or spec builders. There are a few options for you:
- Reach out to us to discuss some plans that we already have to see if they will fit your needs. or
- Become a "Preferred builder" and get discounted rates and marketing packages.
+ How does Lev Designs approach Cost Estimating?
We always endeavor to design a project that remains within your stated budget. We can prepare preliminary cost estimates during each phase of the design process, either with our consultants or with your builder, having them update estimates as the project progresses to allow us to define finishes and value engineer the project throughout.
+ I'm a contractor and have clients that are looking to do a remodel/addition or design a new home. Can you help?
Let us act as your "in house" designers. We will meet with your clients, go through the design process and even pull your permits for you. We also offer special pricing.
+ What type of plans/construction drawings do I need?
This all really depends on your project and your personal experience/needs.
There are typically 3 different types of plans.
1.Permit Set/Builders Set
This is the bare minimum that is required to get a permit. This typically works for a builder or someone who has experience with building and will decide on the details in the field. This following is typically included:
- Cover page
- Site Plan
- Standard Notes
- Floor Plan
- Roof Plan
- Sections if applicable.
- Electrical plan
- Structural Plans
- Truss Calculations
- Fire Sprinkler Plans
- Survey/Geotechnical/Grading (If applicable)
2.Full Construction Document Set
This is the perfect in-between. This is usually needed if you need to go through a design review and/or need a more detailed set for your contractor. The following is typically included, in addition, to the items listed in the permit set:
- Architectural details
- Exterior Material callouts
- Reflected ceiling plan
- Window/Door schedules
- More detailed sections
- Landscaping Plan (If applicable)
- Pool/Spa Design (If applicable)
- Review of shop drawings (If applicable)
- 3D colored Renderings
3.Full Construction Document set + interiors
Full construction documents include all information necessary to receive a permit and for the builder to price and build the project.
The following is typically included, in addition, to the items listed in the Full Construction Set:
- Kitchen elevations
- Bathroom elevations
- Built-ins and fireplace elevations
- Interior material call outs
- Floor Layouts
- Trim Packages
+ How long does the design process take?
This is always a very hard question to answer because there are so many factors that go into it. Here are some aspects that are taken into account:
- The complexity of the house.
- The site. Is it sloped or is it flat? Any views that you want to capture?
- Design review with HOA or Government jurisdiction?
- What kind of plans are you looking for? A builders set, a full set, etc.
- How much time do you want to spend on design?
A preliminary schedule can be provided once a few factors that have been listed are discussed, but it is important to understand that architectural design is a collaboration between the designer and the client which means that time is also in the hands of the client. In addition, there are government agencies and private agencies (HOA boards) that can make the schedule unpredictable.