Each project is as unique as every homeowner and job site. Residential home design includes new homes, remodels, and additions as well as other unique structures like bardominiums, horse barns, shops, log and timber shelters/pavillions, etc. Just as each project is unique, so is the scope of services required to turn your dreams into reality. Below is a list of services we offer. Other custom services are available upon request, so if it is not listed please don’t hesitate to ask.

Starting Out

Initial Meeting – During this meeting we discuss options and what services might be pertinent to your design and construction process. This first meeting can be conducted over the phone, a Zoom meeting, or during a sit-down meeting at our office. This meeting is free of charge.

Initial Design Idea Exploration and Space Planning – This is the stage where we take your ideas and needs and determine things like the overall configuration of the house (i.e. single level, two-story, or daylight basement), the number of bedrooms and baths, living area, garage, and other special needs such as exercise room, craft room, game room, etc. Any ideas or snapshots you have gathered of things that you like are important to fleshing out this stage of the design idea generation process. Once this design critieria have been determined we provide you with a design contract.

Onsite Consultation – This is a job site visit. Often we bring our laser transit to this meeting and measure the rise/fall of the land across the building site. Onsite consultations are also important for evaluating the overall topography of the site, access, important views, site conditions or anomalies like creeks or streams, sun and wind exposure, and orientation of the structures to be placed on site. Site visits can be conducted with or without the owners present. Photos and diagrams are used to capture the essence of these visits which is then conveyed to you. This service is available for a fee.

Design Contract – The design contract is a formal document outlining the services that we are to perform as well as the design cost for the projected structure(s) to be drawn. Typically three rounds of preliminary drafts are included before moving into the final drawings.

Drafting and Design

Preliminary Design – The preliminary design begins with a floor plan detailing the placement of the rooms and the orientation of the house on the site. From here we draft the home elevations. Our contract includes three rounds of preliminary drawing changes. Details like wall thicknesses, ceiling heights, roof pitch, step-ups or downs in the floor plan, exterior finishes, fireplace/wood stoves, flooring, wall coverings, door and windows, and lighting details are included in the preliminary drawings.

Design Approval Letter – Once the preliminary designs are finalized a Design Approval Letter is signed by the owner to verify that you have reviewed the design and are satisfied and that you are ready to authorize us to move forward and begin the final construction drawings.

Please note: all of the design changes are to be made during the preliminary design phase to avoid additional drafting charges later in the design process.

Final Construction Drawings – Once you are satisfied with the preliminary drawings and sign off on the Design Approval Letter, we begin the construction drawings. The final designs include construction-level detail on the floor plans, sections, elevations, perspectives, framing schedules, foundation schedule, site plan, electrical plan, and building notes.

Finalizing of Construction Drawings – In this meeting, we conduct a final review of the plans with you. Often the builder is involved in this meeting too. After this meeting the plans are provided to the owner and builder in a finalized PDF format. Hardcopies can also be generated.


Structural Engineering – Today more and more areas are requiring structural engineering. We have a structural engineer that we work with who is licensed in multiple states. If structural engineering is required for your job site location or if you would like an extra level of review, your plans can be submitted for structural review. Usually the need or want for structural engineering is determined very early in the design process. The preliminary drawings are submitted to the engineer and he provides a separate contract for the owner to sign. The owner pays the structural engineer directly. Then the structural engineer reviews the plans and makes calculations and notations on the plans and sends them back to us. We make the necessary changes. Finally, the engineer issues his stamp along with his calculation sheets. If structural engineering is performed on the designs we complete the engineering process before we finalize the construction drawings.

Geotechnical Analysis/Civil Engineering – Geotechnical analysis is performed by a civil engineer who is licensed in the state where you are building. Geotechnical analysis may be required or it may be highly recommended by either us, your builder, the country/city, or the HOA where your property is located. If a geotech analysis is performed on the plans and site, we update the plans based on the recommendations or requirements provided by the civil engineer. If the soil surrounding your site is known to be expansive soil or unstable we highly recommend the investment in civil engineering. If a geotechnical analysis is performed on the designs we complete process with the engineer before we finalize the construction drawings. The geotechnical analysis fee is paid directly to the civil engineering firm by the homeowner.

Other Services

Landscaping Plan – Some localities and/or HOAs require a landscaping plan. Some very basic landscaping information can be included on the site plan. More involved landscaping plans, diagrams, planting lists, tree configurations, and tree permitting can be performed for us at an additional charge.

Permitting Process – The permitting process is handled by either the owner or builder for the project. We provide a PDF format of the designs. If hard copies are required the owner is welcome to print his own or order them from us for an additional charge. Most HOAs and city/county planning and review boards require digital copies. Any updates or modifications to the drawings that are required by either the HOA or city/county are part of our design service and are included in the scope of the design contract.

Material Takeoffs – Material lists detailing qualities and types are available. Square footage of coverage areas for things such as flooring, roofing, and walls is also available.

Material Packages – Material packages are available based on your final construction plans. Having access to a complete list of dryin materials with the associated costs that are based on your exact plans is extremely helpful when building out costs. It also saves the builder time calculating out a materials budget and allocating resources. This also puts you more in control of the costs of your project early in the planning process instead of being delayed.

Timber Accent or Log Accent Packages – Often custom homes incorporate some rustic elements such as timbers, log posts, log or timber railing, timber or log trusses, wood siding, or log siding. During the design process, we can include a separate schedule including these elements to enrich the overall design. We can also provide a special order of

Construction Services

Site Visits During Construction – Site visits during construction are available. This is especially useful for owners that are not able to visit the job site very often. Job site visits are documented through photos as well as written correspondence (usually via email) and assist in verifying that the home is progressing according to the finalized construction drawings. Site visits are also wise to have performed prior to building inspection visits.

Project Managing – Project management involves our interaction with the project from the designs until the turkey completion of “dirt-to-done”. Project management includes job site visits to meet SEO officers, obtaining of building permits, navigating and complying with HOA requirements, material takeoffs, dryin material package, resolving any issues with the building department of the locality, and managing contractors throughout the construction process. Project management is only available within approximately 30 miles of Bozeman and Helena, MT. Please call for more details.

Dryin Contract – A dryin contract takes the project from the design process and up to the house being closed up to keep the weather out of it. A dryin contract affords the owners the assurance that the home is weather tight while allowing them the flexibility to contract the finish work themselves or perform it themselves. This is a method used often for log and timber homes and has be integrated effectively by us into conventional home construction as well. In this case we work as project managers.

Full Turnkey Services– General contracting services for full turnkey solutions are available for job sites near Bozeman, Helena, and Butte Montana, dependent on job site location.