Frequently Asked Questions

How Long do plans take How long does it take to complete the plans?
Generally speaking, it takes approximately four to six weeks to complete a project. This of course varies greatly depending on how many consultations with the owners are required, and the amount and complexity of changes that are made during the design phase. Each project is custom drawn and has it own scope and complexities. The design time can also be greatly increased dependant on the amount of details that need to be represented on the drawings to enable the contractors and sub-contractors to complete the project..

Architect Examples Where can I see some of your work?
We have thousands of completed projects in several geographic areas around Texas, the surrounding states and Mexico. We can give you the names and addresses to "drive by" and view the properties. We respectfully ask that you not "bother" the occupants of the homes we have designed so as to preserve their quality of life. If you insist, we can make special arrangements to show you the interior of some of our projects if the original owners still occupy the homes.

References Do you have references?
The best anyone can do as far as references would be to provide the name and telephone number of the CURRENT client. Well... this is what we do. Not only that, but we will provide you with the name and telephone number of the last THREE clients we've worked with. That should put your mind at ease!

Here's what some of our past clients have said...

"The folks at Riverside Home Designs worked hard to please us. They also had some very good ideas on the design of our home. -A nice bonus in this is that they delivered the plans to us on time." - Beverly

"I never knew there was so much to building a house! Everything Riverside Designs showed us was so helpful. I learned a tremendous amount from their detailed explanations of how things work." - Stephanie

"Jim's professional advice allowed us to see and plan for problems before we began the actual construction. Were certain we'll use his services again" - Keith

"All through the planning process, Jim worked with us to get the job done in a cost effective manner. We truly appreciate their help and experience" - Brian

"Riverside Home Designs has designed many architectural projects for me, I find them knowledgeable, easy to work with and dependable" - Rand

We have obviously omitted the last names of these clients to preserve their identity from public view. We will provide their full names and contact information as needed.

Shop Drawings What are shop drawings?
Shop Drawings are additional plans that provide much more details and "how to" information than is typically available on a set of plans. The additional details, dimensions, and other relevant information is drawn for approval by the Architect or General contractor. Shop drawings are typically used to represent specialty items. They are usually required to manufacture or build custom products such as kitchen cabinets, log home assemblies, metal gusset plates, specialty cornices, cupolas, copper vent hoods etc...

Archiect fees How much do your services costs?
As a matter of fact, a recent pricing survey performed by an independent consultant revealed that Riverside Home Designs is the one of the most cost effective home design firms in the area. We only charge $2.43 per square foot of drawn area. The drawn area includes all porches, roof overhangs, bonus rooms, arbors, second floors etc... For commercial or custom design work we charge $3.50 per square foot of drawn area. Our Shop Drawings are done on a page by page basis. We usually charge $700.00 per page. If you're interested, we'd like to give you a free on the spot estimate based on your design ideas. Just give us a call.

What Are Production Costs? What are production costs?
Production costs are the costs to produce a finished work. Like an author who has written a book, a designer has designed a project. Now, then, no one can read this work because the author is the only one who has a copy of the work, he has the original. In order for anyone else to be able to see the finished work, it has to published. This is where the productions costs come into play. Our design prices do not include production costs to print or reproduce the finished works. A fee of $11.00 per page for plotting and $3.50 per page for copies will be charged as needed to produce a finished work. In most instances, the production costs are not very much in relation to the entire project. Of course, the actual costs are directly related to the amount of finished drawn pages that comprise the plans and the amount of finished plans you will need for construction.

* You or your contrator may not reproduce the plans yourselves; all copies must be provided by Riverside Designs. (See copyrights below.) *

Hire Us for your Architectural Work We want to hire you, what do we do next?
In order to get started, we require a deposit or retainer in the amount of one third of the estimated cost of the entire project. The second payment will be one third of the actual project costs after any adjustments in size have been made. The final payment will be made upon delivery of final set of plans. Production costs will be paid in advance, and the final blueprints will be delivered as soon as possible. All deposits and or retainers made by the customer are non refundable. Be sure you want to hire us prior to making the first payment.

Free Architec Consultations How many free consultations will you give us?
In a nut shell, as many as are needed, within reason... If we constantly have to meet to make minor, insignificant, revisions, or if we revise the same work over, and over, then we will asses additional meeting and consulting fees to the project. Otherwise, we want these plans to be accurate and exactly as you want. After all, it's much cheaper and easier, to build on paper than it is in real life. This is your project, enjoy it!

AutoCAD What CAD system do you use to draw the plans?
In reality, this should make no difference to you the consumer. The end result is that you get a detailed plan, that is accurate, and that represents your ideas on paper. It's exactly the same as in the old days when we used the tools of the trade which were a special drafting table, a T-Square and a variety of pencils and templates. All the work was done one line at a time, as is today in the CAD environment. Many people think that because a computer is involved, everything is created instantly. This is a great myth. In reality CAD drafting is exactly the same trade it has always been, the difference is that now we hold a mouse in our hand instead of a pencil, we and click to make lines. Regardless of the system employed, we still have to place each line individually just as always. The computer does nothing more than make things a little easier in duplicating things and so on.

Architect Copyrights What about Copyrights?
License Agreement

The plans and designs created by Riverside Home Designs are the intellectual property of the designer and are protected by international copyright laws. As such, the plans and other details are provided for personal use for the construction of one (1) Project only. Use of the plans and other details for sale, distribution, transfer to any other party other than the original purchaser, or reproduction in any way is expressly prohibited without Riverside Home Designs written approval. No other commercial use or reproduction will be allowed without additional licensing and fees. When you purchase plans from Riverside Home Designs you will be provided with a permission to use the plans. This license is issued solely to you, and you agree to the terms and conditions as stated on the plans. The license is not transferable to anyone under any circumstances. All designs and related details produced on the plans are copyrighted, and become trademarks of Riverside Home Designs.

Not for construction Why did you print NOT FOR CONSTRUCTION on the plans?
The comment NOT FOR CONSTRUCTION at the bottom of each page on the plan simply indicates that the design work is not completed, and that other changes are forthcoming on this project. This let's everyone know that these plans are not ready for construction and may contain critical errors or omissions. Once the design work is completed, and you approve of the work, the comment is removed, thus indicating the design work is completed and all the information needed to build the project is included. This also indicates to us that a 3D cross reference check has been completed in-house and that we feel confident everything will work as planned.

We follow recognized Building Codes Which Building Code Should We Follow, and Why?
We generally draw to the International Residential Code (IRC).

Well, it's really for your protection. You see, following a recognized building code ensures that certain proven standards are followed. Those standards were designed to protect you, the project owner. Sometimes builders complain about codes and standards that seem to be unnecessary or burdensome. We want you to consider that the IRC is there to protect you. If it were not for proven construction standards, some corner-cutting builders would render many projects unsafe. Consider that most professional accreditation agencies such as the Texas Society of Architects (AIA), National Council of Building Designer Certification (NCBDC), and the American Institute of Building Designs (AIBD) all endorse the family of International Codes for safety.