So, How Does This Work?
( and other unanswered questions )
Whether you were sent here after a brief introduction, or you found this page all on your own; you're probably here because you're considering working with us and you may still have some unanswered questions about what we do or what our process looks like. Here you'll find a detailed breakdown of our design timeline, and also a list of some of the most frequently asked questions. However, if you make it to the bottom and you still feel that something is unclear, we're happy to take your call and answer any questions you might have!
PROCESS & TIMELINE
Contact us via phone, email, or even text. We'll schedule a free, in-person consultation to assess your space and your goals. For non-local projects across the nation or around the globe, we can schedule a phone conference or web meeting.
Copious notes from our consultation interview are translated into a scope of work and then into a formal proposal, organized with design objectives, fee schedules, and a precise list of deliverables. The proposal is then delivered to you, along with an invoice for deposit.
Upon receipt of a signed agreement and a deposit payment, your project is immediately placed into our design workflow. From the point of receiving the deposit payment, our goal is to complete all deliverables and present the design to you within 4 weeks.
4.) SITE MEASUREMENTS:
Using your property survey or site plan, we lay out the footprint of your home, measure all relevant doors & windows, locate trees, and survey the terrain to record all elevation changes, giving us a perfect snapshot of your existing space.
The fun finally begins! We ponder, we sketch, we model, and we consult a portrait of Frank Lloyd Wright. All while taking into consideration an obsessive amount of notes which we’ve compiled on your wants, needs, goals, tastes and the lifestyle that your family lives.
We schedule a date to come back out to your home and present you with a virtual fly-through video, a thoroughly detailed, architecturally-stylized 3D model, and a large-format color plan of the entire design area. The final payment is due upon presentation.
After having time to “digest” the design, we later discuss a list of changes you’d like to see made (if any). We then agree on the changes and immediately make a revised design. We complete the process and the agreement by sending you a revised set of deliverables.
8.) BEYOND DESIGN:
You now have a perfect design that you cannot live without! The next step is to share the design and solicit competitive bids from qualified builders. We’ll explain the many in which RAD can remain involved in future steps, like bidding, permitting, construction planning, construction consulting, and even finish-out & furnishing selections, all services which are available by separate agreement
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
( or "F.A.Q." as the kids would say )
Do You Build Everything That You Design?
No, we don't. The world is full of people who focus intensely on just one thing so that they can do that one thing better than anyone else. This is what we aim to do with design, and we'd like to think it shows. HOWEVER -- we do work with several highly-qualified partner builders who are capable of constructing all of the unique things that we dream up. Once we've completed a design collaboration with you, we will recommend some of those builders to you, and we will even solicit competitive bids from them on your behalf.
How Long Does The Process Take?
From the moment we've received your deposit payment, we start the clock on our design timeline. Our goal with each and every design project is to be presenting the design to you within 4 weeks of receiving that deposit payment. And it's not necessarily because creating a design and a presentation takes 4 weeks. While there is some initial preparation that has to be done (like coming out to do on-site measurements and verifying city and HOA codes that we must abide by), most of the wait has to do with our existing demand and workload. We're usually working with several clients at a time, and it wouldn't be a fair process unless we helped everyone in the order in which they contracted with us.
Why Do You Need My Property Survey?
Your property survey contains detailed descriptions and measurements of the legal boundaries surrounding your home. In many cases, it even outlines where certain municipal easements may lie (like buried water lines, gas lines, utility lines, etc). There are often areas that exist which cannot be built on. This means they are areas we (most likely) cannot design on. Obtaining your property survey is crucial because it basically tells us the size and area of our canvas, and which areas we cannot touch. And beyond needing it for design purposes, the City will eventually require the design to be superimposed over the survey before they will approve a construction permit.
What Program Do You Use To Create Your 3D Models / Designs?
We proudly use SketchUp (www.sketchup.com) to create all of our concepts. And while we use a paid professional version of it on all of our desktop workstations, there is a cloud-based, web-browser version that is free for anyone in the world to use. If you've always wanted to explore creating things in 3D but couldn't manage to pry the controller out of your child's hands long enough to play Minecraft, then SketchUp might be for you!
I'm Located Far Away -- Can You Still Help Me?
YES! We've received inquiries from across the nation and from around the globe. No matter where you live, we can engage in a collaboration with you remotely. All we require is enough information to get us started. That may be information you already have at your disposal, or it may be information you're willing to gather for us (photos, measurements, existing plans, etc). And just to be clear; if you're the type of person who would value a face-to-face visit and you're willing to pay for travel expenses, we're more than happy to come out, meet with you in-person, and gather all of the information and measurements ourselves just like we would if you lived in Dallas.
What Are "Site Measurements"? And What Are You Measuring?
Before we begin a design project, we want to have the most realistic interpretation of your yard and home so that we can custom tailor our design precisely to your existing space. This means that we want to know the exact dimenions of your home's footprint and where all of the major sight lines are (doors & windows which face the design space). It also means recording the slopes and grade changes throughout your yard so that we know how the terrain changes in every area. Not only that, we also need to locate fixed objects like trees, poles, fences, accessory structures and other permanent fixtures.
Do You Provide A Landscaping Plan?
In the past, some have been confused about the terminology here. "Landscaping" simply refers to the practice of shaping and/or beautifying the land and all it's features. In that regard, this can include everything you see in a yard; pool, plants, walkways, structures, walls, entertainment features and fire/water features. Conceptually, we include all of these things in our 2D design plan. But if you're speaking more specifically with regard to plants, then you may be referring to a "Planting Plan". This is a detailed, plant-focused 2D plan that a landcape installer can use to purchase and install plants with. This is a separate service which we can provide to you via a separate agreement.
When Soliciting Bids For Me, Do You Provide A Detailed Construction Plan?
Short answer--No. During the bidding process, we provide to contractors something we call a "Bid Plan" which is different than a detailed construction plan set. A Bid Plan is a one-page, simplified aerial plan, created at scale, which gives them enough dimensions and information so that each of them can provide you with a reliable, "apples-to-apples" construction estimate. Beyond that, we make ourselves available to those competitive builders via phone or email to answer any questions they might have in case any of the information happens to be missing or unclear.
Are You Capable Of Creating A Detailed Construction Plan Set?
Yes! In fact, we prefer to do so. Traditionally, a detailed construction plan set is not necessary until a builder has been chosen and the build process is beginning. And often, many builders have preferred to make their own construction plans in-house when everything gets put into motion (which becomes a fee you end up paying whether you know it or not). But we've found that when a builder is left to interpret the intricacies of some of our more "unique" features, our intentions can get lost in translation. We make ourselves available to create beautiful, multi-page construction plan sets which cover every dimension and detail of our designs; from pools and spas, to fire and water features, scuppers to screen fences, to cabanas and pool houses. We will even involve a structural engineer to verify loads, beams, ties and foundations.
What Will I Receive If I Hire You To Design My Space?
When collaborating with us, you will receive the following:
- Thoroughly-detailed 3D architectural model
Once revisions have been completed, the same deliverables listed above are re-created and re-sent to you once again. After that, together we decide which contractors are best suited for your project, and we then solicit competitive bids from them on your behalf.
How Is Your Pricing Structured?
Our pricing is based completely on the scope of work, which is something we can determine once we've had our consultation with you. We assess how many hours it will take our team to address everything and deliver a mind-blowing design to you, and we even cover the revision time for your included round of revisions. And once we have sent you our formal proposal (within 24-48 hours of the consultation) our hours and fees will be listed for you so that you know exactly what to expect. We do not "nickle and dime" you with hidden fees or additional costs. What you see on the agreement is what you pay. And in the event that you would like to pay for additional work or revisions (which is rarely needed), we can give you an estimate for that too.
Will Tom Hanks Survive COVID-19?
Are you kidding?! He made it through instense Nazi gunfire while helping liberate France in the D-Day Invasion of Normandy beach. He was later sent to the moon on the 13th Apollo mission, a chaotic mess of an endeavor that should have killed him several times. After that, he would find himself involved in a catastrophic oceanic plane crash, only to be stranded on a remote island for 7 years with nothing but a volleyball to keep him company. And if all of that weren't enough, he even had the mental fortitude to endure being kidnapped by Somali pirates. Trust us. Tom Hanks is an American Treasure and he's going to be just fine.
Who Is Michelle? And Why Did I Get An Invoice Along With The Proposal?
Don't be alarmed! Despite the fact that she seems to be asking you for money, Michelle is actually a sweet, funny, compassionate and wonderful person and we all want to be her when we grow up. She also happens to be our Client Services representative. The invoice that she sent to you is just an invoice for our deposit amount. You don't have to pay this invoice *until* you're ready to engage our design services. Otherwise, if you decide to go in another direction, you can totally disregard this invoice altogether.
Randy's Bio Says That He's A Robot -- Is That *Really* True?
Well... To be honest... We don't actually know that for a fact. There was one time where we all collectively decided to "accidentally" give him a skin prick just to see if he bled. There was a lot of bold talk around the water cooler that morning, but when it came time for action, everyone just went back to their desks and pretended the conversation never happened. However, I will say this: One time, Matthew *thought* he saw Randy connecting himself to a USB cord, as if he might be re-charging or something. But there were no other witnesses, so his story couldn't be corroborated.