The Design Process For Your Remodel Plans

Beginning Your Remodel Plans

1. Getting Your Remodel Design Started: the Design Process

The Design Process breaks down into two basic elements; 1) Design Phase and 2) Drawings Phase.

1) DESIGN PHASE: The first step in the design phase is a quote.  I need information to give that, and I can get most of it through a phone conversation or a electronic Quote Form, available on this website.  I will need the street address of the project, and some photos sent by email if possible.  I may have some follow-up questions once I have that information, and then I will give you a ballpark figure to complete your design and drawings.  The quote will include permit drawings, site plan (if required) and engineering (if required).

If you like my quote, and want to proceed, I will visit the site address and firm up the quote.  From there, we will sign a Design Agreement.  50% of the estimated cost will be due at that time. The Design Agreement will specify the scope of work, the number of design phases, a timeframe for beginning and finishing the design, and any engineering that may be required.

Once that is accomplished, I will measure and photograph your house, and we will begin your design, and work towards a Final Design.  From there, I will begin your Permit Drawings.

2) DRAWINGS PHASE: This is what you will give to your builder, or take to your local jurisdiction to obtain your building permit. The plans will include floor plans, elevations, sections, and all of the other necessary views and information required.  It will also include a site plan and engineering, if those are needed for your project. 

Engineering is required for all residential construction that extends outside the existing house footprint, and comes in two forms.  One form is called "prescriptive" and can be supplied by the designer.  But not all houses lend themselves to prescriptive engineering, and then an engineer must supply the calculations.  I try to decide this before the quote, but it is not always possible, and sometimes an engineer must become involved during the design process.

Once the drawings are complete, and placed in the city or county's hands, they will be checked by a plans examiner, and if they have any further requirements, they will contact me, and I will supply them.

2. 3D in the Design Process

You may have picked up from viewing the Home Page, that we do our design work in 3D.  That process enables you to make informed choices every step of the way, leading to a final design.  Some designers offer 3D renderings, but not the ability to show you through your design phases in 3D.  This ability is invaluable, and it removes the apprehension about how your completed project will look and work.  Please view the videos on the Home Page for a better idea.

3. Electronic Home Design Sessions

You have the choice of viewing your designs in our office on a large screen, or you can receive videos and renderings by email and view them on your own computer.  Electronic Design Sessions are a great time and energy saving device. See examples of Renderings and Videos on the Home Page.

4. Sustainable Home Design Options

Today it's possible to build a high performance home for a modest increase in construction cost.  After an initial breakeven point, the money you save on heating and cooling each month will begin to pay for your home.  This is especially true when considering the projected rise in energy costs.  Bruce Butler is a Sustainable Homes Professional and can offer you the most current methodologies in healthy, energy efficient, and eco-friendly building design for your home plan. Please be aware that not all remodel projects can take full advantage of sustainable design strategies.   

For further information on the advantages of sustainable design, please visit our Sustainable  Design page to see some of the services we offer.

5. 36 Years of Home Design Experience

Bruce Butler was a Design-Build contractor from 1978 to 2000 as JB Hammer Co. Inc. He went into full-time building design in 2000 as JB Hammer Designs, Inc.

For 25 years as a design-builder, he had hands-on experience in every aspect of residential and light commercial construction.  He designed 30% of the projects he completed.  During that time, he maintained a perfect record with the Construction Contractor's Board.

Since 2000, as a fulltime designer, Bruce has produced designs and drawings for hundreds of residential house plans and remodel plans. His background has enabled him to find creative solutions to difficult design situations. He has produced his own catalogue of house plans and sold them online.  He has traveled and studied architecture around the world and has been published on that topic. You can read some of his other published articles on the Sustainable Design page.  For a complete professional history, follow the link to Contact Us.

6. Remodel Plans Quote Form

I hope to hear from you at this point to discuss your project: 1. Contact me directly for a Design Consultation, or 2. complete a form for a free quote on your remodel project - Remodel Plans Quote Form

Direct contact information: Bruce Butler


phone: 503-348-5541



Helpful Links:

Sustainable  Design

Remodel Plans Quote Form