In-Depth Modifications Guide and FAQ

September 21, 2018

In-Depth Modifications Guide and FAQ

The coolest thing we do here at Perch Plans is our custom modifications. Well, we do a lot of cool things (still dreaming about that trip to Palm Springs), but anyway, I think offering people the chance to make any of our house plans their perfect dream home is pretty dang awesome.

It’s also not something you’ll find most other places, which is why I get a ton of questions about how things work. We have a short, sweet and to-the-point version of our process on the website, because who reads these days? But sometimes, more actually is more, so here’s an in-depth guide to the Perch Plans process, and answers to some of our most commonly asked modification questions! 

First things first, you have to pick a house plan you like. So start with a general style, size and flow that fits, and let’s go from there. If you’re having trouble deciding between two or three that’s fine, I’m happy to help you sort through that.

After that starting point is established, then comes the fun part. It’s time to dream about what your perfect house would be like. What would you add, remove, move to make this home your own?

Put together your ultimate wish list, and then let’s dive into it together. If you have a general idea of what you want, but not sure how to make it happen, we can schedule a phone call with one of our architects to give you more guidance on how to best personalize your home.

Or if you know exactly what you want, just send a specific list of modifications, bonus points if you include a marked-up or redrawn floor plan. The bonus points don’t actually count for anything. It’s more like just street cred. Regardless, the more detail you give us, the better!

From there we’ll put together a proposal for you. Modifications are $150 per hour, and your estimate will be broken down so you can see how much each adjustment or section of the house will cost. You’re not locked into anything at this point, so if you want to add or remove any of the changes, this is the time to do it.

Real talk. Our plans include a lot more detail and information than a typical online floor plan, which aids your builder tremendously during construction and lowers the likelihood of mistakes. But, this does also mean that making changes can be more expensive.

Because of all the drawings that we include (floor plan, interior and exterior elevations, roof plan, ceiling plan, MEP, etc.), a major modification has to be changed on each one, and that adds time. If you’ve got a specific budget in mind for design, tell us! We’ll do our best to help you stay within that, and let you know what kinds of changes are feasible.

The proposal only shows the cost of modifications, not the house plans. The plans and other add-ons are purchased separately online. This helps us track our orders and keep everything organized! I will also give you an approximated ETA for the finished drawings, based on whatever else we have going on.

Once the modifications estimate is approved, you’ll get an invoice for the 50% deposit for the changes. Pay that, buy the plans, and then we can get the party started! The remaining 50% is due upon the completion of your design.

Only one architect will be assigned to your home, so you get to work with them directly on any adjustments or questions. You’ll be asked to approve the new changes twice, first with just the new floor plan layout and room measurements, then the full set of construction drawings.

We can make adjustments as needed to anything included in the original scope of the proposal, so don’t be afraid to speak up! However, anything outside that scope will be an additional modifications cost. Also remember that extra changes may push back the final delivery date of your completed plans.

When everything is said and done and stamped with approval, you will receive a Dropbox link to download all of your digital files. This is when you celebrate, because that’s your dream home, right there on paper.

We will also mail you our trademark blue linen box with one printed set of all your construction drawings, specifications, and energy calculations, inclusive of any modifications you may have made. Along with that is a flash drive already loaded with your files, so you can take this to any local print shop and make as many copies of the plans as your builder needs.

So that’s our process, start to finish. You might be feeling information overload right now, but I’ll be around every step of the way to answer questions and guide you through the next steps. And speaking of, be sure to check out some of our most commonly asked modification questions below!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can you add a basement?

Every one of our designs can be placed on several different foundation types, including a basement. We design anything from a fully finished basement with floor plan and interior elevations, to an unfinished shell.

Can you reduce/enlarge this plan to _______ SF?

There is a number of ways to scale down or up any of our plans. This kind of change is best handled with a phone call to discuss what can be done, unless you have a specific idea of what you’d like to do. Keep in mind, any major changes in square footage won’t be feasible without adding/removing rooms, and some plans will be easier to adjust than others.

Also, take into account that adjusting the size of any space affects connections to other parts of the house and the upstairs layout (if applicable). We won’t be able to provide you with a new exact square footage amount until the changes are completed, however we will do our best to give you an accurate estimate before.

What’s included?

The drawings included are: roof plan, floor plans, reflected ceiling plans, exterior elevations, interior elevations of all interior walls, details, and mechanical/electrical/plumbing (MEP) plans. The MEP plans show lighting fixtures, switches, receptacles, etc. You’ll also receive a Manual J with HVAC load calculations, and some general specifications for windows, trim, siding material, etc. You will need to engage a structural engineer to get a foundation plan and framing plans. We don’t include a bill of material - the contractor will handle anything having to do with construction and ordering materials.

Can you change the outside style?

Certainly! While we currently offer plans in the modern farmhouse and European traditional farmhouse styles, we can do a variety of exterior treatments, from contemporary to Scandinavian and more. Just send us some inspiration photos and we can talk it through!

Does this plan fit on my lot?

We’re happy to scale down the footprint in order to show a size comparison to your lot! All we need is for you to supply the survey or plot plan. However, if you wish to do a full locate or site plan, these services can be provided for an additional fee. Reach out for more information!

How long do modifications take?

This will vary based on how extensive your changes are, and what our other project deadlines and workloads look like at that time. However, the average turnaround time is typically between 2-6 weeks.

What have other buyers done?

We prefer to give our clients full flexibility when it comes to personalizing their homes, instead of just offering a limited number of pre-designed alternatives. Because of this, the options are essentially endless! Every home we have modified is unique, but below is a list of some of the most frequently requested modifications for reference.

Common Modifications:

Add basement. Convert screened porch to sunroom/four seasons room. Reduce or add square footage. Add garage apartment. Additional windows. Expand garage or enclose carport. Add tub to master bath, or separate tub and shower. Convert to Jack and Jill bath. Add large game room. Add guest suite. Attach garage. Change exterior treatment or add stone. Add depth to living room or master bedroom.

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