Working Drawings uses general terms, for example, the plan indicates there will be wood floors in the Master Bedroom. Wood floor prices can range wildly from $0.50 a square foot to $10 a square foot.

Construction Documents are more detailed. Instead of using general terms, like the preceding   example, you could specify the wood product, the patterns of installation and the stain finishes to be used. When you communicate your intent clearly the cost range will become tighter.

If you want competitive bids that you can compare 'apples to apples', then you need to make sure the contractors are bidding on the same thing.


Before you  approve the Conceptual Design, and tell me to start preparing the Working Drawings, I recommend having a builder or contractor look at the design and give you a rough cost estimate to ensure that your project is financially feasible.

If you need to modify the design for budget reasons it is far more cost effective to make changes in the Conceptual Design Phase than the Working Drawing Phase

​Working Drawings  meet the minimum standards required by the building authorities but they tend to lack the detail and specificity needed to communicate your design intentions.  Construction Documents  addresses theses concerns by further identifying and clarifying features and elements that you deem essential to the project.

​A good set of plans should include the Working Drawings and the following Construction Documents, if needed:

• Finish Schedules

• Site Plan

• Electric Plan

• Roof Plan 

• Exterior Perspectives

• Construction Details

• Construction Specifications

• Product Selection and Details

• Cabinet Elevations

• Wall Elevations

• Future Basement Plan

​When working in concert with others, Construction Documents may also include:

• Plumbing and Mechanical Layout

• Energy Details & Design

• Engineering Designs

• Framing Layout

• Tall Wall Details

• Product Installation Details

Phase 3

Construction Documents 


 Except for surveys and a few unique engineering designs, most of the technical documents identified above  are typically provided by others, at no extra cost, when you purchase their service or product.

Phase 2

Working Drawings

Phase 1

Conceptual Design​

The Design Process

​​​​​​​​It is easier to edit than it is to create.
​Most people  know what they like once they see it, but how do you get to that point when designing a house? I start the process by interviewing you. At our first meeting I want to hear  all your ideas and see what inspires you. So bring pictures, sketches and bookmarked websites for me to review. I want to know how you plan to live in your home. I also want to understand the style and elements of what  you find  aesthetically interesting.

From our conversation I will prepare the Initial Concept to get the ball rolling. After that I am confident that your natural intuition will take over. There is something about seeing  your ideas in three dimensional glory that can really get your creative juices flowing. Especially when I can make  changes to the design directly in front of you, so you will see the results of your decisions in real time!

Design is a blend of Art and Science.

I am available to provide technical guidance regarding typical building practices, standards, current trends, and material options throughout the design  process. If I can't answer your question I will put you in touch with someone who can. I  welcome builders, contractors, friends or other experts you trust to come to our design meetings.

To get the most appealing results you want a process where you are actively involved in the design.  What better way to do this than to work with a seasoned professional that uses virtual 3D computer modeling. I can not imagine a better design process than to be able to see the impact of your choices while you are meeting!

The Working Drawings (aka Permit Plans) are scalable drawings which contain the basic building plan information that is typically required by the Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code.  Working Drawings will not include all the documentation you may need  for a Building Permit. 

Your project may require other technical documents  such as: a survey, roof truss engineering designs, beam and column engineering designs, heating and cooling equipment designs, energy calculations, fireplace designs and alike.