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What is Building Design?

Short answer: Building Design is the art and science of designing buildings.

However, there is a lot more to it than the one liner would indicate.

Our building design services involves sustainable design services especially for new construction.

Building design service is a process that can often take many weeks or months to develop. It’s not just drafting up plans. It’s a whole process. We do not do short notice drafting of plans or modification of stock house/building plans prepared by others. We design. It’s a process that involves several steps to arrive at the design as a solution to our clients needs. However, we do work with clients to develop their dreams but it involves a process that can be lengthy to do properly and ultimately for your benefit and investment. You’re not investing in a cheap used car. We don’t jump from initial consultation being given newspaper clippings of example plans and draft them up. Skipping on professionally-led design process compromises developing the best design solutions to your needs. If all you are interested in is a cheap drafted plans with just only weeks from initial contact to submitting for permits, there are cheap, low-quality drafters willing to do such for peanuts. We are not one of them.

What building types and projects do you provide building design services for?

For Projects in States of Oregon and Washington:

We provide building design services for the construction of, alteration of, or enlargement of:

  • single family residential dwellings of any size, farm buildings, or any structure used in connection with or auxiliary to a single-family dwelling such as car garage or car port, barn, shed, outbuildings and structures used in connection with single-family dwellings even as appurtenances. This may include elements interior or exterior that are part of the overall function of the building and uses which may include outdoor kitchen, gazebos, etc. These structure serves the overall function of domestic living.

    In the State of Washington, we do provide the above for all residential dwellings up to FOUR dwelling units per (detached) residential building. The State of Washington may require certain drawings and other technical submissions in connection with multi-family dwellings’ exterior to be prepared by a Washington state registered architect or professional engineer per requirements of Engrossed House Bill-1848 that was adopted April of 2005 and came into effect August 1, 2005.In either state, we may also provide the building design services for structures used for the sheltering of domestic animals and livestock.


    In which case, the services of an Architect or Engineer as consultant will be procured and provided as Additional services to client and billed in addition to the fees of our building design services and may be separately invoiced as the conditions and terms of payment amounts and due dates may be different than that of the building design services. Consultants may have their own rates and requirements of when payments are due than that of our services provided to you.

  • other buildings if the ground area does not exceed 4,000 square feet and not more than 20 feet in height from top surface of lowest floor to highest overhead interior finish of the structure. NOTE: In the State of Washington, there is not a 20 ft. height rule as in Oregon. Washington may calculate the square footage differently than Oregon.
  • For buildings that are larger than 4,000 sq.ft. or more than 20 ft. or otherwise would require a licensed architect to design, we may provide building design services in connection with those buildings provide the structural part of the building (including but not limited to – foundation walls, floors, roof, footings, bearing partition, beams, columns, joists, etc.) is not involved, and the building code classification by use or occupancy and/or building code classifications by type of construction are not involved. Example: Minor tenant improvement of a store front on the ground-level of a multi-story building where there are no changes to structural systems, use/occupancy classification, or construction type classification.


Services in those jurisdiction will be provided as permitted by the laws and rules stipulates in those jurisdictions. There may be locations we can not offer or perform services in those locations.

We provide building design services in connection with new construction, additions, renovations for buildings and structures as noted above.

When we design new buildings, we incorporate sustainable design into new construction. Where possible, designing of new buildings will involve passive solar building design practices. In every regard, we strive to employ sustainable design practices in all projects as practicable. It is a moral obligation or “moral imperative” that we employ sustainability in what we do in the designing of buildings, structures, and landscape. It is without doubt that we face climate change. Our services are integrated with sustainable design practices and that means our services are in a manner to be more ecologically friendly and sustainable than that which is required by minimum regulatory standards or that of the past, and to reduce our impact on nature over the life cycle of what is built from our designs. It is not about perfection. It’s about consciously considering the environmental implications of what we design and the decisions we make in the designing of said structure.

For more information about Sustainable Design Services, visit our blog for entries on sustainable design practices (coming soon).

Cost of Building Design Services?

Cost-plus-Fee with Guaranteed Maximum Price fee with starting base fee amount, for a given scope of work outlined in contract. In estimating our fees, we utilize our Billed Hourly Rate times an estimated range of hours to perform the services in connection with the scope of work agreed to in contract. Services beyond the scope of work agreed to in contract may be charged at a Billed Hourly Rate of up to $180 an hour. However, in some cases, the Billed Hourly Rate may be more than the $180 per hour.

Billed Hourly Rate is normally charged at $125 to $180 per Hour for more comprehensive and sophisticated projects. Smaller and or less complicated projects may be charged at a lower rate of $90 per hour to $125 range. Some projects may be extraordinarily more complex or some projects may be so small and simple that we may charge less than the $90 an hour.

Change-order services are typically charged at a Billed Hourly Rate of $90 to $180 per hour as additional services exceeding the scope of work and contractual terms. When it comes to pricing it is the signed and written contract that is the binding terms not the website. The prices outlined on the website is intended to provide some idea of what the services may cost for professional quality services.

Services of Third-party consultants:

The price of third-party consultants will be calculated and invoiced separately based on the rates of the consultant, coordination oversight fees we may charge on top of the third-party consultants rates. Sometimes, that may be billed as a markup on the consultant’s billed hourly rate charged to us.


As shall be noted, due to the nature of our services, we record in-person and over the internet voice or video conference meetings. Additionally, we use written contracts to formalize our agreements and usually will require signatures.

Additionally, we take the privacy importantly and do not disclose the entrusted private information attained through those conversations to the public without either permission from the client or through court order or subpoena. While we are not lawyers or doctors with special legal protections, we still do our best to preserve the trust of our clients.

Agreeing to use our services including initial consultation and / or by contacting us, you are consenting to use of recording.

Additionally, we retain ALL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS to the designs we prepare for our clients.