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Plans and Design | San Diego County

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First Step

The most common question we get is, “what does it cost for plans & design?”. As a design-build contractor we will first work with you on figuring out what your budget is. To do that we will look at the following items:

   Certain Finishes

   Certain Sizes

   Certain Needs For Your Family

After we determine a budget for your project we will enter into a design agreement so we can design your home exactly as you want it. 

Craftsman-Custom-Home-in-Escondido-CA-by-Freemans-Construction-Inc

Plans & Design Costs

The costs for the Plans & Design process is typically about 3-5% of the overall build costs.

   Example: Your budget is $500,000 for building your custom home. That’s going to be between $15,000 to $25,000. 

What does it cost to draw the plans?

1. If you work with a draftsman versus an architect, the draftsman is going to cost less money. The draftsman will typically charge around $2.50 per square foot versus the architect who will charge around $4 or $5 per square foot.

Structural Engineering

Working with a structural engineer during the planning and designing process is critical. A good structural engineer will design your home so that it is structurally sound and economical to build. A bad set of structural engineering calculations can cost you thousands of dollars in extra building costs.

Craftsman-Custom-Home-in-Escondido-CA-by-Freemans-Construction-Inc
Craftsman-Custom-Home-in-Escondido-CA-by-Freemans-Construction-Inc

Value Engineering

Once your budget is figured out our team goes to work designing a home that will meet your needs and your budget. At that point you will start working with the our team, the draftsman, structural engineer, and interior designer to put together a bid package that will get sent out to all of the trades for pricing. This planning on the front end of your project allows you to build the home that you want and hit your budget that we were originally planning for.

How long does the design process take?

You can expedite the design process and it can take as little as 30 days, however, most of the time it is going to take about 60-90 days. It may take longer depending on the needs of the client and how large the home is. Once the design phase is complete and all of the bids have come back we will submit the plans to the county or city so we can get the building permit. As soon as we have the building permit we can start the building phase.

  Building Time Frames:

  • Example 1: 2,200 square foot home will take about 6 months to build
  • Example 2: 4,000 square foot home will take about 10 months to build

Larger homes and homes with high-end custom finishes will have longer build times.

To get a rough estimate together for the home building costs we look at the level of finishes the customer wants and then figure out an average price per sq.ft. for their home based off previously completed projects with similar design and finishes. By doing that it gets us very close to the actual build costs of their home so we can start drawing plans that will meet their budget.

More Information for When You're Planning to Build a Custom Home!

Custom Home Building Cost Guide

This “Custom Home Building Cost Guide” will break down every step of the custom home building process. Also included:

  • Budget
  • Plans & Design
  • Permits & Fees
  • Site Costs
  • Build Costs


Freeman’s Construction Inc. has been building custom homes, accessory dwelling units, and completing whole house remodeling projects in San Diego County for over 39 years. To schedule a project consultation please call us today at 760-788-6846 or fill out a request form here.

Areas We Serve:

Ramona, CA |Poway, CA | Escondido, CA | Julian, CA | San Marcos, CA |San Diego, CA | Rancho Santa Fe, CA | Lakeside, CA| Rancho Bernardo, CA | Scripps Ranch | Carmel Mountain Ranch | 4 S Ranch | Carlsbad, CA

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