Our Custom Design Process

For many of our clients, planning and designing their custom home is a new experience. Here’s a step-by-step guide on what to expect during the home design process with Kurk Homes.

Phase 1: Pre-Design Phase - Research & Development

The introductory stage of the home design process is all about finding your vision of your custom home. There are several resources available online to assist you in this researching phase: Houzz.com, Pinterest.com, Southern Living plans, and magazine clippings, as well as our in-house detailed Pre-Design Questionnaire, are all geared toward the goal of allowing you to lead us toward your vision. 

Now is also the time to cover expectations in order to have a positive experience. This includes creating a timeline for both design and construction, budgetary targets, and guiding you through the overall journey. Our goal is to educate our clients on the entire process of designing and building a custom home. Understanding what to expect is an integral part of the initial process before a design contract is signed.

Other helpful resources to gather in this stage: 

  • Current boundary survey, with the benefit of title
  • Municipal, floodplain, or HOA/ACC guidelines, if applicable
  • Site cost evaluation 
  • Geotechnical (soils) report or investigation

Phase 2: Floor Plan & Design - Schematic Development

Once the Design Contract and plan retainer are received, the reins are then given to our design team to begin creating your vision of a home-based on the notes provided in phase 1. Our talented design team works with you hand-in-hand to dive deeply into our questionnaire and design, in AutoCAD, a floor plan that we can construct.

An "aerial" view of the floor plan will be drawn up first, working within the footprint of the property, keeping in mind the build lines and easements noted in the boundary survey along with the target layout. Once the aerial view is approved, the exterior elevations will be drawn up. Lastly, the interior elevations (cabinet placement in kitchen and bathrooms, doors vs drawers, any specialty built-ins, etc.) and electrical plans are completed.

Communication is paramount during this stage; several changes can be made from the initial design concept, but the better a change is communicated, the faster our design team can make the edits. Written changes through e-mail are recommended - both to document the requests for both parties and for the designer to have a detailed checklist to follow. 

Phase 3: Proposal Stage to Build Contract

With Kurk Homes, all funds received for the development of the plans, whether it's the retainer or full price of the plans, are credited back to you in the sales price for the home. Using the preliminary set of plans created in phase 2, the price of the home as designed is presented to you in the proposal stage. 

Factors of the price of the home, as discussed in Phase 1, are the following: 

If the features selected exceeded the preliminary budget, the plans are able to go back to Phase 2 to adjust in size and features. At this point, you can also completely purchase the plans and we'll finalize the construction set. If a completely new layout will be requested, payment for the plans will be requested at this time. 

Phase 4: Pre-Construction Stage

Once the build contract is executed, the detailed construction set will be developed and requested for signature. The signed set, known as the final plans, will be used throughout construction, fully dimensioned and detailed so that our build team can continue the vision of your custom home. 

Engineering the plans will also be completed after the construction set is developed - both the foundation and the framing plans will be stamped by a professional engineer. The geotechnical report, or soils test, will be utilized by the professional engineers to determine the foundation design. While post-tension slabs are the most common, we have also built with drilled piers and full pier and beam construction. Hiring an outside engineering firm to design the foundation means that it won't always be the least expensive foundation design, but it will be structurally sound for our 20-year warranty.

In the detailed Pre-Construction process, permitting for the municipality and/or county is coordinated and ordered, including OSSF (septic) design and permitting if applicable. If needed, the team can also assist with the HOA/ACC application submittal. Once all approvals have been received, the home moves into the Construction Stages!

Kurk Homes is proud to offer affordable quality-constructed custom homes with a 20-year warranty. We take pride in providing our clients with a “no surprises” policy by maintaining constant communication throughout the building process. Whether designing and building from an existing plan, a Southern Living Plan,  or consulting with our talented Design Team to plan your dream home from scratch, we take pride in going above and beyond to make your dream home a dream building experience as well. Contact us today to discuss building your custom home!