Many homes that will be renovated in the next ten years were built pre-internet using physical plans with no digital record. Now when homeowners are seeking to renovate and call their building department for the plans of their home, they are often told that the plans are not on file or do not exist. However, showing the existing layout and conditions of the home is the primary requirement for completing any property improvements. Generating as-built plans is a relatively fast process and should be your first step on any renovation journey.
A little distance from your main residence is a big advantage when advertising a rental property in your backyard. Renters enjoy the freedom and privacy that come with a degree of separation and their own four walls. These little backyard structures can also be used as studio space, a private office or even just storage if renting isn't a primary concern to offset the costs of home ownership. Small as an ADU can be, it still requires all the planning of a ground-up build and can often be more challenging with space limitations.
Most suburban homes come with an attached garage. In California, without regular inclement weather to hide from, we can easily park in our driveways. This leaves between 300-450 square feet of unclaimed square footage already with a roof and foundation, ready to be built out. In an effort to combat the housing shortage, building departments are easing restrictions on garage to ADU conversions. It's easier than ever before to turn this unconditioned space into a new income property, but converting existing space is a specific process with its own challenges.
Attached ADU's typically share a wall, foundation or roof with the existing structure. One distinct advantage is that it's ideal for housing a family member who needs access to the main home or regular assistance. If ever the attached ADU is no longer needed as a separate living space, the attached wall can be demolished and suddenly you have an addition to your home with an extra bedroom and likely an additional bathroom or kitchen already included. In either case, there are strategies for making close, but separate, quarters, as advantageous as possible.
New construction could be building a custom home from an empty lot, a complete tear down and rebuild of an existing home, or a fire rebuild. In any case, for some reason you have to start from scratch. Of Earth Design can help you see the full potential of your build site, decide the best point of access and egress and advise you what steps to take now to have lower maintenance and energy costs in the future. With considerable planning and forethought you can have not only what you want from your home now, but also what you'll need down the road.
Lucky homeowners will only undergo one major renovation while living in their home. This means that almost everyone is new to the process. You don't want your renovation dreams to be soured by not having the amount of light, space or storage you envisioned when the project is complete. Building departments are also getting more strict about what is required to receive a permit, even for your standard bath or kitchen remodel. As design professionals, we can help you decide how big or small to make your project, clarify what is necessary and demystify the process.
Need some extra space? Additions often go hand in hand with renovations. First you're adding on a dining room, then the new space looks so nice, the kitchen looks dated by comparison. We can advise you how to avoid this common mistake by planning for flow and continuity throughout your beautiful new space. Each home is unique and there are features which will specifically work well and look natural to your home's style and character. We can tell you how to maximize your home's potential while staying within the zoning limitations and achieving your design goals, on time and in budget.
Homes with historic landmark status are often beautiful and well placed in their communities, but tend to be high maintenance. Historical societies have long manuals which list the upgrades you can and cannot do in an effort to maintain as much as possible the historic nature of the home. Upgrades to historic homes often have to do with energy savings. Historic single pane glass windows and walls without insulation do not make these homes inexpensive to heat or cool in our rapidly changing climate. You don't have to go it alone. We will help you navigate the requirements and save money long term.
Many home buyers view their first home purchase as an investment. After making upgrades, home buyers may plan on eventually selling to leverage their first home into the purchase of a second one. Square footage and number of bedrooms and bathrooms are key components of getting the most out of your investment, but there are many other factors that contribute to the resale value of your starter home. With our informational home walkthrough, we can point out which improvements will have the most impact on sale price as well as improve the quality of life for your own family.
AGING IN PLACE
If you have found your forever home and are thinking about remodeling, you should consider how mobility will limit you in the future. No one wants to install unsightly safety features or not be able to access certain parts of their home. Aging in place is a forward thinking design movement that helps home owners plan for these limitations, so life can continue as normally as possible when old age rudely interrupts. We will walk through your current or future home with you to make sure you've considered all the angles.
As families and individuals grow and change, so do our spatial needs within our homes. Just because a room is a comfortable space for you now doesn't mean you will always be able to move comfortably through it, especially if you add pets or family members into the mix. We know the dimensions of human comfort and can help you plan for your communal and private spaces to provide ease of use you never knew you needed and may have never thought about before. Schedule a pre-renovation home walkthrough today to learn more.
You may have been told by relatives and friends that the process of receiving a building permit is nightmarish. This can be true for those who don't know what the building department expects to see and how to provide it. We can walk you through the permitting process of the work you are planning to do, tell you what professionals you will need to get services from and even provide possible lead times and recommendations. Getting a permit isn't as hard as it seems, especially if you have a little help. Schedule a consulting appointment to get started.
BUYING TO RENOVATE
Clever home buyers may seek to buy a fixer upper with the intention of completing a renovation later on. A good project home will have all the original features and charm of the period when it was built, and the renovation will provide all the modern luxuries the time period was missing. Knowing whether a house has "good bones" can make or break your investment. If you're just starting out on your home buying journey, it can be an invaluable tool to have an expert along to weigh in on the likely success of an asymmetrical flip.
Of Earth Design is the premiere drafting company founded by energy experts. We are energy code informed and employ staff who formerly processed Title 24 compliance documents, CALGreen documents, did solar sizing and electrical load calculations. While we do not currently provide these services, our knowledge regarding how and when to strategically upgrade your home's windows, doors, insulation and water systems can make a future or current renovation process all the more advantageous and provide long term money savings.
If you've just bought a new home and you have some... unique features, our home tour consulting service can provide you with answers. We've all seen some nonsensical design decisions in older homes, especially in the 80's and 90's. We can help you identify where your utilities, HVAC, plumbing, structural walls and other necessary features are located, explain why your home may been laid out the way it is and provide you with possible solutions to existing problems. This is the service for you if you just want an hour with someone who can answer the question "why?"
You're the type of person who hates to enter any endeavor uninformed and ill prepared. You don't even want to reach out to professionals without knowing something about what you'll need to provide as a homeowner. We can teach you terminology, introduce you to stages of the design process and help to identify tenants of your personal style so you have the design vocabulary to succinctly convey your design goals. Knowing how to communicate ideas can be the difference between the start of a beautiful relationship and time and money wasted on misunderstanding.
PORTFOLIO OF WORK
Please note, we do not have the ability to quote for most drafting projects site unseen. The items on the below pricelist are the only types of services we will provide set pricing for. To get a custom quote for drafting services beyond this list, please schedule an hour of on-site consulting. Consulting fees may be waived if an agreement for any drafting services is signed within a reasonable time period.
Of Earth Design can produce floor plans of existing structures for a flat rate, depending on the square footage to be drafted and the location of the property. Locations outside of Sonoma County will be quoted by request.
• Less than 2,000 Square Feet (SF)
• Totaled between 2,000-2,500 SF
• Totaled between 2,500-3,000 SF
• Totaled between 3,000-3,500 SF
• Totaled between 3,500-4,000 SF
• Totaled over 4,000 SF
To be quoted on a case by case basis, please request a quote
Consulting Services will be billed in hourly increments at a rate of $150/hour. This time does not include travel time within Sonoma County.