Questions & Answers

  • Can you guide me through the process of attaining an Eco-Chic design? +

    • 1. An Eco-Chic representative will discuss your project with you, the design you’ve selected, answer your questions, and tell you the items that we’ll need such as your “Property Map” (and eventually a Topographical Map).

    • 2. Next, you send us your Property Map, so that we can pre-determine that your design selection fits within your property setbacks.

    • 3. Another consultation will verify the placement of the design on your property site, based on views, wind and sun direction, access to the site, and all the variables affecting the project. At this time, we will answer your remaining questions.

    • 4. To move forward, you sign an agreement and pay a deposit. We then prepare your “Site Plan” in 3D augmented reality (AG). In AG, you’ll be able to stand in your future home, prior to it even being built, which is quite exciting!

    • 5. We send you the entire completed set of stamped architectural plans electronically, once your balance is paid in full. This set, which includes all the detailed construction documents, enables you to get contractor bids to get your project rolling.

    • 6. Besides saving you months of design time, we will submit your stamped plans to your local county planning department and deal with any requests they may have for a small processing fee of $1,000 per permit. We guarantee permit approval.
  • So, I need to send Eco-Chic my Property Map to get started. What is a Property Map? +

    A property map is a survey of the property showing boundaries, building setbacks, and easements. This is needed to determine the best position of the home and to create a site plan.
  • Where do I find my Property Map? +

    A property map is usually provided when you purchase your property. If you can’t find yours, you should be able to get it from your realtor or the real estate company who sold you the property. If not, one can be created by a land surveyor.
  • Why do I need a site plan? +

    Since each property site is different, a site plan is needed for your particular property to illustrate to the county and your builder where you are placing your home on the site.
  • What is a Topography Survey Map, and do I need to have one? +

    A Topography Survey map, (a Topo), shows the contours of the property. A Topo is needed unless your lot is on flat ground.
  • What are Building Setbacks? +

    Building setbacks for your property will be designated on your property map and are determined by the local county, basically outlining where you have the right to build. They protect neighbors from encroaching too close to each other or restricting each other’s view lines.
  • What are Easements? +

    IF you have an easement, (which you may not), it will be clearly stated on your property map. An easement is the legal right someone has to access a designated area for a specific limited purpose. However, the legal title to the land itself remains with the owner of the land. Most commonly, easements are granted to utility companies to run lines under parts of the property, to access a public area, or for a neighbor to have access to their property.
  • My property is on a slope. Do your designs offer post and pier foundations? +

    All Eco-Chic Designs are offered with either post & pier or slab on grade foundations.
  • Can I make any changes to my plans? +

    If needed, one revision may be made for minor changes, so long as the changes are non-structural. This includes moving non-structural walls, changing kitchen and/or bathroom layouts, changing closet size/s or adding/eliminating closet/s. Since even a small change may alter all the drawings in the completed set, Eco-Chic charges a fee, plus an hourly design rate for making changes. Alternately, for simple minor changes, your general contractor can make these changes during the pre-construction phase or, if need be, during the build.
  • Can I make structural changes? +

    Structural changes can be made but will be charged as a semi-custom design. Structural changes include altering the footprint or size of the house, changing load-bearing walls, spans, and/or beams for windows, doors, and openings.
  • What's Included in an Eco-Chic Architectural set of plans? +

    The following deliverables listed below are included in an Eco-Chic architectural set of plans. This completed set, with architectural specs and finishes, allows general contractors to bid and build your project more accurately than a plan with less detail.

    Detailed Drawings:

    • Site plan
    • Floor plans
    • Elevations (North, South, East, West)
    • Building Sections (Longitude, Transverse)
    • Reflective Ceiling Plan (CRP)
    • Roof Plan
    • All Interior Elevations (every wall for every room)
    • Foundation Plans (Slab or Post & Pier)
    • Structural Details
    • Roof Framing Plan
    • Basic Electrical Plan
    • Wall Framing Plan
    • Window and Door Schedule
    • Architectural Stamp for Structural Engineering of the home

    Materials & Specifications

    Eco-Chic's design team carefully selected the materials, specs, and finishes based on their beauty, cost, low-maintenance, longevity, and sustainability. The style, details, and finishes for these items are all coordinated in tasteful color schemes.
    • Specifications and Finishes (including styles and manufacturers, where applicable):
    • Windows and Doors
    • Flooring
    • Cabinets
    • Countertops
    • Plumbing Fixtures
    • Task Lighting
    • Ceiling Treatments
    • Energy-Efficient Appliances
    • Suggested Furniture Layout
    • Built-Ins (If applicable)
  • Once I select a design, how long before I receive my plans? +

    In Hawaii, once your ECO-CHIC site plan is approved by you and payment is made, you will receive your completed plans electronically in about two – four weeks, provided you aren’t making changes or add-ons and you don’t have additional site-specific needs.

    In California, seismic engineering and wind loads need to be calculated for your specific property site. Generally, this process takes around a month.
  • Do you guarantee that my Eco-Chic plans will pass county for permit approval? +

    Yes, we guarantee that all Eco-Chic plans will be approved by your local county for permit approval. If needed, we answer questions and provide any changes to drawings that the county may require until permits are approved. A small processing fee of $1,000 is charged for each permit and you will not have to deal with this time-consuming task.
  • Does Eco-Chic have builders that they recommend? +

    We currently have a few builders that we recommend and our list is growing.
  • What about my Design Review Board (DRB)? Can you assist me with what is needed? +

    DRBs are concerned with making sure that the design, its exterior materials and colors fit in with their guidelines and uphold property values in the neighborhood. Since Eco-Chic’s designs and materials blend in beautifully with nature, we have always received approval from all DRBs and HOAs.

    We’ll prepare a package consisting of your architectural design with a color board of all the exterior materials and finishes and will send them to your DRB electronically. 

    Since DRBs and HOAs are all different in terms of what they require and the extent of their rules and regulations, the ease or complexity of getting approved can vary greatly. Therefore we can assist with whatever is required, at an hourly rate for our time.
  • I own land and I’d love to get one of these designs, but I’m not planning to build right away. Doesn’t the county limit the amount of time they give you to start building once you have permits? +

    The average timeline the county allows before starting to build is about one and a half years from when you get your building permits. However, you can simply get extension/s, if need be, until you’re ready to build. We believe that it’s smarter to acquire your permits and have everything you need early on because, in our experience, changes in county codes and ordinances usually get more restrictive over time. Once you have approved permits, the county cannot come back and require you to make changes to your approved plans.
  • What are the costs to build an Eco-Chic Design? +

    Whether it’s for a luxury custom home or for an Eco-Chic design, we are asked this question regularly. The cost to build ANY home comes down to many factors. If the building site is on flat ground it’s going to cost less than if it’s on steep terrain and the foundation is off the side of a cliff. The quality and costs of the materials, specifications, and finishes can vary greatly. Location can affect costs. For example, Hawaii and California are more expensive to build than Arizona. One of the biggest factors in cost is the general contractor, how he charges and how efficient he is.

    The best way to approach a budget is to determine what you can afford to spend and work backward. Eco-Chic Home Designs have been created as a more “affordable luxury” design for those who want a beautiful home that holds its higher property values.

    Having said that, our design team selected materials, specifications, and finishes that met our criteria of being as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible, to be low maintenance and long lasting, to be a good quality at good value, and to be built with the strength to help withstand natural disasters.
  • Can I make Add-Ons to my Eco-Chic design? +

    Yes, the following add-ons are available for an additional fee. We will advise you on add-ons as well as show you on a shared screen how it will look with your design.
    • Pool and Jacuzzi
    • Pavilions (BBQ’s, pools, cabanas, dining, swim-up bars)
    • Outdoor showers
    • Carports
    • Breezeways
    • Extra decking
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