Questions & Answers

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

    • 1. An Eco-Chic representative will discuss your project, the design you’ve selected, and answer your questions.

    • 2. Next, you send us your ‘Property Map’ so that we can make sure the design you’ve selected fits your property.

    • 3. You send us a deposit and we create a site plan with the design - based on views, wind and sun direction, as well as access to the site.

    • 4. Another consultation is set up to show you the placement of your home on your site. Utilizing the latest technology, you will be able to walk around the exterior and interiors of your home in 3D augmented reality and see your views from all angles before it is even built!

    • 5. You engage our services by signing an agreement and your paid deposit is credited toward the balance.

    • 6. Since Eco-Chic provides structural engineering for all our designs, we are able to submit your completed plans to the county for you. Unless there are changes or add-ons, or special requirements for your particular property, this can all happen in about 4-6 weeks.

    • 7. Besides saving you months of design time, we will deal with any requests from the county and guarantee permit approval.

    • 8. Simultaneously, we send completed plans to you so that you can get contractors’ bids and get your project rolling, saving you months of time.
  • 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.
  • Will Eco-Chic help create my site plan? +

    Yes! Once we’ve received your property map, we can create your site plan for you. A $5,000 deposit is required for Eco-Chic to provide this work, which will be credited back to you in your contract, upon engaging our services. This site-specific plan will be added into your architectural set of plans electronically, which will then be ready to submit for permits at your local county building department. Eco-Chic provides electronic submission of your plans to your local county as part of our service to you.

  • 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.
  • What about structural changes? +

    We recommend that if you really want to make a structural change that you design a custom home through our custom home division, Tropical Architecture Group, Inc.. This gives you the freedom to design whatever you like. Even when a structural change seems simple to an existing design, it often creates a domino effect and you end up redesigning the entire home, losing the integrity of the design and spending far more time and costs in the long run. Eco-Chic home designs have all been structurally engineered for the sizes and spans within the design. Structural changes would need to be redrawn, recalculated, stamped and signed again by the engineer or architect to maintain the structural strength of the home.
  • 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. For those in California who are victims of wildfires, acquiring a set of Eco-Chic plans can save you up to a year’s time.
  • 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. If needed, we answer questions and provide any changes to drawings the county requires until permits are approved. You will not have to do any of these time-consuming tasks yourself!
  • 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 materials, and colors fit in with their guidelines and uphold property values in the neighborhood. Since Eco-Chic’s designs and materials are beautiful and blend in 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 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 anything additional that 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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Please contact us with questions

(805) 369-1184

Couple in Kitchen


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