About DAL Home Designs
DAL Home Designs has been producing custom home designs for clients throughout Texas since 2004.
We specialize in builders sets of plans for single-family homes, duplexes, and small commercial properties (not more than two stories in height and 6,000 square feet in area). We also offer site planning, ecological planning, and renovation and restoration consulting for historic properties.
DAL Home Designs now offers plan sales through our website; feel free to browse the plans we have available and check back soon for new additions.
Contact today for more information!
Residential house plans for new construction or additions/renovations, historic preservation, site and development planning, sustainable / ecological development consulting.
Because energy efficiency and water conservation are rapidly becoming such important considerations in much of the United States and Texas, DAL Home Designs is fond of specifying Energy Star-rated products whenever possible. We also love to work with systems such as rainwater catchment, gray water reclamation, and alternative building materials. In fact, our next line of products will be plans for earthbag, straw bale, poured earth, and steel shipping container homes!
Questions and Answers
What we may not know about you?
Both my Bachelor's degree and my Master's degree are from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.
How can we save money hiring you?
Beware of online plan rooms- they may seem inexpensive but often end up being much more expensive than your local home designer due to hidden charges (reproducible prints, multiple copies of plans, processing fees, etc). If you are not careful, that $1,000 set of plans can cost you $1,500 or more!Also, keep in mind that for the typical single-family home a licensed architect is not required by law or for practical purposes. Architects are generally much more expensive than designers, and only required if local ordinance or deed covenants require it, or if the project is a very large commercial, institutional, public, or a very large, complex, expensive residence.
What do you recommend to know before hiring you?
Have a good idea of what property you will build on; even better, buy the lot first and design a home to fit the lot. Know what the cost of construction is in your area per square foot, turnkey, for the level of finish-out you desire. Have a budget set.
Do you offer any service after finishing the work?
The nature of the home planning and design field usually does not require any additional services post-construction. However, during the construction process DAL Home Designs works closely with the client's builder to ensure that the project is completed as the approved plans specify, within budget, and in a timely manner.
What is important to know about your profession?
If I could name just one thing, it would be to inform them that they can have a 100% custom home designed exactly to their needs and specifications for less than 1% of the cost of a new home. So, why go to online plan rooms or choose from a narrow list of plans in the typical homebuilder's portfolio?
What kind of questions do customers ask you?
1. What are your rates?2. Can I see some examples of your past work?3. Do you provide construction estimates or construction management?No. Those activities are best left to the builder.
What types of jobs are the most common?
For myself and other professionals who offer the same services, it is single-family residences of 2,000 square feet or over. Personally, I would love to do more historic preservation / renovation plans because that is my greatest personal and professional interest.
What questions should a customer ask before hiring you?
First, research a little about the services you are seeking. There's a lot of online resources to help you know what to ask, depending on what you need. Second, always ask for references. Most professionals with a solid work history will have at least two or three references they can cite. Finally, ask for examples of their work.
I started as a draftsman with an Associates degree back in 1998. After working as a civil draftsman for two years, I decided to attend university and obtained a Bachelors of Science in Recreation, Park, and Tourism sciences in 2003. During this time, I worked as an architectural draftsman for a local firm that specialized in historic renovations. After graduation I worked as a draftsman for a structural and civil engineering firm, but returned to grad school in 2010 and obtained my Master of Urban Planning in 2012. During my time working for the engineer and during grad school, I worked part-time for myself as a home designer, giving me a total of 10 years experience designing homes and small commercial projects for my clients.
What are you most proud of?
I am proud of all of my projects, but the one I feel was the most challenging and professionally rewarding was the renovation of the 1930 Woolworth Building in downtown Bryan, Texas. Originally the city's first Woolworth Department Store, it was later a furniture store and spent some years vacant. Through three phases from 2010-2012 I worked with my client to adapt the building into boutique retail space downstairs and eight apartments upstairs.
How many projects do you average in a year?
DAL Home Designs has average only about four projects a year historically, but now that we have a retail website and online sales we hope to increase that number at least tenfold between now and 2015.