In custom building design, there are no ‘standardized patterns’ of assembly.  At Straight Line Building Design LLC, we embrace each project as a unique challenge – ‘Individual Design’, architecture that is personally crafted / buildings that tell us of their making and place.

Design is an interactive process requiring patience, experience, creativity and a balance between the programmatic requirements, correspondence with local building and zoning codes, budgetary concerns, site constraints, and aesthetics.  The journey through each project should be enjoyable, educational, introspective and special – the end result producing pleasant surprises and often uncovering unrealized opportunities … balanced, playful, healthy and enjoyable – the ultimate living adventure.

While no two projects are alike, our experience maintains obedience to a structured framework, enabled by flexibility as the dominant guide towards the process of design.  The following is a brief description of a typical design progression – a shopping list to negotiate and illustrate the challenges and celebrations of creating and building a home, carefully tailored to your style of living.  We welcome the opportunity to begin exploration of your design experience.


General forum gathering between the Designer/s + Owner/s to institute a relationship, begin exploration of design needs, and turn a project vision into reality. Typically, a site visit shall be incorporated for familiarization of the grounds, targeting topographical interests (or barriers) as well as to provide a unified visual reference. If a general contractor has been selected we encourage attendance for additional input with regards to specific site needs and or prior planning history.


(Schematic Design accounts for approximately 20% of the total design fee)

STRAIGHT LINE BUILDING DESIGN LLC will develop the compositional components of building parts through a series of studies that convey a representation of the needs as outlined in the pre-design session.

Renderings / model interior and exterior studies as required to provide understanding – hand rendered colored elevations / computer 3D perspective views / physical model/s
Floor Plan demonstrate spatial relationships, adjacency requirements and assembly functions
Building Elevations indicate proposed building character, mass, materials and window + door fenestration
Preliminary site studies define proposed building footprint and location within building envelope / traffic flow / parking locations / set backs / utility locations / special lighting requirements / preliminary landscaping and stormwater management as required

Studies shall be sequenced in stages (and only if considered necessary), in order to promote design flexibility as the programmatic issues are addressed and generated.

Fee for Schematic Design may be hourly or fixed as negotiated.


(Design and Development accounts for approximately 20% of the total design fee)

Expand upon and adapt material and color schemes responding to assessments derived from the Schematic Design sessions.  Conceptualization of architectural finishes: accented timber features, exterior cladding, windows & doors, roofing, flooring and interior finishes. Define, research and illustrate other critical design components specific to owner needs: Specialized finishes (ie: Timber Frame / built ins / interior trim features), ADA conformance (bathrooms, cabinetry and other built in furnishings), egress / ingress, and other occupant requirements as required.

Provide dimensioned ¼” floor plans, preliminary site programming and exterior building elevations to indicate proposed materials. If required, provide a preliminary written outline of specifications for owner review. May also include an analysis of project margins and preliminary cost estimating per contractor recommendations (if selected).

Fee for Design and Development may be hourly or fixed as negotiated.


(Construction Documentation accounts for approximately 45% of the total design fee)

Furnish reproducible construction documents and specifications amenable to ICBO, and other agency mandates for the arrangement and solicitation of accurate contractor pricing.  The following is a list of typical construction documentation – illustrated sheets may added or eliminated as determined by jurisdictional requirements, owner / contractor requests, specific project needs and design budget requests.

site plan dimensioned with details exhibitive of site improvements, utilities, setbacks and stormwater management.
footing / foundation dimensioned with details specific
floor and roof framing dimensioned with details specific
floor plan/s dimensioned, indicating finishes, wall types, cabinetry and other definitive characteristics.
building elevations denoting exterior building features, vertical dimensions and finished grade
building sections illustrate spatial relationships, provide vertical control and integrate building systems
wall sections identifying materials, components, assemblies and vertical dimensions
interior elevations as necessary to convey design of interior components and identify other specialized needs or finishes
architectural details enlarged scale details to describe specialized building components and features
electrical plans layout description of lighting, switching and other electrical components
mechanical plans if required by local energy code – coordinated with Mechanical Contractor or Mechanical Engineer

Convene with contractor and owner to assure that the project meets budget requirements.  If commencement of construction begins prior to completion of Construction Documentation -  identify line item ‘allowances’ for future cost awareness – reductions if or as necessary.

Assist (if requested) with the selection of a contractor on the basis of merit, referral, or competitive bidding. Compensate hourly or adjust fee as agreeable by SLBDC and owner.

Fee for Construction Documentation may be hourly or fixed as negotiated.


(Construction Observation accounts for approximately 15% of the total design fee)

Review, audit and approve contractor pay requests based on field observations. Issue change orders and clarifications as necessary to promote continued construction progress.

Facilitate and attend regular project meetings with project team (if requested)

Periodic site visits as required to monitor progress, assure documentation compliance and verify that design intent is realized.  Photographic documentation and site visit narratives as requested.

Conduct preliminary building inspection at substantial completion and generate ‘punch list’ report for the general contractor.

Verify completion, final building testing and inspection.

Fee for Construction Observation may be hourly or fixed as negotiated.


We are happy to cater our process and product to meet the specific needs of your project. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further explanation with regards to any of the described process above prior to a discussion on your potential project. In this age of electronic correspondence – it has become commonplace to design, transmit construction documentation and conduct meetings remotely from our office in Sandpoint, Idaho.

Straight Line Building Design LLC recognizes the importance of and advantages to affiliating the participating parties with a project from the earliest and most fundamental stages through completion.  We believe that a maintained correspondence with project representatives to governmental agencies through utility company involvement affords a smooth, if not even a more sophisticated end result.  The worthiness of this acknowledged formula has proven to be advantageous throughout our accomplishments, and we welcome the opportunity to begin the exploration of your particular design needs.