Michigan Accessible Homes
A Division of Cornerstone Design Inc, Architects
Your Project: What to Expect

The process of designing your accessible home will involve many steps, usually over a few months or more:


Initial meeting: This would be a chance to get to know each other and to have initial discussions on the scope of the project. If you are thinking of modifying your existing home, we would look at the conditions and layout; if you are thinking of new construction, we would look at the proposed site. We would not typically produce designs at this meeting; it's just to learn about your needs and goals.

The initial meeting is typically free for potential clients in the Ann Arbor area and Washtenaw County. For meetings outside of Washtenaw County, fees and travel expenses would apply. For no-fault projects due to an auto accident, you should not have to pay anything; your insurance company should cover our fees (unless you want something more than they will provide).

Proposal: Based on our understanding of the project from the initial meeting, we will prepare a proposal outlining the scope of our services and the proposed fee. Once you have approved the proposal and paid a deposit, we are ready to begin design work.
Homeowner Costs: There are a number of project costs that are not typically part of our proposal. These would include obtaining a survey of the property (particularly if the site has complicated slopes) or soils analysis (such as if a high water table or poor bearing conditions are suspected). We will let you know if these items are required, and can assist you in obtaining them.
As-built documentation: If the project involves renovation and/or adding on to an existing home, we will take as-built measurements and photos and prepare as-built drawings showing the house as it is before the start of the project. Accurate as-builts are the foundation for a successful design project.
Design: We will prepare a few designs based on the goals discussed at our initial meeting, and any input you can give about your preferences. Usually at this stage the main effort is on developing a workable floor plan, although exterior drawings showing how the house will look could also be prepared. We will meet to discuss the designs and possible refinements.

Based on that meeting, new plans would be prepared along with options for exterior designs. After you review these items and make final decisions on the major aspects of the project, we will have an approved design to use as a basis for construction documents.

Construction Documents: These are the drawings and specifications used by the contractor to prepare bids and obtain building permits. We may involve structural or other consultants to assist us in completing the documents. Although much of this work is technical in nature, there will be extensive discussions about design details such as kitchen layout, lighting, finishes, fixture selection, and so on.
Bidding: We will help you find qualified contractors, answer questions during bidding, and help you negotiate details of the construction contract.
Construction: We will visit the site to assess the progress and quality of construction, and to determine if it is matching the standards shown in our construction documents. We will help determine when progress payments to the contractor are appropriate, based on the standards in the contract. Please note that we are not on site at all times, and will not be able to see some aspects of the work before it is concealed. There will likely still be additional selections to make during construction, such as of final finishes and colors, so we will work with you on those decisions.

After the Project: Enjoy your new accessible home!