“Results: Amazing. I provide a modest cash prize for the competition, and provide details on the type of home we want, the characteristics of the site, zoning requirements etch. Designers interested in this project (A high-end passive solar home in my case) sign up for the competition and ask questions about our wishes and any constraints to develop their plans. The architects provided me with detailed floor plans, elevations, site plan, perspective views, sections, cut-away views, and in some cases construction details. The variety of custom designs was stunning.
The award offered is up to the client, but higher awards are expected for bigger projects, and to attract more architects. I offered 2,000 dollars, which is less than I’d pay for an off-the-shelf plan from one of the house plan websites. In this case, I had 63 architects sign up, and 19 eventually submitted designs for the competition. Each was customized to our wants, our budget, and our unique site with exposure and views. They were incredible.
The hardest part of the completion was deciding who was first second and third (award is split 60% 30% 10%), All of the architects were good, and it was obvious they worked hard and very thoughtfully on the project. Several submitted plans several times seeking feedback and making revisions before the competition ended. Getting architects from around the US and the world to design a custom project, even conceptually, for this amount of money is a deal. From here, one could either work with the designing architect, or take the plans to a local architect for final refinements and full-scale construction-plans suitable for permitting.
Customer service from the website and by phone was immediate, and excellent. The website has a few wrinkles yet to be worked out, but the experience overall was extremely positive and rewarding. I recommend for anyone planning a remodel or construction project.”
To review the competition entries, please click here.