The R-Value Homes TBL2 process: Design and Stage 1

Mar 30, 2023 | Building a Custom Home in Grand Rapids, Building an Energy Efficient Home in Grand Rapids, ICF Custom Homes

Every project has to start somewhere. When deciding to build a custom home, people usually begin by exploring current costs to build, land pricing, and more; then deciding if building is right for you.

R Value Blog Design and Stage 1

Once you take that leap, you need to begin three things at nearly the same time:

  1. Find West Michigan land. No easy task lately!
  2. Find a designer. We maintain a list of experienced high performance designers that we share with our clients.
  3. Find a builder.

This can seem overwhelming, but a great builder will help you along the way. Connecting you with the right designer, discussing what you should be thinking of, and evaluating potential properties for your custom home are all things custom home builders want to be involved in, to ensure the success of your high performance home.

Your affiliation with your builder will be a longer and more meaningful relationship than with your real estate agent, home designer, or any other person or company you work with throughout your home building project. The rapport you enjoy with your builder is critical to the success of the project; starting with design, lasting throughout construction, a year of warranty service, and beyond.


For these reasons, finding the right builder is the ideal first step.

R-Value Homes has developed a process that brings all of these elements into consideration at the right time, ensures important items are not overlooked, and helps our clients get the reliable information they need in stages. We call it our TBL2 (table two) Process.  Based on the second half of the 10 commandments, sometimes called the second table of the law, our guiding principle is to place the needs of our clients above our own.



We begin by meeting with the design team and agree to objectives for the build; such as size, cost, major features, etc.

We provide our Client Handbook, which arms the design team with a detailed document of items to include or avoid in the drawings. Special attention is paid to details pertinent to the renowned energy efficiency of our homes, such as Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF), among other factors; along with lots of helpful advice to make the project run smooth and eliminate many of the frustrations common to custom home building.

While the preliminary drawings are being created, R-Value is mostly in the background, answering questions as they arise from the design team.

While our involvement here seems minimal, it is critical to the ultimate success of the project.


Stage 1 

After preliminary drawings are created, our work shifts into high gear as we enter Stage 1.

This portion consists of nearly 80 specific steps by the R-Value team, including

  • A 10 point property evaluation
  • Design team meeting
  • 19 point blueprint review
  • Preliminary budget development

At the conclusion of Stage 1, our clients have a very good idea of the cost to build their home, particular challenges to consider, and even a price breakdown by category.

From here, the blueprints are finalized into construction ready drawings, and Stage 2 begins.


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R Value Homes is West Michigan's premier ICF builder. We're with you every step of the way to ensure your home is healthy,  energy-efficient and comfortable.  Connect with us today.