Private Consulting

      Most projects begin with a basic project-outline or design consultation.  Instead of trying to sell you a package deal, we take a few hours together to learn your situation, needs, and goals, and offer our best advice.  This can be done through phone or email, or as a site visit (fee + travel costs, in that case). 

    Consulting and private work-parties allow us to truly focus on your particular situation and goals.  We can take the project at its own pace, ensuring the best solutions for unusual building shapes, older construction, or a custom design to suit your particular needs.  We often get more done, more quickly, because the team works together more efficiently and with fewer explanations.
    Our minimum starting fee for consulting is $300.  This covers two to three hours of email, phone, or in-person conversation; you will get the best value from this time if you use our site planning page to clarify your project in advance.  Additional time can be billed hourly, daily at time+materials, or in some cases as a weekly or project bid.  On-site work-parties, please budget for the initial design consultation plus one to three days on site.  We may adjust these rates at our discretion, e.g. for long-term contracts, repeat clients, or projects of particular personal interest.  Our current rates are available on the Wisner Resources page.

    Services we provide for the basic consultation fee always include back-and-forth discussion, guided design planning including getting dimensions for your space and clarifying your goals.  Depending on the situation, we may also offer up to a half-day site visit; design outline; an existing plan set if available; and a review of rough drawings (yours or ours) to ensure we've found a workable solution that fits your needs and space.  Expenses and ongoing services will be billed separately. 

   Custom plans won't always look like our finished "plan sets" that you can buy online.  A full plan set (floor plan and side views, materials drawn brick-by-brick) is usually a week or more of work, so expect to pay our hourly rates for this level of custom detail.  Sometimes we can make a small adjustment to our existing plans, and give you something relatively accurate and usable within the billable hours of a basic consultation.
    We recommend some free background reading before hiring us, to make the most of your budget.  Search for free public advice on the Energy / Rocket Stoves forum at Use our site planning questions to clarify your general information and intentions, so we can quickly get up to speed on your project.
   After the initial consultation, we may refer you to a skilled builder, or to a different solution, or you may wish to hire us to come to your site and help implement the plan. 
Where possible, we prefer to encourage local talent.  We work as supervisors or skilled 'coaches' for owner-builders, local contractors, building professionals, education centers, building or garden managers, or hired labor.  

Please call us or email to discuss your needs.  Ten minutes by phone can save a lot of guesswork about your situation.   

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