The design build process offers many advantages to the successful execution of a remodel, addition, or new construction. It is a process that can simplify and smooth out the many complex issues. The following points highlight the key areas that make the process successful through our proven approach.
Complimentary initial consultation
We listen to your needs, thoughts, and desires and discuss the feasibility of your project. Our visit to review the existing conditions and an understanding of the project goals are needed to create a retainer amount that is required for the Preliminary Drawings to start. The retainer amount is documented on the Preliminary Design Agreement.
The preliminary drawings explore scenarios to achieve your project goals and are intended to graphically define the work scope for all the project participants. It is the only reliable way to set a working budget. The approved preliminary design scheme allows us to present you with a budget along with a timeframe to complete the described work. Generally, at this stage, the budget is based on assumed mid-range pricing for materials, fixtures and finishes. Our goal is to have the Budget fall within 10% of the Contract price. Approval of the budget ends the preliminary design phase and begins the effort to complete Construction Documents. After the Budget has been approved, a second design agreement is presented to authorize creating the Construction Documents. Moving forward, any changes to the work scope or material selections at the higher price points can and will affect the Contract pricing.
During the Construction Document phase we develop the drawings, specifications and details that will be used to build the project budget and obtain a building permit. We also focus on making specific product and material selections so the budget pricing can be firmed up with subcontractors, suppliers etc. As needed, professional consultants will be utilized and a building permit will be secured.
Signing a Construction Contract
The contract documents will include a project Summary with detailed line item pricing allows for a comprehensive overview of costs. The project summary helps to identify specific costs and product choices that may be reconsidered if there is any significant variation from the Budget pricing. At this time, we work through any price adjustments before we move to a construction contract.
When the contract is signed a schedule will be issued and the subcontracts will be signed. The site will be properly prepared to minimize any disruption the work will have on your daily routine.
Site maintenance and project management are an important aspect of a successful project. We will keep your project neat and tidy and inspect on a daily basis. Your Project Manager will meet with you and your designer or architect on a scheduled weekly basis to review progress made during the previous week and discuss work to occur in the coming week. Any outstanding items from previous meetings, changes being considered or adjustments to the schedule are also discussed at the meeting.
When a project schedule is produced it will include a timeline for cabinetry. The design drawings are precisely detailed by a shop draftsman to produce Shop Drawings for fabrication. All material choices and appliance selections must be made prior to Shop Drawings. When a project is built, we stage cabinetry in our shop to make sure everything fits to our precise tolerances. This will include fitting any appliances in place. We invite our clients to come in and view their staged project before it is disassembled and goes into finishing.
The finishing process could involve 5 to 25 steps depending on the desired look. We provide custom finish samples for our clients to approval. The shop schedule you receive will take into account the time involved based on the chosen finishing process. All of our cabinetry is meticulously wrapped and protected for shipping to your home.
Project Close Out
During the course of the project we include periodic cleaning. At project completion, we provide a maid service and can offer other services you may require to transition back into your home. We will also provide documentation and maintenance information to help you become familiarized with your newly finished project.
See our list below for detailed information about the process.
This is probably the most critical step in the design process as everything that follows will be built upon the information that is established at this early stage. Be frank about what you want, but also be prepared to explore new ideas. Establishing a clear program to follow will save time and money in the steps to follow.
Preliminary Project Questionnaire is completed by Client
- Returned Questionnaires is reviewed by design staff
- Initial meeting: Design Staff meets with Client to discuss project
- Establish a Program: Scope of work, budget, goals
- Client supplies Plat of Survey and original house plans if available.
The information collected in this step is then added to the information gathered in the Programming Phase to develop a clear set of guidelines and design criteria that the Design Staff will use to develop possible schemes for your project.
- Existing spaces are measured
- Space plans and elevations of existing conditions are prepared
- Applicable Local Codes are Zoning Ordinances are researched
- Collect, organize and evaluate all data collected from first two steps
It is during this stage of the design that changes or alterations to the proposed scheme are easiest to accommodate. That is the time to make sure that you understand everything presented and that you are satisfied with the design. If more than one design scheme is presented, select the one that you like the best, or suggest alterations to the scheme that
you would like the Design Team to develop. It is common for the initial sketches to be modified several times before the plan meets your final approval.
- Rough sketches and plans are developed exploring design options
- Rough project estimate is developed
- Design team meets with client to discuss schemes
Cabinetry is designed, appliance and material selections are made and finished are chosen. In this stage, the mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems are also reviewed.
This is the stage of the design process where the initial sketches come to life. The Client meets with the design team throughout this process, which can take several weeks or several months, depending on the size and scope of the project, as well as the speed at which Client decisions are made.
During this phase, a set of Permit Documents is prepared (along with a Permit Application) and submitted to the local Building Department for review as proof of compliance with local codes as well as for legal permission to begin construction. A set of documents is also prepared for all subcontractors and consultants for review.
- Design Development drawings are refined for construction purposes
- Permit documentation and applications are prepared and submitted
- Bid documents are reviewed by subcontractors for pricing
- Shop drawings are prepared as needed for millwork and cabinetry
Once everything is approved by the Client and once we have received a Building Permit from the local Building Department, the project is ready for construction
Design Fee Structure
The Design Fee is based upon a percentage of the total construction cost. Please note that Design Fees are not part of the Construction Cost and are invoiced separately.
A retainer is required prior to beginning the Schematic Design phase of the project. This retainer is applied to the total Design Fee of the project.