Whether you have plans and specifications or are just starting out with a few ideas, we can help you through the process of designing your new home. Understand that there are several processes involved in any project.
Design process –
Any successful project starts with a good design. Whether you have fully developed plans and are just seeking pricing, you are just starting out or you are somewhere in between, we offer valuable assistance in this stage. We routinely identify cost effective methods and materials to help bring a project within a homeowner’s budget. We also have the experience of having worked with lots of different materials and can advise you on the available options.
If you already have plans and specifications in place, we will need some basic information so that we can provide you with pricing. We like to get together with our homeowners to make sure we understand their plans and specifications. We also like to make sure that our homeowners understand what has been designed. In addition we often provide preliminary pricing for design professionals to help them ensure that their design is within a client’s budget before they move forward with full construction drawings.
If you don’t have plans, we have relationships with very talented architects to collaborate in a design/build relationship to help you develop the plans for your project. Though not every project proceeds in this manner, having the architect and builder on board working together as a team produces excellent results and can save time and money throughout the process as well as on the final design. We will give you the names of two to three architects that we think will be a good fit for your project and you. In selecting an architect, you need to ensure that they share your design sensibilities and that they can understand your vision.
Some homeowners like the assistance of an interior designer when designing a new home or large renovation project. Anyone wishing to work with a designer should bring them on early in the design process as their insights and selections can be invaluable. Waiting to bring an interior designer in until construction has started can lead to delays and unanticipated costs.
Approval process –
Each county has its own set of rules and regulations that apply to any given project. The approval process can be unpredictable at times but we have the expertise and relationships with civil engineers to help guide you through the process.
For large scale renovations and new builds, there are a whole host of plans that need to be developed including a site plan, a sediment control plan, a storm water maintenance plan, and usually a forestation plan. For smaller projects, at a minimum, a site plan will be necessary. There can also be neighborhood or HOA approvals that may be necessary.
Proper planning is the key to successfully moving a project from design to approval. The approval process can take as little as a few weeks for relatively minor projects, to as much as a year if the site is waterfront or has other physical features that impact its development. Our land development expertise allows us to assist homeowners in both site selection and in winding our way through the process. Our homeowners appreciate our proactive efforts to help them through the process.
– There are scores of decisions and selections that will need to be made when undertaking a large construction project. When you factor in the hundreds of choices that can be made for each selection, the process can be daunting. We see ourselves as a funnel, to help you make your decisions in a timely manner and not get overwhelmed. Our homeowners like our attention to detail and our ability to take the stress out of the process.
Typically, we will schedule a meeting with you to review the plans and to gain as much information as possible concerning why you are undertaking the project, what is going into the project and the ideas and concerns you have. This meeting can take as long as a couple of hours in order to gain a full understanding of your project. Based on this initial meeting we will develop a scope of work and the pricing associated therewith. We then have additional meeting(s) to fully develop the scope and finalize pricing.
We want to make sure that our homeowners understand the project and are happy with the selections they are making. Each project is unique and the number of meetings necessary varies from project to project. In any event, we are with you throughout and will spend whatever time is necessary. Resources such as pictures from magazines or idea books on Houzz.com are invaluable in this process. (Please see our profile on Houzz.com).
Once the Scope of Work has been agreed upon, we will finalize the pricing and if agreeable, proceed to contract.
When we first meet with you, we will want to spend a great of deal time reviewing all of the choices and decisions that need to be made. For some items, the actual color or style does not need to be made but the type of material does need to be narrowed down. For those projects where we have worked together to develop the Scope of Work, much of these initial decisions have been made. The actual final selection of the color of the countertops or the color of the hardwoods may be all that remains.
We have a selection sheet which tracks the selections that need to be made and the timing thereof. This helps both of us to track what decisions have been made and when the next ones are due. By this time the types of materials have been decided upon. At this point, the specific colors, selections and styles are typically what is being decided.
Each of our homeowners is unique. Recognizing this, we can tailor the selection process to the specific needs of our customers. Some can take a couple of days and make all of their selections while others need more time for deliberation. We have worked with homeowners who were living across the country and emailed their selections to us and have also visited each vendor and supplier with other customers to make the necessary selections.
Some of our homeowners like the assistance and reassurance of working with an interior designer to help in this process. The sooner that an interior designer is brought on board the better as there may be changes to specifications that will require additional related changes. We have relationships with some excellent designers for those homeowners who don’t know where to turn.
Our approach is to make the selection process as pleasurable as possible. Our unique expertise, developed over time, allows us to be a resource to our homeowners. In the event there is a material or product with which we are not familiar, we will research the item to determine its suitability for a given application.