The term Design Build means that we form our team at the start of the project and everyone works toward the same goals. The most important goal is to get the new home built! While this may seem obvious, the reality is that many homes are never built because the process that is frequently followed does not get the builder involved from the start. The phrase we often use is "Architects know what it costs to architect, and builders know what it costs to build". So, it is far preferable to work as a team and involve the key contributors from the start. The key components of accomplishing this goal are:
- Review of past projects that may be similar to the desired design. This helps establish a price range for cost per square foot of both living space and overall framed space, including garage, porches, patios, balconies, etc.
- With an understanding of the architectural style and construction technologies, the architect works with our clients to develop a preliminary design of the new home. This process will generally involve a few face to face meetings to refine the concept to the desired design. Once the preliminary floor plans and exterior elevations are designed, then we will take these along with an understanding of the key design elements and will develop a detailed preliminary budget. If additional refining of the design is necessary, then it is done at this point and the budget is updated. Here is the important point. You will know what the home is going to cost VERY EARLY in the process. Make changes now if you need to and don't wait until the plans and engineering have been done, to avoid the stress of wondering if you will be able to afford to build and live in your dream home.
- Approval of the preliminary design and budget takes us to the next, more in-depth phase of the design, where we develop specifications, detailed architectural drawings, and the engineering of the foundation and structure. The project is then sent out to our network of subcontractors and suppliers for competitive bidding. At the same time as bidding is occurring, our clients use the preliminary budget and visit our supplier show rooms and verify that the allowances that are suggested are appropriate for the level of finishes desired for the home. All pricing information is shared and reviewed with our clients and the final budget is agreed upon.
- Contract documents are executed and we submit the project for loan approval and permitting.