PROCESS

It all begins with a conversation

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It all begins with a conversation.

Before getting started, we ask a lot of questions — about your goals, priorities, and dare we say — budget. Often at this stage, we spot critical issues that haven’t been considered — saving you time, money and headaches down the road.

Once we’ve defined your vision and requirements, we set in motion a process that is tailored to your needs. Depending on the project size and complexity, the steps typically include:

  • Strategize with team members on ways to achieve your priorities while maximizing your return on investment
  • Present preliminary drawings, cost estimates, and a timeframe that reflect your goals and budget
  • Develop and submit construction documents, and refine them as needed
  • Navigate the approval process by attending community board and tenant meetings, and advocating on your behalf
  • Respond to objections, suggest alternatives, and assist with negotiations between parties
  • Observe construction, ensuring that construction details are consistent with drawings and specifications.

Your project is in capable hands.

With more than 20 years of experience, our highly capable team brings the expertise needed during every phase of the process, from clarifying objectives, to coordinating teams, and providing creative solutions when potential obstacles arise. As professionals, we are accountable — to keep your priorities in mind and your project on track.

For a more detailed breakdown of tasks on a large scale home project,
review the typical project timeline below.

PLANNING PHASE

Initial meeting via phone, Skype and/or in person. May include a visit to the property. Information is gathered from you about your preferences, budget and preferred style and type of home.

A unique Project Strategy is created by us for you at no cost. This outlines the various steps of the design and construction process and gives an estimate of the construction costs as well as the estimated timeline, professional fees and any other important components, based on similar projects to yours.

Next we discuss financing options with the Client. We can refer you to mortgage brokers who specialize in construction financing as well as permanent financing, who can educate you about your options. In some cases it may be possible to take out a low-cost loan against your current home (called a HELOC) to finance the architectural design process.

The architectural contract is presented and explained to the Client. A small initial payment is made at the signing of the contract.

DESIGN PHASE

This consists of detailed information gathering from he client and may include images torn from magazines or idea books from houzz.com or pinterest.com. Our experience has enabled us to quickly hone in on the unique “vibe” that each client possesses.

This phase usually involves hand-sketching and basic massing models on a topographical survey of the property. We develop one or more iterations which seek to best express the Client’s goals in Pre-design. We begin creating 3-d models very early on and can manipulate those models with the client in real time via in-person or online meetings. The model is geolocated so we can see what the sun angle will be on your home at any time of any day of any year.

Features such as high-efficiency HVAC systems, rainwater collection, geothermal or passive and active solar systems and energy storage systems are discussed and possibly implemented if you so wish.

Based on the approved Schematic Design we work through the design and begin to refine the layout and develop a palette of materials. We show the design to prospective contractors for a preliminary cost estimate and speak with the Structural and Mechanical engineers to determine the most efficient and appropriate structural system. The final model of your home becomes more detailed and interior elements such as cabinetry and lighting are considered.

Photo-realistic  views of the approved design of the interior and exterior are presented to you. This gives you the best understanding of what the completed home will look like

The Construction Documents are the drawings required for a builder to accurately construct the home and provide a final cost estimate. They consist of the Architect’s drawings, combined with the final drawings by the Structural Engineer, Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Engineers. The Construction Documents are also needed for obtaining a Construction Permit from the local government and appraisal by your bank if you are financing.

CONSTRUCTION PHASE

As an optional service, we can also manage your construction project as an advisor which will allow you to select your own sub-contractors based on your project needs.

Traditionally, we can also assist with locating the right builder for you. At this stage, the builder is formally engaged and a contract with the builder is signed. We can review your contract with your builder and refer you to a real-estate attorney if you desire.

Once the building permits are received the construction team begins constructing your home. Many of the team members we work will use a project management software, which allows seamless communication between the construction team, architect and client, as well as tracking budget and timeline

Final selection of your interior finishes, appliances and plumbing and lighting fixtures. This is sometimes done with our in-house interior designer or sometimes by an outside designer if desired.

The Architect visits the site to verify that the home is being built to plans and specs. We often write field-reports after these visits. A particular area of concern is proper waterproofing and flashing so the house is water-tight. We sometimes bring in an outside waterproofing consultant for product recommendations.

Local building inspectors, bank inspectors and third party inspectors will at times visit the site to certify that the home is being built correctly.

DELIVERY PHASE

Landscape design is finalized and installed by your local or our recommended team members.

We schedule a final walk-through of the project with you to determine if there any items requiring our attention, which is then placed on the “punch list”. Once those items are corrected you get to move in and enjoy the benefits of your hard work.

We periodically follow up with our clients to make sure they are satisfied and ensure that the home is performing as intended. Usually the home is photographed for your own enjoyment, as well as for marketing purposes.

TIME TO TAKE ACTION

Start the conversation.
Give us a call at 201.632.5977

or simply

Say hello.