I'm considering building an addition. How much will the construction impact my daily life?
Depending on the type of construction, you may be required to vacate your home or you may be able to stay home while construction is underway.
Here are two example scenarios:
- Addition to the rear of home: There is no need for the home owners to vacate the home. The new structure will be built first, and demolition of the existing wall that joins the new structure to the old will be done once the new structure has been concealed and the drywall has been finished. After this demolition, the remaining finishes will take place in the addition for completing the project.
- Second Level Addition: In most cases, we ask that home owners vacate the home when the construction project requires construction on top a habitable existing structure for safety reasons. We normally ask the home owner to vacate the home while the structural potions of the project are underway. Once structural portions have been completed and the top structure has been concealed and insulated then the home owners can return to the property.
Why do I need a design build firm, why can't I hire an architect and manage the project myself?
The benefits of a design and build firm are that you work closely with the architects and the structural engineers of the firm and that firm will then bring that design to realization having full knowledge of the intricacies of the design. The firm will also have the knowledge and experience of coordinating the various build teams and working with the county for obtaining the necessary permits. The firm will also conduct oversight of the project and ensure that the teams are properly building the various components of the plans. Because the same firm is familiar with the plan, they can quickly make adjustments during the project as necessary. Such things as the build of support structures, electrical and plumbing systems, and many other components of the structure are closely scrutinized by the build firm to ensure that they are up to code and are effectively built. The build firm will also extend a warranty in the event that the owner experiences any problems with the built structure(s).
What are the factors that I should consider for selecting a design & build firm?
There are several factors that you need to carefully consider before selecting the firm that can best deliver your project.
- Capabilities – The contractor should ideally have in house architecture and structure resources for delivering your design. They should also possess in house project management experts whom are experienced in developing a detailed project plan and effectively orchestrating the build process. All these capabilities will be active during the build project to ensure that the project is delivered with the utmost quality and within time, scope, and budget.
- Experience – You must ensure that the contractor has the necessary architectural, structural, and delivery experience for delivering a quality structure within time, budget, and scope. Be mindful of contractors who quote very competitive prices but are not able to deliver within the three tenants of project management (cost, scope, time).
- Cost – Most clients consider this a significant variable in selecting the contractor. However, there are many contractors in the market where they provide very competitive pricing but they are not able to meet the expenditure requirements during the project. Ensure that the contractor uses the appropriate market research methodologies and costing models for providing you with the overall cost of the project.
We just bought an older home, we would like to add additional space and remodel.
Sometimes a property acquisition strategy involves acquiring a property that is older and in need of updates. This allows the buyer to realize savings in the purchase and instead spend the savings on updating and remodeling.
Our architects and structural engineers and designers will work closely with you to come up with optimal design options that will turn your new acquisition into your dream home.
Our structural engineers assess the current state of the structure and ensures that the new build will not adversely impact any existing structures.
Our designs are focused not only in meeting your needs but we also take into consideration the existing architectural finishes and the overall spirit of the neighborhood. The designs that we developed are created such that the new structure melds with your home seamlessly and is compatible with other architectural designs of the neighborhood.
Should I buy an old property and demolish or should I upgrade and existing property?
Sometimes a good strategy is to buy an existing home and realize savings in the acquisition as opposed to buying a recently built home. The savings realized in the acquisition can then be expended in updating the property and potentially expanding the structure.
There is also the option of buying an older property and demolishing it for build of an entirely new structure. The benefit of this option is that there are no surprises during construction during the project which minimizes occurrence of change orders.
Either strategy is dependent on the owner’s budget and timeline. An entirely new structure will normally take more time to build than an addition.
What is the typical process for finalizing a design and building?
Whether your project involves building an entirely new structure or an addition we work closely with you to ensure that all aspects of your vision are captured in the design. No surprises!
After our initial site visit, we provide free consultation where we meet with you and provide a high level quote which includes high level costs of the project and an estimate of its duration. Once the quote and contract have been approved, we develop a detailed architectural and structural plan in preparation for county permit submittals. All content must be approved by all project stakeholders before they are submitted to the county plan reviewers. After all permits have been obtained, a schedule is developed for deployment which takes into consideration current ongoing projects and their projected end date. Our process involves a heavy front-end planning process in order to minimize surprises during the project build phase. Heaving front-end planning also enables us to shorten the construction phase which is especially beneficial during remodeling and addition projects where the homeowner is living on the property.
How can I find out how the construction is progressing once the project has begun?
Prior to the start of the project, our clients are provided with a project roadmap that is updated throughout the project to show progress that is being made. In addition, we are in constant engagement with the customer throughout project whether it is on the job site or via email. We establish a stream of dialogue with our client to 1) address any questions that they may have during the project, 2) show the over progress that is being made.
What is the process for keeping track of changes to the original plan?
Any change from the original plan has to go through the Change Management Process. The change is first discussed with our team, we capture all the deviations from the original proposal and a change order form is submitted for your review and approval. Once the change order is approved, an invoice is sent for that change order only to address the additional labor and materials that are required for delivering the new change. The entire process is transparent, approval must take place prior to execution. In certain cases, changes are discussed verbally and executed quickly but the majority of the time changes in scope must be discussed and formally approved.
What does a typical day in the project look like?
Our crew typically deploys to the construction project between 0730 and 0830 to address the portion of the project as scheduled per the project roadmap. Materials are brought to the site accordingly and the project for the day continues until 1600 and 1700. Our crew takes a lunch break and an additional break during the day. Our project management team is present during the project and ensures that all work progresses as scheduled. All team members are aware of the type of work that has to be completed during the day and execute accordingly. Additional time is reserved towards the end of the day to clean up the construction site and ensure that the project site has been secured.