I'm considering building an addition. How much will the construction impact my daily life?
Over the past 30 years, we have been involved with many projects where our clients were interested in adding additional structures to their existing homes while at the same time occupying the property. During such projects, we take considerable time planning and considering the best path for orchestrating the construction project in order to minimize impact on the persons whom are living at the home during construction. We work in such a manner where we reduce dust in the home from framing and sanding, and we ensure that working hours are within the county’s designated hours (e.g., from 7 AM to 9 PM). During winter, we ensure that cold weather is effectively blocked from the occupied portion of the building and any requirements for opening the structure to the addition are conducted quickly in order to minimize impact to the occupants. For example, we ensure that the newly build structure is enclosed and insulation and contains the appropriate mechanical structures before opening that space to the existing home. We also ensure that the property is kept clean, minimizing the impact of the construction on the daily lives of the occupants.
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 is 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 structure. 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 at effectively build. 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Capabilities – The contractor should ideally have in house architecture and structural engineering 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.
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 will work closely with you to come up with design options that will turn your new acquisition into your dream home. We have the appropriate experience to come up with designs that meld with the surroundings and are appropriate for the neighborhood. Our structural engineers then ensure that the design is safe by ensuring that the design will not adversely impact the old structure. Our engineers will also ensure that the new structure will appropriately carry loads and withstand mother nature.
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 to build an entirely new one. Either strategy is dependent on the owner’s budget and timeline. An entirely new structure will normally take more time to build than and addition. Other the other hand, an addition normally costs less and the length of the project is shorter.
What is the typical process for finalizing a design and building?
Whether your project involves building an entirely new structure or and addition we work closely to ensure that all aspects of your vision are captured in the design. We initially provide free consultation where we meet with you and provide you with a high level quote which includes a high level cost of the project and an estimate of its duration. Once the quote is approved, we work closely with you and develop a detailed architectural plan which is then edited and validated by our structural engineer. Once the plan is finalized, we develop a detailed project plan which outlines all aspects of the build, from obtaining of grading plans, county permits, to the actual build, inspections, and final delivery. 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, we create detailed project plans to allow us to better schedule our work and track progress of all activities that are specific to the plan. In addition, we are in constant engagement with the customer throughout project. 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 Process entails completing the below form and clicking Submit.