Our Design-Build Process
No Obligation Initial Meeting
No Charge/No Obligation Initial Meeting
Once we receive your initial call or e-mail we will arrange a No Charge/No Obligation meeting to discuss the feasibility of your project. We will discuss your goals, your schedule and the anticipated budget .
During the initial meeting you will be asked to describe to us your “program” or functional requirements. Be ready to show us pictures of homes you like (and homes you don’t like!)
The more we know about your goals, the better.
We will send out an architectural proposal that describes the design phases and process for each phase. Upon receipt of the signed written proposal and retainer we will immediately begin the design work of your proposed new home. Our architectural fee will be based upon a “stipulated sum”. We do not charge by the square foot, or as a percentage of construction cost. We try to eliminate surprises in all phases of the project and feel a fixed fee works for everybody.
We are often asked to create an addition and/or alteration to an existing dwelling. In order to do this, we must first prepare drawings that reflect the “existing conditions”. These drawings will become our base drawings – and enable us to understand the existing structure.
Often we can determine that the existing home falls in the “Grey Area" and may be a candidate to be torn down.
We will provide loose, sketchy 1/4” scale drawings that will describe the owner’s program in graphic form. The Schematic Design Phase allows for much input from the client and changes are simple to make at this time. We will provide floor plans, elevations and a building section to describe the project.
We’ll show you floor plans first, as we design “from the inside out”, making sure that the home functions well and satisfies the program before we develop the final elevations. The Schematic Design phase is exciting and may go on for several meetings. We will provide a ballpark construction number at this point that enables the client to gauge the design with the prescribed budget.
Once the design and is satisfactory, we will proceed with the Design Development Phase.
Mechanical, electrical and structural systems are integrated with the plans at this phase. Drawings include 1/4” scale floor plans, elevations, and section. Changes can be made by the client during the Design-Development phase, although the changes will be smaller in scale than in the Schematic Design Phase.
Construction Document Phase
1/4” architectural drawings will include completed floor plans, elevations, building section, structural and electrical plans, utility diagrams and statistical data in sufficient detail to obtain a building permit.
For our homes designed along the coast, additional details will be provided that meet and/or exceed the strict regulations specifying the means of construction prescribed to resist wind-borne debris and sporadic flooding. We will provide our final construction price at this point. Note: Changes made by the owner during the Construction Documents Phase will be charged on an hourly basis.
We will provide an American Institute of Architects prepared construction contract for your review. While the permit applications are being processed, we are executing contracts, with the mutual goal of starting as soon as possible. The construction contract draw schedule is based upon easy to verify milestones that occur during the construction sequence.
The Construction Process
During Construction we aim to make the process of building one’s home a pleasant and exciting experience!
Communication is the key to a great custom residential construction company, and we believe that is one of our strengths. We can be reached via cell-phone, fax and e-mail, and we respond to questions or concerns in a timely manner.
We will provide our standard selections and choices for the details and finishes of your home, although you are encouraged to make choices specific to your tastes and preferences.
While we pride ourselves on our designs and believe we have the optimum solution for your home “on paper”, there are times when a client may request a change during the construction process. We are happy to accommodate our clientele, but we do not generate unnecessary Change Orders or Extras as a profit center which is common to builders in a traditional bid/build situation.
10 Design-Build Benefits
Like many businesses, custom design and construction has evolved from companies led by experienced field labor, to a twenty-first century system relying on good management, design skills and most importantly, great communication.
Our architect-led Design/Build system enables us to hire the appropriate experienced field labor when and where we need it while providing the level of professional service that is expected by today’s demanding clients. And of course our Design/Build process will save you time and money.
1. We’re Experienced. As builders, we’ve built hundreds of homes on Long Beach Island and surrounding areas since 1990. As architects, we know the latest in Coastal Construction techniques and low-maintenance and energy-saving materials.
2. We offer discounted architectural services. If you are interested in pursuing our Design/Build process, we can reduce the fees normally charged for the design of your home. If you choose to build one of our pre-designed Stock Plans, there may be only the cost of modifications, saving you thousands of dollars.
3. Our low overhead enables us to give better pricing. Anybody running a business in NJ knows that smaller is better. Huge payroll and vehicles? We’ve been there and done that. Good for the ego, bad for business. We know we have to provide a very competitive price – the best way to do that is with an efficient operation.
4. We offer true discounted builder prices for your allowance items. Ask the competition – “Do you offer your discounted builder prices for allowance items?” also ask the competition – “Can we purchase our finishes wherever we want or are we limited to your vendors?”
5. Our communication is tops. We communicate the way you do – we use email and cell phones, and have a full-time office where all of your information is stored. You will have hundreds of design decisions to make through the course of the project. Good communication is essential to getting the correct information to the field.
6. We are a construction company led by Licensed Architects. Some builders claim to offer “design-build” services or design consultant services which is really a builder hiring an outside architect in which you have no choice. We are there through the entire design and construction process to assure that the home is built to our standards and design that we’ve completed together, as well as to handle any changes in a speedy manner. We have the brains "in-house" and sub out the brawn and not the other way around.
7. Reliable Pricing. We begin our pricing at Schematic Design so you have an opportunity to tailor the home to your budget. As we move through the Design process, we will give you more refined construction quotes and you can continually tweak and value-engineer the home to suit your needs. Once the design is complete, we will provide you a final construction contract that will not be an unfortunate shock to you.
8. Change Orders + Extras. Some builders offer a low construction contract price and make their money from their unforseen extras and change orders, often at the expense of the design. While we do not use Change Orders and Extras as a profit center, we will respond to your ideas should you desire a modification in the field. We will charge a reasonable amount for the change only if it costs us money.
9. You know and trust us. You will build a business relationship with us before we give you our construction proposal. You’ll go through the architectural design process with us – so you’ll have an idea as to how we work –
a. Are we responsive?
b. Do we listen to your needs and suggestions?
c. Do we share the same expectations?
10. A Consistency of Interest. Unlike a builder who gets his work from an architect, or an architect who gets his work from a builder, we have only one person to make happy – the client.
Eliminate the finger-pointing and conflicts of interest – ask us about our Design/Build process!