September 22, 2023

Home Architecture

The Extraordinary Design

Planning Your Renovation – The Design Build Process

3 min read

Need extra space in your home? Or maybe you just don’t like the way your existing space is laid out and you want a change. A good renovator can help. The Design/Build contractor is one who has the staff or the ability to design your project himself. Here I want to talk about the design/build process so you have an idea what to expect if you ever get yourself involved in a large renovation project on your home.

So you’ve contacted a renovation contractor to renovate your existing space with an addition and set up a meeting with him. This is the initial meeting. At the client – contractor interview You will want to ask questions related to the contractors qualification and abilities to complete the work you want done. This could include “design to finish” or if you have an architect and design already just the construction management. Also at this meeting the contractor will want some background information on you as well to qualify you as to how serious you are in getting the project done or are you just “kicking tires”.

Also at this meeting would be the project overview. Here you will discuss your project and the priority in which it is to be completed. The budget, general costs and value along with an overview of the design/build process should be discussed as I am discussing with you now. Next item of interest is design choices and the costs for this service. The architect will generally charge a fee of 2 1/2 % of the costs of the project. Add to that another 2 1/2% for the construction drawings(electrical, plumbing etc.). Designer fees typically range from $1000.00 and up. Small projects such as a kitchen remodel, $500.00 and up. Then you could have interior decorator fees as well if you choose to have someone else decorate for you. Finally you will expect to discuss protection efforts and construction guidelines to protect your home during construction and also your living requirements during the process.

The next meeting you will have is the design meeting. At this meeting you will be introduced to the designer or architect to discuss their qualifications along with the project overview, budget, project priorities and special interests. A discussion of the fees and the design agreement will end this meeting.

The agreement meeting will come next where you read, discuss, and sign the design agreement and establish a design program with the designer/architect.

At the field measurement meeting the contractor takes measurements around the home for the preliminary drawings and to determine if a new lot survey is required.

Preliminary drawing submission meeting is set up to discuss and finalize the design and to provide the contractor with his copy of the designs.

The preliminary design detail meeting is when the contractor, architect,and the client come together to review the plans and to make changes if needed.

Prepare and submit preliminary design cost estimate. Here we obtain estimates from major subcontractors, discuss preliminary costs, compare them to the budget and make any changes. Allowances are discussed and a product selection guide may be given to the client.

Prepare construction drawings. At this meeting the client can begin to make their product selections such as cabinets, bath fixtures, flooring etc.Along with the designer/architect and possibly an interior designer.

At the prepare and submit final project bid meeting the major subcontractors provide their final bids based on the final drawings, the final costs on allowances and product selections are determined and the drawings, costs and scope of work is reviewed with the client.

At this point the financing procedures begin. The loan application is filled out and submitted to the lender along with the bid and drawings. The loan officer may require an appraisal. In some states the contractors contract may not be signed for a period of time such as 12 days. Next an appointment will be set for the signing of the loan and the contractors contract and you may need to sign a disclosure statement. This will take place at the bank or lenders office.

Apply for the permit and complete the selection guide. The introduction of the project manager, marketing manager, lead carpenter, and demo/site prep subcontractor will be held at the pre construction conference. Present the client with contractor/project manage phone numbers and an up graded scope of work narrative.

Begin site preparation and demo.

Submit first draw invoice and receive payment.

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