Step 1: The Design Proposal
When designing a home we welcome, encourage, and internalize client input from the initial concept down to the fine points of implementation. Through every step of the process, we ensure that our clients know what they’re getting and get what they want with no surprises. Our objective is to “do it right” the first time as we create the most enjoyable homebuilding experience possible. The catalyst for our design process is the Design Questionnaire. Our approach brings both design and construction teams into the very first client interview.
Our intention isn’t just to complete a checklist of your preferences. Our goal is to produce a design that will exceed your expectations from the very beginning—and we start with truly understanding the way you live your life—or the way you want to.
The best custom design, we believe, is more than aesthetics—it should reflect an emotional connection and inform an emotional response. Our in-house architectural design team will guide you to the right decisions for your new home.
The Design Questionnaire examines all aspects of the lot itself, how you plan on actually living in your home, and, of course, your budget:
- How do you entertain or plan to entertain in your new home?
- What types of visitors will you have? How that will change if your family grows?
- What will be your flow of traffic? Will everyone congregate in the kitchen?
- How and where will you eat? Inside or outside? At the table or at the island?
- Will you work at home? How? Where?
The shape and topography of the home site matters. Our design and construction are intended to maximize views, natural light, and prevailing winds. To us, energy efficiency is critical to great design. Equally important is the construction team’s input and knowledge on how outdoor living spaces will be integrated, how the home sits on the lot, and which materials will be the most appropriate and sustainable. These items are often overlooked in the traditional method of design delivery.
Step 2: The Feasibility Study
At the same time we develop the Design Proposal, we also present a detailed cost breakdown—or cost estimate—to determine feasibility. Most home builders don’t provide any guarantees without having complete plans. But here’s the problem: by the time you have a complete set of plans, you’ve already spent a lot of time and emotional energy—even up to a year—designing a home you love. Going back to the architect and having those plans revised to bring the home back into budget isn’t an appealing option.
Architects generally don’t maintain an extensive cost database since they don’t have to deal with the constantly changing costs of labor and materials. An experienced builder, however, can bring a knowledge of cost-effectiveness to the conversation—knowledge that informs the best design choices for the topography or unique lot conditions. For example, a lot with significant slope can be designed many ways, some far more cost-effective than others. Consulting with a well-versed builder from the beginning of the design process means substantial savings in the long run.
Unlike other architects or home builders, we guarantees that we will be within +/- 5% on the original design cost estimate. We can do this because we’ve developed a job costing system that allows us to tell you what your home will cost—in a great amount of detail—even before you have full-scale plans. With us, there’s no “bait and switch” because the detailed cost breakdown includes every line item of costs, even including the landscaping and driveway. We want you to be empowered with the information you need to make the right decision for you and your family. This feasibility study—a demonstration that the house you want is within your chosen budget—eliminates frustration, miscommunication, and sets the tone for a much more enjoyable experience throughout the process.
Step 3: Finalize the Plans
Once we have an approved design, it’s your turn to start making your creative selections.
From allowances, to paint colors, to appliances, to decision deadlines, to the tools to make all of your appointments productive and efficient, everything is right at your fingertips. If you prefer more guidance, our Selections Coordinator will walk you through what you need to do and when. For those who’d rather be liberated from decision-making, we have an option for you as well. No matter how much or how little you’d like to be part of it, our goal is to create a process that suits you just as much as your future home itself.
While you are focused on designing your home, we’ll be busy preparing your Detailed Construction Documents, which will include your:
- Construction Contract
- Final Cost Breakdown (incorporating any changes you have made during design)
- Detailed Specifications Document