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Step 1: The Design

Arm River believes in having a strong interface with the client during design.  The catalyst for a strong design process is a comprehensive Design Questionnaire which we provide to all clients at the outset.   A good questionnaire will encourage, and internalize client input from the initial concept down to the fine points of implementation. This process ensures that 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.  Our approach ensures a real time interface between design and construction.

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. 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

While the client is going through the design process, we stay engaged in order to determine cost 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 architects or other 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 the client has an approved design, it’s your turn to start  making your creative selections.

From allowances, to paint colors, to appliances. If you prefer more guidance, we are happy to 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

Step 4: Break Ground

As soon as we’re permitted, we’ll break ground and begin construction. At this stage, you’ll already have a thorough understanding of how the home will look and what will be in it—now, it’s simply a matter of watching your construction team make it a reality.

Throughout the construction process, we provide a more comprehensive suite of inspections and quality assurance programs than any other builder. These include our:

  • Regular walkthroughs with your Construction Manager at each stage of construction where we double and triple check that everything is progressing the way you want it.
  • Continuous Punch List System that allows us to track each trade and review their punch list at each stage of construction. This eliminates costly errors and rework.
  • “End of project” management inspection and project review.

Step 5: Building the Home

To ensure the long life and minimal maintenance of your home, we’re diligent about building according to proven scientific methodologies. Below are just a few stages of the homebuilding process and how we address quality control in each of them. Although every home is different, the quality and systems are always the same:

Step 1: Install Foundation
Step 2: Build the Frame
Step 3: Install the Roof
Step 4: Install Mechanicals (wiring, plumbing, & duct work)
Step 5: Insulate and Sheet Rock
Step 6: Install Cabinets, Trim, & Paint
Step 7: Bring in Countertops, Appliances, Plumbing & Electrical Top-Out
Step 8: Install Flooring, Hardware, Mirrors & Glass
Step 9: Final Touches & Final Clean

Once you’re moved into your new home, we’ll still be your builder for the next two years. We provide a warranty that not only doubles the industry standard, but is also one of the best in the business.

Step 6: Move In

Our one-year warranty covers: lot grading & drainage; foundations & slabs; exterior concrete flatwork; framing; wall, ceiling, & beam tolerances; sub flooring & stairs; drywall tolerances & imperfections (blisters, cracks, seam lines, etc.); insulation; exterior siding & trim; masonry; stucco; roofs (flashing, vents, louvers, gutters/downspouts, shingles/tiles, etc.); doors & windows; carpet; finished concrete flooring; wood flooring; hard surfaces (ceramic tile, flagstone, marble, granite, etc.); painting, staining, wall coverings, plumbing fixtures, & accessories; pipes & vents; heating & cooling; ductwork; electrical fixtures (including smoke & CO2 detectors); interior trim; closet shelving; mirrors; glass shower doors; hardware & ironwork; fireplaces; irrigation systems; fencing; pest control; electrical delivery systems; electrical wiring/panel/breakers/fuses; electrical outlets & GFI; wiring & outlets (for cable TV, telephones, Ethernet, etc.); plumbing delivery systems; wastewater treatment system; HVAC delivery systems; refrigerant line; heating & cooling functions.

In addition, we provide a 10-year warranty on structural components such as footings, foundations, beams, headers, girders, lintels, columns, load-bearing walls, partitions, roof framing systems, ceiling framing, floor systems, and masonry arches.