We can provide you with a description of these methods, including advantages and disadvantages of each, so you can make the best decision to suit your needs. The size and scope of your project can determine which professionals should be involved and how the project might be approached.
Through experience we have come to realize that a team approach to the art of building, where all parties (owner, architect, engineer, contractor) are working in a cooperative and coordinated effort, is the best way to achieve the most successful project. This integration incorporates estimating and cost control into the design and development throughout the process (rather than at the conclusion of the design) and vastly increases the likeliness of achieving the best overall solutions and value while minimizing everyone's risk.
We can provide in-house design work for smaller projects and we can recommend several designers/architects that we have established working relationships with.
Again, there are always exceptions, but we prefer to work on a cost plus a fee basis. We feel that when costs are "open-book", it creates the fairest method for both parties. Costs are those items directly associated with the site construction: materials, labor, subcontract, equipment and other. The contractor fee is determined by the project and is different for new homes vs. remodeling. There are variations to this contract. A guaranteed maximum price (excepting additional work necessitated by hidden, discovered problems or requested by client) can be established. Sometimes, as an incentive, savings under guaranteed maximum price can be split in different ratios between the owner and contractor.
Occasionally, we work on a stipulated sum contract. This is the simplest and most straightforward approach. It works well on projects that are small and/or simple in nature as well as projects that are well determined with respect to scope of work. As the name implies, expect to pay a fixed amount for the project except for agreed-upon change order work (hidden or unforeseen conditions or changes requested by client).
For more detailed information on these subjects, please contact us.
Once the construction agreement has been signed and prior to the start of construction we will provide a construction schedule listing the major construction activities; their starting date, duration and completion date, required dates for owner selections, certain target dates and the date of final completion.
We will provide contact information for our suppliers and subcontractors, so that the owner can receive knowledgeable assistance in making the many decisions that constructing the project requires.
We have found that the amount of communication and/or correspondence between contractor and client can vary considerably depending on the amount of pre-planning, and the client's knowledge and personal style. We pride ourselves on being readily available or responding in a timely manner, and documenting pertinent information.
As with communication, the number of site visits by the client varies. We request a minimum of four visits, however most of our clients prefer to keep a closer eye on the progress. These "walk-through" visits will ensure that the client is satisfied with the work in progress at critical stages: prior to electrical rough-in; completion of rough framing; punch list; final. The last site visit combines a couple of processes. The first is for review and for the client to give written approval to the completion of the punch-list. The second is designed to prepare the home owner for the future use of their home. We will locate and discuss major components of the plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems. We also provide a detailed homeowner's manual to better understand the components of the new home and how to use and care for it.