It seems like every call we receive from prospective customers ends with “What’s the next step?” or “How do we proceed from here?” So I thought I would post this in an effort to help prospective customers understand the steps to a successful design/build remodeling project.
The following are the 8 steps to remodeling bliss! Ok, maybe not bliss, but the process sure makes things a lot easier and removes a lot of the unknowns and fears typical in remodeling.
Step 1: The Initial Meeting. This is a no charge – no obligation meeting at your home. We want you to show us what you want to have done. We want you to point, wave, scream, yell and cuss about what it is you don’t like or want in your current home. We want to know what your goals and dreams are for your project.
After we’ve discussed your desires for the project, we can discuss how Da Vinci can help achieve your goals and dreams. This is the time to ask questions, discuss your greatest fears, layout your requirements, etc.
If, at the end of this meeting, we both agree that we would like to proceed to Step 2, we’ll authorize a simple design agreement and get on to…
Step 2: Document Existing Conditions. We’ll schedule a time when we can come in to measure and photo document the existing project site. If you have the original plans for the house or project area, we’ll only need to verify that the actual measurements are indeed what the plans say they are.
Step 3: Wants and Needs Study. We’ll ask detailed questions about your hopes and dreams. We’ll ask about how the space will be used, your lifestyle, your family, your pets, your favorite color, etc.
We’ll also set up an account on Houzz so you can create “Idea Books” of the things you like, the things you don’t like and your wish list. This is the time to tell us specifically what you want and a picture says a thousand words.
Step 4: Preliminary Plans and Projection of Costs. We’ll take all the information gathered in Steps 2 & 3 and create preliminary drawings of the project. Sometimes we’re able to come up with a couple different possibilities to discuss.
At the same time as the preliminary plans are being developed, we are also creating a projection of costs. Because the plans are not yet finalized and all the specifications have not yet been clearly detailed or defined, we’re not in a position to determine a final project cost. But, we are able to use our experience and some preliminary estimates to develop a cost projection.
Step 5: Preliminary Design Meeting. At this meeting, we show you what we’ve come up with. If we have several options to discuss, we’ll select the one that you like the best. Sometimes it’s a combination of the different plans.
We’ll also go over our projection of costs during this meeting. While it’s not a firm number, it’s better than any “Ballpark” figures we may have previously discussed. It is much easier to make adjustments at this time while still in the preliminary steps.
Once we’ve decided on a plan, we’re on to…
Step 6: Final Design, Specifications and Project Price. This is where we turn the “preliminary” designs into actual (buildable) construction drawings. This is also when final decisions are made on flooring, cabinetry, appliances, tile, plumbing fixtures, electrical fixtures… Right down to paint colors.
Once all the parts are specified and the construction drawings are complete, we’ll put a sharp pencil to the proposal. We’ll distribute copies of the specifications and plans to our sub-contractor and supplier partners so they can give us their proposals for their respective parts of the project.
Once we’ve collected all the proposals, we insert all the information into your project spreadsheet and at this time we can proceed to…
Step 7: Presentation of Construction Proposal. During this meeting, all the plans, specifications and details are presented. If we’ve followed all the steps above and communicated well during the process, there are rarely any surprises at this point and this meeting is really a formality to start the construction process.
Step 8: Build it! We’ve done our homework and planning so it’s now time to giddy-up.
Some not so apparent notes on the design/build process:
- The process, described above, gives both of us the opportunity to see how well we work and communicate together. If during the process, either of us believes the other party is not a good match, it can be stopped at any time.
- We often proceed to construction without all the final decisions being made. Hopefully, there aren’t many unknown specifications, but when necessary, we’ll put an allowance amount in the proposal for the missing specification. The difference between the cost of the final decision and the allowance amount is usually small and handled with a change order.
- This is a systematic approach that has, over the years, proven to deliver fantastic results.
If you have questions, you’re welcome to post them below or contact me at 303-507-0410. If everything above is as clear as day, contact us and let’s get started.
As always – Enjoy!