Most projects go through six stages in the process
of designing and building a custom home, cottage,
or renovation. Here’s how it tends to go.
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Stage 1, The briefing.
It begins with talk; you talk, we listen. You show us your magazine clippings, files you copied from the internet from houzz.com, Pinterest and others – anything you can collect that will help us understand you. Together we’ll look at plans and photos of things we’ve built elsewhere - maybe some form of what you want is waiting in our files for you to find it. Having listened we then go away and sketch, coming back with rough drawings of what we think we heard you say. And we’ll talk some more, and make some changes, modify the plans a few times until one day you see something that makes your heart sing and we’re ready for stage 2.
Stage 2, Mechanicals.
How will it be built? Of what will we build it? How will it be heated and cooled? How will all the pieces come together? It’s time for an architect-technician to get down to details. You’ll see CAD drawings with enough detail to make you dizzy. Plumbing runs, wiring, heat ducting; but don’t worry we’ll explain it all in detail. You may even start to like detail. Especially when you see how good drawings lead to good pricing, but more on that later.
Stage 3. Permissions.
We don’t design dwellings we know the municipalities won’t let us build, but we are willing to push the boundaries for you. Over the years our reputation for integrity has made for open ears and minds among the people we count on to help us realize your dreams. And there are many and varied applications for seemingly simple things that can go off the rails if not properly submitted. That’s our job, not yours. We navigate the rules and regulations to make your project happen.
Stage 4, Budgeting.
Before we begin the design process we will have settled on the amount you want to spend, your budget. We’ll have a frank discussion about what’s a realistic goal for what you want to spend. Then it’s a matter of where and how that money gets allocated. This is where good drawings lead to good numbers. With tight specifications our trades can sharpen their pencils and give us the best price possible. Custom work often requires a high level of skill and some of the costs sometimes shock even us, but at least we know they’re real! Reality is your friend if and when it comes to choosing between the seven burner Wolf range or the walk-in steam shower; or the geothermal heating and cooling system or a more conventional approach. You’ll have the comfort of knowing the numbers are real and your choices are clear.
Step 5, Building.
OK, you’ve signed on the line, the municipality has smiled upon your project and it’s time to get our hands dirty. Go out and buy yourselves a pair of approved safety shoes. We’ll give you your own hard hat. Why? Because some of our clients like to go away for the duration and return to a completed project. Some want to become regulars on the site. Most are somewhere in between, excited, involved, but thoughtful of the workers need to get a job done. And there will be some occasions when we will need you on site to approve things that can’t be easily changed later. There will be other occasions when you just can’t stand it, you want to see what’s happening. We love you for that and we only ask that you arrange your visit through your site super so he or she can properly attend to you.
Step 6, Moving in.
We don’t love you and leave you. For the first year of occupancy you could say it’s our house too – partly because all the new home warranties are in place and we pay close attention to what’s required. But it’s more than that to us. If some construction flaw shows up in this time we’ll want to make it go away as fast as we can. If you speak with our past clients you’ll find they tend to say nice things about us. We want you to be one of them.