Design/Build Process

10 Step Design-Build Process

At Praxis Home Builders, we have developed a comprehensive approach to estimating and delivering our projects which has proven to be highly effective. The cornerstone of this process is communication. We believe in communication before construction. It is important to listen to your concerns, expectations, ideas, and opinions so make it a point to stay in touch throughout the life of the project.

Initial Consultations

Our initial consultations generally take 90 minutes, depending on the complexity of your project. Our first meeting will cover a lot of ground including examining existing site conditions, your electric panel, HVAC and plumbing, taking a walk around your house, taking measurements, and discussing the project. We will ask a lot of questions as to ‘why’ you are doing your project, and what problems you are trying to solve. Our team is skilled at developing creative ways to resolve your challenges. We will also discuss your expectations for the project timeline and how much you want to invest in your house. Finally, we will review our Design Development Process and answer any of questions that you might have.

Budget

During our 2nd meeting, we will provide an Opinion of Probable Cost (OPC) based on our experience with projects of similar size and scope. Your selections and the project design will have bearing on the cost of the project. We find by giving practical guidance into the design and helping our clients with the selections, we can steer the project costs towards a construction budget and help keep the overall costs of the project down. If your construction budget falls within the OPC range (+/- 15%), you may opt to proceed to the Design Development Process.

Design Agreement

This is the point where we execute a Design Agreement. The Design Agreement outlines a scope of work and design fees. It also explains the work that takes place in the design phase, which includes meetings with the architect/builder team, working with Town on zoning, health and other issues. We will also assist you in product selection.

Phase One of the design process is to develop 2-4 different options to choose from and narrow things down to one plan. During this phase that usually takes 2-3 weeks we will meet approximately couple of times. Spatial planning is included in this process, including furniture placement.

Payment Note: The design fee runs between 4% and 6% of the OPC, depending on the complexity of the project. The Phase One fee runs between 2% and 3%.

The design fee covers our time to explore options, develop plans, elevations and perspective drawings, develop a detailed scope of work, and the cost of the project.

Budget Check Point

This is a crucial point in the whole process. At this time having preliminary design already done and approved by you, we will check if we are still within the budget. Based on our experience, we are able to calculate the cost of the project with high accuracy having just basic design with no details yet. During this meeting we discuss again the design and budget to make sure it meets or exceeds or expectations.

Also, at this moment, with not much design work done yet you have a great opportunity to make any adjustments which are to either expend the project, decrease it or keep it as originally planned.

If the budget calculated based on the preliminary drawings is far from what you are ready for, you have the right to stop the work with no additional fees charged to you.

This is a unique offer, we didn’t find any design-build firm that matches that.

Design Phase Two

We develop the construction drawings and permit drawings that include elevations and detailed scope of work. We also continue working with Town Officials to make sure the house could be built as designed.

Simultaneously we will assist you with design selections. A series of selections will need to be completed during this phase. We recommend hiring Interior Designer (3rd party) which will help with choosing the right decoration style and products. When all selection are done we will review them for quantities and accuracy before placing the order.

Meet Our Production Team

Approximately two thirds of the way through the design process, we will perform a Trade Walkthrough with our production staff and team of trade people specific to your project. During that visit, we will peak behind walls and discuss mechanicals and make sure it’s constructible. We don’t like surprises and neither do our clients. By doing this, we are confident that we can give you a firm price for the scope of work.

At this point we hire the Structural Engineer to support us with the structural calculations and drawings.

Authorization to Proceed

At the conclusion of the Design Development Process we will review any changes to the drawings resulting from the Trade Walkthrough, revised architectural plans, review your selections and detailed scope of work (Construction Contract), discuss start and completion dates, corresponding pricing and payment schedule. We will also review ways to reduce the overall project cost while maintaining the required performance and quality. We will review every detail with you to ensure accuracy before submitting for permits. If you decide not to move forward, then the architectural drawings and other design deliverables are yours to keep with no further obligation to Praxis Home Builders.

Payment Note: Upon your authorization to proceed, a 10% deposit payment is due.

Pre Construction

Pre construction is a five to six week period where we plan the execution of your project. There are four essential parts to the preconstruction phase, including:

  • Permits and Engineering. We finalize any structural engineering required prior to submitting for permits in this part of the process. Once all plans are finalized we apply for the necessary permits with your Town
  • Interior Design Confirmation Meeting. At this meeting, we will review and finalize design selections so that long lead items can be ordered.
  • Consolidation Meeting. This ‘behind the scenes’ meeting happens at our office. It’s during this meeting that the baton is passed from our design department to our production staff. This is a critical meeting as it is when the necessary resources are identified and scheduled to ensure that your project is completed on the timeline you have requested.
  • Pre Construction Meeting. This meeting will take place at your home, this is the meeting where our production team will walk you through the construction schedule, identify where the temporary kitchen will be set up (if necessary), and discuss locations for the lockbox, dumpster, material deliveries etc. We also review any other special accommodations which need to be made for household members.

Construction

The cleanliness of your home is important to us. We set up dust control walls at key intersections. During construction, our Lead Carpenter or Project Manager will be on-site daily as needed. You will be provided with a mobile number and are encouraged to call with any questions or concerns you may have from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. He will communicate with you daily to answer questions, resolve problems in a timely manner, and provide scheduling updates.

At the end of each work day, your job will be broom swept. We find that a clean job site is a safe and efficient job site. While working in your home, we will strive to minimize inconvenience to you while the project is ongoing.

Payment Note: Payments follow milestones throughout the Construction phase to allow you to monitor and approve construction as it progresses.

Completion

At the Substantial Completion of your project (the point at which the space may be used for its intended purpose) we will schedule a PreCompletion Meeting to walk through your home and ensure you are completely satisfied with the craftsmanship. There may be a small number of odds and ends to take care of, called a Punch List. While we work hard to attain a Zero Punch List, we will complete these items as quickly as possible. Payment Note: Your two final payments will be for Substantial Completion and Punch List to ensure that we have completed the project and Punch List work to your satisfaction.

At this step we will have Final Inspection done by Town Inspectors and work with Town on issuing the Certificate of Occupancy.

We will stay in touch long after the last nail is in place to ensure that you are completely satisfied. We offer a two year warranty and schedule any warranty work required within 30 days.