ESSENCE OF DESIGN BUILD
Two Separate & Distinct Contracts
For any complete project undertaken by a luxury home builder, the average time span is two years from the start of design to move in. We have devised a time-tested system to execute such a project : our clients sign two contracts with us, a design contract and a construction management contract. The advantages of separating the two contracts are:
- Expedited Construction Start – work may start as soon as the foundation is designed. In nine out of ten cases, the client wants the work to start right away. Instead of sacrificing the quality of design, we finish the preliminary and intermediate design and go on immediately to prepare construction drawings and bidding documents for the demolition, excavation and foundation. Allowances are made for additional load-bearing elements in the lower level. After that, site clearance, shoring and excavation can start right away.
- Better Visualization by Client Being On Site – despite the architects' assurance that their artistic presentations are as good as the real thing, nothing looks and feels like the real thing. Clients usually make changes when the work is in progress mainly because they can observe that the real space is nothing like the beautiful drawings prepared by the architects. We divide a project into five stages. The design is continuously being refined and finalized with the participation of the client before each stage commences.
- Better Budgetary Control – we work with a set budget from the beginning. As work progresses, if inflation and market forces such as strikes and shortage of material force changes in the budget, we can deftly make adjustments and modifications in our design and specifications. Prices sometimes go down in imported materials and building components. In such cases, we will consult the client for possible amendment to the specifications.
- Just-In-Time Drawings, Specs & Contracts – since no subtrade will hold his price for more than sixty days, letting out the contracts just before work starts is the best practice. For example, if we obtain a quote from a mason a year before he starts work, his price may change just before he starts and that will cause a lot of confusion and hardship. Or after signing with that particular mason, we are told that a certain old-world mason has come out of retirement and his prices are always better and his work is always top-notch. When it comes to booking the best tradesmen – we have excellent relationship with the top tradesmen and will always find out if they can fit us in their busy schedule way ahead of time.
Shop Drawings – the Key to Superb Design Build Practice
Our design drawings are so complete that they can be used for construction on site without ambiguity. We tell exactly where the framing carpenter needs to place his studs and blocking. For more intricate assemblies, we furnish the fabricators with our detailed construction drawings and ask for shop drawings done by the fabricators. This is a critical communication process between builder and fabricators. We cannot take the salesman’s word for what he will give us. His shop drawings are a guarantee that he can build what we are asking for, in very precise terms. We do not deal with fabricators that cannot prepare shop drawings. However, because our construction drawings are so detailed, the fabricator sometimes merely needs to add remarks, notes and/or make minor changes to our drawings to make a set of shop drawings. We will accept that as long as he signs the drawings. Please contact us if you do require a luxury home builder that specializes in design build.