What is the meaning of the term design/build? The term design/build is used to define a process in which one company provides the design services needed to professionally design the project, along with the planning or project management necessary to oversee the project, and finally, is also responsible for the actual construction of the project.

•What are the advantages of using a design/build firm? To begin with, the client will only be working with a single company to design, general contract, and build the project, which is less stressful then dealing with three individual companies to do the same work. There is also clear accountability when working with one company which eliminates finger pointing. Design/build firms are also familiar with the project from the very start, this means the client is able to get realistic cost estimates early on in the design process and will be inform on the potential cost impact of changing various design elements all while working within the clients budget. Design/build firms are experienced in scheduling and organizing subcontractors and in negotiating cost with subcontractors and suppliers, thereby obtaining for their clients the best value for their investment. Another advantage with the design/build process is should the client want to make any changes to the project at any time, the designer is effectively “on call” for the duration of the project and changes can proceed without delay. Finally, the design/build process is broken into two distinct steps with two separate contracts, and only after you have a satisfactory design and know you are comfortable working with a company will you then have the choice of proceeding with the actual construction of the project with that company.

•Why can’t homes be priced by the square foot? The simple reason that homes cannot be priced by the square foot is that there is not a linear relationship between the square footage of a home and its cost. The cost of a home is dependent on many variables. Some of the variables that determine the cost of a home are its size, geometry, layout, volume, complexities, amenities, building site, and building schedule just to name a few. A design/build firm like ours is able to work with our clients to design and build a home tailored for a particular building site and within our client’s budget.

•What is meant by Allowances? An “allowance” is a predetermined amount of money set aside to be used to pay for a specific item. When a project is first designed very few clients know exactly what type of materials they would like to use to construct their home. In order to keep the design and estimating process moving, certain items like flooring, will be quoted as an “allowance item”. A competent estimator will be able to determine a reasonable allowance based on the client’s needs, wants, and budget. If the client’s specifications eventually result in a higher cost then allotted for a specific item then the client is responsible for the difference. If the cost is less than the allowance then the difference is refunded to the client.

•What are the steps in financing my project? Soon after meeting with our firm we would recommend you talk to a financial institution if you plan on financing your project. Your lender will be able to tell you the maximum amount of money they will lend you for your project. Once the building plans and specifications are completed and fall within your budget, they are sent to your lender so they can have the plans appraised. The funds loaned by the lender are then held by the lender or a title company to be disbursed as construction proceeds. There are typically 3-5 draw request made during the construction process. After a certain amount of work is complete a draw request is made by the builder to the client and the lender for the completed work. After the lender inspects the project to make sure the billed work is complete, the funds are then sent to the builder to pay for the completed work. Upon payment for materials and labor, the builder will obtain lien waivers from the suppliers and subcontractors which will then be turned over to the lender to assure them that the funds were dispersed accordingly and all bills were paid in full.

•Who are your subcontractor and suppliers? Because we believe in supporting our local economy, we have used the best local contractors and suppliers for almost 30 years. We have built a long lasting business relationship based on trust and mutual respect insuring us of prompt and professional services and products. A complete list of subcontractors and suppliers used for your project is provided in the specifications of the contract.

•How long does it take to build? Obviously, no two projects are alike and different projects take different amounts of time to complete. A good rule of thumb is to allow twice as much time to design and plan then to construct a project. Some smaller, simpler homes may take 3 to 4 months to construct while larger more complex homes could take 6 to 8 months to construct.

•Which comes first, the lot or the design? For most clients the lots comes first. The client often has a specific area, neighborhood, or lot they want to build on. When the lot is owned first the design can be tailored so the home compliments the site. If a client starts with a specific plan that they want to build it can be more difficult due to the fact that you have to acquire a lot which will support the proposed design. Custom Construction & Design, Inc. is capable in assisting our clients in either scenario.

•Can we have a list of references? A list of references will be provided for projects we have completed which are similar to your project so you can see our work and talk to clients that have been through the same process as yourself.

•Does your company have all the necessary insurance? Yes, and as part of our contact, we will provide to you a “Certificate Of Insurance” from our insurance company listing our client as an “additional insured”.