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How the Design Agreement Works for a Custom Home & Whole House Remodel

How Does the Design Agreement Work

Hey, Brian Freeman with Freeman’s Construction. Hey, today I wanted to talk to you about our letter of intent and design agreement. This is how we work with our customers on the very front end of getting their custom home or their remodeled done for their home. The process that we work, how we work, is we’ll initially have a project consultation with our customers at either their land that they’re getting ready to build on or at their home that they’re wanting to do the project on. They will request that project consultation and then we’ll schedule that meeting, and once we have that meeting, we’re going to be really looking at what needs to be done. We’re going to look at past products that we’ve done, we’re going to talk to the client about their budget. What are you trying to stay in as far as costs to make sure we meet budget, and then we’re going to actually get them a ballpark number based on what our past projects of cost and what they’re wanting to do.

So we’ve got a good feel for what we’re looking at as far as price point wise just based off of that, and once we do that and we’re on the same page as far as budget goes and expectations of the project, we will enter into a design agreement or a letter of intent to go ahead and move forward with getting the project mapped out and get the design done, and we break the design agreement into actually two different stages, and that is the preliminary stage, the preliminary design stage and then also the final design stage. The preliminary stage, the costs for that are somewhere in the ballpark of 2 to 3% of the overall cost of the project and what we take care of in that preliminary stage is we cover, we will actually do the floor plan concept, that is the total design concept as far as the floor plan and elevations go and then we work, after that has been done, we’ll talk about the finishes that are going to go in the home and make sure that we have the level of finishes correct as far as what you’re wanting to have in there.

That would be like your flooring, your tile, your wall coverings, maybe the plumbing fixtures, electrical fixtures and make sure we have the level correct so we’re making sure we’re pricing it properly for you. Then we’ll do material and labor take offs, and then also look back at our past projects and make sure that we still feel really good that this project is going to come in very close to our goal, our budget goal that we have price wise. Once that has been established and we feel real good about that, we’re going to move onto the final design stage. And in that final design stage, the cost for that is going to be anywhere from probably 2 to 4% additional for that deposit on the overall project costs, and during this final design stage, we’re going to complete the plans so they can go over to the structural engineer and the structural engineering can get completed.

Those costs cover the structural engineering, they also cover the energy calculations that have to be done to figure out a lot of the, any photovoltaic system you have to do, the installation requirements, it’s going to cover HVC, it’s going to potentially cover windows there as far as the glazing. There’s a number of things the energy calcs will cover. So we have that done, we’re going the trusses taken care of as far as the calcs on the trusses, basically going to get these plans ready to be submitted to the city or the county once they’re completed. We’re also, during this time, if you want to do any 3D modeling of the home, we can do that even in sections of it or the full home itself. So you can see what it looks like when this project’s actually finished, so before we actually start the project, you can actually walk through it. Pretty cool to be able to do that if that’s something that you want to do, so that can be done.

And then we also go through and we write a very specific specifications package. Your spec book is written for the project, so we go through every single little detail, every section of the project and we put in there all the selections that you need to make in each line item. So it allows you to go through and just check the box and say, okay, I need to select this, this, this, this. Makes it very, very simple, and that’s normally a 30 to 40 page specification book that we put together specifically for your home. So we have that ready to go, and then once that’s already, we’re done with that final design phase and we will bid the project out and then make sure that our numbers are coming in exactly where we wanted them to, and then at that point if everything looks great, then that’s when we actually draw up a building agreement and then we get moving forward with your project.

And then also actually in that spec book that I didn’t mention, is we have a selection schedule, so you’re able to know when all those selections have to be done. It helps you through the whole entire process as far as making sure that we’re on schedule and the project gets built out when we need it. So that’s our letter of intent and design agreement. That’s how we like to work and help our customers right from the very beginning. So thanks for taking the time to listen, and it was great talking to you, and have a great rest of your week.

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