Ten Easy Steps to an Amazing Custom Home

We don’t just live in our homes; our homes live in us. Each of us has a vision of what our ideal home should be: how it makes us feel, the texture underfoot, the play of light on its surfaces.  Our single-source design/build process unlocks this vision of yours and enhances its possibilities through collaborative custom design and craftsmanship to create the home you’ve always wanted.

Here are our 10 easy steps to amazing spaces. Please read on for a process overview and more detailed explanation of each step:

1. Initial on site meeting
2. Design/build agreement
3. Design concept
4. Preliminary plan and materials
5. Description of work
6. Review and approve project
7. Pre-construction walk-through
8. Construction communication
9. Punch list
10. Project completion

If you’ve ever built before or been afraid to build using the traditional design-bid-build routine, you’ll love how easy it is to accomplish great spaces with our single-source design-build process.

Under the traditional design-bid-build routine, the homeowner negotiates separately with a designer/architect and a general contractor who employs subcontractors to complete the work. This process creates two separate lines of accountability and makes the owner, rather than the designer, responsible for ensuring that the general contractor adheres to the design specifications. This awkward triangular relationship often leads to conflicts over materials, schedule and budget, costly and time-consuming redesigns, and disharmonious results.

Our single-source design-finance-build process eliminates the general contractor track and the myriad problems associated with that triangular relationship. From concept to completion, you work directly with designer/builder Todd Dearth through every phase of the construction project, from the moment we bring your vision to life on paper to the day you step into the home of your dreams.  Process doesn’t just happen. In fact, many design/build firms have no formal plan or roadmap with which to translate your vision into three dimensions. They figure close is good enough.

We don’t see it that way. We think dreams deserve better.  We think dreams deserve a process all their own that shows you exactly how we intend to make your dream home come true.

Step 1: Initial On site Meeting

The journey to create your vision begins appropriately at your home or home site. This is where you can best describe your project, and we can best observe the tangible and intangible elements of your living space to better understand the details of your project.

During our initial meeting, we will collaborate on a project priority list, including time and budgetary goals and how we can help you obtain the best financing if needed. This will help us define the scope of the project. We may make some initial sketches to aid in the design phase.

Step 2: Design/Build Agreement

Once we have addressed your concerns, it’s time to commit our project to paper.  Once you have reviewed and signed the agreement and retainer fee, we move on to the design phase.

Step 3: Design Concept

Here’s where we start to translate your dream home into reality.  Based on our initial meeting, we will present one or more conceptual designs for your review. These initial designs serve as a first draft or template that together we will fine-tune based on your feedback.  Once we lock in on a design, we move on to the preliminary plan and materials phase.

Step 4: Preliminary Plan and Materials

Now that we have preliminary plans these will act as our road map through the completion of your project.  Now the fun begins!

Drawing from the final design and our previous discussions, we will guide you through your shopping list, color and product samples, and related information to help you select the finishes and furnishings of your new space. Our design team can assist you in sorting through the thousands of showroom patterns, textures and colors, or you can embark on the adventure yourself. We will then work closely with you to coordinate the materials, tones and textures your chose into the look that perfectly expresses your vision.  Once we have your approval, it’s time to begin the construction phase.

Step 5: Description of Work

Once preliminary planning is completed, we return to your home to prepare a comprehensive description of work, or DOW, that outlines each step of the construction process to follow. The DOW contains not only the information we compiled previously about products and materials, but actual construction specifications, from framing to finishing.

Step 6: Review of Documents and Approval of Project

It’s time to review the design/build agreement, final plan and description of work to make sure everything is proceeding to your complete satisfaction.  At the conclusion of this review, you would submit a retainer and authorize us to begin the construction phase.

Step 7: Pre-Construction Walk-Through

Before construction begins, designer/builder Todd Dearth will walk you through the construction process and address any questions you may have about what is ahead. At this time, we will work together to address logistical details such as where materials will be stored upon delivery, where portable trash containers and bathrooms will be located if necessary, and ways that you can prepare your home for construction.

Step 8: Construction Communication

During the construction phase, you will be kept well informed by frequent updates from the construction team. Your feedback is a valued and necessary part of the construction process as we work to meet your every expectation. Please don’t hesitate to contact Todd Dearth or any member of our team directly with any questions or concerns.

Step 9: The Punch List

As we near the end of construction, the design team will walk you through the construction site to prepare a “punch list” of small items or details that need to be addressed to complete your vision. The punch list serves as an inventory of last-minute touches to guarantee that our craftsmanship meets your every expectation.

Step 10: Project Completion

At last, the big reveal: the “oh wow!” moment we’ve all been working toward.  Upon completion, you will receive a fulfillment folder that contains information about warranted products and services, how to care for surfaces and materials, and other pertinent information about your new space.  After completion, designer/builder Todd Dearth will meet with you to discuss your project experience. We sincerely appreciate your feedback, which is vital to our continued process improvement.

Welcome home!