Whats the Process?

In the right context surprises can be fun – the thrill of the unknown, the unexpected. When it’s time to build or remodel your home however, “surprise” is not a word anyone hopes to hear. Rarely does that expression precede a statement like “we came in under budget, ahead of schedule, struck gold, and got you a puppy”. Instead, it often precedes some variation of the sentiment “it’s construction, what did you expect?” So we are here to offer you a design-build experience free of surprises, right? Not a chance. As much as we would love to guarantee you a project free of surprises, as long as we work with human beings on planet earth we cannot. How then are we supposed to sit across a table from you and assure the same creative thinking, quality, and experience we’ve given to others? The only way we know to provide predictable results is by providing a controlled process to follow. Through that process we steadily walk together from start to finish with the intention that we can actually set healthy expectations for what lies ahead and how it will be managed. Our hope is that this smoothness and clarity will inspire confidence enough to allow you to sit back and enjoy yourself as we tackle what can otherwise be a very stressful experience.

But why does that matter? Well, because of you. To us, a well built project is nothing more than a pile of sticks and bricks if not for people we build for and with. So this process is built out of our belief that people come before projects.

So how does that process take shape? Well, continue down the page and we’ll do our best give you a big picture introduction.

Design & Pre-Construction Planning

Well begun is half done – proverb

In the grand scheme of our process, the first step is to actually do the first step first. All the way. To completion. Design and pre-construction planning is all about up front investment for long term gain – gained clarity in particular. Many decisions are commonly deferred to construction, be it tile selections or how two materials will come together. Can that be done? Absolutely. A skilled builder can successfully respond to these issues in the field. However that same builder could often preempt that same issue during design which may take only hours to resolve in the office instead of the days or even weeks required to react, respond and recoup in the field. Additionally, as decisions are made in the field as needs arise who’s to say that every decision made will be in line with what you originally expected or hoped for? It’s hard to run a race when the finish line has not first been clearly defined.

Instead, here is how we approach this….

Iterative Design

In the beginning we work with you to put words, photos, and parameters to your thoughts. We aim to extract your vision of success for your project – we begin to develop the “bullseye” if you will. Starting with the big picture elements and working into the finest details, we steadily refine and clarify that bullseye. Regular meetings are held to discuss the latest developments via plans, sketches, material samples, images, 3D models, or whatever is needed to bring the vision to buildable clarity. You will find that as clear as a bullseye may seem at the beginning in thought and word, the final buildable clarity we strive for makes the initial vision seem as distinct as a cloud. The good news is, that’s normal. The design process has best been described as an ever tightening spiral. It is an iterative process which on each pass brings us closer and closer to the crisp, clear target.


Integrated Cost Estimating

In contrast to the traditional method of building in which your project is designed and then sent out to bid to determine the cost, we bring the cost variable into the design process and make it an integral design parameter. As your project develops along its ever tightening spiral of design we intermittently estimate the project costs to an equal degree of specificity. Meaning – in the beginning when your project is a fuzzy collection of words, ideas, and inspiration photos a project estimate, similarly, is a fuzzy collection of historical numbers and ballparks. As various pieces increase in specificity corresponding estimates can then mirror them in accuracy. The goal? To be able to course correct throughout the process based on real information to ultimately keep your project budget and project vision in alignment.


Time Investment

Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.

If your goal is to get this done as quickly as possible, let a few things remain to be figured out during construction, and hurry up and get building then we need to burst your bubble. The time spent in the design and pre-construction planning process regularly mirrors the amount of time it takes to actually construct the project. And we’ll give you another hint – it usually takes longer to build a project than people initially think. Though this may seem long and arduous and even a bit off-putting, one thing we can guarantee by contrast is if we shrink the planning process we in turn lengthen the construction process. We consider it to be a lot more bearable to live through a longer design process than a remodel in a half-finished house – but that’s just us.


Through design and pre-construction planning the finish line for the race has been defined. Now, we can run with clarity. But notice something. In the traditional design-bid-build method of building, all of the design refinement and pre-construction planning information, the map for the race if you will, would have been handed off to a new team. Instead, we personally see each project from start to finish. That means information is not lost in translation, there is no “he said she said”, and no finger to be pointed at some other person or company. Consistency is key.

Centralized Information

The design process will have resulted in a mass of information about your project. Plans, specifications, selections, and innumerable discussions. All of that information lives in a project management system that you and our team have access to. The best part is, from design into construction this information doesn’t move. This means that the information that you discussed, reviewed and approved doesn’t get lost in translation because there is no translation.

Structured Communication

Ever get busy and find that you haven’t talked to someone in longer than you can remember? Well, construction gets incredibly busy but communication can’t stop. To combat this we schedule recurring onsite meetings to guarantee that even if cell service drops and emails don’t send, we know we have a time and a place to get together and discuss your project and ultimately maintain your comfort throughout the build. To supplement this, throughout the project you will have access to your own online project portal. This allows you to keep on eye on everything from the project calendar and progress photos, to billing and punch list items.


Obsessive Craftmanship

Let’s be honest, all of this is just senseless talk if we can’t put hammer to nail effectively. Though process and organization is important, may we never understate the importance of refined and passionate craftsmanship. The reality is, we’re the kind of people who would rather study building techniques than watch Netflix and wear sawdust like it’s going out of style. To us toolbelts are fashionable, our techniques can always be honed, and we like biscuits with our miters more than with gravy. This refined process we bring you defines the path, but our love of the craft fuels the work.