What To Expect During Your Project
Initial Consultation: The first step towards the design and construction of your project is a meeting at the project site. The site visit is complimentary and allows us to meet each other and discuss the project while looking at the property. During the site visit we discuss options for the project scope and your budget.
Determine scope: Some of our clients contact us with a very specific project scope in mind. Other clients contact us with some ideas about what the project scope could be, but need professional input to determine affordability, feasibility, etc. If you have not decided on an exact scope when you contact us, we can provide input to help you determine what the scope of the project should be. We also discuss your desired level of finishes at this time.
Preliminary budget: Based on your desired project scope, PDB creates a preliminary budget for the Design and Construction of your project. The preliminary budget is a high-level breakdown of project costs that represents what we think will be a realistic budget for the project, given the project scope and your desired level of finishes. The project scope and budget may be revised multiple times at this stage, to ensure that the scope will meet your needs and that it can be built within your budget.
Finalize scope: After you review the preliminary budget, you have the opportunity to add or subtract scope to suit your needs and budgetary constraints. We also go over the project scope in greater detail at this time to ensure that all desired scope items are included in the final scope.
Finalize budget: The budget is reviewed and revised to reflect the final project scope, your desired level of finishes, and your particular budgetary requirements. Peters Design-Build has the ultimate responsibility to ensure that the project is completed within budget.
Contract: Now that the project scope and budget have been determined, both parties enter into a contract that reflects the agreed upon scope and budget.
Change orders: If you would like to add or remove scope from the contract, or if an unforeseen condition is discovered during the project, a change order may be necessary. Change orders are less cost-effective for you and are a challenge for us, so we do our very best to avoid them by carefully vetting the project scope, and inspecting site conditions, before the contract is executed.
Schematic Design: The first phase of design documents (drawings) for your project is Schematic Design. During schematic design, we create study drawings that illustrate the concepts of the design, including spatial relationships, scale, and form. Zoning/Planning requirements and other jurisdictional restrictions are also researched and addressed during this phase of the project. At the completion of the Schematic Design phase, the basic floor plans and elevations have been determined.
Design Development: The second phase of the project design process, Design Development, takes the Schematic Design and resolves it further. The design development documents include door and window sizes and locations, some material selections, floor plans, elevations, sections, and full dimensions. At the completion of the Design Development phase, floor plans, elevations, and sections have been finalized.
Construction Documents: The final phase of design drawings is the creation of Construction Documents. Construction Documents add an increased level of detail to the documents created during the Design Development phase. The Construction Documents include all information required by the building department to obtain permits and all the information necessary to for our construction crews to build the project. At the completion of the Construction Document Phase, the design documents are done.
Engineering: If the project requires Engineering, the engineering documents will be created during in conjunction with the Construction Document phase. The engineering documents are then added to the Construction Documents.
Cost estimating: At the completion of the each phase of document production (Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Documents, Engineering) a cost estimate for the current design is generated and compared to the project budget. If the cost estimate is over budget, adjustments are made to the design to get it within budget, if the cost estimate is under budget, we proceed to the next phase.
Site Permit: Depending on the nature of the project, some municipalities require obtaining a Site Permit prior to applying for a Building Permit. A Site Permit (or Zoning and Planning Permit) is granted by a Planning or Zoning department and is typically only necessary for certain projects that have a substantial visual impact on the exterior of a home. An example of this would be adding a story on top of your home in San Francisco. The process for obtaining a site permit varies significantly between municipalities but is typically a complex process that can take up to a year or more to navigate.
Building Permit: Construction and Engineering Documents are submitted along with an application and application fee to obtain building permits. For simple projects, such as an interior remodel, Building Permits are generally granted over the counter (same day). For projects that require substantial structural work, such as an addition, the building permit application may take up to several weeks to process before being granted.
Subcontractors: Depending on the scale of the project Peters Design-Build may use subcontractors to complete some of the specialty work. The trades that we may use subcontractors for are: plumbing, electrical, HVAC, excavation and concrete, roofing, drywall, flooring, paint, and masonry. Peters Design-Build does have the expertise to complete any of the aforementioned specialty work in-house, but in cases where there is a large about of the specialty work to be completed, it is generally more cost effective to use a subcontractor dedicated to a particular trade. Peters Design-Build maintains close working relationships with our subcontractors and guarantees the work of our subcontractors as well as our own work.
Order of construction / overview: In general you can expect your project to follow this order of construction: Staging/site prep > demolition and debris disposal > excavation > concrete > framing > utility rough in (plumbing, electrical, mechanical) > roofing > windows and doors > siding > insulation > drywall > finishes, fixtures, trim > paint > punch list and final completion. The required tasks and order can vary depending on project scope.
Inspections: Building inspections vary depending on the nature of the project, but generally, inspections are required at the end of each of the following tasks: reinforcing steel (rebar in concrete) > rough plumbing > rough electrical > rough mechanical > framing > insulation > drywall > final plumbing > final electrical > final mechanical > final building. Each inspection must be passed before moving on to the subsequent task. We do our best to schedule inspections to minimize down time, but occasionally there will be a small amount of down time if there is a long wait for inspections or if an inspector requests a modification or clarifying design information.
Substantial completion walk-through: After the final building inspection is passed, a substantial completion walk-through is held and you and PDB identify and create a punch list of items that need further attention.
Final completion: After PDB has completed or resolved all items on the punch list, we have reached project final completion and our final invoice will be submitted. When we receive payment for the final invoice, the project will be documented as complete.
Change orders: Changes to the scope of the project after the contract has been finalized. Change orders are usually owner-generated scope additions (for example, while we are remodeling your kitchen, you decide you want us to remodel your bathroom as well). Occasionally, change orders can also be the necessary result of unforeseen conditions (for example, we discover termites requiring pest remediation). Change orders increase the project budget.
Project Scope: The work to be performed under our contract.
Budget: The cap on the amount of money that will be spent during the project. This cap is set in the contract. It may only be changed via a change order. Since we bill on a time and material basis, you keep any unspent portion of the budget.
Estimate: The estimated cost for a given scope of work. The estimate is done before the budget is finalized and the contract is signed. It is then updated after each design phase (schematic design, design development, and construction documents).
Substantial completion: Substantial completion is a milestone that is achieved after we have passed all required inspections and the work is sufficiently complete in accordance with the contract so that the owner can occupy or utilize the work for its intended purpose.
Punch list: The punch list records any deficiencies, items that need repair, incomplete tasks, or outstanding items that otherwise need to be addressed before final completion. Once the punch list items are identified and completed by PDB, the construction is complete.