Design Services

What is Design/Build?

In a Nut-Shell, Design Build is a one-stop shopping approach to home improvement. Our clients hire us to manage their projects from design to finish. From conceptual ideas, to the working plans, right through production management to project completion.

What is Almar’s Design Build Process?

The amount of time the Design process takes varies by job depending on the complexity of your project.

Meeting with the Contractor

After a potential customer contacts Almar’s office, we set up a time to meet with you so you can explain your ideas for your project. This starts with a conversation where you get to share your home dreams, and why you want to remodel. Do you want to explore your gourmet chef side with a beautiful and state of the art kitchen? Maybe you want more light in the living room? Perhaps you’re tired of sharing a bathroom with your teenager, or spouse.

At this point, we will also discuss your budget. Based on our understanding of what you want to accomplish, we will give you a preliminary cost estimate. If that estimate and your budget don’t line up we need to keep talking, trying to find ways to meet your needs within your budget. There are many choices to be made in each project, and we can play with all those options until we find a mixture that works most cost effectively and efficiently.

Once we’ve gotten the dream and budget in the same ballpark, it’s time to “hammer” out the details.

“Hammering” out the Details

Once you decide to go ahead with your project we will put together a Design Agreement. This is when you will start to make all the exciting but sometimes difficult choices.

Before you meet with the team you should prepare the paper work that they will require for your project. This includes: Plot Plan (preferably a certified plot plan, but we will take a mortgage plan to start with, a copy of the septic plan if applicable, sprinkler locations, drywells, or any other underground utilities.)

If you do not have a certified plot plan you may have to obtain one, we will need some kind of plot plan to get a building permit.

Design Presentation

We’ll meet to discuss in more detail what you want your project to include. How you use your space now and how you envision using it in the future. And we will take measurements of the existing house.

If your design concept or the quality of the materials you would like have, have change from the time we initially meet, please realize that the estimate range will also change and a change order will need to be made and approved.

The designer works on your design and may call you from time to time, to seek clarification. While the design is being drafted it is important that you start making product selections (fixtures, cabinets, flooring, etc…)

For instance to stay within budget, you might have to choose between hardwood flooring or the skylights, but it’s best if you can make that choice before the floor’s torn up and there’s a hole in the roof. You will  need to make that decision before the project gets underway.

Design Package Review

The designer will go over your design which is saved on their laptop. We will set up a screen and project the design on to the screen so that we can all walk through and discuss it. This will give you, a better idea what it will look like. We will also provide an estimated budget for where we stand at this point. The good thing about this process is that we can review any potential problems and  provide a plan with steps that will get move you from dream to reality with out the nasty bumps along the way, trying to minimize as many nasty bumps along the way as possible.

You will refine the details, and make minor changes (windows sizes, roof angles etc.) until you have a design that works for you.

This is the time to say what you like and do not like about the design. If something makes you uncomfortable you should mention it during this meeting. Please be sure to be open an honest, because this is the stage at which we can easily change things.

Design Package Approval

After you, your contractor, and the designer have all agreed on the design that will work well for you. Almar will get final pricing from engineers and subcontractors. We will have arranged for walk thrus on the site to confirm any information necessary to complete their portion of the proposals. We will put together a new and final estimate and provide you with a written contract that includes a rough schedule.

All of the working drawings for the Contractor, Framer, Building Department etc, will then be included in the scope of work.

Starting your Project

Once the office receives your signed contract with your deposit, they will put together your job folder and start the office process for getting your job started.

Scheduling the start of your job will depend on the Building Department, our current schedule before we receive your contract, the schedule of our subcontractors, and your selections being chosen and available for project’s start. That is why it is important to make sure selection are made early, so delays can be avoided.

Our office staff makes every effort to keep you updated about where your project stands while you are waiting for us to start, and during the entire construction phase. If you ever have questions or concerns feel free to contact the office and they will help you in any way that they can.

Having your home under construction is extremely stressful. The shorter the time of the construction the happier you will be. What makes jobs take longer are unanticipated problems. Design-Build is nothing more than an extended series of anticipations. The more discussions and selections that can be done before your kitchen is torn up the quicker your project will get completed and you get your house back!

We also work to eliminate as many surprises as possible, because surprised not only throw off the schedule but they can bust the budget. Once you start you can have confidence that you have anticipated all the funding needed.

Our goal is to keep our customers happy. We want clients for life and we work hard everyday to achieve that goal. 90% of our business comes from referrals and repeat clients, and we work hard to keep it that way.