Project Plans: The First Step to Creating Your Cabin or Lake Home
The first step to building custom homes is establishing a set of plans, which provides all parties with a visual of the completed project and defines the scope of work to be done. Within it are various details, including but not limited to lumberyard materials, construction procedures, code mandates, kitchen and bath fixtures, cabinets, countertops, appliances, floor finishes, windows, doors, siding, roofing, decks, porches, wall and ceiling material and finishes. A design/build contractor will refer to the plans throughout the project.
Developing a precise and complete set of plans is the most important step in the construction process. It can ensure the entire project goes smoothly and eliminate confusion or miscommunication. The value of your completed custom home will be directly affected by whether architectural norms such as traffic flow, space utilization, aesthetic appeal and authenticity have been considered.
There are two methods for creating plans, the first of which is to hire a design/build contractor who can handle everything from design to construction in-house. This option is less expensive, allows seamless communication, and makes one party accountable for all design and construction elements.
The other option is to hire an independent design consultant or use the builder’s lumberyard to produce plans, then hire a separate construction company to handle construction. This option, which is becoming less prevalent throughout the country, tends to be less cost-effective and efficient and leaves more room for errors.
Your plans must have at least the essential elements, including views of all levels (top looking down), four elevations (side views) and appropriate cross-sections (a cut through and assembly like a wall, foundation, or roof section). Another page to include is the plot plan. This document, which is required for permits, shows lot lines and the position of existing and future buildings with distances to the lot lines, well and septic locations and driveway location. Other desirable elements include interior elevations (interior views), window and door schedules and interior room schedules.
For a more in-depth explanation about the advantages of working with a design/build contractor versus an independent design consultant and builder, read on.
Benefits of Working With a Design/Build Contractor
A design/build contractor is responsible for all facets of the design and construction process. For several reasons, many contractors do not design new custom homes, home additions, or remodeling projects for their clients. Many lack experience or training with drafting, design problem-solving, new product specification or building code compliance. Establishing a good plan with proper engineering requires time, experienced staff and accountability, elements smaller and less established companies may struggle to provide.
Legal Advantages of Working With a Design/Build Contractor
Design/build contractors have expertise in all the areas mentioned above and are legally responsible for any issues. Many other contractors use lumberyard designers who have no insurance, design accountability, or allegiance or legal accountability to you, the owner. They are not always accessible, either, as they are understandably busy selling lumber and servicing their own customers.
Independent architects and drafting technicians can provide better service but have similar time constraints. This can slow the production phase when challenges arise, and you will be charged for additional time. Both lumberyard designers and architects and draftsmen will place disclaimers on plans to avoid any liability for ‘unforeseeable problems.’ These are also disclaimed in the builder’s contract, leaving you responsible for issues. A design/build contractor like Tice Construction Inc cannot legally disclaim errors they make on their plans.
By choosing Tice Construction Inc, a reputable, full-service custom home builder and remodeling contractor, you will have peace of mind knowing we are accountable for any potential issues.
More Advantages of Hiring a Design/Build Company
Hiring an independent architect or draftsman can be expensive. Most work on a percentage of the project fee, which can easily exceed thousands of dollars on new custom homes, home additions, or extensive remodels. Extra meetings, site visits and local building code research may be charged hourly in excess of the base fee.
Furthermore, an independent designer may specify items or processes with which a custom home builder is unfamiliar for which they have no existing material supplier. Seeing this, when the builder bids the plan, they will tack on a ‘safety margin’ to cover ‘unforeseeable items’ they don’t have experience with. The resulting extra costs can quickly add up.
By partnering with a design/build contractor, you can save money and allocate those funds toward more important things. Tice Construction’s design program is transparent, convenient and easily understandable. We maintain reasonable fees because our design work is part of our effort to earn your trust and patronage. The design process is mutually beneficial as it helps us get to know one another. Our hope is when it comes time to sign a contract, having a comfortable working relationship will make your decision easier. If you do choose us as your custom home builder, all design fees are credited to your contract price, meaning they are ultimately free of charge. The costs are only in place to cover our time if you decide to select a different company.
Convenience & Continuity
As you go through the design process, you and your designer will develop an intimate understanding of the project, which is then seamlessly carried forth into production. Your designer will be by your side throughout the project, at your convenience, at no additional cost.
When questions arise on-site, our production manager, lead carpenters, and trade partners will inquire directly with the designer and quickly get those answers to avoid delays.
Our design program is intended to help you develop your ideas into a set of preliminary construction drawings quickly and efficiently so the pricing process can begin. We take time to get to know you and your vision, carefully assess the lot or existing home and inquire about your project priorities, timeline, and budget before we begin. This initial information gathering helps us to create a design that fulfills your expectations without exceeding your budget.
Schedule a Consultation With Our Team Today
If you are interested in learning more about the advantages of working with a full-service design/build company, get in touch to schedule a consultation with a construction and remodeling contractor. Call (715) 635-4664 to speak with a team member or complete the online contact form. We look forward to hearing from you.