A homeowner considering a renovation project knows what they want to achieve. A builder knows how to take a concept and turn it into a livable reality. When put that way, it almost sounds simple, until the dream bumps up against the price tag that includes all the things the homeowner and the builder failed to anticipate. Unfortunately that usually occurs sometime after the job has started and your home is torn up.
Design Build is a methodology that moves that moment of truth from the middle of the project to the beginning of the project. No one lifts a hammer or spends serious money until all the bumps have been smoothed out. The whole goal is to anticipate problems and build your dream within your budget.
Greymark Construction Company
Texas Remodeler of the Year
2211 Norfolk, #626
Houston, Texas 77098
The first step in a design-build project is a conversation. This is where the dream gets full play. Tell us why you want to remodel. Do you want to explore your gourmet side with a beautiful and amazing new kitchen? Maybe you want a lot more light in the living room, or perhaps you’re tired of sharing a bathroom with your teenager.
Talk to us. During this conversation we will ask a lot of questions because we’ve discovered that it’s important to understand why someone wants to do something. When someone says they want an extension to their home, one choice is to simply take measurements present a budget and get started. A better choice is to ask why you want to make your home bigger. Armed with that information, we might figure out that a creative re-allocation of existing space will give you the guest bedroom and sewing room you thought would require a whole new wing.
During this first call, 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 cost estimate and your budget don’t line up we will keep talking, trying to find a way to meet your needs within your budget. There are many choices to be made in each project. We can tinker with the mix until we find a solution that works. Once we’ve gotten the dream and the budget into the same ballpark, it’s on to phase two: Hammering out the Details
Estimated time to completion (70-90 minutes)
During this phase, the client will make all the hard choices. Greymark will begin to make sketches of your project and will attach an estimated cost to each component. Our sub-contractors will all make site visits so they can begin to estimate the cost of their portion of the project and anticipate any problems they might encounter. We will bring you sketches of our design proposals and help you visualize them. If necessary we will even put blue tape on the floors so you can see where things will go. We will bring samples of materials and help you decide where to make changes so that the project stays within budget. To stay within budget, you might have to sacrifice the carpeting for the sky light, but you won’t find that out when your floor’s torn up and there’s a hole in the roof. You will make that decision before anyone gets started doing anything. We will meet weekly during this phase, each time refining the direction and making important choices that will control costs.
By the time this phase is done we will have anticipated all the potential problems and you will have to-scale detailed drawings and an estimated budget that will get you from dream to reality without nasty bumps along the way. If we have planned to put in a state-of-the-art jacuzzi, we have already figured out whether we will have to increase the electrical service to handle it. If we are talking about extending the second floor, we already know if the foundation will have to be reinforced to support it.
Estimated time to completion (preliminary sketches in one week, final sketches in six to twelve weeks depending on complexity)
Once the final design drawings are approved, Greymark collects final pricing from any structural engineers and sub-contractors. We have already arranged for these firms to walk through your site and collect any information necessary to complete their portion of the estimate. We commit ourselves in writing to producing that design for a firm fee. This fee should come as no surprise because we have been talking all along about what each element in this design will cost and you have already made the hard choices. Once the final estimate is produced, we will provide you with a written contract that includes a construction schedule.
(Within two weeks of completed design approval)
Once the contract is signed, Greymark will obtain a permit and start construction. A lot of work has gone into the project by this point, but that work pays off during this phase. Because we have taken great care to anticipate any and all problems, we usually don’t run into unanticipated situations that can stall a project for weeks or even months. We know what to expect and we have planned for contingencies.
There is no disconnect between the design and the construction. In projects designed by one person (often an architect) and built by a second (usually a contractor), no one individual has taken responsibility for the totality of the project and if things go wrong, it is almost impossible to get any one party to accept responsibility. With Design-Build, Greymark takes complete responsibility for the project from start to finish. We will not design something that can’t be built on budget because we are the ones who will have to build the project for the stated amount. And we won’t design a dream project without thinking through how that dream can be realized on the ground.
This pays off for customers in two very important ways. First, having your home under renovation 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. We make sure we do it up front – before your kitchen is torn up. That way, once we start, we can quickly move to the finish.
The second benefit is that you eliminate surprises, and surprises not only throw off the schedule, they bust the budget. Once you start, you can have confidence that you have successfully anticipated all funding requirements.
Greymark’s goal is to keep our customers happy every day. The way we do that is by anticipating problems and eliminating surprises. We finish projects on time and on budget. The result is a lot of happy clients and a company that gets 90% of its business from referrals and repeat customers.