We offer three basic contract options no matter which one of our base services you choose, (e.g., Secure Home Design, Luxury Home Design).  These three options reflect three very different mind sets and these mindsets are reflected in the amount we charge.

Service Option #1

This level of service is intended to minimize our total fee.  The scope of our work will allow for a reasonably accurate bid and the obtainment of a building permit.  This provides maximum savings for our clients while providing enough design time, drawings, and specifications to create a build-able project.  This contract option has these aspects:

  • We are designers rather than consultants or full service designers.
  • We provide minimum drawings for a viable permit application.  The Client and Builder are expected to work together to make all product selections. The dimensions given are critical versus complete, and the project requires more owner and builder involvement before construction commences to ensure a smooth construction process.
  • The Clients and Builder interpret, intercede and specify more.  (This means they spend much more time on the project than in the Service Option #2 & #3 below).
  • No site visits unless asked by the builder.
  • This approach often saves money – it can translate into a fee range of somewhere between 3% and 8% of the construction.

 

Process of Service Option #1:
1. Initial Contact – often through your builder
2. Interview Meeting – often skipped when you have already chosen your builder
Phase One: Programming Meetings
3. Programming Meeting – often done with your builder present
4. Project Package Meeting – often done with your builder present
Phase Two: Schematic and Design Development Phase
5. Schematic and Design Development – fast tracked and completed together
Phase Three: Construction Documents
6. Construction Documents
Phase Four: Final Review
7. Final Review

 

Service Option #2

This level of service is intended to minimize our total fee while keeping most of the design services.  The scope of our work will allow for an accurate bid and the obtainment of a building permit.  This provides maximum savings for our clients while providing enough design time, drawings, and specifications to create a build-able project.  This contract option has these aspects:

  • We are consultants rather than full service designers.
  • We provide a complete set of construction drawings and review all drawings provided by others (such as engineers, landscape architects, cabinetmakers, etc.)  Builders are given basic product specifications, the dimensions given are complete, and the project needs more builder involvement before construction commences to ensure a smooth construction process.
  • The Clients interpret, intercede and specify more.  (This means they spend more time on the project than in the approach described in Service Option #3 below).
  • We do more when we’re on the building site (in lieu of having more drawings), we visit monthly, at a minimum, but otherwise we are only there when asked to be there.
  • This approach often saves money – it can translate into a fee range of somewhere between 5% and 14% of the construction budget. The more Clients know what they want, the less they spend on design services.

 

Process of Service Option #2:
1. Initial Contact
2. Interview Meeting
Phase One: Programming Meetings
3. Programming Meeting
4. Project Package Meeting
Phase Two: Schematic Design Phase
5. Schematic Design Phase
Phase Three: Design Development
6. Design Development
Phase Four: Construction Documents
7. Construction Documents
Phase Five: Final Review and Permitting
8. Final Review and Permitting
Phase Six: Construction Administration
9. Construction Administration

 

Service Option #3

This is our “full service” option and we provide a full scope of design services including, bidding and construction administration.  This contract option has these aspects:

  • We propose and Clients dispose.  We provide options and Clients react. We do whatever is required to explore any and all viable options.
  • We provide a complete set of construction drawings and review all drawings provided by others (such as engineers, landscape architects, cabinetmakers, etc.).
  • Clients are consulted in all relevant aspects of the project.
  • We help the client with the bidding process.
  • Unlimited site visits during construction, as we think they are needed.

 

Process of Service Option #3:
1. Initial Contact
2. Interview Meeting
Phase One: Programming Meetings
3. Programming Meeting
4. Project Package Meeting
Phase Two: Schematic Design Phase
5. Schematic Design Phase
Phase Two Phase Three: Design Development
6. Design Development
Phase Four: Construction Documents
7. Construction Documents
Phase Five: Final Review and Permitting
8. Final Review and Permitting
Phase Six: Bidding
9. Bidding
Phase Seven: Construction Administration
10. Construction Administration

 

Typical Design Fees:  Our fees are a percentage of the total cost of construction which includes all building and site construction, but not the cost of the actual site.

Our typical fees range as stated below based on the cost of construction:

  • Option #1(builders set fee basis), that fee can range from 3% – 8%.
  • Option #2(consultancy fee basis), that fee can range from 5% – 14%.
  • Option #3(full service fee basis), that fee can range from 8% – 20%.

Essentially, the complexity and specificity of the design work involved keys the time spent and thus our charges.  Therefore, projects that involve custom millwork, custom finishes including tile and floor patterning, intricate lighting or trim designs have more total time expended than projects that are simpler in their aesthetics.  Typically, the larger the project is, the smaller the percentage of construction costs our design fees become.  In other words, the design fee for a large and simple house with standard details will be a relatively lower percentage of the total overall construction budget on either fee basis.  Conversely, the design fee for a small, intricate new home project will be a much higher percentage of the total cost of construction, no matter which fee basis you choose.

To begin working on a project we require the receipt of a retainer and two copies of the contract signed by the Clients. One fully signed copy of the contract will be returned to Clients for their records.  Retainer amount for each option is as follows:

  • Option #1 – 20% of service fees.
  • Option #2 – 20% of service fees.
  • Option #3 – 20% of service fees.