Here are some possible scenarios. You own a current home and are interested in a renovation. You own land or an older home and want to build from scratch. Or you need help finding an appropriate piece of virgin property. Whatever the case, Dearborn Builders can help you. Written below are the steps Dearborn Builders and the Client will incur together. We can help you find reputable realtors if you need one and design and engineering professionals. Dearborn prides itself on listening to their Clients tastes, desires and core values.
Designing A Home
Clients often have a “wish list” – ideas, pictures or sketches to review. The Client may have an architect already or Dearborn Builders can help you find the best most appropriate one for the home or renovation you want to build. Once that architect is selected, the Client can sit with the architect and Dearborn Builders to discuss their “wish list”. By all means include tear sheets from magazines, printouts from sites like Pinterest or Houzz or even handmade sketches. The Client should include things like number of bedrooms and bathrooms, number of floors, formal or informal setting, etc. This helps the professionals design that which is perfect for you.
Local Zoning/Building Codes
Clients may also have a survey of the site and if not that can easily be obtained at their local Town Hall. Also during this period, the Client can go to the Town Hall for a copy of the zoning and building codes. This lets the Client get educated as to what can and can’t be done based on these codes. The architect, whether the Client’s own architect or one that works with Dearborn Builders, can advise the Client if expectations during discussions are not realistic based on zoning, codes and other regulations.
Before the architect can create even preliminary plans, it makes sense to have a local engineer do a new topographic survey (whether a renovation or a build from scratch). It is also important that the Client is made aware of local and state codes. The engineer, the architect or Dearborn people can discuss this with the Client.
Preliminary Design Stage
During this phase, the Client looks at rough plans and seeks solutions to architectural problems that arise out of the preliminary meetings with the architect and Dearborn Builders. There may be one solution or there may be alternate solutions. It is hard to predict how many meetings will be required. This phase is complete when the Client and architect come to an agreement on a realistic solution. At this point the architect should be able to give a rough preliminary construction cost estimate. This estimate is based on schematic drawings and square footage. Remember this is only a rough estimate at this point
The Client, when satisfied, can instruct the architect to proceed to the complete design phase. This phase refines the floor plan and develops interior and exterior elevations with attention to special features. If engineers or specialists are required, they are brought in before plans are finalized. Structural and mechanical solutions must be evaluated and materials specified. When design is finalized, the Client’s approval is required.
Final Design Plans
The architect does the final adjustments, provides structural and mechanical overlays. A full set of plans can run to quite a few pages since not only is each floor spelled out but there are separate pages for electrical, mechanical, and elevations. At this point the whole job can be re-estimated and it will be much more accurate.
Documents are generated and all specifications noted. The drawings in full detail are produced and ready. Copies will be remitted to the municipal authorities for permits.
Construction begins after the contract is signed. The architect, whether yours or someone Dearborn has worked closely with, has to now work with the other team members to ensure a smooth build. Problems in the field do arise so the architect or Dearborn internal designer needs to be available on the spot to settle those issues. The architect and teammates have to approve the materials with the Clients.
The Building Process
Building a structure or doing an addition can be a long and detailed process. The builder has to be on top of all the details and be able to partner with the architect to help monitor the process. Dearborn also has to request subcontractor drawings for items like kitchen plans (if we don’t do them ourselves for you), cabinets, closets, doors, shutters, etc. The drawings allow Dearborn to ensure proper fit and finish as well as one final chance to review that the end product complies with the overall design intent.
The foundation is in and gets an inspection before the next steps can be started. Most building departments require on site inspections during major steps of construction i.e. foundation, framing, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, etc.
Building Status Reports
Dearborn Builders believes it is important to give weekly inspection reports to the owner. The firm must also schedule all municipal inspections as needed. The firm has to request sub contractor drawings like kitchen plans, cabinets, closets, etc. The firm has to deal with all of the utility companies regarding connections like power, phone, gas, alarm, etc.
Product Selections By Owner
Dearborn Builders has to discuss and assume responsibility for acquiring floor materials, light fixtures, hardware, appliances, windows, doors, roofing materials, painters, trim, and various other items. Sometimes inexperienced Clients can become overwhelmed by the number of decisions they need to be involved in. Dearborn prides itself on being able to patiently explain those decisions that need to be made and communicate the decisions to the whole team.
Remember that foundations, framing, sub flooring, windows, roofs seem to go fairly quickly. This is your last practical chance to make any last minute adjustments to the plans. But once these steps are done there are hundreds and hundreds of steps involved and even something like internal and external trim takes time and has to be executed perfectly.
By now kitchens are in, lighting is in, closets done, painting finished, floors and tile are done and dozens and dozens of other finishing items are complete. Dearborn supervisors have to check and double-check all of the details to make sure completion is close and right.
Getting Close To Completion
Toward the end of the build, two big items are the walk through with “punch list” and preparing what is called the “as produced” final plans since most towns require a final set of plans that indicate any changes that may have been done along the way. Dearborn gets final inspections and approvals from building departments which includes getting local fire department sign off.
One last thing
Once Dearborn Builders has the CO (certificate of occupancy) for the Client, they still need to pay for state mandated 10 year Warranty on the house itself. This was enacted into practice in 1977 and protects the homeowner.
Relax, You’re In Good Hands
Dearborn Builders has been doing this since 2001. While we can’t promise everything will be 100% smooth and easy, we do promise the highest level of professionalism, communications and quality workmanship. Our mantra is: “Built for Life – We build for your life and lifestyle. We build to last for generations and generations.” – Ed Dearborn.