1. Inspiration: Create an idea portfolio when interested in specific finishes. Even sketches can aid in planning. We appreciate any help to get inside your thought process. Start this at least six months out to locate photos for us.

2. Determine Budget: Hopefully your budget allows for your wants, but needs come first. Balance is key. We want to know your top number to cater our plan to you. Most people think things cost half as much as they actually do. We want you to have the reality check “before” you actually need it. If you are new to this stuff we can help.

3. Future Value: Our realtors can help you determine the existing and future property values. Other factors we consider are length at residence, neighboring comps, market trends, and should we do this right now or wait a year?

4. Existing Space: We pride ourselves on re-work of existing with smart designs, but sometimes additions are obvious. It’s more expensive to build out instead of up, so we will help you weigh these options and we know how much to budget for it.

5. Consider Function: Are the needed changes ergonomic, do special needs exist, are windows on the correct side of home for sunlight, where do you need privacy, is the entry located in user-friendly spot with shoe and coat storage, is fireplace location killing the floorplan, and is that door or wall really needed? We can remove it easier than you might think. Just a little taste of things to determine. We do this every day. No question is insignificant.

6. Contractor Connections: We get special pricing, we are friends with building inspectors, we use only the finest designers and architects, we are in professional associations, we are well known, we use only the finest craftsmen to work on your home, we care about your neighbors, and we treat your project as if it was our own.

7. Materials Used: Do you like wood, concrete, metal, glass, faux-painted, composite materials, water, etc? This is important to tying all elements together in the design process. We have the experience to locate your requested materials, and offer more inspiration than you were expecting. We assist you in tracking down samples if you like to hunt!

8. Feature Trade-offs: So many ways to put together a home! Will you add windows, or arrange a better lighting plan? Will you build the retaining wall, or opt for heavy landscape and plant large trees? Do you want extremely energy efficient heating/cooling system which is high up front cost, or traditional so you can buy that hot tub? Will you go with smooth wall finishes or just spray texture everything to offset costs? Engineered wood flooring or carpet, or both?
This list is about 100 to 125 questions deep to determine trade-offs with budget and to speed the bidding. So start your list right away! Ask for our “Item List”.

9. Timeframe: What is your desired completion date, or is that not a factor? Will all work be performed while you live in home or do you need to rent a place while under construction? What about pets? Will weather conditions hinder or benefit the job?

10. Monetary Schedule: All jobs are different. Will you need to move money around or discuss financing with one of our well known construction lenders? Payments to GC follow a detailed outline, there will be no surprises unless you change your mind. You may need to show liquidity if project is over a certain dollar amount.

AND FINALLY!
Details During Project: This is such a major factor in building it has to be listed all over the place.
Once underway, is there something that is not to your liking, does something look different than expected, should this be bigger or smaller or removed all together?
Changes cost money, so catching issues right after mock up is vital to keeping things as cost effective as possible. This happens, stay on top of it. Even with client blessed designed plan, engineered drawings, and city approval, things change. Deviating from plans will typically cost money. It’s our job to build per plans, but it’s your job to pay attention to what you helped design.