K. Fedewa Builders Design Build Process
Welcome! Since you are reading this we assume that you are in the market for a Home Improvement project or looking to build a new home and are wondering if K. Fedewa Builders would be a good fit for you. We generated this content to help our community and our prospective clients understand the way that we do business and to help determine if there is a good fit between K. Fedewa Builders and the way we work and the needs and requirements of our prospective clients, whatever those may be.
We realize that our process may not be the best fit for everyone; we acknowledge this and our goal is to determine if there is compatibility as early in the process as possible.
Note that this process summary is geared towards our remodeling clients, but the process for our new construction clients is very similar. In a nutshell, the process steps are:
- Initial inquiry/contact
- Mutual Qualification process - typically a first phone call interview
- On-site Consultation to discuss your project and our process more in depth
- Entering into a Design Agreement (DA), which will accurately develop and price your project (there is a fee associated with this - explained below)
- Note that we will also review K. Fedewa Builder's Terms of Service and Mutual Expectations from both parties prior to entering any Agreements.
- Entering into a Construction Agreement, with a final, fixed price to perform a documented scope of work
- Pre-Construction Activities
- Project Construction/Production
- Project Warranty
The qualification process is mutual...are we a good fit to work together? Can we meet your expectations and vice versa? During this phase of the process we are going to explore your goals and needs and generally get to know each other prior to working together.
The key to this phase is honest and open communication between all parties and to develop a mutual sense of trust. The first step is usually a phone conversation where we are going to capture as much information about you and your project as possible via questions geared to uncover:
- General overview and location of your project
- Your wish list, problems that need to be solved and special features or requirements
- Identifying all decision makers and stakeholders that will be involved in the process
- Capturing information about your home value and age
- Identifying your budget or desired investment range and understanding how you may have come up with those numbers
- Gaining an understanding of your financing requirements for the project
- Determining where you feel that you are in the process of selecting a builder and how you feel about our process (which you are reading now)
- Discovering where you are with developing plans or sketches or even if have you attempted this previously
- How did you come up with these ideas or plans?
- What were the client wishes that were solved with these plans?
- Was there a budget considered while developing these plans?
- What were your previous experiences with builders like and what were the good and bad things about those experiences?
- What is your timeline and do you have scheduling constraints?
- Do you have other concerns or requirements related to the design or construction process?
- After reading this summary of our process, do you feel as though K. Fedewa Builders would be a good fit for your project? Discuss amongst yourselves! 🙂 We are here to help!
We ask these questions so that we can understand your needs and offer our professional consultation and assistance in getting you to a solution that is attainable. Our commitment to you is that we will be completely transparent and honest with you as we go through this discussion.
- If we cannot meet your schedule requirements we will be honest about what we can do and what you should expect from K. Fedewa Builders
- If we feel that your budget range is off we will tell you what we think and why and will offer some industry information about typical project costs or similar projects that we have completed
- If we feel as though the project is not a good fit for what we do, we will be open and honest about that and will try to point you in the right direction
- If you need financing we will recommend some options based on our experience and also explain our requirements to approve your lender before proceeding
- If we do not feel that we can satisfy any of your needs (all of which we are trying to uncover) we will be open and honest about that in our discussion
Our only requirement is that we receive open and honest communication in response and that your specific needs are identified and addressed.
If it seems like a good fit for both parties, we will propose the next step for you to consider...
You have probably been thinking about this for some time and have some ideas for what you want to do. You may have heard about us from your friends or colleagues or you have seen our trailers or job signs and are looking for the first step...well, this is it!
We would love for you to read and understand our process prior to us discussing your project and we may have even sent you here to review this content and make sure that what we offer is what you are looking for and meets your expectations. Our preferred method of contact is via our website/contact form, which puts you directly into our contact database and ensures a timely response.
Please fill the web form out with detail about what you are trying to accomplish along with project address, phone and email contact information. We appreciate that valuable information!
Assuming that both K. Fedewa Builders and the prospective client are satisfied with the mutual qualification process above, K. Fedewa Builders will schedule an on-site consult with a project developer to meet with the client. This meeting requires the participation of all decision makers/stakeholders in the project/process. This may include partner, spouse, significant other, maybe even a parent or relative who may be moving into the home or contributing to the cost of the project and thus the decision making process.
At this meeting we will look at the site and the spaces and capture the latest information on what the client desires or envisions. We may take a few photographs for reference. We will continue the discussion about budget and may be able to ball-park the project price or a cost range at that time, and we also may refer to some published guidelines of typical project costs or to similar projects that we have performed. We can answer questions about our process or capabilities.
We will discuss financing requirements, as well as K. Fedewa Builders policies with approving lenders and how we can assist with referring K. Fedewa Builders approved lenders and creating documents for determining appraisals, etc. If there are major options that need to be considered or if there are desired ‘phases’ of the project that the client may like to consider, we will discuss what makes sense from our perspective and capture that information. We will discuss our current schedule and backlog and may be able to preliminarily identify a target start date.
We cannot provide an accurate final price to produce the project until our Design Agreement (DA) phase is completed (please keep reading and we promise we will get to that in exceptional detail).
At the conclusion of this meeting, the client will be asked if they would like to proceed with a DA, which would take the project from ‘Concept’ to a construction contract, with the scope of work and all finishes and project pricing clearly determined prior to beginning the work. In other words the DA process allows us to completely plan the project up front, prior to commencement, in order to efficiently execute the work and guarantee pricing for the client without surprises.
If the client would like to proceed with the DA, the project developer will take the project information back to the team at K. Fedewa Builders for review. The K. Fedewa Builders' time required in order to complete the DA will be estimated and a proposal will be created. The fee associated with the DA is based on the estimated time for K. Fedewa Builders to complete the scope of work in the proposal at an hourly rate.
The fee will vary from project to project, however there is a minimum fee of $1000 and a realistic estimate of the fee is 3% of the total project cost or budget. The Fee is non-refundable, however, if the entire amount is not consumed on the K. Fedewa Builders hourly rate basis, we will apply the remainder to the balance of the construction contract.
We understand that the client may be interviewing other builders, and we are not in the business of hounding or pressuring our prospects. Should we not hear from the client prospect within a reasonable amount of time after this meeting, we will follow up to ask for client permission to close their file and to remove them from our follow up list, or ask the client to propose a tangible follow up scenario that will conclude in a decision to either proceed or not proceed with an K. Fedewa Builders Design Agreement.
Pending your request to proceed with this stage, we will invite you into our office prior to committing to the process to review and go over all of the details, contract language, terms of service and future expectations for you to consider, extending out through the actual construction phase and through the warranty life-cycle of your project. We will also review our online project management system that you will be integrated into as part of the process. The agreement will include:
- A general sequence of events to expect during the DA phase
- A scope of work, to be completed by K. Fedewa Builders to satisfy the agreement, usually something like the following:
- Full collection of client wishes, sharing project inspirations (magazine pictures or Houzz or Pinterest boards)
- Site measure and create space plans for the project - creating 3-D Models of existing and proposed spaces
- Review existing plans/surveys/site plans, meet Town/County officials as needed to verify zoning and building department compliance. Identify potential hurdles with the project
- Present preliminary space plans for areas desired
- Present preliminary budget estimate for project - utilizing allowances and price ranges as needed pending final concepts and selections
- After customer sign off on preliminary designs and budget estimates, client desire to proceed, financing approvals (if needed). K. Fedewa Builders Designer to meet with Client to finalize concepts and collect substantial specification and selection information to adequately finalize project pricing. Note that some allowances may be utilized in the final construction contract
- Perform due diligence as needed to accurately price the project and define a construction scope of work. This may include additional on-site visits at project address with trade partners to more accurately complete this due diligence
- Create a detailed project construction proposal including proposed schedule, pricing and scope of work setting full and complete expectations for both parties
- Client responsibilities prior to and as part of the agreement, which include:
- Provide an accurate wish list/scope of work to be considered as part of this proposal
- Disclose all decision makers that will be involved in the project development and subsequent construction contract
- Disclose a realistic budget for us to work with
- Disclose project financing and lending requirements
- Disclose any special requests for the actual construction phase that will impact K. Fedewa Builders costs, schedule, work hours, process, etc...
- Provide reasonable access to the residence as needed by K. Fedewa Builders and or its partners for this project
- Provide an accurate site plan (survey or plat) or results of any previous discussion regarding Town or County zoning parameters (if available) if the project involves any exterior footprint expansions prior to the start of conceptual plans to ensure that any expansion fits within legal building envelopes
- Make themselves available for meetings within reasonable time frames to ensure the project stays on schedule
- Make reasonable and timely decisions when needed to facilitate the project schedule.
- (If applicable) Procure and/or identify any HOA approvals required prior to start of construction of the project unless otherwise noted in this agreement
- We will also review in detail what you WILL receive as part of this process:
- Concept drawings marked NOT FOR CONSTRUCTION in digital .pdf format. K. Fedewa Builders is not in the business of doing design work for clients that do not intend to use K. Fedewa Builders for construction of the final project. Client acknowledges that designs are the Copyrighted property of K. Fedewa Builders until the project is completed
- A comprehensive list of finish selections that need to be made during the Design Agreement phase/ prior to construction. K. Fedewa Builders designer will assist with preliminary selections based on client budget requirements via K. Fedewa Builders preferred vendors
- Verbal estimates of schedule and cost ranges during the design agreement phase
- A final fixed-price construction contract will be presented at the end of the process, complete with anticipated start date, payment schedule and project duration
- And we will also review what you WILL NOT receive as part of this process:
- Permit ready, construction ready, engineered plans. These plans will be finalized after acceptance of the construction contract and submitted for approval with local jurisdictions as needed
- Detailed project schedule and exact start date...the start will depend on the timing of the execution of the construction contract and our current construction schedule at that time. Project duration and planned start date will be finalized on our construction contract at the conclusion of the DA process
- Detailed cost breakdowns. K. Fedewa Builders provides ‘Fixed Price’ construction contracts and does not share line itemizing of construction costs or costs/markups for contractor Overhead and Profit.
- In expectation of a follow up question on this, here is a comprehensive breakdown offered by the National Association of Homebuilders on Construction Cost Breakdowns for a few types of construction contractors http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/01/homebuilding-costs/. K. Fedewa Builders is primarily a Remodeling contractor and the associated graph will give you an idea of how the costs add up for a professional remodeling contractor. K. Fedewa Builders follows industry guidelines for business operations and management practices as well as overhead and profit models so these are very close to how you could expect our costs to break down.
- If you have a DIY background, the cost of the ‘stuff’, aka the cabinets and fixtures and other materials is typically around 25-35% of the total project cost on remodels, so hiring a professional remodeling firm and using licensed trade partners to complete the work will cost approximately 3-4 times as much as you could theoretically DIY the project (in a case where you supply all of the labor at no cost)
- We can provide pricing for options (within reason) and often will utilize allowances so that our clients can choose products that fit their needs and budget
Included in our Design Agreement is also additional information for your reference and understanding. We try to set and thoroughly review mutual expectations in anticipation of the Construction phase of the project.
- Generally speaking, K. Fedewa Builders needs to be in control of the construction process in order to be accountable for completing and standing behind our work. This is the responsibility of the K. Fedewa Builders Project Manager with assistance from our production team. This means that K. Fedewa Builders is going to be completely responsible for obtaining permits and facilitating all required inspections and managing all interactions with building or other government officials.
K. Fedewa Builders will be responsible for daily cleanup and maintaining a safe worksite and for a detailed final cleanup of the work area(s) at the substantial completion of work. K. Fedewa Builders will be responsible for providing all materials, for providing all labor and for coordinating and scheduling all purchases, deliveries and installation of all labor and materials for the duration of the project. We will also ensure that all workers on site are properly licensed and insured. Any exceptions to this will be agreed to by both parties in writing as part of the construction contract and scope of work and prior to any work being performed.
- Client agrees to:
- To make any remaining or necessary decisions in a timely manner to not cause a delay in the construction schedule
- To provide access to the worksite during reasonable and typical construction work hours during the duration of the project
- To make payments per the terms of the contract or as required by change orders during the execution of the contract
- To direct all questions or comments to K. Fedewa Builders project manager and to not question, direct, interfere with, or interrupt the work of workers, public officials or vendors on the site
- Client further agrees to direct all inquiries for additional work to the K. Fedewa Builders Project Manager and not to solicit additional work from workers on site
- We will review the Final Payment and Warranty guidelines. The final payment is due and the warranty period will begin when the project is “substantially completed”, at which point your project goes from “in-production” to “under warranty”.
- We field a lot of questions about requiring final payment at this time, and not after completion of a client punch list...so...here is the explanation:
The project is 'substantially complete' when it is safe to use and can be turned back over to you for your enjoyment - at which point we will perform a final clean up and move out of your way, removing trucks, trailers, dumpsters, porta johns, etc., returning you to your normal life and giving you access to the remodeled areas of the home for your enjoyment.
This is typically signified by approved closing of the building permits from the County or Town public safety officials.
At this time your project will go into Warranty status. Your Warranty is typically going to extend for 3 years. The Warranty guidelines are published and are nationally accepted standards (and available on request - they are delivered on a flash drive at the completion of the project.)
To be very clear, honest and transparent, there will very likely be an issue or two that remain after substantial completion. They are usually related to minor things like a cabinet door that was damaged in shipping and needs to be re-ordered or a cabinet pull that is out of stock, (note that it might take a few weeks to receive these parts ) or maybe a paint blemish or maybe a toilet that is noticed to run after going into service. None of those are things that we can allow to hold up a final payment.
For these reasons and to honor our warranty, we require payment in full at substantial completion, which may be prior to us returning to complete some warranty or punch list items. After receipt of said final payment...we will take care of anything necessary within our warranty guidelines for 3 years - no questions asked and at our expense, with smiles on our faces and a spring in our step.
We realize that this requires you to trust us, so our goal is to establish this trust up front.
- We field a lot of questions about requiring final payment at this time, and not after completion of a client punch list...so...here is the explanation:
We acknowledge that what we have listed above is a large amount of information, however, our goal is to set a clear expectation for all parties prior to entering any contractual arrangement. We are happy to answer any questions about any of these requirements of our process, which is usually done by sharing an anecdote about something that has gone wrong at some point in our company history, We also acknowledge that we are not perfect nor do we intend to be, however, if we follow our process we can provide the best possible service to our clients.
Assuming that you (the client) are agreeable to all of the mutual expectation guidelines, then by signing the Design Agreement, you are deciding to trust us in our process.
Woohoo! We know you will be happy with your decision!
This is awesome and also means that we are trusting you and have every intention of building you a successful project!
Signing of the Design Agreement and Terms of Service along with receipt of the Non-Refundable Design Agreement Fee reserves your project slot in our master construction schedule.
Now that we are here it means that we made it through the DA process and have thoroughly and successfully specified your project and scope of work and have contracted together to complete the work.
Upon signing of your construction contract and receipt of your non-refundable deposit for construction, your projected start date will be confirmed. There are several factors that go into selecting this start date and determining the construction deposit.
Depending on the project type, the deposit payment can usually be expected to be between 10% and 25% of the project total.
Another factor in determining a start date are things such as additional work required by K. Fedewa Builders in creating permit drawings, submitting plans for approval and for project planning during this period, as well as for material special orders or pre-orders such as cabinets, doors and windows that need to be placed before we start the project.
K. Fedewa Builders utilizes a slot scheduling system for our projects. You are reserving a slot when you sign up for our DA process, however your exact slot is typically not assigned until we get to this point and we can have more clear visibility into our current workload at that time.
We typically manage multiple projects simultaneously, however, we have some reality and production limits to be considered.
If there are any remaining product or finish selections to be made, which is sometimes necessary during this phase, we will coordinate these with you and help you manage deadlines during this period. There may be an additional client request for the project that can be integrated into our scope of work and addended to the contract.
All changes to the scope of work (Change Orders) for the project after the construction agreement is executed are managed through our collaborative online project management system and require client and K. Fedewa Builders signoff and will typically result in a change in the total project cost, payment terms, and payment and construction schedule.
All client communication, project schedule, and financial components of the project are managed through our online project management system.
A Pre-Construction meeting will be conducted with you and our project manager on-site to review:
- Site logistics such as parking, material storage, refuse collection, and porta-john location
- K. Fedewa Builders access to the work areas and work hours will be finalized, and keys will be exchanged, keyboxes setup, etc.
- A general game plan on the work sequence and upcoming activities will be discussed and areas of the home to be closed off for the work will be determined
- Contact methods, and client decision making matrices will be finalized at this meeting
- Mutual expectations for sending, receiving, and responding to messages will be established
- Any other open issues or concerns such as safety of children or pets will be discussed and resolved as needed at this meeting
The fun part! The trucks, equipment, trailers, dumpsters, porta john, and workers descend upon your home! Progress is imminent!
We know that this is a time of high anxiety for you, however we want you to trust us and know that we are professionals and equipped to be sensitive to your concerns and to provide the best possible outcome for all of us who are collaborating on this project. In other words...there is no need to worry...we do this everyday and have been planning this for quite some time using a systemized process!
The first project invoice is due at the time of project start. This amount will vary depending on project type and construction schedule, but can also be expected to be in the 10-25% range of the total project cost. Demo and sitework commence.
Daily communication is managed through our project management system, which keeps you and all of us at K. Fedewa Builders informed as to what is going on and able to assist if needed. Our project manager will keep you up to date with next steps on the project and will update our production schedule as needed for your reference.
Progress payments are scheduled in advance to correspond to the construction schedule, however invoice dates and amounts will change based on the actual construction schedule or any changes in scope of work or selections that impact allowance values remaining at the time of contract signing. You will be kept informed of invoice dates and all pertinent project financials through our project management system.
If applicable, K. Fedewa Builders will manage obtaining construction draws from your lender and meeting their requirements for title work and documentation as needed. This is the primary reason that K. Fedewa Builders requires you to disclose lending requirements and must approve your lender prior to designing or building your project. We have a large network of community banks to recommend that are pre-approved by K. Fedewa Builders and provide many competitive products and options for our clients.
K. Fedewa Builders will be responsible to direct the work and all material orders and delivery schedules and be responsible for the work area, including daily tidying of the site.
The client will be responsible for making payments and decisions as required by K. Fedewa Builders to keep the project moving, and to make themselves available to do walk throughs of the constructed areas as needed.
K. Fedewa Builders also sets a client expectation that all questions or concerns regarding the project are directed to the K. Fedewa Builders project manager or to our team via the project management system, K. Fedewa Builders will address your questions or concerns as necessary.
As we reviewed earlier, the Final Payment is due at ‘substantial completion’ of the project, which signifies the transition in our process from ‘in production’ to ‘under warranty’. At this time you go back to your normal life, with access to your remodeled areas that are now ready for use, safe and clean and free from daily construction activities.
If pertinent, the K. Fedewa Builders project manager will present a list of any open or ‘punch work’ warranty items that are known at the time of substantial completion. A comprehensive review of this list and explanation of the planned resolution to each item will be reviewed with you at this time.
Final payment is required at this time, which may be prior to completion of these warranty items.
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