Much like the Fixed Price Contractor, butThe “design build” contractor prefers to get a commitment BEFORE design or pricing have been presented.

Generally involved with the design; usually requesting a non-refundable deposit prior to design commencement.

Many customers who comprehend that design services are valuable when provided in tandem with solid construction will pay for such a service. The problem is that even if the design is not to the liking of the customer and although the construction may never take place, there is a still a cost associated to this service and it can cause added COST, PRESSURE and DISAPOINTMENT to the customer.

A cost-plus contractor compiles a budget, with a breakdown of line items as per specifications and drawings provided. A common misconception is that the word “cost” in cost-plus is the builder’s ACTUAL COST, but it is usually not.

Typically the “COST” has a % of profit for the business’ overhead.

Mark ups can be manipulated in several ways, depending on the contractor. Some contractors may reduce their management fee to appear a better value than a competitor.

At the end of the day, if you’re not paying the trades/supplier direct, then you’re not getting the dealer price.

Generally they do not operate with transparency
May have some in house trades and sub‐contracts independent trades.
Margins typically 35 to 40%
Change orders and extras often 40 to 70% margins.

Contractor receives payments and pays sub-trades and suppliers.

Increased exposure to Builder Liens for unpaid sub-trades or suppliers.

Sometimes called construction management; the contractor compiles a budget with a full breakdown of line item costs based on drawings and specifications provided by independent designer or homeowner.

You have the opportunity to compare quotes against the budget and you approve the quotes prior to your commitment of each.

Obtain quotes from long term independent trades.
Operates with the transparency of BUILDERS ACTUAL PRICE COST plus a flat management fee.
Margins typically 25 to 30%
Change orders and extras with no premiums
Payment terms are scheduled pay periods based on actual costs in place and work completed.
No advance payments except to suppliers for custom ordered products.

All payments except management fee paid directly to trades and suppliers at quoted builder pricing. Management fee only, paid directly to contractor.

By paying trades and suppliers directly you eliminate the possibility of Builder Liens.

Most builders’ focus on building new homes, so renovating is typically a part-time activity for such tradespeople. The processes and services required for renovations are quite specific and, once plans are signed off, building a new home is relatively predictable. Renovations usually require all of the sub-trades that are needed for the construction of a new building. During renovation projects, flexibility is often required from renovation companies to respond to unexpected issues that arise.

Projects involving renovation require not just flexibility, but a plan that has previously been agreed upon by multiple parties. The planning process will involve feedback from financial investors of the project, as well as the designer. Part of planning will also entail the collection of any necessary data for the completion of the project and then the project plan will be revised and given consent before continuing with renovations.

In many projects, custom homebuilders build on top of land that is already purchased by the future homeowner. Many developers sell lots that are sold specifically for the construction of a custom home. The event of buying land and then making it ready to build upon makes it easy to build a custom home since the builders can focus purely on the design of the home.

An architectural designed house plan is a set of construction or working drawings (a.k.a. blueprints) that define all the construction specifications of a residential house such as dimensions, materials, layouts, installation methods and techniques. The design of the plans or house drawings consists of several principals. The principal information provided in set of house drawings is as follows:

Site plans are drawn to show the location of a home on the property in its context. It is an overhead view of the building site and house as it sits in reference to the boundaries of the property. Site plans outline the location of utility services, easements, location of driveways and walkways, setback requirements, and sometimes even topographical data that specifies the terrain’s slope.

A floor plan is an overhead view of the completed home. One can see parallel lines that scale the width of the walls that are required. Dimensions are usually drawn between the walls to outline wall lengths and room sizes. Floor plans can also indicate rooms, doors, and windows; as well as any built-in elements, such as plumbing fixtures and cabinets, water heaters and furnaces, etc. Floor plans include notes to specify finishes, symbols for electrical elements, or even construction styles or methods.

Elevations are a non-perspective view of the home. These elevations are drawn to scale so that measurements can be taken for any aspect necessary. Plans include front, rear and both side elevations. Elevations specify the positioning of the final fall of the land, exterior finishes, ridge heights, roof pitches and other details that are necessary to give the home its own exterior styling.

Sections cut through the dwelling and the location of this section is noted on the floor plan, where it describes how the building will be constructed and discusses how the internal finishes are to look. Sections are used because they explain certain conditions in more detail. The conditions in sections may include ceiling height, ceiling type (flat or vault), and window and door dimensions to be used by designers and builders.