An overview of the process to design and build a new home or an addition to your current home.
After you have made initial contact with sounds weird KohlMark Group, Mark Kohler, our President, or Tom Flach, our Vice President, will schedule a time to meet with you at your house. This is a time to get acquainted and learn about each other. Both Mark and Tom are award winning licensed architects and experienced custom home builders. They will be able to discuss design options and cost implications for your project. We ask that you have a copy of your plan(s) as well as your wish list and a general idea of budget for this meeting. We will give you a copy of the KohlMark Group information packet, which includes list of references, letters of reference, reprints of publications and other information to help you with your selection process. When you are ready to move forward with your project, just let us know and we will prepare a contract for your review and approval. KohlMark Group uses the American Institute of Architects series of Contracts. You will contract with KohlMark Architects for design and budgeting services and with KohlMark Builders for construction.
Field Measuring and Project Evaluation - The first step in the process is to accurately measure the existing house and prepare plans and elevations of the existing conditions. At the same time, we will research your zoning for setbacks and any other restrictions that may impact your project. If you live in a historic district or a neighborhood with an architectural review board, we will review those guidelines before we start designing.
Preliminary Conference - Once we have the drawings of the existing house and setback information, you will sit down with Mark or Tom for a thorough discussion of the project. This is a good time to bring photos and magazine clippings of projects or design ideas that you like. The project vision will start to take shape during this meeting.
Preliminary Design and Budgeting - A few weeks after our preliminary conference, we will come back to meet with you with 2-3 schemes that provide different approaches to the design solution. These schemes will be drawn in plan and elevation and will include preliminary cost estimates for each plan. Typically, one scheme will stand out as the favorite and will be refined until you are completely satisfied with the design. Before moving on to detailed construction documents, we confirm that the project will meet budget with a detailed cost analysis.
Trade Day - In order to provide a detailed and accurate price for your project, we have a trade day in which all of our trade subcontractors visit your house and review your existing systems and the site conditions. The electrician will evaluate your panel; the mechanical contractor will review your heating and air conditioning system and evaluate expansion options etc. After this trade day, each subcontractor will provide a detailed cost for his or her portion of the work. We will provide multiple bids for some of the major items such as windows to provide value options and ensure competitive numbers.
Pricing - Our pricing process is fully transparent and entirely open book. We feel that this approach creates a team attitude and instills a level of trust not typically found in the construction business. We will assemble the subcontractors pricing along with allowances into a spreadsheet that details each cost. All subcontractor pricing and costs are available for your review. Our wholesale contractor pricing is passed directly on to you. Once we have confirmed the project budget, we move forward with detailed construction documents.
Construction Documents and Final Selections - The construction documents are the detailed drawings that include structural and electrical drawings and all of the construction material details required to build the project. KohlMark Architects will also coordinate with any required consultants during this stage including soil engineers, civil and structural engineers and landscape architects. The completed drawings will satisfy all permit and bank lending requirements. While we are preparing these drawings, you will be out making your final selections for tile, hardwood, countertops, etc.
Final Pricing and Construction Contract - After the final drawings are complete, we will have our subcontractors review the plans one more time for any changes or items that may not have been included in the preliminary drawing. With this information, we will prepare the construction contract for KohlMark Builders.
Permitting - KohlMark Builders will coordinate and manage the entire permit submission process for you. This includes presenting to architectural review boards and processing any required variances. Once all permits are issued, we are ready to start construction!
Preconstruction Meeting - You will be assigned a project manager who will be responsible for the construction of your project. During the preconstruction meeting, your project manager and Mark or Tom will review the expectations and systems for construction. We will review items such as work hours, material storage, forms and any of your special needs or concerns. The project manager will provide a master schedule and inform you of deadlines for selections of things such as lighting fixtures or paint colors. You will be given the project manager’s email address and cell phone number and discuss the means of communication that works best for you. You will also agree on a time for a weekly meeting at the jobsite.
Construction Meetings -You will meet weekly with your project manager. During these meetings, you will review progress, sign work authorizations to approve selections or changes and review a schedule for the next two weeks. This detailed two week schedule will allow you to anticipate decisions and activities that will be occurring at the project. As needed, the architect will attend the meeting to address any design issues and help with any questions.
Construction – During construction, we treat your home as if it was our own. We post jobsite rules that prohibit smoking and profanity. But most importantly we select subcontractors who are experts at working in occupied homes with families. They understand the importance of minimizing their impact on your life. They are respectful of the fact that you are allowing them into your home.
Final Inspections and Punch List - When construction is complete, we will arrange for all final inspections with the county. After you have settled into your new home, we will schedule a meeting to walk the project and develop a punch list of any items that need to be repaired or replaced. Our project manager’s work hard during the project to make this punch list as minimal as possible. We do not receive our final payment until this punch list is complete.
Systems Orientation -Upon completion of construction, your project manager will provide all of the documentation and warranty information for the products and systems installed in your home. We will walk you through all of the details for operation of your heating and air conditioning, show you the location of hose bib shut offs and review any necessary maintenance procedures.
Warranty - Your KohlMark Custom Home Builders project is covered by a full one-year warranty. After a year of acclimating, nail pops and other items may become apparent. We will come out near the end of the one-year period and repair any of these items. Of course if you speak to any of our past clients, KohlMark Group will always be just a phone call away to help you with any issues that may arise in the future.