Building With the Future in Mind Since 1955

Our Process

Usually a new client calls us, describes their idea for, say, a kitchen remodel, and then says “Although I know what I want, I don’t know where to start!”

Well…….. this is it!  So let’s understand the process, viewed from 35,000 feet.

Your challenge of how to select the right contractor is a tough one.  There are so many to choose from. And talk about choice……… there are also countless horror stories about working with contractors.  The law firm of Levy and vonBeck perhaps said it best: “For many homeowners, the process of working with a contractor is comparable to hiring a used car salesman to perform heart surgery.”

Let’s understand how we approach our work.  Your job is to determine if this approach sounds right for you……………

We’re a ‘design-build’ organization. Why?  Perhaps John Maxwell said it best: “One of us is not as smart as all of us.”  So we designed our firm in such a way as to tease apart a fairly complex process into three logical, inter-related steps:

  1. GETTING STARTED  (i.e. permitting; financing; building lot constraints such as setbacks; the condition of critical components such as furnaces, foundation, septic systems; etc.).  Here’s our logic: before we place pencil to paper, or begin our computer aided design (CAD) work, shouldn’t we, together, understand relevant constraints early on?
  2. DESIGN  From traditional hand drawing to CAD 3-D modeling using Chief Architect software, we can help you visualize your ideas, all the  while working towards the completion of required permit and financing documents.  We’re also specialists in generating the specifications you’ll need to define the very products and systems that will be incorporated into your project.  For example, although your drawing may show the location of your refrigerator, which brand, model and features are included in this appliance?  The specifications answer such questions.
  3. CONSTRUCTION   There’s this expression that says “Some houses are built to sell, others are built to last”.  Allow us to help you achieve the latter goal.  We want to build it right the first time, using sustainable building and business practices that have earned us awards at the state levelPut us to work to help you get there.

Under one roof, working side-by-side, our team can help manifest your dream into reality. And we’ve been doing it since 1955. Let’s put this another way………. in January of 2011 each of our 15 employees averaged 18 years of experience in their particular job description. Imagine applying  these 270 years of overall human experience towards helping you tackle your project!  All of us provides a whole lot of smarts!

Although we do have a design division — Adaptations Design Studio — this doesn’t mean that we only do high-end projects.  Yes, sometimes we do, but this false impression that designers tend to drive up prices doesn’t reside herein!  We’ve got to produce drawings and specifications that yield an affordable construction project or else neither you nor us get to bring your dream into fruition, right?  And also bear in mind that many a project doesn’t even need design work.  So please don’t be scared away by this false impression.  After you get to know us we’re confident that you will consider Adaptations Design Studio a strength and not a weakness!

Just where in this process can we begin to discuss costs? Can we tell you how much your project will cost while we’re getting started?  During design? 

Early on you want to know how much your ideas will cost you.  But ‘early on’ means that there is very little project definition. So asking us ‘how much do kitchen remodels cost?’ is like asking a car salesman ‘how much does a car cost?’

Simply put, the accuracy of the cost estimate is directly proportional to the level of details that are known.

We’ve all seen in a movie where an architect and a developer are having dinner in some high-end restaurant; the developer articulates a dream for some skyscraper downtown; the architect whips out his napkin and starts sketching a design and projecting a cost estimate.

Of what value is a cost estimate based upon  little information? At what point in time, or in design development, can you depend upon the accuracy of a cost estimate?

Simply put, the accuracy of an estimate increases with the accuracy of the information. In other words, the accuracy of an estimate increases the further along the design process you are.

Furthermore, price will be profoundly affected by what type of business operation  you are willing to hire.  A one person operation who owns a pickup and some tools and calls it good, without legal licensing, bonding and insurance?  A professional contractor who follows the rules, stays current on best practices, and is constantly training their co-workers so that the work lasts a very long time?  The spectrum of available business models to do your work is huge, making your choice of the appropriate model very important.

Because the accuracy of our price improves with more information, there are logical points along the design timeline that make estimating useful.  Why refine the details of an idea if a guesstimate along the way suggests that the very idea should be dropped altogether?  HERE is a more detailed discussion about these logical points along the design timeline that you should know about.

Is it reasonable to expect a contractor spouting low price to also incorporate best practices?  Isn’t the combination of  low price and best practices mutually exclusive?

Website-referral-button-354-wideOur clients understand the high cost of failure. Sure, you can always find someone cheaper to do what you’re after, but at what cost?  Whether you hire us or someone else, hire a pro.  And whether you hire us or someone else, hire a design-build company.  A professional design-build company offers you your most likely chance of success,  so let’s start down this process together.  Click right HERE.

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