The Northcape Design Process
The first step after determining your budget is to sign the Design Agreement. This very simple agreement lays out the estimated design cost and charges for reimbursable expenses, such as surveying and permit application fees.
The conceptual design process begins when the designer receives your custom design program and existing building or site parameters. From these, the designer can begin space planning and with frequent review by you, will begin conceptual floor plan design. Once you approve the general building form and floor plans, we move into Design Development.
This phase brings a refinement to the design by determining final building components and dimensions. Structural, electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems are chosen and we encourage you to make product selections such as doors, windows and roofing, along with the assistance of our Selections Coordinator.
Our Selections Coordinator is a very talented kitchen and bath designer and an interior designer certified by the ASID. As our professional building designer is developing the house plans, she can be working with you to choose from the myriad of choices when it comes to cabinetry, hardware and counter-tops, as well as the . Later, she can help you with furniture placement using your existing furniture or help you select the right combination of new furniture for your new home. She can assist you with any other traditional interior design services too.
Over the years, we have found that making your product selections during the Design Development phase enables us to deliver the most accurate final project cost. And because you’ve already made your decisions, you are free to relax and enjoy the construction process when it begins.
Final Plans & Construction Documents
At this phase of your project, our draftsmen create the final dimensioned and notated floor plans, site plan, sections, and elevations. All of the details, including the window, door and finish schedules are produced and supported by written specifications that identify the products and materials that will be used in construction. And just to be sure we get you the best end product for the best price, we recruit trade contractors and suppliers to review your final plans to give us feedback on the best and most cost effective construction strategies. When the final plans and specifications have been reviewed and approved, we request pricing from our trade contractors and suppliers.
Contractor Bidding & Contract Documents
We choose our trade partners based on a variety of reasons. While price is large contributing factor, we feel that all our partners have high levels of experience, quality, cooperation and communication. But before we can choose our trade partners and construction can begin, we issue Request for Proposals (RFPs) that include the entire scope of work, plans and specifications. Each proposal we receive is carefully reviewed to ensure that every part of your project is accounted for. Once all the proposals have been reviewed and any final revisions have been made, we prepare the Construction Contract which includes the final total fixed sum and the Schedule of Payments. At this point, all that’s left for you to do is sign.