What does Design Build mean?

Design Build is an integrated process of design and construction from conception to finished product. The Design Build process saves the client time and money by putting the Architect and Contractor under one roof. Allowing for a streamline process from design to construction and avoiding miscommunications which often cause additional costs and time delays. Working with one firm ensures that the owners needs and concerns which are expressed during design are incorporated into the final product.

What kind of contracts will I be asked to commit to?

For design-build projects which require Architectural Drawings, we start with a design contract with our Architectural Firm (AJA Architects). This covers design services only: architectural fees, engineering fees, etc.

Before construction starts, our fully licensed and Insured General Contracting Firm (AJA Design Build) will prepare either a lump sum contract or a cost-plus contract for Construction Services . Both contracts are determined by estimating the hard costs of the labor and materials and adding a markup (our overhead and profit). A lump sum contract has a fixed dollar amount where the scope of work and costs are predetermined. A cost-plus contract is open ended with no final dollar amount predetermined, either because the project is fast-tracked or the scope of work has not been determined. In a cost-plus agreement, the contractor has an open book relationship with the client. The the final contract price is the actual total of all labor and materials plus a markup (overhead and profit). Our firm has worked successfully with each contract type. The agreement type is typically selected by the client to suit their needs and the project goals.

How long will it take to complete my project?

Every project varies depending on the scope of work. Repairs can usually be done in a matter of days or weeks. Small projects with no design may take 4-6 weeks. Most medium-size projects take 8-16 weeks for both design and construction. Large renovations/additions vary significantly depending on the scope and complexity of the project. Sometimes, large projects can be fast tracked if there is a special need. However, we do not recommend working design issues out during construction; the best process allows for adequate time for design prior to construction.

There are so many decisions to make regarding design and material selections. How do I narrow down my choices to fit my budget?

We will assist and guide you through product selection, showing you samples, referring you to appropriate suppliers and listening to your budget and style needs. Often, we recommend the use of one of our interior design consultants for professional assistance in making color and finish selections.

Do you use your own crews on projects or do you use subcontractors?

We have employees that typically perform framing, carpentry, site demolition, repairs, finish woodworking and cleanup. Electrical, plumbing, and HVAC work is always subcontracted. We have developed strong relationships with specialized trade contractors such as painters, cabinet makers, concrete and drywall contractors, granite and marble installers, faux painters, ornamental iron workers, and others. We match the appropriate specialist to your project.

Why should I hire AJA Design Build when I may be able to find a lower price?

Although our prices are competitive, Price should not be the only factor in choosing a contractor. Often an extremely low price is a red flag and should be a cause for concern. AJA Design Build has an excellent reputation in Design and
Construction. We choose our subcontractors carefully, ensuring they share our vision for quality work. Ask to see our portfolio or visit some of our recent projects. Call our references and ask questions. We believe quality design and construction is essential when it comes to improving your home — which is, after all, your most important asset.