Wanting to Build? Start Here.

Bluerock offers services that many people may not know about: Pre-Construction Services. Whether you are planning to build a custom home, undertake a significant home addition, or start a renovation project, these are some things you should know before you begin.

The Traditional Method: Design-Bid-Build

The traditional way to approach a new residential construction project has generally followed the design-bid-build pattern. The first step in this method is for an individual to find and select an architect. The architect designs their project and prepares ready-to-be-built construction documents. The next step involves requesting cost proposals from a handful of builders. After receiving the cost proposals, they evaluate each proposal and choose a builder. Step three is to build the project.

  • Find an architect to design project

  • Receive bids from various builders and choose a builder

  • Build project

Two Disadvantages

This traditional method generally carries with it two disadvantages: cost uncertainty and the overall length of the process. More often than not, when a builder is presented with completed construction documents for a cost estimate, that estimate is higher than the client expected. The client then has to decide to either increase their budget and move forward, reduce or eliminate non-structural elements in the project, or pay the architect to re-design the project in a more cost-effective way. The best way to avoid these issues is to have the builder involved early on in the design process.

Solution? Get the Builder Involved First

The best way to avoid an overly expensive and drawn out project is to have the builder involved early on in the design process.

Bluerock’s Three-Step Design Process

When Bluerock is hired to perform Pre-Construction Services, we get involved with our clients and their chosen architect from the beginning of the design process. We typically go through a three-step design process which includes schematic design (SD), design development (DD), and construction documents (CD). The first step of schematic design is developing the basic shape, size, and general layout of the project. By the end of schematic design, the floors, walls, and rooflines are essentially in place. Design development takes the next step by adding additional details such as doors, windows, cabinets, and fixtures. We ensure that principles of balance, symmetry, rhythm, and space are working together. Once that step is complete, the final step is to prepare construction documents which will include structural engineering,  material specifications, and construction details for interior and exterior finishes.
  • Schematic Design: Basic size, shape, and layout of project

  • Design Development: Add details like doors, windows, and fixtures

  • Construction Documents: Finalize structural engineering, material specifications, and construction details

Pre-Construction Services: Design

Real-Time Cost Estimating and Cost Optimization

We take the schematic design that is initially prepared and put together a complete schematic budget based on the square footage of the project. We use actual construction unit costs from active and recent projects in our schematic budgets. Even though the design doesn’t include a lot of detail, we include budgets for everything based on client preferences and expectations for materials and finishes. Armed with a schematic design and a schematic budget, if the project appears to be over budget, the schematic design can be adjusted easily and with little expense in time or money.

As the process continues into design development, our regular pre-construction meetings with clients and their architect allow real-time cost estimating when making decisions. For example, like whether to use brick or siding, what type of windows to use, or whether or not to finish space in a basement. Including your builder early in the design process allows for constant cost-optimization opportunities. Precious budget dollars can be allocated to areas that are most important — such as kitchen cabinets, flooring, or the entertainment spaces in the home — and not used in areas that might be less important like secondary bedrooms or basement spaces. Furthermore, as experienced builders, we provide valuable design feedback. We work to reduce constructibility issues, maximize energy efficiency, and provide suggestions that improve comfort, convenience, and livability in the home.

Include your Builder, Save Money

Regular pre-construction meetings with your builder allows for constant cost-optimization opportunities. Your precious budget dollars can be allocated to areas that are most important.

Schedule Acceleration

Armed with cost estimates during the whole design process, our clients step into the bid phase of design-bid-build with confidence. Once engineering is complete and documents are ready, we solicit bids from our subcontractors and trade partners for the project. As we receive bids, we replace our budget allowances with actual bid numbers, adding certainty to the project budget. At this point, rather than turn around to go through a costly and time consuming re-design, we launch right into the building phase.

Pelican Pointe Home Construction

Additional Benefits of Pre-Construction Services

Our pre-construction services include more than just real-time project cost estimating. We lead regularly scheduled meetings with our clients and the design team. In these meetings, we discuss project design progress, product and material specifications, project timelines, and market conditions. We look ahead to make engineers, consultants, and trade partners aware of the project long before their services are needed. This helps to avoid delays. We price our pre-construction services reasonably and bill our clients on a monthly basis. If you choose us to build the project and sign a construction agreement, we discount our builder fee by the amount already paid during pre-construction services.

We Look Ahead

Bluerock looks ahead to make engineers, consultants, and trade partners aware of the project long before their services are needed. This helps to avoid delays.

Project Solutions from Start to Finish

Our most discerning clients recognize the value of our pre-construction services. By including Bluerock early in the design process, we significantly reduce budget uncertainty. We eliminate schedule delays and costs due to lengthy redesign processes altogether. Most importantly, working closely together before construction starts allows us to build a strong working relationship of confidence, transparency, and trust that lasts through the project and beyond. We know that our clients are looking for predictable project outcomes and a positive building experience, and we consistently deliver both.

Contact Us Today

If you are thinking about building a custom home or doing a major addition or renovation project, we invite you to reach out to us today so we can help.

Pelican Pointe Residence