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Hiline Builders Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need design plans?

A well thought out design provides the following:
  • an accurate representation of what is going to be built (your vision)
  • a document which is used for accurate pricing of your project and what items are included or excluded
  • a document which becomes part of our Agreement (along with the Construction Estimate)
  • a set of construction documents with which a building permit is obtained.

Why is Design/Build better?

Traditional Architect/Builder/Owner relationships have some disadvantages including:
  1. Inability for accurate budget reviews throughout the course of the design. Typically, when working with an architect, you are subject to the pricing of the finished drawings and, if your budget is exceeded, you'll need to pay the fees required for plan revisions needed to bring your project in on budget. If you elect to use a Design Build firm for design and construction, the planning phase can be more closely monitored and streammlined to make sure you're not exceeding your original budget and the nesessary adjustments can be made after periodic design reviews.
  2. Working with a Design Builder allows you to establish a relationship with the person who will potentially be building your project. Several hours are spent communicating your vision and assuring that the contractor understands your goals and desires throughout the design phase.
  3. Working with unknown builders with whom you're relying on dismantling your home (usually at the recommendation of the architect) who is charged with providing safety for your family and protection of your investment and
  4. The disadvantage of working with multiple entities with different agendas.
By working with us through the design process, we'll get to know each other. We will have a common goal which is to develop and produce your vision into a product that you can afford and that we all can be proud of. Most importantly, you'll have the peace of mind of knowing who the individuals are that are working on your home and becoming part of your extended family for a period of time.
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Design/Build - What does this mean?

Design-Build means that one company handles your design & building needs. It is our team that helps you develop your wish list and ideas, convert them to sketches, working drawings and finally construction documents that are used to permit and build your project. Our in-house construction team then turns your ideas into reality by providing highly supervised project management to ensure the highest level of quality, continuous monitoring of the schedule and ensuring your original vision.

For this to happen, your budget must be discussed up front so that our designs and construction costs reflect the agreed budget. If our designs start to veer off of your construction budget, we can make the necessary adjustments and product selections to stay on track. Any changes that you decide to make during the design process may affect 1) the design costs, 2) the design time and 3) the construction costs. Because we build our own designs, we know how much things cost. So as changes are made, you have a realistic and honest sense of what your project costs will be.
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Will the design of my project suffer by not hiring an architectural firm?

Not in the least. Hiline Builders Inc. not only has years of design experience but also an extensive amount of field experience and first-hand practical knowledge. This comes in handy by having seen and built countless design ideas originating from many different design sources. Experience benefits our clients in that our designs are buildable, they're not just 2 dimensional concepts, and they meet or exceed building code requirements.

As a Company, all of our employees participate in continuing education, advanced certifications, and attendance at trade seminars and shows to be up on all of the latest industry developments.
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How do I know I'm getting a fair price without competitive bidding?

Welcome to Design-Build! For many companies discussing money is taboo. We feel costs and budgets are an essential component to discuss prior to starting any design project. One quick and easy way to get a sense of a project's cost is to use common square footage costs for similar projects that we've completed.

In addition, we perform several conceptual pricing alternatives to analyze the cost benefits of different solutions and let you choose which is best for you.

Our reputation and past clients are testimonials to our fairness and quality of services that we provide. Our thoughts on "bidding" are that ultimately it is a disservice to consumers because of the following:
  1. Bids reflect only initial lowest price and not value.
  2. Bids potentially say more about a contractor's desire to sign more work rather than their integrity, character, skills and value provided.
  3. Bids naturally set up an adversarial relationship where the contractor is forced to cut corners and keep his costs low because he was the lowest bidder rather than focusing on value and what's best for the client.
  4. Bidding reduces the time that the contractor has to get acquainted with the project and therefore may not include all elements that are required. In addition, the contractor may not fully understand the key elements that are driving the designs of the project.
If you required brain surgery you wouldn't seek the lowest price would you? Lowest price also does not make sense when attempting to increase the value of what is probably one of your largest investments, your home.
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Where do I start?

Call us to schedule a 1 hour appointment in your home. We will discuss your ideas and see the physical space that you have to work with. Be prepared to spend 15-20 minutes with us on the phone before we agree to a meeting to make sure our Services are right for you.

Budget Review: What do you expect to spend for the work that you want accomplished? We will review the scope of work, compare it to your budget and give you our feedback. It benefits no one to agree to an unrealistic budget so you'll get our honest opinion.

Project Design Agreement: Once the scope of work and budget are identified and agreed upon, you'll sign our "Project Design Agreement" and return it with a non-refundable design retainer fee, (amount based on the scope of work), that pays for our initial conceptual planning stage. Now we're underway!

Once our Concept plans are completed and agreed upon we'll check the construction budget again. If the Concept plans meet your budget we'll proceed with the next step of the design drawings and finalize them for submittal. If the budget is off course, we modify the conceptual plans to best meet the budget.

Once the plans are completed we are able to provide an accurate "Specifications and Cost Analysis" (SCA) which enables us to provide more accurate projected cost of construction.

Once the final construction documents and final price are agreed upon, the "Work Order" is signed, the building permit can be obtained and the work may begin.
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What if the final price exceeds our original or modified budget?

Upon completion of the full-scale design and construction drawings and the SCA, (Specifications and Cost Analysis and Project Scope), we will do a final price check. We will factor any agreed design changes that may have caused a modification in the agreed budget and compare that to our final pricing. If the final price is within 5% of the final adjusted budget we ask you to sign off on the final price. If the final price is not within 5% we may work together to revise the plans to better meet the budget. If the final price cannot meet the final budget, the process can be terminated with no additional obligations.
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What if I'm not happy with the conceptual plans?

If we cannot satisfy your design or budget requirements or if you're not happy in any way, our Agreement can be terminated (see above for terms).
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Can I hire someone else to build from your plans?

Upon payment in full, We'll provide 3 sets of plans for plan check submittal, and 2 additional sets for your use. However, the electronic files, as well as the rights to our original designs, are the property of Hiline Builders Inc. Additional copies may be purchased for a price to be determined if needed. We reserve the right to have sole discretion over the end use of our design drawings.
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Can you give me a quick overview of the Design/Build process?

Step 1
    Are our services right for you?
  • Initial telephone interview, (15-20 minutes)
  • Schedule preliminary consultation
Step 2
    In-home consultation (allow 1 hour)
  • Review existing conditions and wish list
  • (no charge)
Step 3
    Determine concept budget
  • Review costs-based on scope of work
  • Tailor design to budget
  • (no charge)
Step 4
    Sign Project Design Agreement
  • Design pricing and deposit amount to be determined per scope of work
  • Begin production of architectural drawings
  • (deposit due)
Step 5
    Final plan revisions and budget review
  • Payment in full for plans
Step 6
    Begin production of Specifications and Cost Analysis
  • Pricing subject per scope of work
  • (deposit due)
Step 7
    Determine Contract amount
  • Sign Project Work Order
  • deposit due for permit submittal
Step 8
    Plan Review Submittal
  • (Governing Building Dept.)
Step 9
    Work Commences
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