FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What means and methods will you use to determine the cost of my project?
To begin the discussion we use market rate price per square footage numbers. Once a concept design is in place, we assemble a line item contingency budget.
There are sites around the internet that speak to the cost of construction. Here is one for reference: Cost of Construction
Depending on your project complexity, strucure, design, logistics, finishes, etc., the cost of construction can be as low as $175/SF to as high as $350/SF. Concept services help narrow that range. Once you are comfortable with the concept budget and you are ready to move forward, then we go under contract for Design + Build services.
This is where we get into the details of the drawings, and as drawings evolve, we are putting your project out to bid. For each construction trade and material selection, we solicit multiple proposals from different contractors/suppliers. This method allows us to competitively hard bid each item on the project to ensure you are getting the best price with the most reputable contractor. This is the time to make modifications to the scope and design if you are not comfortable with where the budget is going. The goal is that by the time we are permit ready with construction drawings, we have bid the project to roughly 75%-90%, and the budget is pretty well set and reliable.
How are you compensated for your pre-construction (architectural) services?
We operate in a cost + fee manner, depending on project complexity and scope, as a percentage of construction costs. The overall Design + Build fee is broken out into a fixed architecture fee for the first phase, which is set after Concept Services. The build is on a cost plus fee basis.
Lots of factors go into how that percentage is broken up. These include, the level of documentation needed, number of consultants involved, project complexity, governmental entitlement process, and other factors. Once we agree on the right balance, that number becomes a fixed architectural fee. That fee will represent full scope architectural services. Any documentation that will be needed to design, document, visualize, and permit the project is turnkeyed into one flat fee.
There are sites around the internet that speak to standards Architectural fees. Here is one for reference: Architectural Fees
You will find that with our Architect-led Design + Build model, you will be getting a highly custom design for an attainable cost.
How will questions and concerns be addressed during construction?
This is one of the strengths of the Architect-Led Design + Build project delivery method. When a question or issue arises in the field, it usually comes from one of our sub-contractors or carpenters working on site. They will pose the question or issue to our construction manager. If it’s not easily solvable in the field and additional architecture or structural information is needed, he will seek clarification from our design team. As we are our own "in-house" architect/design team, we will figure out the solution in the office. We can quickly study the condition and will solve all issues. Solutions are relayed back to our construction manager, which will then direct the sub-contractor in the field on how to proceed. This can typically happen over the course of a couple hours.
How do you qualify the competency of the subcontractors who will work on my project?
We have a large network of trusted and reliable sub-contracts that we like to call upon regularly. Their quality of work and expertise is in line with our standards. Our construction manager is the filter for this process, as they are on site. If you know of a new subcontractor to us, we will ask for professional references, visit active jobsites, and evaluate the workmanship on their completed projects. We only contract with reputable licensed and insured sub-contractors. If a subcontractor does not carry the proper insurance coverage, we will not work with them. In our experience, if a contractor is property insured, it is because they are reputable.
In the event that there are changes to the design or unforeseen conditions that result in extra cost, what process do you use to communicate this to the owner?
With any design + build project, there are always going to be design opprotunities to take on and overcome during construction. We build contingency into our budgets to capture these, but as with every construction project, adversity will arise. In the event that this occurs, we will find a solution both sensitve to design and cost. Once a solution is formed we will get approval from you through a change order. Once we have approval, we will amend the budget and implement the scope change.
How are you compensated for your construction services?
We operate in a cost + fee manner, depending on project complexity and scope, as a percentage of construction costs. For construction services, our fee is transparently applied to the labor and material cost. As we pay out each contract and purchase materials, we collect our fee.
How do you service your warranty once the construction is complete?
We honor the standard 1-year builders warranty from time of Certificate of Occupancy. At the end of the project, you will be left with a digital binder with every receipt, and invoice spent on the project. Those will tie back to the budget, and receipts will serve as the warranty. In some cases, the manufactures will offer a larger warranty, but in the case of workmanship, you are covered for a 1 year period by Bonsai Design + Build. That includes every item not covered by manufactures warranties. Additionally, we are a member of the 2-10 homebuyers warranty program. You have the option of purchasing a 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty, through us that provides a one-year workmanship, two year systems, and ten year structural. 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty
Will you provide an operation and maintenance manual?
All equipment and systems that are installed (i.e. Hot Water Heater and Appliances) will come with the manufacturer’s operation and maintenance manuals. We will provide you with a Project Binder at the end of the job that will hold all the associated equipment, operation, and maintenance manuals.