Ok, so you’re thinking about a possible home project, and you’ve started doing some online research to try to figure out where to begin and who to call. You may be feeling excited, overwhelmed, or even nervous about the process ahead, Don’t Worry, That’s completely normal! The task of interviewing multiple Architects, Carpenters, Remodelers, Contractors, Builders, Designers, etc. usually isn’t one that is met with much joy and excitement…. UNTIL NOW!
Welcome to West Chester Design/Build! The Philadelphia Area’s Top Choice for High Quality Home Design and Renovations. We’ve taken the pain and stress out of hundreds of clients daily lives through our unique and easy process of “DESIGN FIRST REMODELING”. Have you ever enjoyed watching a home renovation T.V. Show? You know the ones where the uncommonly good looking designers with perfect hair take a Boring and Bland Home and create a customized plan of attack complete with a 3D virtual design. Have you ever wished you could have a personal designer hold your hand through the process and help you select cabinets, tile, paint colors, etc. so that your home project has those special touches that makes it look like it should be featured in a magazine? NOW YOU CAN! (Although most of us on the team may never win any beauty pageants!)
Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.
– Steve Jobs
Our approach is simple… Let us explain our process and what you can expect from Our Team
When you give us a call you’ll have a chance to speak directly with one of our Project Designers. We will take some time to hear what type of project(s) you have in mind and offer you some helpful feedback. In this conversation we should discuss key information to help us understand your goals. Things like your design preferences/taste, level of finish you want to achieve, When you would like to start the project, and most importantly the BUDGET RANGE You ideally would like to fall within. While we won’t know the exact cost of your project at this point, by starting the discussion on cost and reviewing some practical numbers goes a long way in helping our Design Team direct you in the best way forward.
Once we review those details over the phone, and both the Designer and You (The Client) feel that we may be a good fit to take the next step together, our Designer will offer you an opportunity to book one of our available time slots for an In-Home Design Consultation. Once at your home, we will spend about One (1) Hour or so getting to know you a little bit, think of it as a “first date” (But much less awkward!). We will hear what you have in mind, give some advice on the project, and talk through your goals, desires, and any fears you may have regarding the project. Inevitably you will have lots of questions for us, we love that! Our designer will be sure to leave time to answer all of your questions for you. Our Designer will also take a few photographs of the space, write down some important notes, and get some overall measurements of the space. After the meeting and once back in our office, the Designer will carefully evaluate your project, and spend time calculating out a more accurate cost estimate for your project. This cost will be based on your discussions and our observations at the house. At that point, we will create for you what we call our “Anticipated Cost Sheet”. While this is not a firm proposal, this experience provides a way for you the Client to begin to understand in a broad stroke/Big Picture perspective what specific scope of work is needed and the approximate costs that we expect for your project.
**Note: Due to our limited booking slots available we do require a $250 reimbursable project deposit for this In-Home Design Consultation. This fee is paid only once and credited back to our clients once they sign the contract with West Chester Design / Build for the Construction Portion of the Project. Should you decide not to move ahead into the Design Phase and you want to stop the process after this step, no problem! Your only out of pocket expense for all of this above is the $250.
Emailed along with the “Anticipated Cost Sheet”, you will receive a customized “Design Proposal” from us where we detail out the various stages of design needed for your particular project. Each project is unique and so the design needs vary based on the size and scope of the project. Here are the main phases we will walk you through with our design process:
We will come back out to the house to measure every nook and cranny of the project area and gather the important information on the house, we will also take a lot more photos to add to our file.
We will check with your township on any restrictions your property may have so we can design in such a way to keep you within your local zoning ordinances.
We will create for you a few “rough drafts” of possible design solutions for you to view with us. In this phase we are narrowing down the ideas you like best, and honing in on a final design that you just LOVE!
We transition and take your favorite design and we build a virtual 3D Model to show you how it will look once finished. This phase is AWESOME, as it allows you to view your finished project before pulling the trigger on it. Once you see it and felt that you wanted to make a change, say to widen a doorway, or add a window, we can tweak it to get it just right! This eliminates any client regrets post project, because you are able to view and almost “stand in” the space before construction begins.
Now that you have essentially viewed and approved the overall design/layout of your project (The big picture design), at this point in the process, you will be contacted by one of our In-House Interior Designers to start the process of selecting all of the fine details and finishes your project will need. These include things like Cabinets, Countertops, Flooring, Plumbing Fixtures, Tile, Paint Colors, etc. This way all of your decisions are made before the construction portion starts, making the process go much smoother for you in the long run.
While you are working with our Interior Designer our staff will also be hard at work for you finalizing all of the important construction details of the project so that we can have a fully completed set of Construction Documents ready to go. This will include adding dimensions to drawings, creating wall sections, adding important notes and details, and if necessary having any Engineering work evaluated for code compliance. After this phase, you are ready to start construction!
Now that all of the details and associated costs for your project have been figured out and your selections have been finalized, we can prepare for your “Construction Agreement”. This is the contract that outlines the scope of work, the schedule, and the payment terms for the project.
Keep in mind, once you sign the Construction Agreement, any design fees that you paid previously will be credited back to you at this time!
Once signed, we will prepare and submit to the township any necessary building permit applications and we will begin to pull together all of the important parts of your project. We will order the materials and get things ready to go! We will load your project into our Online Portal for your viewing and tracking. Prior to showing up for the start of the project, we will schedule a “Pre-Construction Meeting” where we review all of the details about your project and make sure we are all still on the same page and if any last minute changes need to be made.
Our In-House Construction Staff will take over from here. You will be assigned a Project Manager and they will be your daily point person for your project, performing and scheduling the work, answering questions, problem-solving, updating the schedule, etc. Remember, with our process 99% of the details are decided on in the design phase, so that in the construction phase things go much smoother for you. Keep in mind, we didn’t say things would go perfectly. In construction things never go perfectly, but with Our Team and our well thought out approach to “Design First Remodeling” you will minimize disruption and headache for yourself and your family, making the process of Home Remodeling and Construction much more enjoyable!
Congratulations! You just completed your home remodeling and construction Project, and you are LOVING IT! While Our Team is not on site anymore, you are still on our minds. Because we care about you and our consistent quality, we will perform a Systems and Quality Inspection 30-60 days after construction. This is to make sure your project is functioning the way it should be. If we find an issue we will notify you, and we will fix it. We want this project to hold up well for you for a LONG TIME, so we will stand behind our quality craftsmanship.
Approximately Eleven (11) Months after Construction has ended, we will contact you again to schedule our One Year Review inspection. This is due to the fact that if something were to be a problem with your project, industry experience tells us it would happen within the first year. Think of this as a Pro-Active Warranty!