Are you thinking about a renovation, addition, or new build? Learn more about the pre-construction process below.
PHASE ONE: ROUGH ESTIMATE
*This phase will be skipped if you already have a plan set*
Skelly Build offers what we’ve termed a 2-step estimating process.
If you do not already have a plan set, estimate 1 is a ROUGH construction budget + materials allowances. To provide our clients with Estimate 1 we require a site visit if we both feel we are a good fit after our initial introductory call. Estimate 1 is based upon the existing home, we frequently do not have a plan set to work from with the first estimate.
This first estimate is a valuable part of the process for homeowners. The purpose is to confirm the alignment of your construction budget and scope of work. Please keep in mind this initial estimate (if there is not a plan set) is a rough estimate, it is not final or fixed.
Skelly Build requires architect or designer involvement, we are not a design-build firm. If you do not already have one hired we are happy to make some recommendations based upon your timeline, style and other requests.
PHASE TWO: ARCHITECTURE/DESIGN
During this phase, the homeowner(s) will hire a design or architecture team, dependent upon the scope. The design or architecture team will provide Skelly Build and the homeowner(s) with spec sheets, detailed plans, elevations, and all selections. These elevations will include interior and exterior elevations (if applicable) and must be to the City of Austin’s requirements. These plans are utilized by all trades and Skelly Build follows them by the ¼ of an inch, they also assist in minimizing questions in the field and result in a faster construction timeline. There is no such thing as too much detail in construction!
As mentioned above we can connect you with many of our trusted partners if you don’t know where to begin. It is a normal part of the process to look for guidance, especially if you have never done this before!
PHASE THREE: ESTIMATE TWO + CONTRACT EXECUTION
Once the plan set is complete we re-estimate again. Please keep in mind it is typical that during the design or architecture process areas have been added to the scope, this will increase overall construction costs.
Regarding materials, we frequently include a materials allowance into Estimate 2 as they regularly are not FULLY selected. Plumbing, appliances, doors, windows, and framing are the first materials we order so selecting these prior to the job starting is critical to avoid delays.
Our estimates are itemized, so removing specific rooms or locations is relatively simple. What we call value engineering or removing items from the scope is a standard part of the process and we typically assist our homeowners through this phase.
Keep in mind there are frequently more than 2 estimates that are provided to homeowners prior to starting construction. After 2 estimates we request a consulting fee of $7,500 that is applied to construction costs.
PHASE FOUR: GUIDELINES AND EXPECTATIONS
At this point, we are 6-8 weeks out from the start of demolition. This meeting is conducted over Zoom or in person and led by your project manager. We discuss a series of items, most importantly: our team (who you will be in communication with), entry access, dust/ clean up, power and plumbing shut-offs, scope creep/change orders, etc. We will also review BuilderTrend, see more on that below.
The goal of this meeting is to set your expectations and answer all of your questions prior to construction start as clearly as possible. This is a crucial meeting and sets the tone for construction.
We always recommend moving out of the house if possible during renovations. This becomes even more crucial when pets or children are involved- it is not safe for them to be in the house.
PROJECT TIMING / DELAYS
While we will provide a timeline for the job, this timeline is a moving target considering labor change orders or unforeseen surprises behind the walls. Your provided timeline is current with respect to the current invoice. If the project size increases by adding 20% of labor change orders, expect the timeline to grow by 20% simultaneously or more as we wait on materials, redraws and other requirements for change orders.
Timelines do not include punch list, design redraws, permits, or changing plan sets.
PHASE FIVE: MATERIAL ORDERS
We recommended that the majority of materials are selected prior to demolition start, at minimum 60%. The leading reason for project delays is material re-selections, delayed materials or homeowners that do not make quick decisions. We understand that not ALL materials may be selected prior to the start date but in order to avoid delays windows, doors, and plumbing fixtures must be selected and ordered prior. Your design or architecture team will assist you in making these selections.
Skelly Build will order all doors, windows, countertops, tile, plumbing fixtures, door hardware, glass, and cabinetry. We have a dedicated materials manager who will manage all orders, breakages, delays, returns, and deliveries. We charge a cost + 25% fee for this service. The homeowners will typically order appliances directly in order to maintain their warranty with the service provider. Frequently, the designer or architect will procure decorative lighting, wallpaper, and cabinet hardware.
Untimely or improper materials can result in timeline overruns and additional costs to your project. Allowing Skelly to order materials will preserve the integrity, timeline, and quality of work.
PHASE SIX: SITE PREP + DEMOLITION (START OF PROJECT)
Site prep is a critical component of construction and we are reliant on the homeowner to coordinate moving their furniture out of the house. We do request that all furnishings and soft goods are removed from areas that are being renovated, adjacent rooms, and any areas where flooring is being replaced. Typically we suggest that our clients hire movers and rent a POD, otherwise dust may permeate into your furniture during the process of construction.
Site prep also includes covering anything that is not being demolished, for example, hardwoods, cabinets, or appliances that are being saved. You will make a list for us of items that you want to have saved prior to demolition taking place and we will properly protect them.
PHASE SEVEN: EXECUTION, BuilderTrend
Once site prep and demolition are complete, we roll into rough-ins, which include framing, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC. Hence the reason that plumbing fixtures are required to be ordered prior to the start date.
We utilize a project management software called BuilderTrend. This software is a portal that you will be provided an individual login for, as well as your design or architecture team. The portal includes a calendar of events, invoicing system, all design and architecture documents, a messaging system, materials spreadsheet, and daily logs. This portal is the main form of web communication between the project managers and homeowners.
Project managers check on all jobs 2-3 times per week and update BuilderTrend once per week to ensure the calendar is up to date. Additionally, other members of the team are involved in the project for checks and balances. Examples of this are a rough-in verification, initial punch list, cabinetry meetings, etc. While your primary communication will be with your project manager directly you will also frequently hear from your materials manager. Additionally, if you are in Austin we will also request either weekly or twice monthly on-site meetings with you in person.
PHASE EIGHT: PUNCH LIST + COMPLETION
A punch list is the final list of tasks and items that need to be fixed or completed before a construction project can be considered finished. Creating and completing an accurate punch list is essential in delivering a successful project. This step in the construction project is performed last so that all work can be reviewed and double-checked. In order to ensure the best review process, the contractor and owner(s) will walk the property together. Skelly Build collects our final payment after the punch list is completed.