The Construction Process
The construction begins at the completion of the design and planning. It is an actual process. It requires the "marshaling of the labor and material resources necessary to complete your project; ensuring any specialty trade contractors required are scheduled appropriately; inspecting and verifying that work was performed correctly, in compliance with building codes, and to generally accepted standards of workmanship; and that materials required arrive when they are needed."
The person who oversees the process is your Project Manager. He was intimately involved in the design of your project and is completely familiar with your construction plan. He will be your single-point contact for the lifetime of the project, available to you at all times during working hours to answer questions and address concerns while the project is underway.
Your Project Manager is not just a manager, he will also be the project's lead carpenter and actually does or closely supervises all of the work required for the project. Carpentry comprises about 60-80% of the work in any remodeling project.
Construction Plan to Construction Process
The construction blueprint is a static document that specifies what we must build, the construction process, however, is dynamic and specifies how it will be done. Converting the plan into a process is the first job of the project's manager.
He must determine appropriate construction methods, divide all required building activities into logical steps and determine the time, material and crafts required for each step. From this analysis, he will create a timeline and schedule for your project. He will consult with you to align our work with your family's routine and activities as much as possible to minimize the disruption of your household. Once the schedule is agreed on, a project management computer program is used to create timeline charts to display the schedule and all of the events in the schedule. You get a copy of these charts and any updates so you will know what activities you can expect on any given day.
By the time the project formally begins, some of the materials — especially those items with long lead times — will have already been ordered. The project manager will order the rest, scheduling deliveries to coordinated with the timeline. Ideally, materials arrive for a scheduled event just as the event is set to take place. Ideally.
But since the ideal is a goal that is seldom reached, he also arranges a place for short-term storage of materials until they are needed.
The project manager oversees the selection of specialty trade contractors to complete specific pieces of the project — which could include everything from structural metalworking and plumbing to painting and carpet installation. He schedules the work of specialty trades, interweaving the schedules of the various trade specialties so that the project proceeds in an organized manner. He determines the labor requirements and supervises the allocation of in-house craftsmen to your project — hiring additional help if required. He also oversees the performance of all crafts on the project and is responsible for ensuring that any work is completed in a workmanlike manner and on schedule.
Safety and Code Compliance
If building permits or special licenses are required, the project manager sees that they are obtained. He ensures that all building and fire codes are complied with and that the work environment is as safe as possible.
Houses built before 1978 have special requirements for lead containment. The EPA's rules on the safe handling of materials containing lead are both complicated and strict.
StarCraft Custom Builders follows all Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements for a safe and injury-free work site.
The project will be inspected by code inspectors at least once and in many cases up to ten times.
Inspections are required for structural components, insulation, plumbing, electrical, heating, and air conditioning. In most instances, more than one inspection is required for each installation. For example, an electrical inspection is required of all wiring before the walls are enclosed, and another electrical inspection when the final wiring is completed. Footings and foundations require two inspections, then the wall and roof framing is inspected, the insulation is inspected once it is installed, and at the end of the project, the whole thing is given one last look-over for code and safety compliance.
At the end of the project, it is the project manager's responsibility to conduct a final walk-through with you before the project is formally handed over to you; and to supervise any remedial work that needs to be done.
Administration is essentially handling all of the volumes of paperwork required to complete a remodeling project. It includes purchase orders for materials, contract agreements with specialty craft providers, change orders, material approval checklists, payments to subcontractors and suppliers, and getting lien releases.
To ensure the project is built as specified in your design, the Project Manager regularly reviews project drawings and specifications. He will track and control construction costs against the project budget to avoid cost overruns and meets regularly with you, trade contractors, and vendors to coordinate all phases of the construction project.
The project manager is responsible for all administrative tasks during the process of construction, and final paperwork at the end. This includes preparation and delivery of warranties, and other documentation we deliver to you when the project is done.
The Design/Builder Concept
A design-builder is a modern form of the oldest approach to creating buildings — that of the master builder. The master builder was originally a combination architect, engineer, and builder, responsible for every phase of building a structure from initial concept to completion. He commanded the necessary resources: draftsmen, masons, carpenters, laborers, carvers, and metal-workers, and dedicated them to the single-minded pursuit of excellence in design and construction… (Continues)