Our Design Build Process

Prepare for the initial meeting

Any renovation or new home construction project is a financial investment.  A smart homeowner doesn't make investments without knowing exactly what is involved.  Lakewood Companies can give you a "ball park" estimate based on the size of the project, general information you provide, and by matching Lakewood Companies' historical data to the project.


The "ball park" estimate is our best guess estimate, so it is not until we've worked together to assess the full project scope in terms of design, structure, and finishes, can we provide a realistic estimate.  Because we are a design build firm, that is design and construction under one roof, we can examine the trade-offs of all your project's structural, financial and design challenges at the same time.


For our first meeting, prepare a "wish list" and then prioritize it from the "must haves" to the "it would be nice to haves".  Is it more important to have a large dining room for entertaining, french doors to the deck, a stone fireplace in the great room, a wall of windows for a view of the lake, or a garage for all of your toys?  In a renovation project, think about why you want to change or add space.  Is the kitchen too small for your growing family needs?  Do you need to add a bath for an in-law suite for aging parents?  How will the renovation enhance your lifestyle?  If costs exceed your allotted budget, which items would you cut first?

You may want also want to prepare an "idea book".  Draw a sketch of what you envision to illustrate your ideas.  Look through magazines or go on the internet, collect pictures and make notes of what appeals to you.

There are many variables that go into the cost of a project: size and scope of the project, structural requirements, product selections, craftsmanship and quality.  That is why you need to devote serious thought to your budget.  Investigate how you will finance the project.  Home equity loan, cash from savings accounts and refinancing are common options.

Lakewood Companies will make your renovation or new home construction easier to understand and manage with the following steps:

Step 1: Complimentary initial on-site consultation

During our first meeting in your home, or at the site of the new construction, we listen to your needs, desires, and hopes for your new space.  We also ask for a frank response to our budget constraints.  There is no point in designing a project that isn't affordable, therefore we:

  • Establish wish list
  • Evaluate the project feasibility
  • Establish price range and target design budget
  • Determine next step: Feasibility Study or a Design Agreement

Step 2: Feasibility Study

If a Feasibility Study was your choice during Step 1, Lakewood Companies performs research for projects that have unique challenges (i.e. nonconforming properties).  The cost will vary depending upon requirements which may include:

  • Conduct soil tests as needed
  • Conduct surveys and plot drawings as needed
  • Conduct municipal assessments (zoning, drainage, septic issues) as needed
  • Assemble an onsite zoning conference to establish possible zoning issues
  • Decision whether or not to move to Design Agreement

Step 3: Design Agreement

If a Design Agreement was selected during Step 1 or 2, Lakewood Companies will work with you to develop the conceptual drawings, and the preliminary specifications and costs for your project:

  • Draw existing structures and conditions for renovations
  • Draw new structures base on our discussions
  • Develop and refine drawings
  • Develop project specifications
  • Walk through site or home with subcontractors/specialists
  • Request for proposals from subcontractors/specialists
  • Assist homeowner with preliminary product selections, materials and finishes
  • Prepare preliminary proposal with costs
  • Decision whether or not to proceed with construction is made

Step 4: Construction Contract

Once you are satisfied with the drawings, specifications, and costs outlined in Step 3, and if you are ready, a Construction Contract is prepared and we will proceed with pre-construction activities:

  • Finalize the preliminary designs into construction plans/sections/details
  • Develop engineering as required
  • Secure permits as required
  • Provide a tentative construction schedule
  • Hold a pre-construction conference

Step 5: Construction

Finally, it's time to begin the construction phase.  It's an exciting time and enthusiasm is high.  Your site or home will soon become a work site as we proceed with construction activities:

  • Provide project management
  • Communicate with homeowner throughout process
  • Assist homeowner with final product selection, materials, and finishes
  • Construction by our own skilled construction crew
  • Ensure quality workmanship from our pre-approved subcontractors
  • Coordinate and schedule all construction phases
  • Coordinate and schedule county and town inspections as required 
  • Protect your home furnishings
  • Clean-up the work area daily
  • Respect your privacy, home, and belongings

Step 6: Project Close-out

While your project may be coming to a close, Lakewood Companies' relationship with you will not.  We have built a successful firm by retaining clients for life and relying on them for referrals to family and friends:

  • Conduct a final walk-through 
  • Complete a client satisfaction survey
  • Schedule an anniversary follow-up
  • Conduct warranty calls as necessary