FAQsFor the People Projects
Q: What services are you able to provide?
A: I can provide a wide range of services depending on what you really want to have help with. I am flexible, so if you need something that I didn’t mention here, please ask.
Here is a basic list:
Construction Management (as your agent, or as your adviser): As Agent, I would manage the general contractor during construction to represent your interests if you either could not, or do not want to manage to project yourself. As Adviser, I would give you my advice on issues that arise, but you would be the one in direct contact with the General Contractor on a daily basis. Either way you would be kept abreast of all issues.
Municipality Communication Consultant/Agent: I would help you navigate the application, submittal, and review process for all city interactions.
Feasibility Studies: A Feasibility Study analyzes the project from a conceptual point which can help develop a scope of work, construction costs, timelines, necessary steps, and best practices for the specific project. This gives you an understanding of what will be required to complete the project.
Architectural Design and Construction Documents: This is the Schematic Design through Construction Document phase listed in the document I brought you when we met. In this case this involves historic research, investigation and design. My design process if very hands on, I expect my clients to be active part of the design process, I provide an educating design process so that my clients understand the design, and in most cases, make the major design decisions themselves.
Structural / Mechanical-Plumbing / Electrical Engineering: For these services, I contract with engineers for systems which are designed and integrated with the Architecture. For your project, I do not believe you need anything more than a structural engineer.
Historic Preservation: I can orchestrate the historic preservation of your home, however the Historic Tax Credits would be done through an outside consultant, such as Paige Pollard and Commonwealth Preservation.
Bidding and Negotiation – Contractor Selection: This portion of work is also listed in the sheet I gave you. It is where I help to make sure you get comparable bids from multiple contractors, interview the contractors so that you can be sure the contractor you choose is capable, cost effective, and the type of company you want on your team. We also help you negotiate and review your contracts, warranties, and timelines to make sure your interests are protected. You get the benefit of my 15 years of experience and foresight to help prevent issues before they become issues.
Environmental Design and Sustainability Consulting: I am Leadership In Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional – Accredited by the US Green Building Council. We will incorporate and integrate as many sustainable building practices as we can. We will help you choose the most efficient products, and help you decide what makes sense in your project budget to provide as much sustainability as possible. If you would like to have a project LEED Certified, we can provide that service.
Construction Administration: This is a service that typically goes along with most construction projects. This is also described in the documentation I gave you. This stage of the process is after the Bidding and Negotiation process. Once the General Contractor’s contract is executed, we maintain oversight of the construction process. The General Contractor submits schedules, cut sheets for actual products to be used in the construction process – which we verify is the correct products specified in the construction documents. We make regular site visits to verify the contractor is providing services as described in the construction documents, and address any issues that may arise as the construction progresses. This service is usually charged on an hourly basis, but we typically give a not to exceed amount for normal construction. If any issues arise that are above typical construction issues, we will discuss the financial impact if it goes above the not to exceed amount.
Third Party Inspection: This is usually a requirement from financial institutions. If you will be securing a loan, the bank usually will ask the architect to review the contractor’s payment requests. It is included in the construction administration process.
Q: How much time do we need to commit to this project and when?
What the design process needs is for you to be able to describe the way you want you space to feel, whether that means visual references, or descriptions. It always depends, but I would give ourselves about two months for the design process, but I cannot give you a solid time line for construction, but I would assume around 6 months. The historic nature could extend the timeline because of the Department of Historic Resources review.
Q: How can we be helpful in the process?
A: By communicating, and being an active participant in the design process.
Q: What can we do to help keep our project on target in time and budget?
A: We will have a process where we set deadlines for the different stages of the design, and we will provide budget numbers at each stage of the design to verify we are on budget.
Q: How can we reduce our environmental impact in this project?
A: During every construction projects, there are opportunities to make sustainable decisions. When selecting materials, we can select products which are sustainably sourced, recycled, produced with products which do not contain VOCs to improve indoor air quality, increase thermal efficiency and insulation values to reduce the mechanical loads, select efficient systems for heating and cooling. There are many ways we can make sustainable decisions, we can lay out the options and give you the information and help you make the right choice for you.
Q: How do you structure your fees?
A: We use a three-step check and balance system to make sure our fees are appropriate. We use a combination price per square foot fee, an hourly rate for estimated hours to spend on the project, and an industry standard design fee to construction cost ratio guideline. We use these three numbers to act as a check and balance to verify our proposed fee is reasonable for the project.
Q: What are your charges to change your plans?
Q: How quickly can you complete plans?
A: Each project is different, and each process is different. Depending on the types of submittals required we can work out an anticipated timeline. It is important to remember, this is the most important time to work out all the kinks so you have a smooth construction process.
Q: Do you incorporate cost-saving changes?
A: We will evaluate the plan at each stage and do a cost analysis and adjustments to make sure we are on track.
Q: Will you provide a full set of rendering and working plans?
A: Yes. All presentation documents are available to our clients.
Q: Are you insured?
A: Yes. We carry General Liability, Errors and Ommissions, as well as Worker’s Compensation coverage. We can provide certificates upon request.
Q: What is your role with the contractor?
A: See the Construction Administration section above.
Q: Do you help us select a contractor?
A: See the bid and negotiation section above in the services section.
Q: Will you provide me with prior clients with similar projects to contact for reference?
We have collaborated with For the People Projects on multiple large and small projects. Jen and team are good listeners, great designers, and are able to quickly help clients visualize their project. For the People Projects knows how to meet a schedule and works very hard to ensure that even the smallest design project goes through a proper design, documentation, and contractual process. It’s great to have another firm who we trust to recommend to prospective clients. Most importantly, Jen and team care very much about the small business owners and new homeowners who they work for, and this shows through in the service they provide to their clients.Mel P.