Well Defined Process
Philosophy is important, but it doesn't get homes built. People do. And we've found a well-defined process is critical to putting that
philosophy into practice. You could even call Terra Firma's process the key difference, or maybe the secret to our success.
Our process means that whether this is your first custom home building experience, or you're an old pro, you'll know what to expect. It also means that whether it's the beginning, middle, or end of your custom build, you'll like our approach:
It starts with your dream. You may not even be able to describe it. Or, you may be able to draw it in great detail. Either way it's important that we spend time together understanding the concept, so that Terra Firma can be your partner in the building process.
We can work with highly detailed exacting specifications or we can help you to create a degree of detail that fits your comfort level.
Herein lies one of the critical phases of home evolution... defining what you desire in a home. Specifications are description of what will be created. They along with the construction plans form the blue print of any home.
It's important to work with an Architect who fits your needs and the requirements of the project. Some of our clients have architects already, and we're happy to work with yours if you have one in mind. If you don't, we'd be happy to refer you to one of several we know, based on your specific needs. We encourage collaboration among the building team on every project. If we are involved from the start of design, we can help build value by lending our experience to every phase of the process. If you already have plans we can help 'value engineer' the project.
Value Engineering: Once you have a design, we'll help with a detailed review of the designs and drawings, with an experienced perspective on materials, costs, and timing. We might even call in subcontractors to help in the review, or to plan with us execution of difficult details. We call that 'value engineering' you might call it 'surprise mitigation', because it helps avoid cost and timing surprises later in the process. It also helps you get the most out of your investment.
When the plans and specifications are finalized, we undertake a formal costing phase, which generates firm estimates. We'll review and discuss the costs in detail, as they form the basis for your financing and our formal agreement. General Contracting Fees are usually defined in one of two ways:
At this point, we enter into a formal agreement to build. We use standard American Institute of Architects (AIA) contracts.
These tried-and-true contracts define and protect the rights and obligations of all parties involved.
Every Project has a "Critical Path Schedule". This powerful tool enables us to coordinate the timing and planning of events during the building process. And it allows you to know what's going on, and when, during the building of your home. We'll share it with you, update it as necessary, and notify you of any changes that impact the overall schedule immediately. We'll post schedules and other critical documents, as well as progress pictures, on the Clients section of our website periodically for your review (protected by a personal ID and password.)
From permitting to the final stroke of a paintbrush Terra Firma will strive to exceed your expectations. We pride ourselves on professionally run projects, with orderly, clean and safe jobsites. We employ the best people and subcontractors available, and don't hesitate to hire specialty craftsmen to bring special details to life, no matter how far we have to go to find them. We find that people perform their best work when they look at a project as an artistic endeavor.
Sometimes it is difficult for owners to visualize certain details from a set of plans. We encourage owners to visit the project and get a feet for the home regularly. Building is an interesting process and we like to have you involved in it. We schedule a series of visits to review details and see first hand some of the milestones of constructing a home.
Our goal is to have a certificate of occupancy and have you move in on schedule, hassle-free. Some builders pride themselves on responding to minor issues after occupancy (so-called 'punch lists'); at Terra Firma, our goal is not to have them.
Upon move-in Terra Firma will provide you with a detailed homeowners manual. This manual will be your one stop reference for all operation, maintenance, and warranty issues for all the systems and features of your new home. When your construction documents and contracts are added to it the manual will be an organized and detailed overview of your new investment.
Terra Firma provides a one-year warranty on all workmanship and materials. But we do not disappear after that day passes. Our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction greatly exceeds any arbitrary unit of time.