the JAG process
Building an exceptional house is a multi-step process. We believe that process starts during pre-construction. Our focus on key details during this pre-build phase is the best way to ensure a positive experience throughout the rest of construction. Our principles of quality control, continuous communication, green building, and adherence to budget are the cornerstones of the process we use to build your ideal home.
Step 1 | initial consultation:
A JAG professional will discuss your needs and explain the options for building, including JAG Built and Custom. We will also discuss estimates and projected construction costs, as there can be a wide range of variables. We do our best to factor in every possible request or variable at this stage so there are no surprises later! We call this our “hassle-free process” and it is a key part of the “JAG Way”.
Step 2 | land acquisition:
From access and orientation to slope and view, the property dictates so much of the design and construction process. Identifying and/or purchasing a piece of land is the next step to move forward in building your custom home. Site development, done in coordination with plan development, is an integral part of the construction process. JAG will work closely with you, the home designer, and the sitework contractor to ensure all runs smoothly.
Step 3 | design:
JAG collaborates with design professionals who understand the necessity of the team approach. Open communication allows ideas to flow freely and gets everyone – owner, builder, and designer – to the starting line with a plan and a budget created for success. We will provide you with a vetted list of local design professionals who always communicate openly, and have proven their ability to achieve the highest quality results. This exclusive group of trusted firms and individuals all share our core values of quality and sustainable building practices.
Once a design team is chosen, the process typically involves three phases: 1) schematic design, 2) pricing drawings, and 3) construction documents. You will work mostly with the designer through the schematic design phase, though JAG can always be consulted concerning details and rough costs. After schematic design is complete and pricing drawings are produced, we then start the in-depth budgeting process.
Step 4 | budgeting:
JAG construction performs a two stage budgeting process. Phase one is the budget estimate. During this phase, we will develop a detailed spreadsheet outlining an understanding of the costs involved in building your home. Most prices will be based off our previous experience and current market prices. We may acquire a few bids at this point, but most items will be unit prices. We will also highlight any outstanding areas of concern, as well as additional opportunities for increased efficiency or design related cost savings.
We will then schedule a meeting with you for a line-by-line review of the budget estimate. This meeting is the ideal time to ensure customers understand the many steps involved in building their home. It is also a good chance for us to ask you more detailed questions about your expectations and ideas for the finished product. During this two to four hour appointment, we will discuss and potentially change items in the initial estimate, and ultimately establish the final budgeted cost. This final budget estimate should arrive at a value within 5% to 8% of the overall building estimate. If the estimated cost to build is over the customer’s budget, we will offer suggestions for cost savings. If the overage is substantial, we may need to go back to the design team and consider alterations. If the estimate is on target for your budget goals, we will move into the next phase of our budgeting process.
Phase two is the quoted Estimate. At this point, we request a $2,500 deposit. Should we proceed to sign a contract to build your home, this fee would be credited towards construction. In this phase two of pricing, we send your plans out to bid and get firm prices from a number of our reputable subcontractors and suppliers. We also further examine any unanswered questions about products or assemblies.
At this stage, we ask you to go shopping! JAG can connect you with our preferred vendors and suppliers to look at items such as plumbing fixtures, lighting, appliances, tile, flooring, countertops, cabinets, etc. The more items that can be selected before construction starts, the more accurate the budget will be. This stage of the pricing generally takes two to three weeks. When complete, we sit down with you to review the budget line by line again, this time highlighting items that have changed or confirming selections that have been established. If, at the end of this meeting, we are still on target for your budget needs, we will be moving in the direction of signing a contract to build your home. Once a contract is signed, we would either head towards financing or construction. If bank financing is not necessary – then hooray! It’s time to pull a permit!
If financing is required, we move to the next step…
Step 5 | financing:
In general, the most common way to finance your new home is what is called a “construction-to-permanent loan”. This is a one year loan that provides the money to build a house. During the construction period, this loan is an interest only loan. Once construction is complete, the bank allows you to modify the loan into a standard 30 year fixed mortgage. This is the preferred method of financing because it only involves one closing, thus only one set of closing costs.
For the bank to start their process, they need a signed contract, an approved budget, and an accurate set of drawings. This means we cannot get the bank fully involved until we have completed the pre-construction process and have thoroughly established the final construction value and plan. On average, banks will take four to six weeks to complete the construction loan process. Once the loan is brought to the closing table, we can move to the next (and final!) step.
Step 6 | construction:
Congratulations! If we’ve made it this far, things are on track for a great project. Having done all of our homework in the pre-construction process, building your home should be relatively straightforward. A Project Manager will be assigned to you and your project, and you will meet with him or her to go over the plans, budgets, selections, and any remaining questions and details.The PM will remain in regular communication throughout the construction process to keep you apprised of the schedule, assist in additional selections and choices, and perform regular budget reviews.
Sit back and relax. In 9 to 12 months, you’ll be home.
I just received my electric bill from the past month in our new home that was built by JAG. We have been averaging 15-20kWh per day. We haven’t been doing anything differently from our old condo which was Healthy Built as well. We were using 25kWh per day for the same period a year ago in a home that was 600 square feet smaller!
– Chris Larsen
Davenport Park Resident