Design Process for Decks, Screened Porches and Outdoor Kitchens

After scheduling your in-person or online consultation, we follow these steps to get your build going:

1. Phone Questionnaire
When a potential customer first makes contact with Design Builders Inc. via phone or email, we will set up an initial phone meeting to go over the desired project. During this phone meeting we get all the customer's contact information and try to get a general idea of the project they had in mind. We discuss the materials to be used, budget for the project, desired completion date for the work, and financing options.

2. Confirmation email
After a date has been set for the initial estimate meeting, a confirmation email is sent out with a checklist of items to be gathered by the home owner including the site map or property plat and any HOA application forms they may need to be filled out for the project. We also send a list of preferred vendors and materials to be used for the project to get the creative juices flowing.

free guide to selecting contractors in Maryland CTA

3. Initial Estimate Meeting
Please allow one to two hours for the initial estimate meeting. There, we provide customers with catalogs and brochures for products to be used, information about Design Builders Inc., and references in the form of existing clients. We go through our comprehensive Estimate Questionnaire that will help generate creative design thought and pinpoint the needs and wants for each customer's individual project. At this initial meeting, the design consultant will take photographs and measurements in order to create a 3D rendering of the proposed project attached to the clients home. This is the only way to get a realistic visual of how the project will affect the house and yard.

4. Design and proposal
Our promise to our customers is to have the design and estimate completed within 48 business hours. We typically create two designs so the home owner can see a couple of options. After the design is critiqued by the client, we modify the design until the final project's scope of work is completed in detail. Upon delivery of the design, the client will also receive an estimate for the work to be done. Our estimates are good for 30 days. We then send up a final meeting to secure the build's contract.

5. Contract signing
At the ensuing meeting, we go over the project details to ensure nothing has been overlooked. We review the contract, scope of work, and warranty documents. When everyone is in agreement, we take care of the paperwork and schedule the project start date and pre-construction meeting. At the time of a contract signing, we also take care of other paperwork such as the permit application, tree affidavit, and HOA application. We make sure that the site plan for the property has been located and make copies for our records.

Our online design process:

Our general design process: