Unique insight(s) that no one else has, Unique Services that no one else offers...
Why are we unique? NCHHC’s Services are not offered by anyone else in the area. Further, unlike most company’s doing business today, NCHCC is proactive, not reactive. We don’t just manage the costs-to-date or those in question at the moment, we use our experience to control costs that have yet to even be realized.
NCHCC works with each Client to identify their personal priorities and goals for the Project. We then develop a custom, cost-management strategy to meet them. We factor in Schedule and quality – not just cost. To help along the way, NCHCC offers access to a diverse, deep Subcontractor/Vendor “base” built over 22 years in SWFL – a deeper “bench” than any individual Builder has.
Why are we unique? NCHCC is proactive, not reactive. We don’t just reconcile the costs-to-date or analyze those in question at the moment, we use our experience to control costs that have yet to even be realized.
DON’T sign that Construction Contract yet!
What steps can you take to help control your
NCHCC helps Clients navigate the entire process. We offer the following services to protect Clients that are considering Contracting for a Construction Project AND those who already have. Construction already underway? Frustrated with how your Builder is managing (or, more likely, not managing) your job costs? Though the earlier we get involved the better, we can be brought on at any point. It’s never too late to start controlling your Project’s costs.
A. Pre-Contract – know more accurately NOW what the REAL end-of-the-day costs for your Project will be
I. Pre-Builder, Preliminary Budget/Estimates
Would you like an idea of where you stand – cost-wise – against very Preliminary information? We can develop an Estimate “range” for your Project using current, comparable costs. The narrowness of the range will be a function of the amount/quality of information available at the time. The Estimate(s) can be updated – and the variance between them lessened – as new information comes to light.
II. Develop Written Specifications
Even a complete set of Plans from the best Architect(s) are missing some information. Lacking that information, each Builder is left to “fill-in-the-blanks” (or not) themselves when they price the work. This, then, is one of the major reasons why the pricing that an Owner receives from different Builders varies so much. The pricing you receive can only be expected to be as good as the information that was issued for pricing.
NCHCC will develop a custom set of Written Base Specifications for your home to act as a supplement to the Plans during the Bid process. These “Base Specs” will key off of the Plans for the Project and reflect the job’s location, the existing conditions (if a Remodel) and size. We will ask for, and integrate, your input. Finally, we will ask the Architect to approve the Base Specs to insure they are commensurate with the Scope of Work as they see it.
By packaging written Specifications with the Plans being sent to Builders for pricing, you see to it that the pricing submitted is much more complete and consistent than it would be otherwise, allowing you to better assess it. The Specifications can then be incorporated into the Construction Contract to help insure that your home is indeed built to meet them.
III. Invitation-to-Bid (ITB)
So, you have the Plans (and Base Specs – right?) for your Project and are ready to go out to Builders for pricing. You could issue the information to them, directly, and deal with each Builder on an individual basis yourself. You could try to field their questions, pro Or maybe your Architect has offered to distribute the information to the Builders on your behalf. Some even have a basic Bid Form that they ask each Builder to fill-out in an attempt to simplify the pricing exercise for all involved.
The problem is that it’s not that simple. A custom construction Project Estimate can (and should) be broken down into hundreds of line items, not “tens” of them. It is unlikely that you have firsthand experience with the local Bid Process. Your Architect has the expertise, but likely doesn’t have the systems in place to diligently direct and facilitate that Process. NCHCC has the expertise AND specializes in managing the process. It’s exactly what we do.
We will develop a custom, formal “Invitation-to-Bid” (ITB) that would be the same for each Builder. It would include our Plans (and Specs, if available), but also spell out other terms, like:
WHAT each Builders pricing should include (not just the information on the Plans and Specs – other detailed information like their Proposed Schedule, Labor Rates, their Contract and its Terms, etc.)
HOW they should submit their pricing (using NCHCC’s exclusive, comprehensive Estimate Template to help foster comprehensive, “apples-to-apples” pricing)
WHO to communicate with/through during the process (NCHCC, not you)
WHEN the pricing was due to be submitted
You, with the advice of your Architect, tell us which Builders you’d like for us to contact to Bid your Project and we’ll take it from there. Like Base Specs, an ITB provides additional information to Bidders to promote their returning pricing that is “right the first time”, but now with even more detail. with. By defining the Bid Process, an ITB also serves to expedite that pricing. NCHCC will actively manage the Bid process on your behalf, relieving both you and your Architect of that burden. Upon completion of the Bid Process, we will submit all of the Bid information we were able to procure under a Cover Sheet that both summarizes the data and offers recommendations on how to proceed.
Or, perhaps you’ve already procured pricing from different Builders. If so, then you should call on us to perform an….
IV. Analysis of Proposed Contract Documents
The Budget you’re considering at this point of the process is NOT truly representative of the actual end-of-the-day costs of your Project. NCHCC will provide the Client an assessment of the information available at the time. We will call out line item values that are low or missing altogether and other discrepancies.
Perhaps you’ve been given Budgets from multiple Builders with bottom-line, total costs that vary considerably. If all pricing is based on the same information, how can that be? We will provide the Client a detailed, “apples-to-apples” comparison of their Proposals and Budgets.
We will make sure that the right questions are asked and answered NOW, while you have the most leverage in the negotiation. We sweat the details. By making sure that the information you are considering is accurate and comprehensive BEFORE you Contract, we help ensure that you make an informed decision.
B. Post-Contract: Save 10’s-to-100’s of thousands of $’s on your Project with these services (relative to the Project’s scale):
NCHCC Post-Contract services are designed to protect Owners without impeding on the Design or Selection processes. We strive to work with Owners, Architects and Designers to ensure that their Designs are achieved and Product/Material Selections installed.
I. Project Start - Base Budget Analysis
NCHCC will assess the Budget that your Builder has provided and confirm that it is in line with your expectations regarding Specifications/Finishes and overall Schedule.
Do you know that the Budget you’ve been provided has enough money in it to pay for the wood flooring that you know that you want, but have not yet selected? Surely there is money allocated for an Air-Conditioning system, but will it cover the costs for the premium, linear slot diffusers that, though not “required”, are a staple in high-end homes? Bet not.
We look at and assess ALL Budget line items and, importantly, look for and confirm that Budget money has been included for all of the applicable ancillary and “soft” costs that will likely be incurred over the course of construction.
II. Project Buy-Out
NCHCC will work to make sure that your Builder procures competitive bids for as many of your Budget’s line items as possible and that those bids cover the complete Scope of Work, so that you aren’t subject to extra costs after-the-fact. We also screen for “duplicate” Scope and make sure that Subcontract draw schedules are reasonable.
We will ask the Builder to work harder to negotiate lower costs on your behalf.
These services are provided throughout construction – as your Builder orders the work to be done – and help ensure that your Construction costs stay as “on-track” with the Budget as possible.
III. Cost of Changes
By definition, a Custom Home will undergo Changes as it is being built, most of which will result in additional costs. Formal Change Orders are impractical for all involved, but the Builder must effort to cost and attain the Client’s approval for Changes prior to doing the work. The effort put forth varies, but the result is always the same = Budget Creep. We make sure that Changes are reasonably priced and hold the Builder accountable to their cost estimates. More importantly, we will take them to task for the costs of work done WITHOUT their having performed said diligence.
IV. “Value Engineering”
Value Engineering offers you the opportunity to decide whether or not to save Construction costs by making a Change to the Scope of Work of the Project. There are always some opportunities to Value-Engineer your Project. Your Builder should be actively pursuing these alternatives and offering them to you without your having to ask for them.
Unfortunately, few Builders actually do.
NCHCC will identify opportunities and, if you’re interested, direct the Builder to provide you the information about the specific Change and potential cost-savings associated with it. You may decide to accept the Change and savings, or not, but at least you’ll have been given the opportunity.
V. “Options & Upgrades"
Often, there are options and upgrades readily available to you relative to a given Scope of Work that you might be interested in, but aren’t aware of and may never be offered. Though the Builder stands to add Fees to the Project by selling them to you, they also take time to administer and may add time to the Project Schedule. The Builder may calculate that it’s not worth the hassle to even ask you if you’re interested in such features.
Based on your input, NCHCC will work to prod the Builder to provide you the opportunity to decide on options or upgrades that you MIGHT want. You may ultimately decide to decline them, but you will have at least had the chance to consider them.
VI. Cost Auditing/Monthly Statement Review
Your Builder will generally provide you with a Statement (Invoice) monthly for the costs of the Project incurred over that same time frame. Most Clients pay the balance due without scrutinizing or questioning the Statement. Before they know it, the costs have spiraled out of control.
The Builder will contend that the cost information has been in the Statements they’ve been sending all along – that it should not be shocking that they are what they are.
NCHCC will scrutinize each Statement for you. We will perform Field audits and ensure that Payment does not exceed Progress. We will call out questionable invoices and make the Builder answer for them. We make sure that cost “credits” are truly realized and diligently watch for “duplicate” costs/invoices. Costs that are clearly the result of Builder mistake(s) should be borne by them. We will track all line item costs, document and control “Budget Creep” as it happens. Your costs may legitimately go over Budget, but all overages will be justified. You will not be shocked.
VII. Final Cost Forecasting
NCHCC will use its expertise to create and maintain a report projecting what the actual, final costs of the Project will be. This information will be available at any given time in both a detailed and “snapshot” format. Your Builder will bring all available resources to bear as they scramble to finish your likely-overdue Project. The result of this “ask-questions-later” approach: cost spikes that most Budgets can’t compensate for. Final Subcontract draws will also begin to flood in. We will make sure that you hold a reasonable amount of retainage in order to maintain leverage and keep the Builder motivated to prioritize FULLY completing your Project. This service represents a culmination of all the work outlined in the items above.
VIII. Final Project Cost Reconciliation
About to make the Final Payment to your Builder? Stop! It may be late in the game, but NCHCC can still help. We will “back into” the Project by following its paper trail. Along the way we will find and compile evidence of: