Questions About Our Design/Build Process

The design and build process is an exciting undertaking. Throughout every project, many questions arise for our clients. We are always here to answer them thoroughly. Our ability to listen, understand, and connect with our clients is as important as our craftsmanship. Here are a few common questions we often hear:

How long will the design/build process take?

The length of a project depends largely on its size and complexity.  The optimal schedule is one that allows for design development and for quality workmanship, all progressing uninterrupted.

We estimate a project schedule in the preliminary meetings. We believe it is essential that all parties are realistic on the amount of time and energy one can devote to the process without undue stress and we find it to be most effective to have open communication about this from the beginning. 

How much will the design cost? 

A fully realized custom project takes time to develop and will not meet expectations without an investment in design.   We typically charge by the hour. Prior to a contract we will establish a cost estimate for design services.

The cost of our services can be considered and estimated as a percentage of the total project budget. We typically see costs run in the 5-10% of the project cost.  The Owners can reduce costs by being decisive and responsive to information presented.

How do we know the project envisioned is within our target budget?

This is a core function of our design/build process. It is the continual checking of costs as designs are being conceived and developed.

We have cost data from hundreds of projects and experience in all aspects and types of residential work. We use this to quickly estimate complete project costs from a sketch on a napkin to a fully developed set of plans. 

Can I hire my own Architect and still hire you to do the construction?

Absolutely! While we do offer in-house design services for smaller projects such as a remodel or new addition, we work collaboratively with other talented Maine architects and designers. Read more about our collaborative relationships. (link to working with us page)

When is the right time to contact you about my project?

It is never too early. We can answer questions about potential projects, relative costs, new building verses remodeling and how it all works.

Our initial visits are remarkably informative and are always done at no charge or obligation. We are happy to have the opportunity to meet.

Who will be my day-to-day contact person throughout the design and building process?

Here at Fine Lines, we remain a collaborative team from the early stages of a project through to completion. We have a group of considerate, informed folks serving you and assuring quality at every stage of the process and after.

During construction, you will have two people guiding the project.  Each project has a dedicated Foreman always onsite. The Foreman is the lead carpenter for our crews and supervisor of subcontractors and all production though to any warranty service.

Secondly, you will have a Project Manager who visits the project regularly but works primarily out of our office. The PM is central to all communication, is responsible for scheduling, project financials, special orders, subcontractor management and of course, problem solving. 

Will you work on any size project?

While we work on projects of varying sizes, our focus is on the larger residential renovations and new homes. We can usually schedule smaller projects like kitchens and baths around the larger projects. The key is to be fully dedicated and able to provide for the success of the projects we take on. 

What is your philosophy about green building?

We promote green building in accordance with each client’s interest and budget.  We strive to be environmentally responsible in the use of materials and in waste disposal on all projects. We continuously study building science to ensure we are building safe, comfortable homes that will stand the test of time.  We believe it is best to incorporate innovation with a measure of wisdom and experience.

There are many great products available for consideration. Toward that end, we are happy to research material sources, develop costs and lead times, and provide you with the information and recommendations you need to make the best decision regarding materials for your home.

What is your policy regarding follow-up service? Do you have a warranty?

We are committed to providing exceptional service to our clients before, during and after a project is completed. Our long-term relationships with our clients are important to us, so whenever there is a problem or concern, we are happy to do our best to make it right. So far, nothing has exceeded our ability and capacity to correct. A detailed warranty policy is part of our contract.

What is your geographic range for design and construction projects?

We will do design projects for anyone. (In fact, we recently designed a new kitchen for a homeowner in Washington State.) But our construction range is typically within a 50-mile radius of our headquarters in Freeport, Maine.  We work regularly in the Greater Portland Region as well as in Mid-Coast Maine. We do not charge extra for travel except when costs are greater for our island projects.


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