Our Design Process

To help better communicate your ideas and goals to South Coast & Associates (SCA), consider preparing a scrapbook or a bubble diagram. It’s fun and everyone in the family can contribute to their own chapter. Collect newspaper clippings, magazine articles, product brochures, paint chips, photos; anything that will illustrate a desired “look” or convey information about a design detail or style that you like. Collect any existing information, too: a site plan of the property: deed restrictions; or in the case of an addition or renovation, an existing blueprint of the structure.


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Priortizing Your Wish List
When brainstorming your wish list, consider the things you like most about your current structure, and things you wish to be different. Create two lists to record your thoughts, “new” and “old”. “New” will list conditions and things you want or need in your new structure; “Old” will list conditions and things about your current structure that you would like to carry over into your new one.
Fine Tuning Your "Wish List"
The next step is to prioritize the items in both lists by order of importance. Of course, items can be reordered any number of times before you’re satisfied. Fine-tuning a wish list will delineate your project goals more effectively.

Helping our clients to solidify design objectives is serious work for SCA, but you and your family are the most important parts of the process of making sure everything runs smoothly. Together the notes taken from your research and comments will define the design-task to your expectations. This will ultimately translate into years of enjoyment from living in something you know you helped create.

Working with South Coast & Associates, Inc.

You’ve hired the right company for your project. What happens next? Brainstorming sessions to discuss your goals and project wish list: translating that wish list into spaces, which suit the needs and expectations of family members who will use them; integrating these goals with a construction allowance that corresponds with your budget. This planning process is known as developing an outline of construction objectives that are tailored to your specific project.

Establishing a Program & Budget
SCA will ask many questions during the initial stage of planning a new project or addition. Keep an open mind as you work together. Discussions may lead to creative design proposals which you never thought possible or, perhaps, considered beyond your construction budget. Just about everyone has heard from a friend or relative that their project cost substantially more than they first expected. Obviously this can happen when some portion of the construction materials or labor has been underestimated, or perhaps overlooked all together. There are many variables involved in construction which rarely make preliminary estimates 100% accurate considering that estimates must be recalculated after each design revision.

Knowing this, SCA may establish a contingency amount for each line item in the proposed construction budget. By doing this, the client is made aware of potential cost overruns during design development, and can render informed decisions accordingly. After budgetary decisions are finalized, SCA will work to secure the most value from available construction dollars.

Design Phase Breakdown

Working with SCA your dreams and ideas are transformed into a refined set of construction documents that accurately reflect the scope of the project. Our step-by-step process is outlined below:

A) Establish Goals and Prepare a Program: SCA and client meet to discuss and outline the client’s expectations, needs, and construction budget.

B) Schematic and Design Development: SCA will present floor plans, site plans and usually, exterior elevation studies for the client’s review and approval. The time needed to work through this phase depends on the complexity of the proposed design. At the request of a client, interior perspective renderings can be prepared, or even a scale study model of the design. The goal here is for a client to fully understand a proposed design and to make any possible alterations. Now’s the time to address any lingering questions you may have relating to the layout, size or function of the space.

C) Construction Document Phase: Based on the approved design development documents and any further adjustments in the scope or quality of the project or in the construction budget authorized by the owner, SCA shall prepare, for approval by the owner, construction documents consisting of drawings and specifications settings forth in detail the requirements for the construction of the project.

D) Now that full construction documents have been prepared or are available, SCA will start the bidding process. If you were working with SCA during the schematic and design development phase, a square foot study will have been prepared in order to target a ballpark total project cost. If not, SCA will prepare an initial square foot cost study for the provided construction drawings. If the square foot study renders a projected cost that is NOT in line with the budget, SCA may suggest revisions to the construction drawings that will align more closely with the budget. In the other case, where the square foot study IS in alignment with the construction budget, it is at this point that a full itemized construction budget will be prepared. This itemized budget will be a combination of solicited bids from vendors and historic data that has been compiled in house utilizing past and present digitized information. These budgets and final construction documents will set the roadmap for the duration of the project. It is vital to provide as much information to SCA at this point in time regarding specifics, such as finishes, materials, brands, manufacturers and fixtures. The more final selections are at this point in time prior to groundbreaking will contain and ensure that the project stays within the projected budget.

E) Once design and budgeting phases have concluded many of SCA‘s clients confidently choose to move into the construction phase with SCA as their builder. This choice stems from seeing firsthand our methodical approach in the earlier phases and understanding that the same values exist on the construction site. When you select SCA as your General Contractor, you are gaining a team of professionals managing your construction project, such as full time project management, project coordination, financial, & budgetary management, as well as a mixture of self performed in-house craftsman and highly skilled subcontractors that have long proven track records with SCA. SCA offers a turnkey approach from working with lenders, permitting with regulatory authorities, confirmation of permits, approvals, license and insurance requirements from all vendors, and also confirmation of workmanship meeting proper standards and progress prior to payment and reporting back to client.

Our Goal
The journey to your ‘dream’ can take an unfortunate wrong turn if drawings are less than thorough and specifications are left in limbo. Contractors routinely refer to construction documents to justify an action, or lack of action. Any resulting squabble can bring construction to a screeching halt while high-priced attorneys iron out a settlement. South Coast & Associates works to avert such conflicts before the process begins: first, by exploring design solutions with their client on paper, and then by budgeting on the project accurately to ensure less questions regarding a specification or drawing detail.