Frequently Asked Questions

Our FAQ’s provide detailed information about our work, Pre-Construction Consulting, Project Management and HomeCare. If you have additional questions or need clarification, we welcome your call.

What is your specialty?

We build one-of-a kind luxury homes and whole house renovations for home owners. Through our 30 plus years of experience, we have crafted a unique approach to assist clients at the earliest stages of design concept and development through the completion of construction.

What is your unique approach and how does it work?

Our unique team-based approach initially guides you through your home design process. We call this process Pre-Construction Consulting. Using this method, we help you assemble a design team (an architect, interior designer, landscape architect and engineer etc.), track a realistic design timeline, and provide feasibility and cost information during the design phase.

The advantage of a collaborative design team is that everyone meets together to share first-hand professional information and knowledge before and during design. Unfortunately, without the team approach, many hours and dollars are lost as each constituent becomes myopic and ineffective without the input and expertise of the other. A qualified team makes the difference between success and disappointment.

Pre-Construction Consulting simplifies the pre-construction and budget development for your custom home. As your team leader, we act as a conduit for team communication, help you understand the design and building process and identify and answer your questions. Pre-Construction Consulting is a roadmap for your building journey. Design through construction can be complex and challenging. Pre-Construction Consulting makes the process enjoyable.

What are the steps for Pre-Construction Consulting?

The typical process is:

  1. Select your design team and set a realistic timeline for the design phase.
  2. Explore several design concepts. You decide on a design direction, giving the team a specific vision of what to build.
  3. Complete preliminary drawings of your house and site.
  4. Preparation of a “preliminary” budget for your review and approval. The preliminary budget is based upon historical cost data and detailed specifications.
  5. Value Engineer the project to identify the main cost drivers and savings ideas. The architect and builder explore new products and methods, evaluating which systems (such as new HVAC technology, lighting controls, green additions, etc.) fit your project. These ideas are discussed with you.
  6. Preparation of landscape, site grading and drainage plans.
  7. Finalize your selections and complete the floor plan and exterior elevations for city approval.
  8. Submit the plans to the City or County Planning Department for approval.
  9. Prepare final plans and design selections for building permit submittal.
  10. Development of a final budget using the Conrado bidding process.
  11. Obtain permit and construction begins.
Is Pre-Construction Consulting the only way you work?

No. Pre-Construction Consulting services are best suited for new custom home construction and whole house renovation projects. These types of projects, given the scope of work and large investment required, demand a formalized, systematic approach to planning and construction.

The ideal time to begin the Pre-Construction Consulting process varies but is best suited from the project’s conception to the start of construction.

I have architectural plans. Will you work with me?

Yes. Whether you are in the earliest design phase, have approved plans or have put the shovel in the ground, we can assist you.

How do you create budgets?

Our construction budgets cover all aspects of your project.

We analyze your plans and architectural specifications and write detailed scopes of work (SOW) for all trades from plumbing and electrical to painting and tile. The SOW’s are specific to your project and plans and are not boiler plate. The SOW outlines in detail the exact products to be used for the project and the work to be performed by each subcontractor.

Our comprehensive SOW’s have three parts; Conrado Standards, Trade Specific and Project Specific requirements. Often skipped by other builders, these detailed requirements increase the accuracy of the bid.

We solicit bids from experienced and vetted subcontractors in each trade. Subcontractors are invited to examine the plans and provide fixed price bids. We analyze each bid to make sure it is comprehensive. The SOW plus the qualified subcontractor bids are the backbone of the budget.

The line-item budget usually contains over 60 individual trade bids and comprehensively displays the cost to build your project.

In addition to the line-item budget, we examine the relationship of product and system function to the cost for your project. This Value Engineering process identifies alternatives and savings ideas. Optional changes range from substituting different materials and systems, for instance lighting controls, to floor plan modifications to make better use of space.

How accurate are your budgets?

Our budgets are very accurate. The cost of a home is primarily determined by its design and its finishes. Complete design and finish selections allow us to compile the most accurate project budget. We use a very thorough system and our clients routinely tell us that our pricing is the most accurate of any general contractor in our area.

How does your price compare to other builders?

The Conrado Company is competitively priced among other luxury custom home builders.

How experienced are your project managers?

Each of our project managers has many years’ worth of experience in residential construction and has worked for The Conrado Company for many years. They know how to build houses, keep a project on schedule and ensure that you are getting the best value for your money!

Do you have full-time office staff?

Yes. Each person that is involved in your project is deeply invested in its success. Our office staff provides strong business support you can count on. Our team consists of our Founder, President, CFO, Controller, Office Operations Manager, Estimator, and Accountant.

Who does the construction? Do your employees do the work?

We use independent subcontractors for construction, Conrado personnel for project management and the finest craftsmen in the area for detail work.

How do you work with subcontractors?

We partner with “A+” subcontractors.

A foundation of long-term, established relationships built upon respect, trust and collaboration draw the best carpenters and trades people to work with us. By hiring independent subcontractors, we have access to a larger, more talented team than we could ever employ.

These highly skilled, trusted trade experts complete custom touches and add specialized details to your home. Your project management team and subcontractors work together to keep the project running smoothly; manage product and material availability, lead times and schedule.

How do you ensure quality work?

Our team members are on the job site, personally working on and overseeing your project every day. In addition to the project manager in charge, many other knowledgeable construction staff work on your building site. Our project engineers assist wherever they are needed. Our Field Operations Manager is checking and discussing the work on the job site every day, and Colleen Conrado Ferguson also visits each job site regularly to confirm that Conrado Company’s quality standards are met during every phase of the project. Whether it’s site clean-up, subcontractor supervision or project close out, we manage and oversee your project.

How will I know what’s going on with my project?

It is our responsibility to communicate, and our practice is to over-communicate with you.

Our Weekly Site Meetings are necessary for project success. You, your project manager and project team set a standard time and meeting place. The meeting provides a valuable platform to discuss current conditions, future steps, decisions, schedule and the budget. Afterward, meeting notes are distributed to the project team to review.

A Weekly Progress Report documents the week’s accomplishments, outlines the work for the following week and may ask for information or decisions. Progress Reports are emailed to the team each Friday.

Your project manager and team works closely with you on your project from day one. The dynamic building process usually requires communication beyond standard meetings. We communicate in a method that works for you, whether email, phone or in person. It is our job to ensure you feel comfortable and enjoy the building of your future home.

Does Conrado remodel homes?

Yes. We believe that remodeling a home is the answer for some clients. Additions or remodeling can improve your home’s layout and space. A Conrado remodeling client receives the same care, quality, vetted subcontractors, cabinet makers and other specialists that are used in our custom homes. We value the need for remodeling and our HomeCare department is uniquely set up to handle these special projects. We’ve got you covered from additions and kitchen and bath remodels to window replacement to outdoor kitchens.

What is HomeCare?

Our HomeCare department helps homeowners take care of their home. HomeCare comprises three areas: our Home Maintenance Program, service/repair work and small project remodeling.

Maintenance Program

  • Scheduled quarterly evaluation, service and repair of systems and appliances
  • Fully customizable; appliances to window seals to security systems and much more
  • We use vetted subcontractors used for our custom-built homes not handymen and dabblers
  • Emergency services

Service and Repair

  • No Maintenance Program participation required
  • Service and repairs as requested (roofs, leaks, plumbing, electrical problems and more)
  • Subcontractors, licensed and reliable

Small Project Remodeling

  • Additions
  • Floor plan make-overs
  • Room modifications and upgrades
  • City permitted and inspected as legally required