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Clark Construction of Ridgefield,Inc builds a gable wall on a Wilton, CT addition.

How We Work: Clark's 7 Step Design-Build Process

The reason we have 29 years of happy clients.

It's no secret that we have the "A" team, both in-house, and in the field. But before hammer meets nail, good listening, good planning and good communication come together in our seven step design and build methodology that allows us to consistently create award-winning projects and thrilled clients.

Step 1. Explore and Clarify

The thing we love most about this phase is clients’ enthusiasm. Most homeowners begin a remodeling project with an exciting vision – and about a hundred questions. Experience tells us that establishing clarity, expert advice and a good relationship at this point sets the stage for an enjoyable and rewarding build.

So we focus on understanding the way you live, learning about your home, capturing your vision, giving clear answers to any questions and guiding you towards any big decisions about the scope of the project that you’ll need to make.

Our explorations now feed into some preliminary design concepts. We'll measure your space and will work up two or three different design concepts and show them to you, inviting you to our design studio to see us in action and to meet the rest of the team.

Tip: If you’re not quite sure what’s possible or where to start, that’s fine. Our initial consultations are complimentary.

Step 2. Design and Feasibility

If our design direction makes sense, we will continue to refine the design, via a combination of floor plans, elevations, material palettes and/or 3D concept drawings and photo renderings. Things start to feel real by now – on paper at least.

Behind the scenes, the rest of our team gets to work defining budgeting scenarios and tackling potential roadblocks; checking for any zoning, wetlands or health department issues. This advance work precludes last minute surprises after you’ve fallen in love with your final design and helps ensure that your project will flow smoothly through town approvals.

Step 3. Refine & Specify

Then it's time for us to get down to the nitty-gritty, specifying every minute detail on a set of Contract Drawings. At this time we are thinking through all the intricacies of the design. We also invite input from our trade team: with these experts on our team, we can spot most obstacles a mile off, allowing us to capture and attend to  a variety of  potential showstoppers. By thinking through the job thoroughly, we can set the stage to give the project the best chance of running like clockwork. We're not perfect, but we sure try to be!

We take this opportunity to double-check and often triple-check all our measurements, as always, to minimize surprises and hiccups during construction.

When our "homework" is complete, we will present to you a comprehensive fixed price Contract and the Contract Drawings. Together, they set out in detail all the elements of the project, including your selections, costs, start date and completion date. These dates are a firm commitment. Barring extenuating circumstances, they will not slip.

Step 4. Schedule & Plan

This phase is where you’ll really see what we’re made of and where our reputation for rock solid reliability comes from. Once all the details have been finalized, you can relax while we get intensely busy planning our dates and deadlines so your project will finish on or ahead of schedule. We're sticklers for the details. We synchronize all the elements associated with materials and workers. We know when to order long lead items so there’s no frustrating hiatus. We know how to put together the perfect team; we only use dependable craftsmen who, like us, complete their work on schedule and to the highest quality standards.

Step 5. Build and Minimize Disruption

During the building phase, we focus on two things: build quality and YOU. Remodeling is inherently disruptive, but there are ways to minimize it and we know them all. We set your expectations to make it a smooth journey, and allow you to have the freedom to enjoy your family and life, in light of what otherwise might be a disruptive or worrisome time.

First, we share the construction schedule with you, so that your expectations will be in line with the upcoming activities. Second, we optimize the schedule for maximum efficiency to allow us to be in and out as quickly as possible. We balance our pace with the time and care required to deliver  top quality construction.

We minimize stress by taking great care of your home. We contain our entire work area with dust walls. We protect your floors and passageways with protective coverings. Every day, we stack materials neatly, sweep up and leave our worksite clean and tidy.

All our trade partners are  kind and respectful family-oriented people. Some of our clients are surprised by how pleasant it is to have them around and truly miss them after they're gone.

Step 6. Troubleshoot & Communicate

Our projects progress smoothly thanks to good communication: communication between our team members and communication with you. You will have a dedicated Project Supervisor from beginning to end. He will create the synergy to keep your project running smoothly, on time, and without needless delays. He will keep you up-to-date on progress via regular meetings, e-mails and phone calls, plus you’ll have access to the online project calendar.

Often when builders move in, designers move out: we’re different. Jobs in construction are our top priority. If an issue comes up on an active job, designers stop what they are doing to promptly and effectively address it. We never lose sight of your vision for the dream space you asked us to build. We carry out regular on-site inspections, review meetings and quality control walk-throughs, constantly checking to make sure that all details are being executed to plan and that any questions or concerns are promptly addressed.

Step 7. Completion and Aftercare

Once the job is substantially complete, we’ll arrange a final walk-through visit with you. This meeting is to ensure we are delivering a 100% job and that you're completely satisfied. This is often our proudest moment. This meeting never throws up any showstoppers, it's just an opportunity to document any stray odds and ends. Completing these punch list items is a top priority for us. We like to wrap them up quickly and get out of your hair so you can get to fully enjoying your new space.

For future reference, we’ll leave you with a binder that contains:

  • A copy of the two-year limited warranty, one of the strongest in the industry
  • Care and maintenance information
  • Manufacturers' user manuals
  • Project documentation

If you have any issues, concerns or questions after your build is finished, we'll be here to welcome your call.

Upon the one-year anniversary of completion, we’ll get in touch to arrange a follow-up visit.