The National Association of Home Builders reports that thee most common home construction projects are kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, and whole-house remodeling. If you’re looking to hire a professional to complete one or all of these tasks, it can be daunting! You may not know which tools to use or understand the construction terms seen in bids and contracts.
If you’re starting a home construction project and feeling overwhelmed, below is a guide to all the jargon and lingo you need to know before you break ground.
An architect’s job is to plan the layout and structural design of your project. He or she works with you to capture your vision and then draws up the plans to bring your ideal home or remodel to life. Although planning is usually the extent of an architect’s involvement, you can also hire them to oversee the general contractor’s work. This is recommended if you will not be in the area when construction is occurring or as a standard practice to trust verify.
Designers use their creativity to plan the look and aesthetics of your project. They plan to work like the layout of a space, location of furniture, fabric types, and color schemes.
Contractors combine managing, planning, and designing all in one. They oversee all stages of a large project: estimating costs, drawing plans, getting building permits, and hiring subcontractors. Contractors often work with the same designers, architects, and subcontractors, so they have a good idea of the time and cost of a project. Instead of charging hourly rates like designers and architects, contractors bill the entire cost of a project. Contractors must be licensed in the state where the work will take place.
Not only are there numerous players in the process, but documents as well. Be sure to understand each of these so that you are provided with the desired end-results.
As-Built Drawings: The original construction drawings marked up to reflect all of the changes made during construction. Contractors use as-built drawings to record changes that may affect the main building plan, such as relocating ductwork, plumbing, or electrical.
Bid: An offer to perform a specified amount of work under certain conditions with cost estimates included. The bid gives you the power to accept or reject its conditions (i.e., cost or time) and to move forward with the construction contract.
Cost of Work: The total expenses a contractor incurs after executing the construction contract.
Draw Schedule: A detailed payment schedule for a construction project. Banks or other financial institutions use draw schedules to make payments (known as “draws”) to owners, contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers at specific times. The goal is to make funds available only after work is completed or materials are delivered. The general contractor works with the owner and their lending institution to determine the draw schedule.