“What’s your process?”
It’s a common question from Portland-area clients, and it’s a good one. We love that our clients want to know what to expect. Excellent communication up front makes for clear expectations all around.
Every project follows our five-step process:
- Phase I: Pre-design
- Phase II: Schematic Design
- Phase III: Construction Documentation
- Phase IV: Permitting
- Phase V: Construction
Throughout the five phases, you can keep track of everything on your project page. (By everything, we mean everything: drawings, plans, permitting, paperwork, invoices, payments, communications, schedules, budgets…everything.)
Most importantly, we’ll keep you informed and involved every step of the way.
At New Avenue, our goal is to create homes and accessory dwellings that fit your life. Each of our clients has a different set of values, a different goal for their home, and a different lifestyle. It’s so important to us to design and build a space that will make you happy for a very, very long time.
That’s why we collaborate so closely with our clients and our network of local, proven experts from day one, starting in the pre-design phase.
Phase I: Pre-Design
Phase I, the pre-design phase, is when your New Avenue design professional researches your project and reports the results to you. The information your team gathers will lay the foundation for a successful project.
During Phase I, your design professional will gather all the information they need to design your project. This includes permit research at the city offices, a thorough analysis of your property, and the surveys and measurements that are required to begin planning. You will receive several reports and drawings in this phase:
- A site plan showing existing structures and features
- A planning research report including the maximum footprint, maximum height, setbacks and easements, zoning requirements, and overlays
- A feasibility report summarizing the suitability of your property for the project
- A project timeline
- A permit cost estimate
The typical time frame for Phase I is two to four weeks. When the research is complete and you approve, we move right into Phase II.
Phase II: Schematic Design
In the schematic design phase, your design professional will create three conceptual designs to explore with you. You and your designer will select the concept that best suits your preferences. Then, your designer will work with you to refine the design so it’s just right for you and your property. You’ll have two meetings with the designer to discuss the functionality, flow, style, and other aspects of the project that could affect the details and costs.
In the schematic design phase, you will receive:
- Design sketches and/or renderings to help you visualize your project
- Conceptual designs, up to three options, including site plan, floor plans, elevations, and sections
- Up to two rounds of revisions to refine the design to your preferred option
- Up to two design meetings to present the options and get feedback for revisions
- Updated construction estimate
The typical time frame for Phase II is one to two months. When the schematic design is complete and you approve, Phase III begins.
Phase III: Construction Documentation
In the construction documentation phase, we’ll gather and create all the documents needed to acquire permits and get an accurate bid from your contractor. We’ll also coordinate the necessary engineers and consultants.
We’ll finalize details like finishes, fixtures, and equipment to match your preferences and budget. Your designer will help you select the doors, windows, flooring, tile, appliances, and other finishes.
During this phase, your designer will create a site plan, demolition plans, floor plans, cross-sections, elevations (these are the drawings that show you what your home will look like from a side view), and finish schedules. Your contractor will provide an updated construction bid based on the final construction documents.
Your Phase III deliverables are:
- All the drawings needed to get permits and build the project
- Door, window, and finish schedules
- Up to two meetings to select finishes, fixtures, and equipment and to finalize construction documents
- A fixed-price construction bid from your New Avenue contractor
Phase III typically takes one to two months. Once the construction documents are finalized, we can move on to permitting.
Phase IV: Permitting
In Phase IV, your designer will work with city officials to permit your project. This is where it pays to have an experienced professional on your side. New Avenue’s designers know Portland’s codes and Oregon’s laws.
Your design professional will submit the necessary documents and respond to questions and comments from the local government. Typically, the local governing offices will request revisions or clarifications, and your designer will work with them to make sure your project is fully permitted.
Your designer will work closely with you and the city offices to make sure your project is permitted properly and efficiently, saving you time and money wherever possible.
Portland typically takes around eight to ten weeks to review and approve ADU permit applications, plus additional time to review checksheet responses as needed. Projects in historic districts require special review, which may mean more time and additional fees.
Once your permits are in place, construction can begin.
Phase V: Construction
Phase V is when you can actually see the progress happening on your property.
Throughout construction, your New Avenue designer will provide construction administration, keeping the project on track and ensuring that everyone stays informed. The designer will visit the site regularly, answer questions, and help solve problems.
New Avenue will manage all the labor, materials, purchasing, and subcontractors necessary to keep your project running smoothly. Any change orders must be approved by the homeowner before work begins, so there’s no need to worry about surprise expenses.
Soon, the whole process will pay off and you’ll have the ADU you’ve been working toward—a place to live, work, play, rent out…whatever you need.
Deliverables for Phase V include:
- A realistic construction schedule
- Designer involvement throughout construction
- Regular communication and on-site meetings with you and your design–build team
- Full management of all labor, materials, purchasing, and subcontractors
- A clean, safe jobsite
Phase V typically takes between eight and twelve months.
So that’s the process.
Throughout the five phases, New Avenue keeps your project on track and on budget. Our experienced design and construction professionals know what they’re doing in Portland, and they’re dedicated to creating a home that will help you get more from your property.
Building an ADU or remodel is never easy. Fortunately, there are things you can do to make sure your project goes smoothly and stays within your budget. By hiring the right team, you’ll gain a comfortable, functional space that will make your home better for generations.
Still have questions?
Schedule a free call today. We’ll answer all your questions, listen to your ideas, and match you with the design–build team that’s perfect for your project.