Liberty Builders offers a design-build process that allows our customers to accomplish all of their goals under one roof, and save time and money in doing so.  It is a concept-to-completion approach to any project.  With our excellent network of architects, designers, lenders, engineers, and other experts, Liberty Builders acts as the lead contractor from concept-to-completion.  This saves the customer time and money through efficiencies gained by working as a team, and having one leader bringing it all together.  The result is a design being derived as a result of your budget.  This is in contrast to a project’s budget being the result or afterthought of the project’s design.

Traditionally, a customer may spend a significant amount of time and money with an outside firm, such as an architect or designer, who creates a plan based on the customer’s needs and wants.  There is not much consideration given to budget or cost to build because a contractor has yet to be involved and provide input.  The customer then brings the plan to contractors to bid and, in many cases, discovers that there is no correlation between the final plan and their budget.  They then incur more time and money to make modifications or start the process over again.


With the design build process, Liberty Builders is involved from the start by meeting with the customer prior to engaging an outside firm such as an architect. We help you through design phase and offer our own suggestions and creativity built from years of experience.  Once you are ready for plan drawings, you can engage your own architect or work within our excellent network of architects.  Since your contract at this point is directly with the architect, you own your own plan.

Liberty Builders also offers other specialty services.  Those services, the design-build process, and the construction timeline are outlined below.

  • Land Selection and Review

    • We will search for land that meets your needs.  We have helped many customers locate land for primary residences and secondary residents such as lake homes. We can also assist in the negotiation process.  There are many issues to consider when selecting land including walkout or lookout possibilities, slope and drainage issues, available utilities, hidden costs, and placement of house and windows to maximize views and sunlight exposure.

  • Mortgage Pre-Approval

    • We refer many of our customers to our mortgage lenders, and we have a long history of helping our customers obtain financing for their new home or home improvement project.  It is important to understand your budget upfront so that the proper steps can be taken in moving forward to design phase.

  • Preliminary Meetings

    • During our first meeting, we will discuss your needs, wants, and budget.  This is typically a brainstorming meeting and our opportunity to learn about our customer.  We then take this information and advise our customers based on what we have learned.  Some customers have examples of what they want, while others have just ideas.  Either way, we will take this information and work with you on moving forward to the design process.  We will discuss budget and preliminary cost estimates based on what we then know about your needs and wants.  This helps ensure that you move forward without incurring additional time or costs due to improper planning.

  • Preliminary Plans for Budgeting and Design

    • At this stage, we will meet with the architect to discuss a conceptual plan. The conceptual plan is a design plan, meaning it is not a plan that can be used to obtain bids.  The purpose of this stage is to finalize a floor plan that can then be used to begin construction drawings and, eventually, home elevations.   We work directly with you and the architect during this phase to ensure your needs and wants are incorporated into the design.  We offer suggestions and solutions, as we are able to visualize the flow of the design, room sizes, and functionality.

    • Concept plans are a work-in-progress and typically involve a number of changes, additions, or subtractions.  Once the concept plan is final, we can give a more accurate range of cost. Since there is no cost to you at this stage, this is important information prior to engaging the architect to begin detailed construction drawings.   Knowing if your concept plan will work within your budget parameters helps ensure against unnecessary costs often created when construction plans are not compatible with your budget.

    • Though most of our homes are a result of a custom design process, Liberty Builders does have in-house stock plans to choose from.  Some stock plans are from models that were previously built or are currently open and available for a walkthrough.  Any stock plan can be tweaked or changed.  If you do not see a stock plan that suits your needs, we will assist you in finding one that does.

  • Construction Plans

    • At this stage, you engage directly with the architect to complete your detailed construction plans.  The architect will provide a cost to complete your plans, and you pay the architect directly based on agreed upon payment terms.  Construction plans typically take two to three weeks to complete.  You will get a copy to review and approve prior to the architect commencing home elevation drawings.  Minor tweaks, or changes that do not affect the structural component of the plans, are typically allowed at this stage without any additional charges.  Once approved, the architect will begin to draw the home elevations.  The architectural style of the elevation will be based on knowledge we have obtained during our meetings.  You will be presented with first draft of the elevations for your comments or approval.  We will refine the elevations until they meet your approval, though we will advise you of changes that may be cost prohibitive.  We will offer our input and suggestions and help guide you towards a final plan that will meet your needs, wants, and budget.

  • Cost Determination

    • Final construction plans are sent out to our sub-contractors for bidding.   The specifications are detailed in the construction plans, as well as information we provide from our meetings with you.  In many cases, plans are bid as is, but other options provided at a client’s request.  We will determine the costs associated with the phases of construction that are completed internally by Liberty Builders.  We will also determine appropriate allowances based on our knowledge of your needs and wants, and what we have learned from you through our meetings. You may also begin your selWe will always provide realistic allowances, including allowances for costs that may not always be included in construction contracts.  We believe in providing a “complete-cost-to-build” total so there are no surprises after commencement of construction.  Site improvements and construction permits are costs often left out of construction bids, or inadequately allowed for.

  • Proposal

    • We will provide you will a proposal of a cost to build, including all allowances provided.  You will also receive detailed building specifications.  We will review the proposal and building specifications with you in detail.  We expect questions and are always open to questions and/or comparisons to other proposals received.  It is important that an accurate comparison is made when comparing to other proposals.  Differences in allowances, exclusions from the contract, or inferior building products/specifications may result in a material difference between two proposals.  It is important to get an accurate comparison to make the right decision.

  • Contract

    • Once we have an accepted proposal, we will provide you with a construction contract.  You should review the contract and understand the construction draw process and other details contained in the contract.

  • Construction Loan Process

    • After a contract is signed, the customer will proceed with the construction loan process. Usually the customer has already begun this process by getting a pre-approval so they know their budget upfront.  At this point, the lender will need a copy of the construction plans,  contract, and building specifications. They will then order an appraisal on the proposed new home and a loan application will be submitted. This will include ordering of a title commitment, obtaining a certificate of builders risk insurance and running credit checks on both the customer and the builder.

  • Customer Selections

    • While we begin the construction process, it is important for you to complete your material and color selections. There are many decisions to make regarding colors and type of materials to be used in your new home.  This includes exterior colors, flooring, plumbing fixtures, lighting, countertops, and cabinetry.   We will help you with this process as much as you would like us to.  We have extensive experience assisting our customers in making selections and providing guidance.  Your allowances were based off our knowledge of your needs and wants and, therefore, much of these details are discuss during planning phases.  It is at this phase that final selections are made and ordered so there are no delays in the construction schedule.  We will guide you through the process and help set up appointments with our suppliers.

  • Construction Process
    • There are many steps to the construction process, including steps that have to be completed prior to actually digging the hole.  The following outline is the basic construction process.

  • Survey: A survey of the customer’s new home plotted on their lot will be ordered. This is a required and necessary legal document. We will consult the customer to be sure their new home and rough driveway cut are where they would like them. After these decisions have been made we will have the new house staked out on the lot.

  • Lot Developer Approval: Once we have obtained the final survey it will be necessary, in some cases, for several copies of the survey and blueprints to be given to the developer of the subdivision. The developer will approve these items by stamping them. In some cases, the developer may request some modifications. If this is an issue it will be promptly addressed. This step is only necessary if the new home is being built in a subdivision.

  • Septic Permit: If the home requires a septic system, we will need to apply for a septic permit before we can obtain a building permit.

  • Heat Calculations: Calculations on the heating system in the new home will be done by the manufacturer of the furnace system. This step is necessary to apply for the building permit, because the building inspection department needs to see that the home is in compliance with the Uniform Dwelling Code for the State of Wisconsin.

  • Application for Building Permit: When all the above items have been completed we will have all the necessary materials to apply for the building permit. Once we take this information to the building inspection department and apply for the building permit, it may take anywhere from one to two weeks before we get the permit. In the mean time, we will schedule the hole to be dug

  • Application for Electrical/Gas Utilities: With our assistance, the customer will apply for installation of electric and gas utilities to be installed at their new home.

  • Excavation: The hole is dug for your basement and foundation

  • Inspection: The municipality that issued the building permit will inspect the hole for compliance

  • Footings Poured: Footings support the foundation/basement walls

  • Inspection: The municipality that issued the building permit will inspect the footings for compliance

  • Walls Poured: The foundation/basement walls are poured

  • Steel Beams: Steel beams are set according to architectural plans and load calculations.  These support the structure of the home.

  • Waterproofing: Waterproofing is installed on the outside of the foundation walls

  • Inspection: The municipality that issued the building permit will inspect the foundation for compliance

  • Backfill Foundation: The area surrounding the foundation walls are backfilled

  • Rough Carpentry: This is typically referred to as “framing”.  Walls and subfloors are constructed, exterior is “wrapped”, windows are installed, and roof sheathing completed

  • Utilities: installation of gas, electric, water/sewer laterals, septic or well if necessary

  • Roofing: Shingles are installed

  • Exterior: Soffit and fascia completed.  Masonry and/or siding installed and completed.

  • “Rough-In”: Rough completion of heating, plumbing, electrical, fireplace unit, and low voltage wiring

  • Inspection

  • Basement & Garage Slabs & Stoops: Slabs and stoops are poured. 

  • Insulation: Walls and attic insulation are completed

  • Drywall: Walls and ceilings are drywalled, mudded, taped, and sanded

  • Paint: Painters spray ceilings and walls and backroll custom color walls.  Window jambs are painted.

  • Millwork: Trim material such as base and casing, doors and door hardware, and stair parts are delivered.  Painting & staining conducted.

  • Cabinetry: Cabinets are delivered

  • Flooring: Underlayment installed at vinyl and ceramic tile areas. All flooring, except carpet, is installed

  • Finish Carpentry: Finish carpenters install cabinets and millwork, including hanging doors and installing locksets, installing fireplace mantle, and completion of stairs

  • Countertops: Countertops are installed

  • Light Fixtures: Light fixtures are delivered and installed

  • Mechanicals: Heating, plumbing, electrical, fireplace, and low voltage completed.

  • Appliances: Appliances are delivered and installed

  • Carpeting: Carpet is installed

  • Closets: Custom closets are installed

  • Miscellaneous: Finishing touches are completed

  • Cleaning: A thorough construction cleaning in completed.

  • Occupancy Inspection: The municipality that issued the building permit will conduct a final inspection and issue a occupancy permit.  At the time of final occupancy, we will conduct a thorough walk through with the customer to ensure that all expectations are met and questions answered.

This detailed process is why it is important to hire a contractor with experience and that you can trust.  While we can offer many, many services to each of our customers, how much is dependent on the needs of each customer.  We will work with you to determine those needs are, and the Design Build Process ensures that we are there and involved every step of the way.

 

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