The Design-Build Process

In contrast to the traditional model of competitive bidding, we take a collaborative approach, working with homeowners and their designers to value-engineer a project and get our clients the best possible results within their desired budgets. Our mission is to partner with our clients and develop trusting, open lines of communication through which our clients can make informed decisions. A vital differentiating element of this philosophy is our desire to be direct and transparent about budgets. We provide detailed line item budgets with fixed costs, so that we form a team in which the client and the contractor work together toward the same financial goal.

Whether you have just started thinking about your new home, you already have an architect working on plans, or your plans are complete, Entablature is happy to assist you with the design phase of your project.

What to Expect

The design-build method Entablature employs is intended to establish a partnership between client, designer, and builder from the start of a project. By working together toward common goals, the team is able to realize the greatest possible value for the client.


The design-build process starts with an initial meeting at your home or our office. During this meeting we will review your goals for the project, outline the process, and discuss your budget. There is no charge for this introductory meeting.


If you are interested in moving forward with Entablature beyond the introductory meeting, we will execute a Preconstruction Services Agreement, which will initiate the first formal stage of the design-build process, Pre-Construction. This stage begins with pre-construction evaluations of the site and, in the case of renovations, the existing structure. The next step in this stage depends on where you are in your journey:

If you already have architectural plans, Entablature will evaluate those plans and help to value-engineer them. For example, we may be able to identify and resolve elements of the plan that are inconsistent, vague, or incomplete, or we may recommend materials or methods that can reduce construction costs or improve efficiency.

At various points during the pre-construction stage, costs are evaluated to ensure that design is progressing in line with your stated budget goals. Completion of the pre-construction and design work results in full architectural and engineering plans as well as a detailed line item bid to complete the project.

The pre-construction stage requires some preliminary investment by the home-owner. Whether it is with Jenny Zurik or your own designer, you will enter into a design contract directly with your designer or architect. Entablature requires a separate Pre-Construction agreement and charges a reasonable fee for our pre-construction services. A portion of the Entablature service fee is credited toward the costs of your project if you enter into a construction contract with Entablature. Additional services may be required, such as surveys or engineering work. Entablature will arrange these services for you at cost, with no mark-up.


The second stage of the design-build process, Construction, includes permitting, selecting materials and finishes, and the actual construction of your project. Throughout construction, you will have access to your own personalized owner’s portal within our cloud-based project management system, BuilderTrend. This gives you unparalleled, 24/7 access to information regarding the progress of your project and allows everyone on the team to stay on the same page.


The final stage of the design-build process, Post-Construction, includes your warranty. Entablature’s success is rooted in our satisfied clients. We demand the highest quality from ourselves and our trade partners, but we recognize that occasionally issues arise after construction is complete. Our clients enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that we warranty our work for a full year and that we will be there if a warranty item needs to be addressed.


Entablature provides our clients access to BuilderTrend, the most advanced web-based project management platform on the market. BuilderTrend is the hub through which clients can monitor the progress of their renovation, manage all of the project’s financial transactions, and communicate with the Entablature team. It is a multi-media interface that provides 24-7 access to pictures, calendars, weather updates, budgets, a message center, and a repository for all important project documents like contracts and change orders. Through BuilderTrend, Entablature’s clients are continuously updated on all aspects of their project’s progress.