We can be a one stop shop by designing and building a Concrete Shell for you directly. Or, we can work hand in hand with your team (architect, engineer/s, general contractor, etc.) to build your project to the design that your team would provide.
So, how does this work?
Concrete Shells is dedicated to providing a seamless experience for our clients. Thus, we have three relationship models to service your needs. The first relationship model is where we work directly with you alone. In this role, Concrete Shells designs and builds your project from start to finish. We are a single point of contact, and offer the pinnacle of responsibility, accountability, and transparency.
The second relationship model is one in which you have already selected an architect. In this case, your architect will provide the design, and Concrete Shells would act in the role of the general contractor to build your architect’s design. In our capacity as the general contractor, we would work with the structural engineer to produce the structural plans, and then work under the guidance of the architect to produce a home to the plans as designed.
The third relationship model is one in which you have
both an architect and a builder you are comfortable
with, but you wish to have a house built with concrete
rather than with wood. In this case, Concrete Shells
would act in the role of the structural
subcontractor. Concrete Shells would provide the
concrete shell and interior wood frame for the project,
built to the plans provided by the architect. After the
shell has been constructed, our role would be done, and
your builder would take over and finish the home.
Adjacent is an overview explaining the typical process by which a project is implemented from conception through completion. When we work directly with you as a design/build contractor (the first relationship model), all 6 phases are applicable. If you have an architect who designs the building (the second relationship model), we will assist your architect, but your architect assumes responsibility for Phase 2 (Design) and Phase 3 (Permits). If you have an architect and a builder and we only supply the shell, your architect is responsible for Phases 2 and 3, and your builder is responsible for Phase 5 (Finish) and Phase 6 (Site Accessories and Landscaping).
TYPICAL FLOW FOR A PROJECT
Phase 1: Budget and Contract
We provide free in home estimates where a design consultant comes to your residence, listens to your wants and needs, goes over design options, and provides preliminary budget numbers. In about a week, you will be given a detailed estimate for your project.
We will work to narrow down figures that fit within your budget to give you exactly what you are looking for. Follow up consultations are provided as needed until we reach mutually agreeable terms such that a contract can be signed.
Phase 2: Design
We have residential designers, architects, and engineers ready to assist with your project. A Concrete Shell is built using a high level of construction technology, therefore, 3D renderings of the project are the basis for our work and we provide 3D printed models of your design. We have found that there are clearer expectations and less discrepancies when our clients can visually see and hold what the blueprints are going to create.
A simulation of the construction process is done as a part of the design phase to better understand what our clients are after. Thus, we are able to solve problems before they even exist; making for a more streamlined and hassle free experience.
Phase 3: Permits
Once the design is completed and has received your approval, the plans are submitted to the appropriate jurisdiction for permit. This can be the most painful and frustrating portion of the project because it is out of our control. The length of time to obtain a permit will depend upon the nature and size of the project. You can count on us to respond promptly to all requests that the permitting jurisdiction makes such that your project proceeds as rapidly as possible.
Phase 4: Build the Shell
With permit in hand, the construction phase of the project begins with the shell. The interior wood frame is prefabricated based upon the results of the simulation that was performed in the design phase. The same is true for the rough plumbing, rough electrical and rough HVAC systems. When we mobilize for your project, these pieces will arrive on a truck, along with a custom kit of Multi-Flex Forms™ , ready for installation by our technicians.
We use surveying technology to verify that we are completing your project according to plan. After the site has been prepared by our grading and excavating crew, the Multi-Flex Formwork™ for your project is ready to be installed. Reinforcing steel bars are set in place along with the interior wood frame. Then, the necessary electrical, plumbing, and HVAC components for the entire building are fixed in their appropriate locations and verified. The entire process takes between 4 and 6 weeks per story, depending upon the size and complexity of the structure.
Once all required components have been inspected and verified, the building is cast, one floor at a time, in a single pour. The interior formwork must be left in place until the concrete hardens, which normally takes between a week and 10 days. During this time, exterior doors and windows can be installed. After the interior formwork is removed, the interior walls are installed.
With interior framing in place, the rough electrical, plumbing, fire sprinkler, and HVAC systems are completed. In parallel, the exterior of the casting is finished. Roofing is done, and the stucco is applied or siding is installed such that the building looks livable from the outside and is watertight. Once the interior utilities are in place, insulation is installed and the building is ready for drywall.
At this point, the structure of the Concrete Shell is complete and the building is weather tight. The shell is ready to be finished.
Phase 5: Finish the shell into a Home
After the shell has been completed, we can begin to finish out the building with all of the craftsmanship you would come to expect in a fine home. Drywall is installed followed by paint and interior trim. The concrete slab is polished (if applicable), or we install the flooring elements (hardwood flooring, tile, carpet, travertine, etc) you have selected at the appropriate point in the process. The interior finishings (cabinets, countertops, mirrors, interior doors, etc.) are then installed in conjunction with the electrical and plumbing fixtures. Baseboard, interior trim, and paint are the final trades to be completed and your home is ready!
Phase 6: Pool, Hardscape, and Landscaping
At this point, your home has been completed, and for some homeowners, this would signal the end of the project. For most projects though, there will be site accessories and landscaping to be installed. Examples of site accessories would be swimming pools, spas, patios, decks, pergolas, fountains, and retaining walls. Examples of landscaping work would be trees, shrubs, flowers, and lawns. It is often possible to begin working on the site accessories and landscaping phase of the project while the interior of your home is being completed. Once these features are completed, it is time to turn over the keys and you can begin to enjoy your new concrete home!