Retaining PSG Construction in Early Stages of Planning Can Save Thousands of Dollars

by Stephen Gidus
Revised from original article appearing in The PSG Report, 2000, Vol. V, Issue 1

No one willingly pays more for a service or product than they have to. But that’s exactly what happens to countless homeowners who have plans completed before consulting with PSG Construction in the critical design/development stages of the project.

Catering to the clients’ needs in the early stages of a remodeling or new home project is what PSG Construction is geared to do with The PSG Process©. PSG has developed a seven-step system that takes clients through the remodeling process in a thoroughly planned out, more cost-effective way.

  • The PSG Process serves several purposes. It can:
  • Maximize clients’ peace of mind during the course of the project
  • Potentially save clients thousands of dollars in the design/development stages
  • Save money during the course of the project
  • Help clients reach their desired goals without making disappointing compromises during the course of the project
  • Create a more rewarding and successful project

“We couldn’t have done this project without PSG’s planning.” –Joe and Margaret Simonds

“It’s frustrating for clients to approach us with drawings they are ready to proceed with, thinking the project will cost “X” number of dollars because the architect has estimated it that way. The client is shocked to find out their project will really cost much more than they anticipated. The client becomes skeptical and discouraged,” Stephen Gidus explains.

“This is an unfortunate waste of time and money. The client has paid for drawings and plans they can’t use because the project is actually over budget. So they have to pay more money for the project to be revised, or they are forced to begin the design process again with an entirely new concept.”

This doesn’t mean the architect has knowingly misled them. But Stephen maintains that homeowners should only get an estimate for construction costs from the remodeler. “The remodeler knows his business best,” Stephen says.

PSG maintains that a project is most successful when clients secure their remodeler, architect and even interior designer at the beginning of the project so that all professionals can work with each other in developing a successful plan for the client.

PSG Construction developed The PSG Process because they believe the remodeler’s input is critical to the success of a project. They also worked with too many frustrated clients over the course of their business, and wanted to address these recurring concerns.

The PSG Process includes seven steps: 1. Feasibility Study 2. Preliminary Design Review 3. Project Specifications 4. Final Agreement 5. Production Mobilization 6. Construction and 7. Post Construction.

“PSG’s Pre-Construction Services gave us a clear picture of what we were getting into. This is the best way to do it.” –Beth Lu

The Feasibility Study Helps Develop a Realistic First Budget
In this first step, meetings take place during which PSG Construction addresses the client’s desired goals, scope of work, and budget. A very basic Conceptual Plan, Specifications and Budget are prepared.

“The Feasibility Study gives our clients a real understanding of what their investment in the project will be,” explains Stephen. “The client has tangible information for making an educated decision regarding their project.”

The Preliminary Design Review Brings Focus to the Project
PSG Design Services are retained during this step or a PSG Preferred architect is retained. A Preliminary Plan is developed and reviewed. At this stage, the engineer and key subcontractors are consulted for input on the preliminary design, as needed. Desired products are addressed and a Preliminary Budget is established.

Working Drawings Are Initiated in the Project Specifications Step
At this point, the Client has approved the Preliminary Design and a Preliminary Budget has been established. Clients also receive the Product Selection Outline, which is a comprehensive outline of all of the products that the client and interior designer will need to select. A listing of PSG’s preferred suppliers and their showroom locations is included. Clients use this valuable outline to select products for their project – from cabinetry and plumbing fixtures to flooring and counter surfaces.

“The Product Selection Outline was most helpful in giving us an idea of what we had to accomplish for the project,” say clients Joe and Margaret Simonds. “We couldn’t have done this project without PSG’s planning.”

Once plans are 95% complete, a Bid Conference is conducted at the project site with key subcontractors and suppliers. This Conference is one of the most important parts of the process because it readies the team for construction.

“This is the most exciting stage for our clients,” Stephen explains. “The architectural plans are 95% complete and we are ready to meet all the key subcontractors and suppliers at the project site. We start at 7 or 8 a.m. at the client’s house and schedule the subcontractors and suppliers in 1/2 hour increments. We introduce our team to the client, review the scope of work, analyze the client’s goals again and make necessary modifications.”

A Ground Breaking Date is Set During the Final Agreement Step
Final revisions are made to the Working Drawings and a final Budget is established and approved. A ground breaking date can then be set and final preparations can be made to begin construction.

Introduction of the Production Team occurs in the Production Mobilization step, with a Pre-Construction Meeting conducted on-site, and the site being prepared for construction. The scope of work is carried out in the Construction step, and the project is finalized in Post Construction, which includes completing the Final Punch List and a One Year Follow-up.

“If we hadn’t used The PSG Process we would have ended up compromising on things later and would have been really disappointed.” –Kathy Rapprich

“So much critical work takes place before construction even begins,” Stephen points out. “When clients invest in The PSG Process, they are eliminating the assumptions that might be made, things left undone, things not discussed, wasted money and mistakes made during the construction stage.”

The PSG Process allows the project to be completely pre-planned so that the client gets the best possible investment for their money.

Maximizing the Potential of the Investment, Avoiding Unforeseen Disappointments
“If we hadn’t used The PSG Process, we would have ended up compromising on things later and would have been really disappointed because we would have run out of money,” says client Kathy Rapprich. She and her husband, Frank, originally wanted to enclose their patio to gain more space. But with the help of The PSG Process, they were able to come up with an alternative plan that allowed them to keep their patio and gain the space they needed in a less expensive way. “If we had done it the way we originally planned it, I wouldn’t have gotten the cabinets, wood floors, or granite countertops I wanted. It would have been too expensive,” Kathy says.

“But with The PSG Process, we were able to come up with a different way of getting the space we needed without adding on to the house. I still got the cabinets, flooring and countertops I wanted, and we didn’t need to enclose the patio. I’m glad we didn’t enclose it now, because I enjoy the patio! If we hadn’t made the decisions up front with The PSG Process, I wouldn’t have gotten what I really wanted.”

“Our philosophy is to build it twice,” says Stephen. “We build it first on paper, then in the field. This gives us a more precise picture. It doesn’t cost the client any extra to correct a mistake on paper.”

“The PSG Process has been overwhelmingly successful,” Stephen reports. “Our clients have a greater level of comfort, they experience far less stress during the project, and know what their investment is going to be.” Stephen sums up the value of these unique services by saying, “When a client is investing thousands of dollars in a project, The PSG Process becomes a small but sound investment in itself.