Our Process

"Our goal at Daley Design + Build is to set our customers up for success from day one, by making their best interest our #1 priority."

~ Graeme R. Daley

About Our Process

We have crafted a process which puts the customer’s best interest as the driver for how the whole process is laid out. We want our customers to know exactly what they are buying and what it will cost before they are asked to sign a construction contract with Daley Design + Build.

We accomplish this by determining all of your selections in the Design phase, before we bid the job out to subcontractors and material suppliers in the Deal phase. This ensures that by the time we’re sitting down to sign a construction contract we have a binder full of material quotes and labor bids for your job, so that we’re creating the budget with REAL actual numbers for your home.

We also go the extra mile and take our homes through a full set of 3D Renderings to literally show you what we intend to build for you. Building custom homes with high customer satisfaction is realized when expectations between the customer and design team/builder are aligned early in the process.

If expectations are not aligned in the beginning of the project (a downfall of most other builders’ Guaranteed Maximum Price contracts), customers can end up with an extremely nice home, but not be happy with how they got there. This dissatisfaction typically results from selections (made during construction phase) not staying within builder-determined allowances, and the associated budget increases taking a project (sometimes $100k, $200k or $300k+) over-budget.

We think that “Allowance” and “Guaranteed Maximum Price contract” are some of the dirtiest terms in custom home construction as allowances only represent arbitrary numbers that are not necessarily connected to what the client is envisioning in their head, and Guaranteed Maximum Price contracts are only guaranteed if your selections stay within all of the Allowances (otherwise you’re getting your checkbook out).

We have split the typical “Design / Build” process into three clear phases (Design, Deal and Build):

During the Design Phase we will develop custom floor plans and explore all facets of the exterior and interior design, along with finalizing selections and specifications. By doing this we ensure that all Design elements have been thoroughly analyzed, detailed and specified for accurate bidding. Design Phase results in a “Design Package” containing: Architectural Plans & Specifications (with Product Photos), Site Engineering Plans, Landscape Plans, and a set of interior and exterior 3D Renderings.

During the first half of the Deal Phase we will competitively bid out the design for all major construction elements (including foundation, framing, cabinets, windows and doors, etc.), and develop an actual construction estimate based on real material quotes and labor bids. This is an open-book process where the customer is welcome to review the bids with us to discuss lowest bid vs. best subcontractor for the job. We are all about saving our customers money, but you typically get what you pay for, and bottom-dollar subs don’t typically produce top quality work.

During the second half of the Deal Phase the customer, builder (and realtors if applicable) can have an open and honest discussion about the projected build cost and total project budget, along with discussing the terms of Daley Design + Build’s Cost-Plus Construction Contract. DD+B’s cost-plus Builder Fee % is guided by a sliding scale that varies by total projected construction cost.

In a Guaranteed Maximum Price contract (used by most other builders), any money the builder doesn’t spend can be kept as additional profit, which incentivizes some other builders to cut corners. In a Cost-Plus contract, the Builder Fee is determined by the total cost of labor and material invoices paid (Total Cost x Variable Percentage Builder Fee), so cutting corners and not spending money only whittles back the Builder Fee. Therefore given that all of our projects are run on a Cost-Plus basis, you can be sure that we are implementing all of the best practice details that really should be incorporated into your project. We believe that the true quality of a home is determined on how well/cleanly things are implemented in places that will never be seen when the build is complete.

Our goal is to make the Construction Phase as fun and stress-free for the customer as possible. At this point in the project you should be focused on enjoying watching your new home come to life. One step at a time, all of the pieces come together like clockwork until your new home is ready for your move-in. We expect to have periodic meetings with each customer to answer any questions that come up during the construction process.

These are custom homes…and sometimes customers come up with new/different ideas during the construction phase about how they’d like to see something finished. These are easily addressed under the Cost-Plus contract as there are not typical Change Orders (where the builder might be making a 50% mark-up on your change). We take mid-construction changes in stride, and the Builder Fee on these changes is the same % as already agreed in the Construction Contract Builder Fee.


Our goal is to align expectations with our clients at numerous points throughout the
design and construction processes. If expectations are not aligned starting very early
in the process, a project has a very small chance of being a success for either party.

The level of transparency that we share with our clients throughout our
design + build process surpasses that of most other builders in our industry.

We need happy customers at the end of each and every project.


~ Graeme R. Daley
Founder & CEO


Follow Us