Project Approach
We approach our customers’ projects in 3 phases: Phase I: Design Development,  Phase II: Construction Documents and Permitting, and Phase III: Construction/Installation. As a design/build company, our clients discover there is opportunity for us to add value to the end result in each phase and, therefore, when you hire us to design new homes, interiors or renovations, you should expect us to be on board through the entire process, from design through construction. In fact, we’d have it no other way.
 
We recommend that the complete design for the home be developed all at once, regardless of construction phasing. This enables you to not only plan for anticipated expenses, but to help ensure that each construction phase takes into account any implications later phases may have on construction, systems, et cetera. We would then prepare only those construction documents needed for the work being done at the time. This will help defer some of the expense for you and will enable us to accommodate any changes that may happen during construction. After Phase II, our involvement will depend on the approach you prefer to the construction process. If you choose to be an owner/builder, our role can be as simple as oversight and consulting, such as assisting in contractor bidding and selection, working with the municipality in obtaining necessary permits, and guiding you through construction. We also can help direct you through the interior finishing process, or work side by side with you and others installing interior finishes. If, on the other hand, you want to participate in the building process, but not direct it, we offer complete construction management and general contracting services. Either way, we like to establish this approach to construction up front so that we can anticipate our work load and plan accordingly.  
 
Phase I: Design Development
Balance Studio, LLC will provide:
 
Part A: Initial Design
Preliminary sketch plans including:
Field verification of all measurements, floor plans, elevations, sections
(as required), site plan, integrating the building design to the site;
client meetings/presentations; and rough model of recommended
design (as needed).
 
Part B: Structure and Materials Research,
Preliminary Cost Estimates/Budget Planning
Explore available structural options including timber frame, post and beam, conventional framing, masonry construction; explore insulation options: straw, cellulose, cotton batt, foam, fiberglass; consider ways to incorporate on-site materials (earth, wood, stone) and reclaimed components (windows, doors, beams) into structure; and develop rough construction estimates to further refine design and budget plans.
 
Part C: Final Design Schematics
Final floor plans, elevations, sections as needed to communicate design ideas to third party; design schedules including interior materials, window/door, and preliminary electrical, lighting and plumbing schematics; and preliminary energy performance assessments (Energy Star®, LEED® or NAHB/ANSI National Green Building compliance, et cetera).
 
Phase II: Construction Documents and Permitting
Construction documents, if needed, will be developed by Balance Studio, LLC or another party under our direction and reviewed and stamped, as needed, through a third party architect or engineer at additional expense. Here again, we would develop only those documents needed for the portion of the work being done at the time and develop the balance of documents when you’re ready to begin the additional work.
 
 
 
Working with Balance Studio, LLC
Initial contact
We can be contacted by phone or email to start a conversation
and learn about your project. If appropriate, we then schedule a
meeting.
 
We come to your home or site to discuss the scope of work.
We’ll be looking at your structure or your site and making some
preliminary assumptions.  In this first meeting, we’ll be asking you
a lot of questions and doing a lot of listening.  It’s always helpful
when clients have images of styles or structures that appeal to
them as the visuals can be a tremendous communication tool.
In this first meeting, we will expect you to have a good sense of
your budget for the project. We don’t want to either over design
or leave possibilities out, so establishing the parameters in the
very beginning is essential to the relationship.  If you don’t own
the land but are considering a few parcels and need help
making that decision, we can be retained on a consulting basis
to help you through this process. Even more, as a NYS licensed real estate salesperson and active REALTOR®, if you need help finding land or a building lot, or even a great home suitable for green renovation, Brent can provide full realty services.
 Phase III: Construction/Installation
Our role in construction can range from Construction Management
to General Contracting, depending on the level of involvement our
client is interested in having in the process. If you plan to act as your
own general contractor, we can identify sub contractors to work with
and help manage the process of bidding and selection, or do this
work acting on your behalf. Fees for construction management cannot
be accurately estimated until the scope of construction and our role
in it is known. We can work on a fixed retainer or hourly basis.
 
We have developed a broad range of relationships with local artisans,
crafts people and trades people specializing in every part of home
construction, from framing, to natural building, to specialty finishing,
custom cabinetry and advanced systems design and engineering. We can assemble the right team for your project. People who you will be pleased to have on site, and may even become fast friends. That’s often the way these things go when you build with positive intent.