Unmatched expertise and exceptional owner-focused results

STUDIO 818’s Design + Build Management framework stands in stark contrast to conventional design-bid-build approaches. It was developed by owners to serve the needs of owners. We understand first-hand your concerns and considerations as the property owner.

In our real estate investment experience we’ve purchased, designed and developed dozens of properties of our own. On these development projects we bear the responsibility of managing millions of dollars in funds entrusted to us by our investment partners for the purpose of delivering healthy investment returns. This experience gives us an unparalleled owners’ perspective that carries over to every client project. 

The unique blending of real estate investment experience, outside-the-box design capabilities and project management expertise makes our process unique to residential renovations, major rehab projects and ground-up custom homes.

With our Design + Build Management framework we:

Mitigate change orders and manage the headaches

Reduce timelines for the construction phases

Ensure stellar design integrity with systemized attention to finish details

Where the design & build of a new custom home can go wrong

It’s easy to get excited about designing and building a new custom home. In the zeal to get a project rolling many people will take one of the paths common to the industry. Unfortunately common paths leads to common problems. That’s why you hear so many horror stories shared about home renovation and construction.

The three ways people are usually tempted to begin their custom home project seem innocent enough. But by going down any one of these paths they unwittingly sow the seeds for a bumper-crop of problems as the project proceeds.

  • Starting a project with an Architect on-point. 


    Some people start out their project working exclusively with an architect. They dedicate months of time and tens-of-thousands of dollars for permit plans to be finalized and ready for bidding by contractors. Only then do they discover the “real” budget required to construct the structure their new home. And if a design firm has not been developing finish plans along side the permit plans, the owner still only has part of the overall number.  


    With STUDIO 818’s Design + Build Management framework we begin to align your desired design aesthetic and project scope with the expected overall investment early in the pre-planning stage before the architect begins their work. This helps you avoid the wasted time, frustration and disappointment of having to go back to the drawing board to redesign your project all over again.


  • Beginning a project with a General Contractor.


    Some homeowners determine their project direction by asking a general contractor (GC) to give them a quote. Without architectural and design details the GC needs to make a lot of assumptions. To protect themselves they include plenty of allowances (guesses) for things like finishes, fixtures, equipment, and more. As the project progresses and the design details get developed the budget balloons.


    With the STUDIO 818 design + build management framework we lay the foundation for success in our Pre-Planning phase. Before getting the GC involved we develop the preliminary floor plan, conceptual design and direction on the level of finishes, fixtures and equipment that will impact the investment required. This process helps you avoid change orders, runaway budgets and constantly expanding construction timelines because the GC has the information they need to provide accurate preliminary quotes.


  • Deciding to mange the project yourself. 


    Some homeowners decide to take on the leadership role by cobbling together a team for a major design & build project themselves. This is one of the biggest mistakes people can make.


    In this case the owner ends up in perpetual reaction mode trying to manage what becomes pure chaos. All the headaches, mistakes and conflicts that come with the project fall into the homeowner’s lap. The owner gets stuck in the middle of a nasty finger-pointing “triad of miscommunication” between the architect, designer and GC.


    With the STUDIO 818 team leading your project from the pre-planning stage we help protect you from avoidable miscommunications, finger-pointing and ballooning budget. We are experienced in every aspect of the design & build process. Our framework handles all the headaches and manages the countless details that would otherwise fall through the cracks.


STUDIO 818 protects you from all of these problems & more

Thanks to our designer-led Design + Build Management framework you won’t have to fall prey to the problems, needless cost-overruns and disappointing results experienced by owners who follow one of the conventional industry paths discussed above.

Because of our real estate investment and development experience STUDIO 818’s step-by-step framework is structured differently than the standard industry approaches.

With STUDIO 818 leading your project from the start we set you up for success with your ground-up custom home project. We are your guide and advocate from pre-planning to your move-in day.

Our process begins with an extensive Pre-Construction Planning phase that includes feasibility analysis, conceptual design and alignment of project scope to budget. We then master plan the entire project, iron out and document all the technical details, and manage the procurement of all finishes, fixtures & equipment.

Then as the project progresses we stand in the gap to protect your from the design flaws, change orders and time-suck that come with the typical custom home project. Once construction starts we make sure the design and details you approved are built the way it was intended. All the headaches handled right up to your move-in day. 

Click here to see our Design + Build Management framework in more detail.

Watch the video below to learn more about our process & the benefits our clients enjoy

Two keys that set STUDIO 818 apart

#1: Alignment of project scope with the targeted overall investment

In the video above you probably noticed we talk a lot about the alignment of your project scope with the investment it will realistically require to complete that work. This pre-construction planning is the key to putting your custom home project on the right track from the start. 

In our real estate investment and development work if we fail to properly align the project scope and targeted investment that would mean we and our investors would both lose money. Obviously that would not be a good outcome.

The same is true with your new custom home. It’s just as important to make sure the project scope and targeted investment are aligned from the beginning. If not you can look forward to months of wasted time, frustration and unnecessary financial stress as the project moves forward.

Even our clients who tell us “there is no budget” benefit from our framework. Having an open-ended budget overall may be true. But we always learn through our process that though a client may have no limit on what they are willing to invest on some items or areas, they may have caps on other areas due to personal preferences. .

The scope-to-investment alignment completed in the pre-planning phase of our Design + Build Management framework is essential to your project running smoothly. This is true regardless what your position is when it comes to the budget.

#2: Having an advocate who guides & protects you throughout the entire project

Designing and building a new custom home is a big investment. You deserve an advocate who will guide and protect you through what is a complex and sometimes confusing process. At times it can be chaotic, especially during the construction phase. One of our clients once remarked that it’s like designing and building a plane while flying it and being shot at all at the same time. 

That’s why a critical component of our Design + Build Management framework is our role as the ‘Owner’s Project Manager’ (OPM). As OPM we stand in the gap protecting you by preemptively foreseeing and solving problems, maximizing the return on your investment, and mitigating change orders or delays.

We step into this role of OPM in the Pre-Planning phase and continue with that responsibility all the way to your move-in date. We are your single point of contact facilitating and managing all the moving parts throughout the project. This protects your time and prevents miscommunication between the key contributors to your project. With this top-level oversight we’re able to keep your project on-target with a relentless focus on efficiency.

Watch the video below.

Our business is personal

Our Design + Build Management framework is different and it’s not right for everyone. We consider the design and construction of your dream home analogous to commissioning a custom work of art.

Your dream home is unique. It is being designed and built to reflect your personality and enhance your lifestyle. It will take patience and commitment to do it correctly.

A new custom home can take 18-24 months or more from pre-planning to move-in day. That’s a lot of time to be working together. This is a very personal process which at times can feel like an emotional rollercoaster, so finding the right team to lead your project is critical.

Ensuring STUDIO 818 is the right match for you and your project is important to us. We love what we do. And we want you to enjoy the planning, design and construction stages as much as the end result. The only way that happens is for you to know, like and trust our team. 

That’s why our Design + Build Management framework is set up to incrementally grow our relationship and develop trust in a natural way.

Take the first step with your ground-up custom home project

With STUDIO 818 leading your project every detail is pre-planned to control project costs and increase efficiency before the first hammer swings. When construction begins we stand in the gap for you handling all the challenges that arise while protecting you, your design and your budget.

By now you hopefully have a good idea of how STUDIO 818’s Design + Build Management framework combined with our our real estate investment experience can best serve you with your new custom home. 

Let’s take the first step and schedule a time to meet and discuss your project.

It’s simple to get started. Click the button below to schedule an appointment for your free Discovery Consultation and let’s review your project together.

Still have some questions about working with STUDIO 818 on your new custom home?

Visit out FAQ page