Planning Phase

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I’ll spend the first four sharpening the axe”. Abraham Lincoln

We work side by side with all collaborators on your project from Day 1 to ensure that expectations around design, construction and finish levels are to your expectations.  Bridging the expectations gap during this phase is critical to our shared success.  We work hard to get the scope, budget and schedule just right.

Let’s get together and see if we are a mutually good fit for your project.  We typically do this face to face but are happy to schedule a video call.

For smaller projects that don’t need full architectural services we use the DSA to do general conceptual space and design planning for rooms like kitchens and baths.  Typically 30 days or less.

For larger projects we start with an LOE.  The LOE creates a formal working relationship between us so that we can put you on our construction calendar and simultaneously work through the budget, scope and schedule.  Typically 3-6 months.

Once budgets and scopes have been agreed upon, we enter into a Construction Agreement. This clearly defines all aspects of the project.  Our typical Construction Agreement is a “cost plus a Fixed Fee” contract.  Costs are all construction costs passed through without any markup, and the Fixed Fee is a set dollar amount, taken in increments at clearly defined project milestones.

Building Phase

Because we put so much effort on the Planning Phase, we go into every project with firm quotes (which we share with you) from our suppliers and trade partners for the bulk of the project before we even break ground.  That takes a lot of the stress out of the process for you and we can focus on execution of a game plan rather than making one up as we go.

Communicating is a breeze and all the messages we send each other are threaded by topic and stored indefinitely for reference purposes.  So if you want to double check that we talked about changing the master shower wall tile to a herringbone from a vertical stack, you won’t be searching through endless email at 2am.  Just head to that section of the project in our system and voila, all our conversations are right there.

Grau Communications

While we strive to nail down as many of the details before we start, we will always confirm those selections with you through our project management system.

Grau Selections

Budgets are updated in real time.  That means if you make a product choice that is different from your original budget, the impact of that choice is reflected in the Projected Total Cost immediately.  And as bills are received and entered for your project, those costs are reflected on your Budget page that same day.  Click below to see how you access real time budget information.Client Budget

You will have the project schedule at your fingertips.  And any decisions you need to make to keep us on schedule will be communicated to you automatically through our system.  No waking up at 2am wondering if we are waiting on something from you.  Click below for a sample schedule.

Grau Scheduling

This is great if you are not local and want to be able to check in on the progress.  We post daily job logs with a summary of events and pictures.  Click below for sample job logs.

Grau Building Job Logs

We send invoices through our PM system and these invoices can be paid electronically right from our system if you wish.  All bills that make up the total invoice are attached as PDFs for easy viewing and archiving.

Post Construction Phase

We are always just a phone call away.   We love it when clients call us years later, asking for advice about this or that.  We want to be your go-to resource for your home and work hard to keep the lines of communication open.

Not only do we have our projects professionally photographed at completion, we also extensively document the systems inside the walls before they are covered.  These photographs and videos will allow you to know where important pipes and wires are located when you go to hang art, televisions, new light fixtures, etc.  Just one more way we elevate the building experience for you.

We compile a reference book that contains important warranty information and names and phone numbers of the key trade partners who worked on your project.

Your new home is enrolled in a warranty program through Centricity for added peace of mind.


Partnership Pricing

Normally when you contract with a builder you either enter into a “Fixed Price” contract or a “Cost Plus” agreement. Frankly, both have their potential drawbacks.

Under a Fixed Price agreement there is a natural incentive for the builder to deliver your project at the lowest possible cost, as what is left over after all costs have been tallied is profit. When striving for the least cost sometimes quality can suffer as a result.

Under a Cost Plus agreement, each time you add or upgrade features those features are encumbered with an additional fee that is paid to the builder. Under this arrangement it is possible that you will pay your builder fees in excess of the value provided simply due to the price of the features you selected for your home.  Additionally, in a Cost Plus agreement there is a tendency for builders to “under-bid” the estimated costs in order to win the job, knowing that the true cost of the project, and their subsequent margin, will be higher.

We offer a alternative to these well established pricing methods; we call it Partnership Pricing. We believe it represents a better alternative for you, the customer, because it gives you the flexibility of a cost plus agreement with the peace of mind of a fixed price agreement.

With Partnership Pricing our mission is to deliver your new home or remodeling project the way you want. Our fixed fee is a function of the value and contribution we provide, ensuring you get exactly what you want.

Our Promise to You

You know you’re doing something right when your clients use these three words to describe their experience.
These are our guiding principles and the foundation of how we do business.


We have an exceptional team with decades of experience and a passion for doing right by our clients.  You can rest easy knowing that our team is here to support you throughout the project and beyond.  It’s no wonder we work with the same clients and families over and over again.


This is at the heart of who we are and how we do business.  From working together to create realistic budgets that reflect your wishes, to sharing all project costs with you in real time, we are always there to give you unbiased guidance that is in your best interest.


We are people people.  We take our work seriously but can’t help but have a little fun along the way.  You can expect weekly meetings (usually on site), daily communications about the project, and a team that has your back.

We take the health and safety of our staff and clients seriously.  We are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.