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Our Design Build Process

Welcome to Burgin Design • Remodel, Orange County’s award-winning design-build firm. We have a strong, dedicated team that will guide you through the remodeling process from start to finish. Our construction expertise, project management skills and unsurpassed customer service will ensure that your project not only meets but exceeds your expectations.

So you’re ready to move forward with your possible home remodeling project. Being in the remodeling business for over 30 years, we understand that homeowners like you can be anxious to understand the process and want to know the typical first steps after reaching out to us. Feeling overwhelmed is normal, but don’t worry. This guide will help you through the process, from start to finish. We will explain our process below and what you can expect from our team.


Research & Explore Ideas

1st Call & Consultation

Realistic Budget Set

Determine Your Must Haves

Every home remodeling project is like a journey. It all starts with questions. You answer those questions by exploring ideas. Resources such as project portfolios, ideabooks, and digital magazines are readily available online. The first step really is to decide what you hope to accomplish with your remodel. If possible, create an outline of rough ideas, must-have features, as well as designs to discuss with a contractor or remodeler later on.

Narrow Down Your Ideas

After writing down all the best ideas, get specific about your project. What type of project are you looking to start? Do you want to remodel your whole home? Is it a kitchen only or is it actually the kitchen and bathroom? Do you need an additional room in the house? Answering these questions will help you narrow down the options and formulate a budget.

Set a Budget

Once you have a list of must-haves, you can set your priorities and figure out how your intended project aligns with your budget. There are also tools online to help you with getting a general idea of remodeling costs. Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report, an annual set of home remodeling estimates, is a useful resource. You can also use our Pricing Guide as a starting point for reference.

Find a Reputable Contractor

A contractor like Burgin Design • Remodel is the point person for the actual remodeling project.
It’s important that you select a dependable contractor because they will be in charge of all the bits and pieces of your project. They source and provide all the materials, plan out the timeline for the project and work with trade partners throughout your remodel. You can look up information about your design-build contractor from Google Reviews, California Contractors State License Board, Houzz.com, and even social media.

Before Reaching Out

Effective communication is the key to every successful project. We take time to know you and understand your objectives. From first contact up to the execution of a design plan, we stay in touch and attend to any concerns and requests. Our mission is to make sure that every project component is looked at right down to the last detail. (Yes, we are going to pick that grout color even before we get started at the jobsite!)

We begin with a phone conversation regarding your project within 24 hours of initial contact. We have an open discussion to make sure that we understand the vision, entire process and end goal. We also ask you about your project timeline and budget expectations. This initial first step is important as this will help us find out if the project is a good fit for both of us.

This initial call will take 15-20 minutes. Items to be discussed during our first phone call will include your key information:

Where is your home located?
We have a very specific area we serve because we want to make sure we can manage your project with a high level of customer service and attention.

What project are you looking to complete?

Why do you want to do this project?

When are you looking to have the project completed?
Do you have a deadline of when you are looking to complete your project? Whether it is a party, or a newborn, let us know if you have a date in mind so we can go over how long your project design, permits and build-out may take.

How much are you looking to invest?
Setting the right budget is the most important part of any project. Without the numbers lining up, you’ll be wasting your time. Let’s talk about what you are looking to spend.If your budget is realistic, we can help come up with ideas that will provide the best value for your investment. Check out our pricing page for guidance in setting a realistic budget.

Some other questions we will ask:

  • What year was your house built?
  • How long do you plan to stay?
  • Primary reason for the project?
  • Are you planning to get a permit?
  • Have you ever remodeled your home before?
  • How was that experience?
  • What is the number one thing you are looking for in a contractor?
  • During your research for this project, are you talking with other contractors?
  • How are you planning to determine who to work with?

At the end of our conversation, together we will determine if it makes sense to move to the next step. Should you decide at the end of the first discussion whether the design-build process is right for you, we will schedule either a phone call with our remodeling consultant or an in-home meeting. If it doesn’t seem like we are the right fit for your project, we will try to refer you to another qualified contractor that can serve you better.


Phone Call
In-Home Meeting
Design Center Meeting
Design Agreement

Initial Meeting

During this meeting, our team will consult with you and discuss the project more in-depth. We will spend 30-60 minutes getting to know each other better. Talking points will include: your expected investment, cost versus value, design, as well as your goals, dreams and fears. We will provide a ballpark range based on our experience with projects of similar size and scope. This is also the stage where our team checks the existing site conditions and takes initial measurements. A design agreement is usually signed at this meeting to see what we could build for you. The Design Agreement is a list of services that will be provided during the design phase. This meeting is scheduled to take place within 7-14 days from initial consultation.

There are 3 possible outcomes from this meeting:

OUTCOME 1: We move to a Discovery Agreement, which is typically fee-based.

OUTCOME 2: We move to a Design Agreement, and a retainer fee is typically 5% of the preliminary estimate. The Design Agreement is a list of services that will be provided during the design phase. This meeting is scheduled to take place within 7-14 days from initial consultation. If we agree that you are ready to start this step, we will set up a meeting with the designer. We will also inspect, measure, photograph and document the existing space.

During this step, we will review material selections appropriate for your project, review a preliminary scope of work and provide a refined estimated budget. For some projects, we will create a Good-Better-Best estimate so you can get an idea of how your selection choices can affect the final price.

We will talk about design ideas that could affect the price. We will review a demo of the online project management scheduling and communication system we use. If the preliminary scope of work and investment range are agreed, we execute a fee based partnership agreement to move to the Design & Selection Phase. This fee is typically 2-5% of the preliminary estimate.

OUTCOME 3: We agree that we are not the right fit for your project.


Layout & 3D Renderings

Selections & Specs

Cost Analysis & Proposal

Once a Design Agreement is signed, design creation begins. This process takes approximately 4-6 weeks depending upon project requirements and complexity. A number of meetings will take place during this phase, including multiple trips to showrooms to assist you in product selection. The first meeting is a site measure from our project designer. From the measure, our designer will work up an As-Built Plan and start working on the new design for the next meeting. Our designer will also create a thorough list of project objectives, draw base plans, and develop schematic design options.

Schematic Design Ideas

We will create for you a few rough drafts of possible design solutions for you to view with us. In this phase we will narrow down the ideas you like best, and finalize a design. This is an exciting step because we show 3D renderings of designs for all cabinetry in kitchens, bathrooms, and basement bars. Once you love the final design we move right into the selections phase.

Interior Material Selections

Now that you have essentially viewed and approved the overall design/layout of your project (the big picture design), at this point in the process we will start selecting all of the fine details and finishes your project will need. These include things like cabinets, countertops, flooring, plumbing fixtures, tile, paint colors, etc. Before making material selections, we will guide you through a detailed questionnaire of your project prior to recommending any solutions or products. This is to ensure that all factors are considered. For instance, when choosing the flooring to put over concrete, consideration has to be given to moisture, insulation as well as your lifestyle. If you enjoy activities like exercising, then you do not want a texture that is too hard and cold.

Estimating & Documentation

At our Design Center, we could select the cabinet style and finish from one of the cabinet lines we carry along with countertops material selected from one of the many samples we have. From there we will schedule field trips to complete the material and fixture selection. This is also the stage where we refine and revise. Our designer adds details and incorporates any requested changes from you.

While you are working with our designer, our team will also be hard at work finalizing all of the important construction details, so that we can have a fully completed set of construction documents ready to go. We will perform a trade walkthrough with our staff and team of trade people specific to your project. This will also include any additional jobsite visits, adding dimensions to drawings, creating wall sections, adding important notes and (if necessary) having any engineering work evaluated for code compliance. After this phase, you are ready to start construction!

Construction Agreement

Now that all of the details and associated costs for your project have been figured out and your selections have been finalized, we will prepare for you a “Construction Agreement”. This is the contract that outlines the scope of work, the schedule, and the payment terms.

Keep in mind, as long as you sign the fixed price Construction Agreement before the expiration, any design fees that you paid previously will be credited towards the first payment.


Permits & Plan

Project Management Portal


The next steps focus on the project execution phase of remodeling your home. It is during this stage that your design plan is put into motion.

We will review any changes to drawings resulting from the design development process. We will also review ways to reduce the overall project cost while maintaining the required quality and safety. Once all details are deemed accurate, we will proceed with the application for necessary permits.

Permit Submittal

We will secure all necessary building permits and approvals. We coordinate the tasks involved in securing these documents to ensure that construction can move forward. This can take anywhere from two weeks to two months, depending on where you live. No matter how long it takes, we take care of all permits and inspections.

Project Scheduling

All of your project information is uploaded to CoConstruct, our project management software at this point. All communication is recorded through our website, which can be accessed through your smartphone or computer at any time.

Pre-Construction Meeting

Pre-construction is a 5-6 week period where we plan the execution and mobilize teams to complete all phases of the project. Our production team will walk you through the construction schedule and discuss logistics for all equipment and material deliveries. We will also review any other special accommodations that need to be made for household members.

Project Management

During construction, our Production Manager will be on-site daily as needed. He will communicate with you daily to answer questions, resolve problems in a timely manner, and provide scheduling updates. We will also post regular updates to CoConstruct to keep you informed of the progress of your job.


Move In



Just before project completion, we will schedule a job walk at your home to ensure you are satisfied with the work and check for any other areas or concerns.

We will issue a limited warranty on our work. You will be provided with a 2-year warranty for labor and materials, and mechanical defects (plumbing, electrical, heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems).Once the job is complete, a 2-year premium warranty period begins. Our craftsmanship always conforms to the guidelines stated in the NAHB Residential Construction Performance Guidelines.

We will also touch base with you months (or even years) after your project completion to make sure that you are completely satisfied. We do this because we believe in creating clients for life.