Phased Construction Offers Reduced Upfront Costs and Greater Flexibility

Phased Building Plans

We’ve had a number of clients request our counsel on phased construction projects that break up a larger master plan for remodeling or adding-on into smaller phases. The reason for doing this is usually either motivated by the need to allocate a budget across a longer time horizon or the desire to continue to live in the home while construction is executed. If the home is undergoing a complete remodel that is not phased, often the homeowner will need to live elsewhere until the project is completed. While phased construction offers more flexibility, the following advantages and disadvantages should be considered.


Phased construction benefits the homeowner in allowing them to break up the costs of building across each phase rather than paying all at once. On the other hand, the homeowner will pay a higher total cost over the long-term. Another benefit of phased construction is that homeowners have time on their side, in terms of modifying the interior design of the home, once the initial shell structures are built. This can be an advantage, as homeowners sometimes have a hard time visualizing how interior space will work until they are standing inside the actual building shell. However, if significant changes are made to the architectural plan that require already built structures to be torn out and rebuilt, costs may increase quickly.

Building plans


Financing and Budgeting

Determine how much you can afford by speaking with your lender or financial advisor. Once you know what you can spend, you can ask the builder if what you have planned can be accomplished within your budget. You should also ask the builder to provide a cost comparison of building all at once versus phased construction. If you decide to move forward with phased construction, break out the costs over each building phase. This will allow you to work to a more specific budget for individual selections and finishes which will help you stay within the master budget.

Master Plan: The most important aspect of successful phased construction is in careful and deliberate planning. Working with a builder who has experience in phased construction is important criteria because it is a more complex scope of work than building all at once. The first step is to identify the project type, and create a list of needs, wants and desires to present to the builder so that they can design a master plan that meets your goals. Master architectural plans are then drawn up and discussed in detail prior to any work beginning.

Phasing Plan

Once the master plan is complete, the builder and homeowner can work together to designate how to break the project into individual phases. Attention should be paid to ensure the short-term need is on target with the long-term master plan. Permits will need to be planned according to the phased construction timeline. When phasing individual spaces, it is also advised to investigate the project in terms of the mechanical needs, material selections, and the finishes with regards to the master plan. Mechanical elements include all the large pieces of the master plan or “constants” that make up the mechanical (building envelope, HVAC), electrical, and plumbing. Ideally, if you can get the constants completed and the exterior shell “closed in” during phase 1, your home will look finished on the outside. This also gives a visual conception of the space thus allowing more time in making your selections for fixtures and interior finishes.

5 Tips for Successful Phased Construction

Work with the Pros: Work with a builder who has experience in phased construction design. They should have a clear and transparent plan that can help you navigate this complex process and deliver the quality final results you deserve.

Careful and Deliberate Planning: Phase 1 is the most important. Make thoughtful decisions to get as many of the details thought through before any building begins which will help identify the “constants” that costs the most to build, such as the initial building shell (floors and walls).

Ongoing Onsite Meetings: Make sure a weekly walk-through and meeting with the project manager and site supervisor is conducted during each phase so that any adjustments can be discussed. Don’t’ be afraid to get the clarity you need. Ask questions throughout the process, and continue to check that the short-term need is on target with the long-term master plan and budget.

Careful Budget Management: Understand how any changes will affect the bottom line of the master plan, the individual phase budget, and how they relate (in cost) to other phases of the build.

Setting Realistic Expectations: Consider the family dynamics ahead. How will decisions be made about the project, and identify the practical implications of daily living in a construction zone.


“Recipe” for a Great Custom Builder

Making the decision to build your dream home is not one made lightly. Typically, this is a process that homeowners think about over a long period of time, sometimes over the course of one’s life and their experience living in a less than ideal home. It is also a profoundly personal experience. Unlike other professional relationships, this one hits not just close to home, but in your home! So when the time finally arrives to be able to build the home you want, choosing the right company to build it is of paramount importance. Below is a “recipe” for success in evaluating and selecting whether a custom home builder has what it takes to build the home of your dreams.

Reputation – As the adage goes, “reputation is everything.” No promotional or marketing efforts can replace good, old-fashioned word-of-mouth referrals. We come by the majority of our work from past customers, and many of our projects are in serving happy repeat clients. Our Capital Readers Choice 2014 “Best Local Builder” and Best of What’s Up? Eastern Shore Reader Poll for “Home Design/Builder & Remodeling Custom Services” awards mean a lot to us because they are awarded by the voting public.

Experience – Choose a company that is established and experienced. You want to know the company you hire has been around the block and is financially stable. Longevity is proof a company knows how to run a successful business and that they can be accountable to you for work warranties. You also want a custom builder that can show a portfolio of work that demonstrates their skill across a full scope of building techniques and architectural styles. This means you can be confident in their ability to meet your expectations and achieve your unique vision.

Credentials -Whether you want to build a custom home with the latest in green building technologies, or to build a home that considers your needs as you grow older, look for a builder who has the industry “gold star” certifications that qualify them as an expert in building the home you want to build. Another relevant “c” word is “custom”. If you want a truly custom home, you want a builder that specializes in creating unique, one-of-a-kind, “heirloom” homes, not a production home builder that builds assembly-line style homes. Our certifications include: Graduate Master Builder, Certified Graduate Remodeler, Certified Residential Construction Supervisor x 2, Certified Kitchen and Bath Remodeler, Certified Aging in Place Specialists. We are also EPA-Lead-Safe Certified Firm.

Integrity – We are passionate about a job done right. Part of integrity includes professional values and reliable project and time management. We strive to help our customers make smart and educated decisions they will be happy with for years to come, and we complete our work within a reasonable project time table. We take great pride in doing what we say we will do. See what our customers have to say about our work ethic.

Personable – As the building of a home does not happen overnight, our relationships with our customers are important. The building of a dream home is at heart a deeply collaborative effort between the homeowner and our entire team, from our architects to our laborers. We like to think of ourselves as personable people, and we know that is the foundation for good communication. We are genuinely interested in each of our customer’s lives. Not just hearing, but really listening to our customers is a critical component to making their dream home vision a reality. That’s why the beginning of the Lundberg building process involves a one-on-one consultation with our team to identify what’s important to you– your lifestyle, aesthetic preferences, wish list– so that we can give you professional guidance in making the best decisions to honor your goals.

Economical – The clients that choose Lundberg Builders do so because we deliver the best value for their investment. We are neither the cheapest nor the most expensive custom builder in the area, but we are the best at delivering exceptional quality and craftsmanship for a reasonable price. We are careful not to waste money or resources, and we do not cut corners.

Explore our portfolio of custom homes on Houzz or contact us to schedule a free consultation.

Bridges on Kent Narrows

Bridges on Kent Narrows

Lundberg Builders, Inc. specializes in residential construction; however is not a stranger to commercial building. Bridges restaurant on Kent Narrows is one such commercial project. It is a local, island-inspired restaurant – bar & dock. 

Bridges has many unique features to lend to its upscale island flair, as well as allowing for breath taking views of the Chesapeake Bay year round. Inside you will find stained concrete floors, pickled Cypress paneling, Bistro style open kitchen, concrete countertops and hand-sewn conch shells incorporated into the bathroom tile. For the year-round views we installed two lift and slide Loewen glass doors and the LaCantina folding windows at the bar. 

Outside you will find Gorgeous Garapa decking. Garapa is one of the finest quality exotic hardwoods available that features a fine-grained timber that is light yellow to a warm golden blue. Garapa is naturally resistant to rot, decay and insect attack. It is naturally scratch resistant which allows the surface to remain smooth for many years without preservatives, making Garapa a perfect wood for exterior decking. 

Bridges on Kent Narrows

Established in 2010, Bridges was recently nominated for “Best New Restaurant” by the Restaurant Association of Maryland, along with being voted “Best Dock & Dine” and “Best View” by WHATS UP! Eastern Shore Magazine. 

It’s worth the trip by car or by boat to enjoy all that Bridges on Kent Narrows has to offer. They’re waiting for you. 

Bridges on Kent Narrows
Bridges on Kent Narrows »

Extending the Home Into the Outdoors

Extending the Home Into the Outdoors

Comfort, elegance and living space make a deck one of the best home improvement investments you can make. According to the annual Remodeling magazine “Cost vs. Value Report,” you’ll get back nearly 75 percent of what you pay for a deck if you sell your home within the first year after the deck is built. That investment can vary widely, depending on materials and the intricacy of your design. An array of new decking options can make all that effort and expense last longer and cut down on maintenance during its life. While pressure-treated “green” Southern yellow pine still goes into 80 percent of all decks, there are several alternatives even within the pressure-treated lumber category. Other choices include exotic hardwoods and a variety of non-wood products, such as engineered vinyl systems and plastic-wood composites. And there are the different shapes, widths, grades, colors and treatments within categories. 

PRESSURE-TREATED LUMBER $16-18 per sq. ft. 10-15 years High-maintenance: annual cleaning, sanding & sealing
CEDAR & REDWOOD $20-25 per sq. ft. 15-20 years High-maintenance: annual cleaning, sanding & sealing
COMPOSITE $28-30 per sq. ft. 25 years Low-maintenance: hose down as needed
IPE $43-48 per sq. ft. 30-50 years Low-maintenance: can be oiled annually to keep the rich color (does not influence durability)

* Costs may vary.


Featured Project

Featured Project
Deck featured in Waterfront Living magazine.

One of Life’s Greatest Delights

The Entertainment Element 

This gorgeous deck is used by its Owners and their family for everything from quiet relaxation to exciting family gatherings. Even the yard work and maintenance are enjoyable in this beautiful and relaxing environment. 

We used ipe (E-pay) wood for the deck and the steps leading down to the water. Ipe is one of the hardest woods available and will outlast most all other decking products. Patterned stone slabs surround a gracefully angled swimming pool. 

Careful thought and planning resulted in the perfect iron railings around the deck that will not obscure the irresistible water view. 

Creating Functional Space

Chestertown, Maryland

The new owners of this home were living in another Historic District home a few blocks away prior to the purchase of this property. After buying and before moving in, it was decided that the rear wing which contained a mixture of enclosed porches and small closet like rooms, needed to be completely remodeled. The intent was to convert this area to a breakfast room adjacent to the existing proposed remodeled kitchen. The remodeled space needed to function for a family of two on a daily basis, as well as provide suitable work space for occasional large scale entertaining. 

The additions and renovations needed to comply with the strict guidelines of the Historical District Commission, for materials, design and compatibility with the neighborhood. Exterior materials would be cement base stucco, painted trim and standing seam metal roofs. In developing the plan it was decided to extend the breakfast room with a covered porch with round smooth shaft columns similar in appearance to the existing columns on the enclosed street side porch. The Covered Porch has a brick base and brick floor to match the existing brick stoops and steps. A Screened Porch in the exterior alcove formed by the Kitchen and Dining Room exterior walls was also proposed. This Screened Porch has a shed roof to allow construction without the need to remove and close-in any second floor windows. Roof material is again standing seam metal. Support of this roof is by the same columns as the rear Covered Porch. The Screened Porch also has a brick base and brick floor. Access to the Screened Porch is through a new glass French door from the existing Dining Room, replacing a small twin window. 

Incorporated into the design was the need to remove a bearing Terra cotta block wall which supported the second floor and roof over the existing kitchen wing. The wall was carefully removed and replaced with a steel beam that allowed for an open flowing transition between kitchen and breakfast room, as well as unobstructed views through the covered porch to the landscaped rear yard. 

A radius brick patio and curving brick steps to grade connect the Covered Porch and the Screen Porch and provide access to the rear yard for more outdoor entertaining space.