Building a house takes a long time. Building a house is very expensive. Building a house requires a lot of your personal time. Building a house is not without problems. Building a house is stressful. Building a house can be rewarding, enjoyable, ....even fun! The difference is "The Right Process," and the key ingredients are Collaboration, Organization and Planning, Communication and Consistency.

Collaboration
Building a house well is a collaborative effort. No one person builds it. No one person has all the answers. No one person has all the questions. The best outcomes arise in an environment where input from various sources is encouraged, considered and, when appropriate, utilized. Birchwood Builders promotes such an environment where owner, architect, tradesmen and builder all contribute to this process, with suggestions, questions and ideas. This, in turn, potentially helps improve design, reduce costs and/or improve quality.

Organization and Planning
Construction projects are not managed from the front seat of a truck. Nor are they managed on the back of an envelope or on a yellow legal pad. A sophisticated, integrated system to manage schedules, specifications, contract administration, checklists, selections tracking, and change orders must be in place to ensure a smooth work flow. More important than the systems, however, must be a commitment to adhere to such a process. With a strong business background and organizational orientation, Robert Weinstein, Birchwood Builders President, is dedicated to establishing and following these critical keys to Organization and Planning.

A major ingredient in Organization and Planning is Birchwood Builders internet based, on-line project management system. This sophisticated system enables our customers to have real-time, on-line, access to all aspects of their project, including scheduling, selections and change orders, correspondence and documentation and budgeting. See our log in page for more details

Communication

Communication links the participants and the project. Good communication must be timely, thorough and appropriately followed up. Your builder must be available to address questions when needed. Some issues are resolved in a quick phone call.--others require written communication-- and both must be resolved and properly recorded.

Birchwood Builders takes a proactive approach to building. We try to identify as many questions and issues ahead of time as possible, to hopefully resolve them before construction. Invariably, however, many issues come up in the field. When this occurs the issues are immediately brought to the attention of the appropriate party, and when possible, along with suggestions to address the issue.

We strongly recommend that the architect and/or owner and the builder have regularly scheduled periodic meetings at the job site. These sessions coordinate everyone's thinking and ideas, allow a scheduled time for field approvals and trade meetings, help identify existing and potential issues, and help ensure everyone is prepared for the upcoming work and their own deliverables.

Consistency
Building may seem complicated. When broken down, however, we feel it is really an enormous number of interrelated, relatively simple steps, and variations thereof. Further, the required steps in the process, the issues that come up, and their relation to other steps in the process are often very similar from job to job. That is why the people who work on the project should be familiar with these questions and how the builder likes them handled.

Birchwood Builders draws from the same group of subcontractors for all of the houses it builds. These subcontractors are somewhat analogous to employees, and just as it wouldn't make sense to hire new employees for each job, it doesn’t make sense to hire new subcontractors on a regular basis. Our subcontractors are seasoned professionals who are experienced working on high-end homes. They also know Birchwood Builders’ methodologies and specifications, and are accustomed to working with each other. This consistency improves the building process. As you might expect, our group of subcontractors and material suppliers does include alternate sources to ensure good pricing.

Value Engineering
Birchwood Builders takes an approach of providing the best possible value to its clients. This includes a commitment to providing Value Engineering whenever possible along with encouraging Value Engineering input from other sources.

Value Engineering refers to the process of devising different approaches to design, materials and/or installation that can achieve the client’s objectives at a lower cost or provide greater value at the same cost.

1001 Green Bay Road, Suite 103 Winnetka, IL 60093
tel 847-835-2838 fax 847-835-1522 Email