First American Design-Build Services (FADS) was created to assist our property buyers, our rental apartment owners and other clients with construction service needs in Medellin Colombia. Launched in December of 2011 FADS was created to aid in the often difficult process of maintaining control over the construction and renovation process in terms of fair market value pricing, quality of the job and time-frame of the process. FADS does projects in a range from small renovations or repairs to as large as multi-level and mixed use new construction buildings.
Our FADS team is directed by Jeremy Zick who is bi-lingual and graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder with a degree in Environmental Design. FADS has an additional full time architect and Construction manager on staff. Carlos Agudelo is our local bi-lingual architect with a degree from Universidad San Buenaventura and Jose David Cadavid is our construction manager who oversees and coordinates quality control and contractor responsibilities on the construction site.
Seeing is Believing!
Our design and remodeling team have done some amazing makeovers in the last few years. These before and after shots just go to prove what an incredible vision they have and what fantastic craftsmen we use to get the job done right, the first time.
FADS Assistance and Services
On the Boards
- Architectural plans – We can provide, existing building plans, full design plans for renovation or new construction plans.
- Architectural and Interactive design services – 3-D modeling that can show a project to clients who have difficulty understanding traditional two dimensional drawings. The models can be shown on Skype in any part of the world ensuring that the design is perfectly in line with the wishes of the clients.
- American style design standards – We understand the style and quality needs to bring project designs to American and European standards.
- Zoning research and project permitting – We can take any project from start to finish through the permitting process as well as to advise on the necessity of permitting for your particular project.
- Interdisciplinary project coordination – We provide all communications and coordination with other disciplines such as engineers, city officials, surveyors etc. We have an experienced background and proven track record working with well priced experienced people in these professions.
Preparation for Construction
- Establish project timeline – After the design phase we will create a project timeline outlining the amount of time the project is expected to take.
- Bidding out the project to several vetted contractors – We now have a trustworthy list of vetted contractors whom we use on our projects. They have proven to us to be reliable, honest and cost effective. We establish apples to apples bidding scenarios to ensure that all contractors are bidding on the same exact same items so that the best price and skill set can be isolated more effectively for each job.
- Construction management – We oversee the quality of subcontractors, the quality of materials, and we ensure proper order of operations and phasing in alignment with the customers wishes. As part of this we ensure finished materials are protected, installations are correctly carried through, etc.
- Quality control – Quality control is a matter of huge importance in Medellin as the Colombian quality standard is often much lower than what foreigners are accustomed to. We oversee the progression of the project ensuring small errors are avoided and fixed immediately when they do occur. This makes sure the final product is to a level of quality everybody is happy with.
The Value we Bring
During the construction process there are a number of areas where our services can prove exceptionally valuable. Project pricing can easily get out of hand with improper planning and with local contractors raising prices on clients who don’t know the value of materials and labor here in Medellin. We have been working hard and have experienced local knowledge of the price points during the construction process that can lead to significant savings on any job.
We are also very conscious of time management and we understand that many of our projects are investment based. Every day that a project is not completed is a day that rents cannot be collected and therefore becomes an indirect addition to the overall cost of the project. We take this very seriously and work hard to ensure contractors are motivated and bringing full crews to the job to finish as fast as possible in an effort to avoid any lost rental income. Many contractors start with speed and taper off slowly as the project progresses. We make sure they are motivated and constantly working as quickly as the job permits.
We also save clients time and frustration by coordinating everything while acting as the single communication line with the multiple contractors on the job. This is especially useful for clients who are not bi-lingual or simply don’t have the time to coordinate the projects.
Accounting is a major part of every job and we track all the project spending ensuring that the clients know exactly where they stand during the process of construction. Additionally we take charge of all contractor payments and scheduling strategically arranging payment amounts and timing. All costs are accounted for.
Our fee structure is as follows:
We typically take a percentage of the total amount of the job for our project management and design fees. These percentages range from 15% for large mixed use and multi unit projects to 30% for smaller repair or odd jobs that require a fair amount of time investment on our part to complete. In a typical case the larger the project the smaller the percentage of the fee.
Each project has its own variables and the fees are established on a case by case basis. On projects up to approximately 20,000,000 Pesos we collect 50% of our projected fees as a deposit for the management. Then upon job completion we take our percentage of the actual project cost and subtract out the amount already paid as the deposit.
On larger projects we establish an overall projected project cost. We divide this by the number of months we think the project will take, and we charge a monthly rate that will have our fees paid upon projected project completion. As the project progresses this number can be adjusted up or down based on actual project costs. Upon completion of the project the agreed upon fee percentage is taken based on the final project cost and any difference between the projected and the actual project cost is paid or refunded.
Our experience with our clients is that they save much more time and cost in using our services, avoid headaches and frustration and finish earlier. There is an old saying that sums it all up, “You get what you pay for!”