Choosing a Designer

R.J. Aley Building Contractor is happy to provide design services, recommend experienced designers that best suit your project, or work with your existing architect or designer. If you’ve already started the design process, it’s important you involve us as soon as possible. We will review the design and plans to assess the cost implications of design decisions against your budget. If we see potential cost overruns we can suggest comparable design alternatives that may be more affordable and practical.


Our goal at R.J. Aley Building Contractor is to help our clients realize the home of their dreams. In our experience, the Design-Build process is the best way to make this happen. Design-Build is a collaborative approach to construction that puts the owner, designer and builder on one team working together to complete the project. Design-Build offers many advantages:

  • All key stakeholders are involved throughout the process from initial planning through construction and completion. This leads to improved communication, which can eliminate costly surprises.
  • The budget is developed as the design and plans take shape. This ensures the end result will be a design you like at a cost you can afford.
  • Design fees are typically lower than the more traditional three bid process, which is often rife with surprises.
  • Scheduling is more efficient and projects are typically completed in less time. This can result in significant cost savings for the homeowner.
  • The owner has more control of the project, but R.J. Aley is by your side ensuring the process runs smoothly every step of the way.

R.J. Aley views the owner-contractor relationship as a partnership that is built on clear communication, transparency, and integrity. With over 20 years experience in the business, you can be confident in our ability to execute your project to your satisfaction. In order to demystify the Design-Build process, we break it down into five steps.

Step 1 - Initial Meeting

We will meet with you to learn about your project and we will answer any questions you have about the Design-Build process. We will discuss your project and provide you with a rough, preliminary budget based on our conversation, and work with you to achieve your objectives for design and cost.

Step 2 – Design and Planning

Once an agreement has been reached the design process begins. We offer a full range of design services, or we will work with an architect that you choose.

Step 3 – Cost Estimating

We will create a preliminary construction plan and work with you to create a feasible budget that fits within your means. Cost estimating is a multi-step process that includes the presentation of a report of general findings to the homeowner. The steps may include:

  • Inspecting your home for pre-existing conditions that may affect design and cost. This includes assessing your home’s energy efficiency and making recommendations for improvements.
  • Creating a preliminary cost estimate that is based on certain assumptions as well as the initial plans drawn by the architect, designer, or draftsman.
  • Suggesting alternative construction methods or products that may do a better job of aligning your design goals with your actual budget.
  • Once you have approved the plan and the budget, we will work with you, the architect, or designer, to develop a full set of construction-ready drawings and specifications, as well as a complete schedule of fixtures, hardware, and other deliverables. Now the construction process can begin.

Step 4 – Construction & Project Management

R.J.Aley oversees all aspect of the construction process from start to finish. This includes managing the budget, securing all permits, selecting and coordinating subcontractors, ordering product and materials, arranging inspections, and scheduling deliveries. Your project will have a full-time dedicated lead carpenter from start to finish, and we use a 500-point quality control checklist to ensure your project is built to the highest standards.

Step 5 – Project Completion

It’s time to enjoy your new or renovated home, so we want to take the mystery out of home ownership. For many, their home is the biggest investment they will ever make, so why doesn’t it come with an Owner’s Manual? Once your project is completed, R.J. Aley will compile all the operating and maintenance instructions related to your project in one easy-to-use volume.

Contact R.J. Aley today to learn more about our Design-Build services and to schedule a free consultation.