What is a Pre-Construction Agreement for Your Home Project?

Pre-Construction Agreements and Letter of Intents (LOI)

Hello. Caleb Dansie here with Dansie Design Build. Today, I want to talk to you about our pre-construction agreement and letter of intent, and how that can help you with your remodeling or basement finishing project.

Preconstruction Consultation

The process that we utilize and that helps our customers starts with an initial consultation. You can schedule consultations on our website. After scheduling a consultation, we reach out to you and set up a time to meet with you at your home to discuss your project. During this meeting we determine the scope of work and what you want to include in this project. We also evaluate the budget. We compare your project to past completed projects to get an idea of what’s possible for you and your needs. So that is the initial consultation. This process gives us time to set some expectations that will guide us into a design agreement and the pre-construction agreement.

What is a Pre-Construction Agreement?

The pre-construction agreement essentially has two portions. The first portion is the Preliminary Design and the second portion is the Final Design. When it comes to cost, the design through pre-construction agreement for a typical basement project, or similar sized remodal, ranges somewhere between $1,500 and $2,500.

That’s the typical price range that we see for the design and pre-construction service. During the preliminary design we look at creating floor plans, elevations, and the total design concept for your project.Then we take the measurements of your project space to draw up the plans. We send the preliminary plans to you for review, and all completed modifications and your approval and we receive your approval, the preliminary design is complete. From that point we move into final design. During the final design, we prepare the plans for the city approval process and complete a buildable set of plans.

City Requirements

The City looks for a list of code requirements that must show how our plan is meeting codes and structural requirements. Structural requirements are important when moving any load-bearing walls or modifying any existing walls in your basement. A walkout or an addition onto your home also requires structural engineering. The final design is the point in which we complete those calculations. We look at the energy calculations, HVAC requirements, insulation, glazing in windows for additions. Basement projects typically require engineering for a walkout at any load-bearing walls.

Specifications and Selections

Once the final plan is ready to submit to the city, we wrap up the pre-construction agreement by finalizing the specs and selections. The specs and selections are not required by the city, but it really helps our customers maintain control over the cost and quality of their project. The specs and selections help increase or decrease the level of finish between luxury, average, or a more basic level. The schedule that we use for your project shows all the decision points and what choices need to be made on those dates. This also keeps the schedule progressing on time once work begins.

We prefer to make all those choices at the very front end of the project, especially on smaller projects. Early decisions allow us to purchase all of the chosen materials upfront and have them ready in sequence so that we’re not chasing down last minute materials. This really helps with the scheduling and running a smooth construction process. Once we’ve completed the specs and selections, we send you a specification book. That’s typically 20 to 40 pages long and explains all the choices that you’ve made and what that’s going to be included for you in your project. Once that’s all done, then we have a complete design, including engineering, ready to submit to the city, and we also have specifications and selections made.

Residential Pre-Construction Budget

The completed list of materials for your home, such as flooring, electrical finishes, and many other things, allow us to generate a firm price to complete that work, because we can calculate the materials and the labor for the whole process. That enables us to conclude with the price. At that point, if everything looks good with the current budget for those plans, then we are able to enter into the actual building agreement and start the actual construction. After signing the agreement, we submit the plans and design permits for the permits.

Pre-Construction Services for Home Remodels for Basement Finishing

That is the beginning process that we have found to work very well in creating a smooth building and remodeling process for our customers. If you’d like to know more about how we can help you, take a look around the website and schedule a consultation. We’d love to visit with you and see how we can help you with your basement finish or remodel. I appreciate your time today and hope you have a wonderful rest of your week.


Have you wondered what it costs to finish a basement in Salt Lake and Utah Counties?  Our basement finishing cost guide will give you everything you need to know.

  • Pricing for 1000 and 1500 square foot basement finishes
  • Pricing to include a bathroom, a kitchen, or open square footage
  • Pricing for Basic, Average, and Luxury Level Finishes
  • Basement walkout entrance pricing
  • Real project costs for basements we have finished
  • How to avoid the most costly mistakes while finishing a basement




Download the basement finishing cost guide

Download our FREE basement finishing cost guide. Inside we go over everything you’ll want to know.

  • Pricing calculation for any sized basement
  • Pricing to include a bathroom, a kitchen, a laundry room, or open square footage
  • Basement walkout entrance pricing
  • How to avoid the most costly mistakes while finishing a basement