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The Planning Process

Planning with

Bohol Designs


Thorough and detailed project planning at the start of any build is critical to ensure you get the building you want, finished on time and on budget.

In this process we explore three important elements: what you need and want in the build, your budget parameters, and what the site needs to support and complement the build.

Project planning and management is one of our core skills and we place a lot of emphasis on this stage of the build.
That’s why we say,

“We build it right, right from the start”!

The planning process itemized below describes the most important steps in our client-builder relationship. Read on to learn more about the six-step planning process and what follows:

step 1

Get to know one another

Our first meeting together is focused on understanding your wants and needs so our project management process can be tailored to meet them.

You’ll meet our team, see how we work, review previous work we’ve done and receive initial guidance on your desired build.

We’ll also be asking key relationship questions, such as:

  • What type of support do you expect from us and what level of involvement would you like to have?
  • What is your preferred method and frequency of communication?
  • What type of project management do you expect for finances, reporting, etc.?

This step helps us customize the experience, so we work with you, not against you.


step 2

Site visits

It’s time to see what we’re working with! Bohol Designs will conduct a series of site visits at the location of the build to assess all the following and more:

  • Road access to the site, both for machinery and daily use.
  • Legal alignment check: title, sitemap, property lines.
  • Landscaping needs and requirements; trees to preserve during the build.
  • Local materials that may be available for incorporation into the build.
  • Climate considerations for the build: heat sources, winds, shorelines, shade, etc.
  • Scenic views to optimize.
  • Access to reliable water and electricity sources.
  • Potential problem areas to solve for: presence of pests (like termites), potential for flooding, potential for erosion from salt air, etc.

Identifying opportunities and potential issues at this early stage helps influence the building’s design and works hard to prevent surprises that can cause construction and budget issues.

You’re welcome to join us on these site visits. Either way, we’ll provide a report of our findings.


step 3

Dream time

This is the creative portion of the process!

 During this step, we ask you to create a 1-2 page “build brief” that outlines key features of the build with an accompanying “style scrapbook”. This includes (but is not limited to):

  • Desired overall size of the house and its site ‘footprint’.
  • Number of floors.
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms needed.
  • If outdoor buildings (i.e. garages) and living spaces should be factored in.
  • Preference of open floorplan or separated living spaces.
  • Desired style of design: traditional, modern, etc.
  • Landscaping and grounds preferences: gardens, paths and driveways, fencing, etc.
  • Security needs.
  • A selection of images pulled from the internet, and other sources, that represent your desired build.

The Bohol Designs team will readily share our experiences with similar builds, what has worked best in the past, and where certain build preferences may push the edges of the budget.

With our Bohol building experiences, we can also offer a wide array of ideas to consider so you can achieve your dream build without going over budget.


step 4

Budgeting Phase

This is the last phase of the planning process.

Here we review estimates for all the costs of the build, from labor to materials to excavation and site preparation costs. It is at this stage that we may discover the budget has become too high, and we have to go into the details to identify design adjustments needed to stay within budget.  

Our goal is to identify these things early, while still in the planning process, so you are not hit with surprised costs while the building is already underway.

At this juncture, we identify subcontractors needed for specialist work. We only work with thoroughly vetted contractors who we’ve worked with before and who are known to consistently deliver quality work.

All this information becomes integrated into a project management plan that will guide the work on site day-by-day and week-by-week.  We will manage the project management system for you and provide biweekly updates on progress to-date (financials and work plan) to ensure you are in touch with the build every step of the way.


step 5

Design phase (bringing the dream to life)

While this is a very exciting phase of bringing the details of your dream to life, it can also be very stressful to pick materials from so many available options.

We’re here to help guide you and keep it from feeling too overwhelming or frustrating, so we’ll tackle it together piece-by-piece. For this reason, there is a lot of back and forth exchanges during this step, but we find that is helpful for making all the decisions necessary to finalize your build’s design.

Take a deep breath…here are all the things we’ll look at and make decisions on during this phase:

  • Materials to be used in the build
  • Final floor plans
  • Window types and styles
  • Door types and styles
  • Hardware and fixtures
  • Large appliance locations
  • Lighting
  • Amenities and external features (garage)
  • Insulation and cooling features
  • Security needs and features
  • Storage needs
  • Tiles, paints and color themes

When possible, we like to bring you to local hardware stores to discuss design options, as well as point you to stores where we have a preferred customer relationship and discounts that we can pass on to you.

The Bohol Designs team has experience with implementing and operating all the “green technologies” that are available in the Philippine market. We can install solar water heaters, solar electricity, rainwater collection, and options for black and greywater treatment (free plant and tree watering!). We also do vegetable gardens and aquaponic systems design, installation and operation. We would be happy to show you any of the technologies in place and working.


step 6

Secure a Designer / Architect


We have our very own in-house locally based architects and welcome collaborations with other architects for specialty planning and works if needed

We advise our clients to plan for a budget that is 20% below their maximum allocated funds from the start. This provides you with flexibility to add new/additional features that come to mind during the build like high-class finishing, chandeliers, a fantastic stove or even a gym/yoga studio.

We know how hard it is to think of every detail when you’re just looking at a piece of paper. By having some contingency funds aside, you have the resources available to still make those ideas happen.


Construction Phase

Implementation Phase

Whew! Are we done yet? No, we’re just getting started!

We jump right in by developing high quality blueprints to secure building and fencing permits for the house. From there, we set up temporary water and electricity lines to support the on-site work and secure any necessary voltage regulators for welding work.

After all, you don’t want to upset your new neighbors before even moving in by fusing all their electronics!

We then assemble our team of excellent craftsmen and the tools needed to deliver your build. We have an extensive set of in-house equipment (grinders, compactors, electric drills, etc.) and are able to rent all other equipment we do not have on-hand at contractor rates.

Then, we break ground!


On-site Monitoring

As part of our project management mantra, we believe keeping track of the build day-by-day ensures issues are identified early on and resolved before they become big problems. It also helps keep costs (and headaches) down!

 Therefore, we provide daily, weekly and monthly updates to the client.  Updates includes budget and spending status with consolidated official receipts supplied at regular intervals during the build.


Finishing and Turnover

This is the final and most exciting stage. We put the finishing touches on the build and provide an in-person walk through of your new property with detailed blueprints of the electric and water systems.

If there is work that needs to be redone, we will do it at this point (at no cost to you if it is due to poor workmanship or our mistakes).

If requested, we can also support your move by installing kitchen items, aircon, gas tank, etc.  We can also give you a boost with your landscaping and garden if requested and can offer initial cuttings to get you going!

If any issues arise after the turnover, or if you decide to expand upon your build, then we’re here for you!

Congratulations on completing this exciting project and enjoy!