Washougal Custom #1 – Background

How did Kashas Design/Build get involved?

Although we usually help our clients with the design from the outset, sometimes folks come to us after having first engaged with another design firm. Our client started out with my former colleague Chris Miller, owner of Black Cat Design Build. Chris worked with them for several months developing design concepts, eventually bringing Scott Streitberger on board to do the CAD work. They did the heavy lifting to come up with the exterior elevations, roof-lines, and overall floor plan. As the plans were being finalized, Chris re-evaluated his involvement. The project had grown in size and he decided to refer the clients to us knowing that we could take on a project of this scope. I had my first meeting with Janiece and Roger on August 28, 2019. We hit it off right away. My first impression was that they would be fun to work with (and they haven’t let me down yet!). Within a few days they committed to us so we got started…

Minor changes

 At this point the plans were nearly ready to go to engineering. Before engineering, it’s critical that the structural design elements are locked in. Bearing walls, window and door locations, ceiling heights, and roofs have to be dialed. We suggested a few adjustments and validated a few others that Janiece wanted to make. Scott quickly updated the drawings and sent them off to the engineer.

Interior Design & Selections

Scott’s drawings covered the permitting and structural requirements so now it was time to start working on the interior details and selections. On a project of this size, there are an enormous number of decisions to make, all with cost implications. Janiece had a pretty good idea of what she wanted going in, but was also open to our designer’s input. Over the next few months our team met with Janiece and Roger regularly to chip away at getting key finish decisions and document them in BuilderTrend.

Preliminary Bids

To develop a solid estimate for the construction loan, we get preliminary quotes from our trade partners. Going to the bank with unrealistic numbers is a recipe for disaster. You can’t go back for more money once you’re locked in so you have to know your numbers are good! The more complete the plans and scope you provide your trades, the better the information you’ll get back.


Once we got the quotes back we compiled an estimate and reviewed it with our clients. They accepted it and decided to run it by their lender, Ed Barbier with HomeStreet Bank. Although they qualified for the loan amount, they wanted to make sure the appraisal would cover the loan amount without them having to bring additional cash at closing.


Ed ordered an appraisal based on the estimate amount. For an appraisal there’s a heap of forms the builder fills out to provide the appraiser with the details of the project to use for coming up with a valuation. This information plus the plans are used to determine the estimated market value of the finished home which is the basis for how much money the bank will lend. Three weeks later we got word that everything looked good and we could move ahead.

Contract & Permit

Next up, I put a contract together spelling out the scope of our work, payment terms, and all of the standard legal stuff we use. I turned in the permit application at the City of Washougal where it awaits its turn for review. If all goes well, we should have a permit by the end of March and break ground in mid-to-late April. Next up: When and how to test for Asbestos


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