Design/Build With Blackdog

Over the last 10 years, the design/build concept within the remodeling industry has become very popular. To that end, many companies are attaching the words “design/build” to their name and jumping on the bandwagon. Not all design/build is created equal, so let us tell you about the process we have been using and refining since 1989.

At Blackdog Design/Build/Remodel, our unique design/build system targets four vital goals for any commercial builder or homeowner:

  • Reduce risk
  • Reduce uncertainty
  • Eliminate hidden costs
  • Deliver the most value

During the remodeling process, you will work with one of Blackdog’s in-house design consultants to develop a preliminary design, scope of work and budget. Because we partner with you to develop your project design and budget, all of your build/design needs can be met upfront – with honesty and integrity. We also look ahead to help you save more with green remodeling services and home energy efficiency services in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

You will find that this is a collaborative effort that focuses on delivering the most value for your remodeling dollars. Whether you are looking for services in room additions, kitchen or bath remodeling, or a wide range of other home services, you can trust Blackdog Design/Build/Remodel to offer quality solutions to your needs.

Contact Blackdog Design/Build/Remodel today to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Why Choose Surprise-Free Design, Build & Remodel in Nashua & Salem, NH, or MA?

If you opt not to use design/build, you will typically hire an architect or professional designer to draft the proposed project and write a detailed set of specifications. You will then need to find a list of qualified builders to bid on the work.

Architects and professional designers focus on the project design, usually without an in-depth knowledge or familiarity in the area of current remodeling construction costs – which are much different from traditional square-footage pricing for new construction. This often leads to a significant disconnect between what a client anticipates a project will cost, and what builders deliver for prices.

In this scenario, you will typically do one of three things:

  • Pay more than you expected to for the project as it is designed
  • Pay your architect or designer to re-scope and re-design the project to get the price down
  • Cancel the project altogether

Using Blackdog’s design/build process significantly reduces the probability that your final project will be over budget, by focusing on your design and budget equally. Furthermore, since one company is responsible for both the design and construction of the project, you avoid being caught in the middle when there is a question about the design that may impact the price.

At Blackdog, we strive to make sure that projects we design and price can be built successfully within the price provided. An additional benefit to you, the client, is that we fully assess your existing home to ensure that any changes or upgrades required are included in the final scope of work. No surprises and no excuses!

Speak with our design/build contractors at Blackdog Build/Design/Remodel today for more information about our remodeling services in Nashua, Salem, and throughout New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Why Our Design/Build Process Works

Let’s say you want to add a family room onto your house, and you want a cathedral ceiling. The design consultant can give you an accurate idea of how much more or less the project may cost with the cathedral ceiling. If it’s out of the budget, your designer can suggest an alternative that may achieve both your vision and budgetary goals. This collaborative process arrives at a scope of work you choose while fully understanding the costs involved.

Can we help you with the following design or build projects?

Blackdog’s process ensures you not only get what you want, but also what you need. In the previous room addition example, we will not make any assumptions. We will audit your home and look at all the major components and mechanical systems. If your boiler will be too small to heat the existing home and the new addition, then a new upgraded boiler will be included in the scope and price. You will not find out mid-way through the work that no one considered the possibility your heating system may not be adequate.

What to Expect During a Pre-Construction Meeting

After the design phase, you will sign a construction agreement and your project will smoothly transition into our production department where we get to transform your project into reality. Before the remodeling process gets underway, you’ll attend a pre-construction meeting with your designer, project manager, and lead carpenter to discuss the nuances of the project, receive the schedule for the remodeling, and any special needs that you may have in order to ensure a semblance of normalcy during the tear-down and construction phases.

The lead carpenter assigned to your project is on the job throughout its entirety, and will also act as your point-person. While the lead carpenter supervises the job site, the project manager supervises the project. The project manager will coordinate all the long lead-time items, as well as our pool of talented trade contractors, to ensure the right materials and people show up on time.

We’re happy to help you with quality design/build/home remodeling services in Salem, Nashua, and nearby. Call our Salem office at 603-952-3192, or reach our design team in Nashua at ​603-769-4938.

5 Steps to the Perfect Project

1. Initial Meeting / Getting to Know Each Other

The process begins with no cost or obligation. To learn about you and your project, we ask a lot of questions. Gaining a solid understanding of your project goals is important, but understanding why the goals exist can be even more so, as we often discover that the need being addressed by the project may have a better or more cost-effective solution. We will also spend some time discussing how our design/build process works.

While it is critical that we understand you, we feel it is equally important that you understand who we are, and how we operate. We want you to have clear expectations about the process before, during, and after construction – NO SURPRISES.

Lastly, we will explain our Partner Plan to you. It is our way of continuing the process and working together to create a remodeling project that you will love. The basis of the Partner Plan is a solid, mutual understanding of project scope and budget range, as well as a small financial commitment on your part which is paid in the form of a design fee. This step will take one to two meetings depending on the project you are considering.

2. Designing Together

After you sign off on the Partner Plan we roll up our sleeves and really get to work. Using a combination of forms, photographs, and measurements, we carefully document the existing conditions of all the areas under consideration for work. This analysis creates the foundation necessary to begin project development which is the process of working with you to fine-tune the design, specify products and finalize a budget.

Working as a team, we will specify and agree on all the details of your project while providing ongoing budget-feedback. We have found this to be the most effective way to ensure that the finished design meets the preliminary budget. Together, we can take your ideas and shape them into a project you will love while respecting the size of the investment you feel is appropriate to your home.

This step will take from one to three meetings.

3. Signing Agreements

When you and Blackdog have a clear understanding of the details and price of your project, we move on to signing agreements and placing your project on our production schedule. This process details payment schedules, the window of time we anticipate starting your project, as well as an approximate duration of the construction. Additionally, we begin all the “behind the scenes” work, such as construction documents, installation plans, final engineering, placing orders for products, and pulling permits.

This step takes one meeting.

4. Building Your Project

The project begins with a pre-construction meeting scheduled at your home. During this meeting, you and the key players on your team will:

  • Review the project one more time in detail
  • Discuss the day-to-day logistics of life during remodeling
  • Address any special considerations we need to be aware of while working in your home
  • Review any other concerns you may have about the design, build, or remodeling process

Once your project is underway we will remain committed to it until it is done. We will respect your home, keep it clean and safe, and leave you with a wonderful finished project. More importantly, we will also do it in a way that minimizes disruption and inconvenience.

5. Peace of Mind / Warranty

The warranty and follow up step comes after planning and preparation have become a distant memory.  The work is over and you are enjoying your new space. But the peace of mind provided by the Blackdog experience does not end there. Your project is covered under our 3-year warranty. If a cabinet door warps or a valve leaks, give us a call and our dedicated warranty specialist will attend to it in a timely fashion. Warranty work is not one of those things we “get around to” when we have time.We are committed to providing you with the same high level of attention before, during, and after your project. Our most valuable asset is the complete satisfaction of our past clients.

Now that you understand our process, give us a call to set up a complimentary consultation!

Client Binder

Most major purchases come with an owner’s manual and your project with Blackdog is no exception. Clients who develop a project with Blackdog are provided with a “Blackdog Client Binder”. This binder not only provides great information about the remodeling process but is also tabbed to allow you to conveniently store all your project related documents in one organized place. Our clients often comment on the benefit of having everything at their finger tips both during the project and after completion.

Project Management

At Blackdog, project management is not something we get around to between swinging a hammer, running a skill saw and driving to the lumber yard. Project management is a systematized and organized process that starts with pre-planning a job. Our Project Managers are engaged even before a construction agreement is signed. This allows for a second set of eyes to verify assumptions and offer a critical review. Each project is assigned to a project manager ensuring that your project gets the attention and consideration it needs to be a success.

Once a construction agreement is signed your project is slotted into our schedule and your Project Manager begins to work through the logistics of building your project. This includes creating a critical path schedule, ordering long lead time items as well as planning man power requirements and the proper flow of trade contractors that will be needed. We have defined systems and procedures that we use to ensure projects run as smoothly as possible.

Good project management is also about communication. Our Project Managers and Lead Carpenters are in constant communication working through the details of your project. They are also accessible to you when you have questions or concerns.

Not everything in remodeling can be planned, controlled or anticipated but, with solid systems and procedures we can take much of the uncertainty out of the process and deliver you the project of your dreams on time and on budget.


Blackdog does great work and equally as important, we back it up. We offer an industry leading 3-year warranty.

At its core a warranty has value when you call the company offering the warranty and the issue you have is covered and the response time you get on the service side is short. We have all had experiences with products we purchase where the problem you are having is not covered or it takes forever and a day to actually get someone to address the problem. Similarly, a longer warranty is only as good as the service you get. A three-year warranty with a lot of holes in it and slow responsiveness is of little value. Many companies offer warranties but, take the time to dig deeper and ask the probing questions to decide if the warranty has teeth or is just a marketing tool to get your attention.

At Blackdog, we offer a three-year warranty and a dedicated warranty specialist to deliver you responsive service.


Remodeling = Fun?

You may not think that Remodeling and Fun are two words that should go together but we do.
At Blackdog we bring a lot of passion to the work we do. We are very aware of the trust our clients place in us when they commit to build a project and we take that very seriously. We don’t however have to take ourselves as seriously. We feel that your design process should be fun and exciting and that you should be able to have fun getting to know the people who are going to bring your project to fruition. Not everything in remodeling goes perfectly and having a sense of humor can make that reality easier to deal with.

Somewhere we read that people who laugh live longer… sounds good to us.