Our process

Tried & true, our process delivers.

As a leading design-build remodeling contractor who has worked in Montgomery County and Northwest DC for over 30 years, Merrick Design and Build is committed to making the remodeling process as serene as possible. We recognize that building a trusting relationship with our clients is just as important as the work we do in our clients’ homes.

A five-step process for your peace of mind.

Our process officially begins with a phone conversation with a Merrick team member where we have an open discussion about your project and how it can come together. First, we want to establish that we are a good fit. Ever heard of the “Two Beers and a Puppy” test? We want to start off our client-builder relationship by passing that test!

This first meeting is closely followed by a meeting with a designer where we will talk about what we are looking to accomplish together and discuss a realistic investment range. Then together, we will explore the possibilities of how we can make your remodel possible.

The design-build process removes the headache and disappointment often connected with the design-bid model, frequently leaving homeowners on their own to find a builder and bursting the budget bubble.

Our design process is grouped into two phases that allow you to make educated decisions and proceed at a logical pace The goal of our design process is to recognize the individuality of each customer while following a structured path to meet the goals and budget of the project.

Design Agreement

The first phase of the design process is the Design Agreement. The Design Agreement is a fixed fee and does not obligate you to a Construction Contract. The work that goes into the Design Agreement includes three key things: Design Investigation, Conceptual Design, and Feasibility Determination.

Feasibility Determination is, obviously, a big step. At this point, we bring in our trusted trade partners to evaluate your home and identify any potential challenges or assets in advance during this step. Projects are feasible when they solve all your home’s problems, can be built within your budget, and excite your imagination.

Once the first design phase is completed, your Design Agreement will provide a blueprint for your vision, a construction budget summary sheet, and a basic layout and design plans.

Design Development

Upon acceptance of the second phase of the design process, a secondary design fee will be issued and you will be set up on BuilderTrend, our construction management software. Your Merrick Design and Build team will begin to develop permit-ready construction plans (in accordance with the International Residential Building Code and Montgomery County Executive and District of Columbia Regulations), a final scope of work, quality control, and a formal Construction Contract while a member of the design team works with you to make selections. All of these materials will be delivered through BuilderTrend which will serve as your main project hub for the remainder of your project.

The fixed-price Construction Contract includes construction plans and the complete scope of work. If something is not included in one of these two documents, then it is not part of your project. There will be no binding verbal agreements or promises. Additional work may only be added to your construction contract through a written Change Order.

Upon the acceptance of the Construction Contract, a 10% deposit invoice will be issued and the Merrick Team will undergo the following steps to prepare for construction.


At this step, we will issue a sub-contract to our trade partners and share our construction contract and any relevant product selection information. You and your Merrick designer and Project Manager will meet to hand off the management of your project to make sure you are comfortable with your production team.

Details & Scheduling

Before any work officially begins, a construction schedule is mapped out, and most of the major materials are purchased. The schedule is shared with the Team through BuilderTrend and will be updated regularly throughout construction.

“Under construction” looks different for each and every project. Each home and each project is unique and is handled by one of our expert Project Managers who will be your day-to-day contact for construction. They are responsible for overseeing your project and the team of dedicated professionals and craftsmen who will bring your project to life.

We take extra precautions to protect your home during the remodel. Whether that means containing construction dust and protecting the rest of the home, helping to facilitate a livable situation for you and your family for the duration of the project. The Merrick Team is committed to making sure your home is protected during construction.

It’s time to cross the home remodeling finish line! We mean it when we say that we provide turn-key solutions from demolition to clean-up. Your Project Manager will complete the last thorough cleaning and will happily make room for your own cleaners to come in upon completion.

At the end of your project, you will meet with your Project Manager to walk through the finished space together in what we call an “owner orientation meeting” to review how any new features operate as well as general care and maintenance. Now, the only step left is for you to enjoy your transformed space!

Client stories

Building better experiences.

Are you thinking about remodeling your home with Merrick Design and Build? Take a look at our GuildQuality page to read about experiences from our past and current clients.

Turn your house into the home you've always wanted.