What should I look for in a remodeling contractor?

Outside of the obvious credentials, you need to find someone who you can trust. Remodeling projects are very personal because they occur in your home, can last several weeks or months and the final product should reflect your tastes and requirements. You should feel confident that your contractor is a good match with your personality and understands what you want.

We've never renovated before. How can you help?

We strive to make the process as simple, easy and well explained as possible. We will lead you through the decision-making process and keep you informed along the way. We handle all the ordering, scheduling, permitting, inspections, supervision and project management.

What will my project cost per square foot?

In most cases, because of the uniqueness of each remodeling project, it is difficult to give a fair price quote per square foot. Unlike new construction, there is the dismantling of existing structures and inherent issues that present themselves during the process. Furthermore, a large portion of the cost of construction is in the finishes, which can vary greatly with the desires and tastes of the homeowner.

How do we select the materials, fixtures, cabinetry, countertops and everything else we need specific to our project?

We have a design team available to assist you with all of the design elements specific to your project. We conduct a design meeting, where we collaborate with you regarding your aesthetic style and overall goals for your space. Our intent is to have every design element and selection decision made, prior to breaking ground on the construction phase of your project. This eliminates any added stress with having to make last minute decisions.

Do we sign a contract?

Yes, and any good contractor should have a contract that clearly defines the terms of the agreement. We have two standard contracts, one for smaller jobs and one for larger projects.

Our contract outlines an agreement between us regarding payment, length of project, insurance coverages and warranty. We also include a detailed scope of work specific to your project as well as general specifications we adhere to for all our work. If there are architectural plans associated for the work, the final construction plans will also become part of the contract.

How are payments made and when?

A payment schedule is outlined in the contract. Each "draw" is based on the start of a particular milestone reached in the construction schedule (i.e. Start of Framing, Start of Painting, etc.). The goal is for payments to be made in regular intervals throughout the project, but are tied to work progress to ensure that things are moving ahead as planned.

Can we remain living in our house?

That depends on the scope of the project and your honest assessment of your tolerance to living without the area being renovated. Living without a kitchen for a couple of months is much more difficult than living without one bathroom, when you have other bathrooms in your home.

There are some events that may require that you move out for a few days such as refinishing an entire house of hardwood floors. Any disruptions of that magnitude would be discussed and planned for well in advance.

I'm getting back estimates and there are big differences in pricing. Why is this?

There are several considerations that come into play. One, if you are getting back preliminary pricing for a project that is still a concept without plans and finish specifications, then the comparison may not be apples to apples. We supply a brief description of the scope of work as we interpret the job, so you know what is included in our pricing.

Generally, pricing from different contractors, based on a set of plans and specifications, should be somewhat similar. One big factor in pricing from a contractor is the overhead. Obviously, the larger the operation, the larger the overhead. Conversely, the "man working out of his truck" has much lower overhead. Both operations have their place and can service larger or smaller projects efficiently respective to how they are set up.

Our overhead is kept relatively low by focusing on our core project range and being ultra-efficient. Like most legitimate general contractors, we have necessary business expenses such as insurance, equipment, transportation, office expenditures, etc.

What should I expect daily?

We typically work Monday through Friday from around 8:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. Occasionally, we may work on a Saturday with your permission on a case by case basis. There are some operations that require set up or dry time between activities, which would mean our workers may come later in the day than the previous. We will always communicate when there are times when work times will be outside the norm.

Do I need a permit and inspections?

Many jobs require a permit based on scope and dollar value. We will determine if your job fits that criteria and obtain the permit and all necessary inspections as required.

Do I need to find an architect or structural engineer?

The size and scope of your project will determine what level of design you need and whether you need a structural engineer. We work closely with our own partnered architects, designers and structural engineers. However, if you have your own contact that you would like to work with, we welcome the opportunity to work with them.

Can I do the painting and save some money?

In most cases, we strongly recommend you let us handle the entire project with our team. Our people are used to working together and do so more efficiently as a cohesive group. Work on any project requires a great deal of dedicated time, some of which can be stretched into many different phases of the project. Painting, for example, requires prep work and priming earlier on in the project with finish coats and final touch ups occurring much later. Our tradesmen are also armed with years of experience and specialized tools to turn out a much higher quality product than most able do it yourselfers.