Our Process

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Here’s All You Need To Do In Order To Start Your Project

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Lisa will get back to you within 24 hours

Norm will come out and give you a price

About Our Process

When you inquire about your project, you’ll want to know;

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Who’s coming out to talk to you?

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How long will the initial conversation take?

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What access will we need to certain areas of your home?

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When will you get an estimate and options for your project?

Please see our process below to give you and idea of a typical visit…

01. Initial Conversation

Nine times out of ten, after you make a request for information, Lisa will be contacting you via; phone or email or text – or all three – to see when you might be available for me (Norm) to come out and look over your project. She runs my schedule and will find the best day and time to fit your needs.

02. Initial visit

On our first visit, we’ll discuss your project in as much detail as humanly possible. I’m mainly listening! to make sure I have a great grasp of your aesthetics, wants and needs. I’ll take a lot of notes and pictures before I leave in order to properly estimate your project. Our exploration all depends on your project’s perimeters. (I’ve been under a lot of homes and in a lot of attics!)

We could spend as little as twenty minutes, and as much as a couple hours discussing your project. 

03. Estimating

Before I leave our initial visit, I’ll pull up my calendar and find a space in my schedule to actually sit down and work on your project. I do this so you’ll know exactly when you’ll hear from me again – and – if I don’t do this… Lisa will fill up my schedule with other visits!

04. Follow up

Depending on your type of project, there are several ways to offer you an estimate. For example, if you have a deck replacement project, this is largely based on a price-per-square-foot and I might give you a price very quickly – even the same day. If you’re wanting a “pull and replace” bathroom remodel, I might email you an exact estimate. If we’re moving walls and plumbing and going a little crazy, I’ll create a “rough order of magnitude” (ROM), which will be a price range based on the many variables in design and selections.

Transactional Remodeling

Transactional remodeling is any type of remodeling that is specific to one area or process. Typically, this can be gutters, windows, doors, siding, roofing, tub-to-shower conversions, and many other areas. 

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Benefits of transactional remodeling;

Any remodeler – and almost every remodeler – can specialize in certain areas. When this happens, they begin doing the same processes and procedures over and over. They get better and better in that area and learn their products and labor/material costs very well. Through repetition, they are moving faster and becoming more efficient and competitive in their particular area of expertise. If your needs fall into one of these categories, you (the consumer), are in a pretty good situation. You can call several companies, get several bids, and probably even get a very quick turn-around on your project.  

Downfalls of transactional remodeling;

1. You may be talking to a company that looks like they’re from right around the corner, when in reality, they’re based in Cleveland.

2. You may be talking to a company that looks like they are from Lowes or Home Depot – since that’s who you called – yet it’s a completely different company that is a subcontractor and has very poor service, high prices and aggressive sales tactics.

3. Transactional remodeling can allow unscrupulous companies to “scale” (replicate a process over and over), and have one specific product to sell, even if it doesn’t fit your needs. 

    • One case-in-point, is what happened across the country with the selling and installation of walk in tubs. If you’ve read as many Occupational Therapist reports as I have, and really understand the needs of the handicapped and elderly, it’s clear that a walk-in-tub is very rarely considered a solution to any client/patient’s wellbeing. But companies across the country – in an effort to find something to sell to the drastically increasing population of baby boomers – created commercials, hired installation teams, hired an aggressive sales staff and sold thousands of these tubs, while bringing a minimum of benefit to our aging public.

4. If a company is “selling you” a specific product, and not focusing on your wants and needs, then it’s pretty obvious you’ve wandered into the land of; “My product is best and you must buy it” – instead of being honest and saying – “Sorry, this is the only product I’m allowed to offer, and quite frankly, the only product our company has to offer”.​

There’s basically one way to understand a company’s intentions – as good or bad – in the area of transactional remodeling, and that’s a review of their sales tactics. Rather than go into greater detail, please scroll down and read my blog, “The one-call close”. 

Soft Design

Soft design is when you fall out of the relatively simple pull-and-replace type project. You don’t just want to replace your tub with a shower, you’d like it to be a little bigger – or on the other side of the room.

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There are two very important questions with regard to whether soft design is possible;

1. Do you need a designer?

2. Do you need an architect?

If a designer and/or architect are not involved;

  • You really have to know what you want.

  • You really have to be able to visualize the end result.

  • You really have to have a good contractor that can create the permit drawings and shares the vision of your project.

Full Design Build

The design build process can be daunting. Strike that – it will be daunting. Most design/build firms have something similar to this process;

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1. A design agreement that is around 5-10% of the estimated project cost. 

    • This allows the company to do a rough layout and rough pricing for your project by using a designer and obtaining necessary estimates. (Creating this rough estimate can be quite time consuming, and this design agreement fee pays for the time involved.)​

2. A deposit agreement is created that has your rough layout and a total price estimate that is within 10-20% of your final project total. ​

    • You have a layout and cost, but now you’ll have to make all your selections in order to get to an exact number.​

    • You normally pay a down payment which is 20% of the estimated project total.

3. A construction agreement is created that has your actual, exact price.​

    • You’ve picked out all the products, colors, textures, tiles, fixtures, appliances, etc., etc.​

    • You have drawings of your project.

    • You have a start date and projected completion date.

Downfalls of the design-build process;

1. The space between the design agreement and the deposit agreement can be stressful. Once you enter into a design agreement, you’ve invested money into your project, and sometimes it seems that nothing is being done. It’s very possible that the designing and estimating process has been frantically working behind the scenes, but hasn’t communicated with you for weeks. We will keep in constant communication with you throughout the process, so you’re aware of our progress through every step.

2. It takes forever! The project has to go from conceptual (thoughts and ideas) to drawings; specific enough to build from and technical enough for city/county inspections. It is a daunting task. You can expect this process to last several months – not including the contractor’s backlog.

3. Once you write that first check for creating a design, you’ve not only invested in your project, you’ve invested in the company you hired. If they’re not a good fit, you’ll be starting over with a new company, and losing time and money. You have to find a company that communicates and a company you trust.