Most homeowners fall into one of two categories. Some have already met with an architect and have a full set of engineered plans that are ready to go. Others have a vague idea of what they want but have no idea what to do next. We have a professional relationship with local architects and designers who can work with you to help turn your ideas into plans. Whether they are for a kitchen, a small or large bathroom, or the whole house, using our extensive experience, we will make the process of taking your plans from concept to reality as smooth and pain-free as possible. Here we will explain the process that will take you from initial planning to project completion.
When you first contact A&M Remodeling, Inc. we will schedule a meeting at your house at a time that is convenient to you, preferably during the day (some evenings are available). You should allow 1 to 2 hours for this initial meeting and it is important that all people that will be involved in the decision-making process are present. At this meeting, we will discuss your ideas and if you already have plans, go over them and the project site. We will also discuss the dreaded question of budget. Although many people may hesitate to discuss their budget with a contractor, this is an important step to make sure your ideas are feasible.
With a clear understanding of the proposed project, A&M will now prepare a “ballpark” or rough estimate. There is no cost or obligation to you for this estimate. The ballpark estimate should be within 10% to 15% of the actual project costs depending on the complexity of the plans or the condition of the existing structure. The purpose of this estimate is to provide you with an idea of what your project will cost so you know whether or not you want to move forward with the design and plans. At this time A&M will provide you with a list of references for projects that are similar in scope and design to your proposed project.
If you did not already have plans prepared, now is the time to meet with an architect or designer to layout your ideas to scale in print form. Up to this point, there have been no out-of-pocket costs to you. The plans are your first financial commitment to your proposed project. At this point, you should be focused on what you want and eager to move forward with the architect. This stage can take some time depending on how busy the architect is and how many drafts are required to achieve your desired final plans.
With the final plans in hand and a small retainer (usually 5% of the ballpark estimate), A&M can now prepare a detailed quote including a scope of work. We will schedule a meeting to discuss the design details and make final decisions on the finishes and fixture selections. You should plan to allow 2 to 3 hours for this meeting to ensure that we have time to go over all aspects of the project. It is important to have as many details as possible about finishes predetermined in order to be accurate with the quote. If the detailed quote is not within the range (15%) of the ballpark estimate the retainer will be refunded in full.
At this point all plans are finalized, the quote is completed, and the construction contract has been signed. Now is the time to plan for the project to actually begin. A small project might involve something as minor as installing a plastic barrier between the existing space and the new space. A larger project might involve hiring a moving company and emptying the entire contents of the home, then relocating to temporary housing. You will need to determine how much construction activity you can handle and whether or not you can live with subcontractors coming and going from your house for as long as 6 months. More details about preparing for construction will be discussed based on your specific situation.
This is a very exciting time but it can be very stressful too. There are a lot of decisions to make and a lot of running around to suppliers to make various selections. Remodeling and addition projects can be a major disruption to your daily life and routine. It is important to be prepared for this and stay flexible and to keep your expectations realistic. Communication on a regular basis is vital to ensure that everything flows smoothly and on schedule. In custom building, changes are inevitable and almost expected. The sooner we know about potential changes the better prepared we will be to deal with them in a timely, cost-effective way. We will provide a decision schedule that helps to keep you a step ahead and avoid last-minute rushed decisions. We will also provide you with a list of preferred vendors so that you will avoid making mistakes with unfamiliar suppliers and products.