How We Work
Residential remodeling, by its nature, holds many unknowns. Once we open up your walls, we are obligated to put everything back together to code (which is a good thing – codes are for safety and structural integrity). That is why there can be so many factors that contribute to final project cost. At Renovate, we want to make sure our clients understand all the steps that go into a professional remodel. The best way we can do that is to be transparent with our planning, calculations, and estimates.
When you call Renovate, we schedule a time to look at your project. We discuss your vision and get to know what you want in a remodel. Maybe you have been working with an architect or designer already – which is great. But if you haven’t, that’s also fine. Renovate offers in-house design services for most remodel projects. If you are looking to take on a larger project, such as an addition or a change to your home’s existing footprint, we partner with an excellent woman-owned architectural firm in Ballard, Alexandra Immel Design, who will be happy to work with you and us to bring your remodel vision to life.
We strongly believe that for remodels to be successful, clients must have a good understanding of the services they are receiving and the work that is done. To that end, we have structured our design-build offerings completely around our customers—ensuring that our customers are fully informed and supported from start to finish.
Once we have met with you, if you feel like we are the right fit for your job, we will send you an agreement to finalize design and build out a detailed construction estimate and schedule, based on time and materials. This arrangement allows us to share our internal calculations with you and to discuss all options available to let you decide how you wish to proceed. This phase of the project is our “design phase”.
During the design phase, our team will work with you to truly understand the wants and needs of your remodel project. We will get a feel for your aesthetic and lifestyle, and we will design a scope of work that suits both your style and budget. Our team will let you know up front of any potential, foreseeable issues that could arise, or any constraints that might exist based on residential building codes. We know that remodels are big investments for our clients, and, at every turn, we will work to make sure that you are getting the return on your investment that you deserve, not just financially, but in the quality of life you will experience in your redesigned space.
At the end of the design phase, you will have everything you need to move forward into construction. We will create plans pages for permitting, and complete scopes of work that cover everything, including the kitchen sink. We will work with you to select paint colors, wall textures, trim styles, cabinet styles, and all the other details that go into making your project perfect.
Our design process is intended to help educate homeowners – to help our clients understand every aspect of the project and to help to flesh out all the details, no matter how small. We aren’t interested in locking you in to a contract and hitting you with a bunch of surprises down the road. That isn’t how we operate. We want you to be fully informed as we walk through this process with you. Should you decide that we aren’t the right fit for your project, the plans and designs that we’ve developed with you are yours to keep.
After design and estimating is complete, and there is an agreed upon scope of work, we can move into the construction phase. During the construction phase, we work off a construction retainer and we send weekly detailed project reports, which include details on the work completed, milestones, upcoming milestones, manhour reports, receipts, job photos, and the weekly invoice. We bill a flat hourly rate for our design, project management, and field team work and we mark up materials and subcontractors 20%. This is for every client, every time.
Our billing structure means that when we come in ahead of time or budget, you save money. We don’t take a dollar more than we earn, and we pass all of our savings on directly to our customers. Our time-and-materials approach also means that you maintain flexibility in your project. Should you decide that you want to make a change during the construction phase, we won’t hit you with a bunch of paperwork and change orders. We simply work with you to understand the changes that you want to ensure that they are feasible and then execute them painlessly, so you can get back to your life and we can keep your project rolling.
A Note on Home Remodeling Investment
No doubt about it, a home renovation is a major investment. At Renovate we want to ensure that you are spending money wisely to get a return on your investment – we are here to make sure that what you do makes sense. That is why we work with an experienced realtor, Mel Parsons of Parsons Team Seattle, to help our clients decide how much to invest. When we are building out your work scope, we can bring in Mel to assess the real estate market value of your remodel. If you need to scale down the scope from an investment standpoint, we will do that happily.