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. As a Design/Build firm, 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 general construction estimate and schedule, based on time and materials and our mark up. 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 create the design drawings and develop the scope of work that brings your remodel vision to life and 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.
During the Design Phase we will create plans pages for permitting, create scopes of work that cover everything, including the kitchen sink, and develop the budget for your project costs.
The Design Phase is comprised of two components:
Plans: During the Plans component Renovate will work with the client to create floor plans for the remodel (plans include two revisions), provide a general budget for the remodel based on standard finishes, and provide a general construction schedule. Permitting requirements will also be determined during this sub-phase.
Interior Design: During Interior Design, Renovate’s Interior Designer will work with the client on the details of the project design and the selection of all finishes (cabinets, countertops, faucets, flooring, tile, paint color, trim packages, doors, fixtures, hardware, etc.). Elevation drawings will be generated throughout the Design Phase to support the client in visualizing the final product. The project budget will be updated based on client selections. The interior designer works with the client throughout all phases of the project and is an integral part of Renovate’s construction process.
Our design process is intended to help educate homeowners, ensure our clients understand every aspect of the project, and flesh out all the details of the remodel, 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 we have finalized the design and you have decided to proceed with the project, we move into the Pre-Construction Phase. During this time we commence the permitting process and place long-lead item orders for anything that we can’t buy off the shelf. Once we receive approval for the permit we are ready to move into the Construction Phase.
Once Pre-Construction is complete, we can move into the Construction Phase and start our demolition/deconstruction. As we work, we send weekly project reports which include details on the work completed, milestones, upcoming milestones, manhour reports, receipts, job photos, and the weekly invoice. We bill flat hourly rates for our project management and field team and we mark up materials and subcontractors at a fixed rate. Our pricing is completely transparent – you see receipts, estimates/invoices from subcontractors, labor timesheets, and mark ups.
Our billing structure means that when we come in ahead of 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 impact of the changes that you want, 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 – and 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.