Everyone loves remodeling. Except, that is, people who have never remodeled, people who have remodeled, and people who do the actual work. Other than that, remodeling is by all accounts a barrel of monkeys!
People who have never remodeled. If you’ve never remodeled, you’re simultaneously excited about your future project, and petrified by the unknowns. Where do you start? Whom can you trust? How can you get through this with marriage and pocketbook intact? You’ve heard the stories; how does remodeling turn so bad and whose fault is it?
People who have remodeled. “Well I sure learned a lot” is just about what everyone says after they’ve been through their first major remodel. “And I hope never to have to use all that knowledge again” is what follows. When you remodel you learn new words and phrases like “arc fault interruption” and ——. You learn “Yes we’ll be there at 9 AM” can mean anything, except 9 AM on the day promised. You learn there are many versions of English, and many ways to disagree about the simplest things, not to mention the complex ones.
People who are the remodelers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard it: “I have to get me a real job.” Or “There has to be an easier way to make a living.” Just about every contractor in the business, and surely most of the trades workers, have said how they wish they could get a better job—more consistent pay, benefits, a career with a future. Something that doesn’t involve crazy customers and unpredictable market forces.
Why remodel, and why Expert Service? First of all, we’ve learned these lessons ourselves (although we’re still learning). We’ve all wanted to quit, or wished for another field or easier work, but in the end, we like what we do. We’re good at it. We’ve done our part to take an industry rife with confusion and recklessness, and turn it into one where customers and workers actually get along and enjoy the process.
Secondly, people trust us. To be trusted, is to be trustworthy. We consider ourselves your partner in the care and maintenance of your home and office.
Thirdly, we’re in the relationship business. Everything we do centers around cultivating relationships with customers who need and appreciate our level of service.
What we do and how we do it. Nothing we do is earth shattering or complicated. Mostly, we care about our work, and we care about our customers. We plan our work and we make you a partner. You are part of the process. We explain what we will do, we do what we said, and we keep you informed. We bill you as promised. It’s pretty much that simple.
The Process. Remodeling is a funny process. Look this over to see where you are on the continuum.
Idea. You get the urge do something but you’re not sure exactly what.
Concept. Your idea becomes a concept so you can move towards fulfillment.
Initial Design. Whether it’s a full blown remodel or just some creative changes, the improvements have to be properly designed. This is where you and your contractor or design professional convert your thoughts and wants and needs into actual dimensions and renderings on a page.
Budget. You need a preliminary budget, which you hope to match up with your initial design. If the design and budget meet, you move forward.
Conditional decision to proceed. Now that your budget and design are matched up, you take the brave step going deeper into the process. This usually includes hiring a design professional. It’s no longer just a bunch of talk—you’re spending money now.
The design process. Meetings with the design team, private discussions amongst yourselves, airing your ideas with close friends and families—this is where you graduate to real decisions and commitments.
Preliminary design documents. This can range from a simple one page document, to multiple pages on 36” x 24” paper depicting the details of your improvement. The purpose of this—yet another provisional step—is to ascertain, before going truly hard, whether the design and the budget are what you really want.
Financing. Somewhere along this path you’ll need to ascertain the source of your funds. If a bank loan is involved, documentation of the work and of your contract needs to be professional. Bank financing can sometimes be complicated, but most lenders have made this an easy process.
Value Engineering. When the almost final plans are complete and the almost final budget comes in too high, you start to chop off options or cut back however you can to bring the project back into budget.
Final Design and final budget. Even though it seems like you already did this part, you’ll find yourself circling back around to be sure this design is what you want—remember your earlier wants and needs?—and that this budget is right for you. Now is the time to commit.
Contracts. Fortunes, marriages and careers turn on the simplest things. Be sure you have a good contract. Avoid being in too much of a hurry to begin—this has taken so long!—that you forget to have a fair and balanced agreement.
Construction. This is where everything can go well, or badly. Successful remodeling takes planning, experience and leadership, undergirded by sound relationships. Contractors who maintain respectful, trusting relationships with subcontractors and vendors, from job to job and year to year, are the ones who deliver a worry free, quality project.
Warranty. It’s good to keep your contractor relationship healthy. You’ll need it for the warranty period. Besides, who knows when you’ll get a new idea for another project?
Call us. We’d love to talk to you about your remodeling project.