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Frequently Asked Questions
How does this all work? What are all the steps involved in getting my project completed?
We follow a proven method to get your project from idea to reality. These are the basic steps:
1. Initial Meeting
2. Project Design
3. Specifications and Contract
What if I'm not sure exactly what I want to do?
Glad you asked! First off, tell us. We will then approach the meeting as more of a brain-storm session with a goal of helping you nail down what will work best for you. As a contractor, it's frustrating to spend an hour or more with a client, go back to the office and spend 4-8 hours developing an estimate, then go back for another 1 hour meeting to present the estimate only to find that the client has completely changed the scope of the project.
Approached correctly, we have many options to assist you in your decision of what is going to be best for you. We design projects nearly on a daily basis. We have suppliers and specialty trade partners that will help you. We are a great resource for getting quick answers to questions. We work with interior decorators if you need help with those designs. We offer a design contract service in which we help you design your project and the service fee may even be applied toward the cost of the project.
Are you going to give me a high-pressure sales pitch?
No. We approach our work from the standpoint that if we take care of our clients and deliver what they want, sales will take care of itself. This philosophy has worked well over the last 17+ years. Incidentally, over 80% of our business is by referral.
Are you licensed and insured?
Yes and yes. We are licensed in Wisconsin. Cerifications are:
Dwelling Contractor Certification
Dwelling Contractor Qualifier
Certified Lead-Safe Renovator
We carry $2,000,000. general liability (among other) insurance as well as Worker's Compensation insurance on our employees.
What do you cover in the initial meeting?
We ask a lot of questions designed to give us details about what you want to do and how we can help you. We may discuss the feasibility of your project, challenges to be overcome, what you want to invest in the project and your timeline for getting it done.
This information is vital in providing you with an accurate estimate for the cost of completing your project.
Who should be at the initial meeting?
Anyone who will be involved in the decision-making process or who will be affected by the project. Because of each unique perspective, different people involved will have different concerns and questions about the project. It is most efficient to get all those questions answered at one meeting.
Why do you ask so many questions?
Because the answers to those questions help us paint a picture in our mind that is the same as your vision of the completed project.
Your answers also give important insight into your situation that may effect how we go about doing the project. One example: Someone just moving in will have different motivations behind wanting to do a renovation versus someone who will be listing the property in 2 weeks.
These answers help us design a project that meets your goals and provide a realistic budget estimate for project completion.
How much will my project cost?
There are no two projects that are the same. So many combinations of materials, finishes, styles and techniques make each project unique. Your material selections are the single biggest factor in determining the cost of a project ($2 per square foot tile from home center versus $300 per square foot Italian marble).
The most important thing that you can do to help arrive at the cost of your project more quickly is to consider a realistic project budget before we have our initial meeting. If we discuss a project and know our costs will run $10,000 and you tell us that you have a project budget of $2,500, we understand that either we don't have the same vision of the finished project or you may be unclear about actual remodeling costs. In any case, it tells us that more information must be shared.
When can you start?
Our lead time varies throughout the year. It is generally between 3 and 8 weeks. Sometimes it is shorter or longer. After you sign the Contract for Construction and during the lead time, many things are actually happening to make your job go smoothly: material selections, measurements, financing, material orders, material assembly, shop work, painting, staining, finishing, work crew scheduling, etc. All these are done to make sure that the on-site part of the project go more quickly and smoothly.