Frequently Asked Questions
Design/Build remodeling is becoming a much more common and sensible approach to the remodeling process. Design/Build is a process whereby a homeowner works with one company through the entire remodeling process. This process includes four phases; the Design Phase, the detailed Preliminary Proposal, Selections/ Final Construction Agreement and the Construction Phase. We handle both design and construction, which means you can expect greater reliability.
Designers and builders work together with the common goal of designing and building within established budgets and parameters. As a result, projects are completed more quickly and with fewer surprises. Our design/build “team” approach ensures that:
- You will enjoy optimal communication among team members
- You will receive the most value for your dollar
- You will enjoy greater design flexibility
- You will reduce your project timeframe from 6 to 8 months
Construction Ahead is a design/build company specializing in taking clients from project inception to project completion. In the Design, Selection and Estimate phases, we spell out as many details as possible to obtain an accurate estimate. A detailed, accurate estimate leads to a smooth transition to the Construction phase. By eliminating the potential for changes and doing the details ahead of time, actual project costs can be determined.
Changes are very costly and designing projects and selecting products during the Construction phase is even more costly. The Design/Build process saves you money in the long run. Construction Ahead’s goal is to create a realistic budget from the beginning and then work towards meeting the budget. Our goal is to address ALL of the details, as best we can, ahead of time.
The Design/Build process allows the homeowner to get what they want. The homeowner is thoroughly involved in the Design and Selection phase of their project. It takes a good deal of our time and effort to design a project that is both very functional and aesthetically pleasing. We want to take that time with you. We are in the best position to guide and assist you in the Design and Selection phase. We also appreciate your effort in making the decisions required for your project. We realize how much time and energy goes into moving through the process. Our goal is to ease the burden of this process through education, communication and professionalism.
No, at Construction Ahead our staff is an energetic and talented group with an enthusiasm for design, expertise and conceptual ideas tailored to each individual project. However, for structural engineering to supplement our designs, we contract out architectural and/or engineering on an as-needed basis.
Most products including windows, doors, siding, cabinetry, counter tops, fittings and fixtures are essentially linked to the building process. Our accuracy, timeliness and order completion all play into our ability to insure a smooth running project for which we take total responsibility. With few exceptions, it is important to our process that Construction Ahead provides most of the products throughout the design/build process.
Other than the overall quality of the highly skilled people who make up Construction Ahead, our greatest strength is in our systematic approach to the design/build process. Our systematic approach is well communicated among all members of the Construction Ahead team.
We pride ourselves on providing clients with the consistency and quality they expect throughout the entire process – from initial consultation to the final project walk-through. As active members of NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) and chairman of the Education Committee, we adhere to their strict ethical and professional standards.
We give our clients an anticipated start date which usually implies the month and anticipated date we intend to start the project. We can not give a guaranteed start date due to the exact duration of the preceding jobs to which the Construction Ahead team has already committed.
For numerous reasons, it is in Construction Ahead’s best interest to finish every project in a timely manner. While Construction Ahead provides an anticipated completion date, we do not guarantee a completion date due to the possibility of pre-existing conditions and the possibility of Change Orders.
Prior to the job starting, we develop a schedule for the projected work including all the labor, trades and inspections. It is our policy to keep our clients aware of any changes in the schedule as we work our way through the design/build process.
Design fees will vary depending on the scope of work desired. We need to talk about your project and actually visit your home to get an idea of the scope of your work. We can then give you a detailed design agreement. Our design agreements are based on a flat fee with hourly parameters for projects similar to yours. Design agreements for additions are broken down into two phases.
Estimating construction costs is quite a difficult task today, since there are so many different types of designs and so many different types of products. It is extremely difficult for anyone to guess as to project costs. This is the goal of doing all of the details ahead of time – to find out exactly how much it will cost.
In order to get to the final costs, a detailed design must be completed and all products need to be specified, which then leads to the completion of a detailed estimate. We will likely be able to give you ballpark ranges of typical costs, or information on typical costs from previous projects similar to yours. Ultimately, what you can afford and what you want to spend will be our guide, but if these amounts are not consistent with your expectations of your project, we will let you know.
You might be thinking: I don’t need design, I’m only removing and replacing, I know what I want or I don’t need a permit…
Many homeowners are under the impression that they don’t need some of the important parts of the process, like a permit, design drawings, detailed product selection, or a floor plan drawing. Unfortunately, these misconceptions can lead to trouble. Construction Ahead recommends that a permit be obtained for most remodeling work, since by law, a permit is required for structural, plumbing, electrical and mechanical changes.
Your local building department will require that detailed drawings be presented to them in order to obtain a permit. These drawings are required, even for removal and replacement remodeling work. Your local building department wants to see these drawings and inspect the work to ensure that the work performed meets code requirements.
In addition, these drawings help to ensure that the homeowner and the contractor have the same understanding of the project and assist in leading to detailed product selection and a detailed estimate.
Yes, we use subcontractors for a variety of trades such as roofing, electrical, plumbing, insulation, flooring and painting. All subcontractors hired by Construction Ahead are licensed and insured. We have built solid relationships with our subcontractors over the past 18 years of business. At Construction Ahead, we coordinate and manage all subcontractor trades so that you the home owner can enjoy peace of mind throughout the process.