Steps to a Successful Remodel
You may think that making some changes to your home or business is a simple task; however, even the smallest construction project can sometimes be overwhelming and time-consuming to many clients. We took some time to outline the typical steps and considerations needed to successfully complete most construction projects.
1. Project Budget
It all starts with a budget. You may be reluctant to reveal that to a potential contractor, but consider setting a job cost limit before you do anything else. As professionals, if we are given a budget, we can maximize the amount of work performed and select the best materials within that range. We put quality workmanship before anything else, so cutting corners to save money is never an option for us. However, careful planning will save time and ultimately help in reducing costs.
2. Gather ideas
There are a lot of online resources great for gathering ideas. We highly recommend www.Houzz.com and www.Pinterest.com. Both sites offer ways to bookmark, save to folders, and share. We have established relationships with many local suppliers that can be extremely helpful with pulling a project together. On larger projects, clients occasionally need the help of an architect or designer. Shoreline Holdings works with several local professionals that can help conceptualize ideas.
3. Find a contractor
When hiring a contractor, we know that you have many choices. Clients sometimes get multiple bids, and our goal is to help them understand the value of dealing with a professional company such as Shoreline Holdings LLC. Contractors should be licensed and carry workmen’s compensation as well as liability insurance. It is also very important to get a detailed bid from all parties so that you can compare
apples to apples. We are happy to supply a long list of references from delighted clients and take you to ongoing or completed jobs so you can see our work.
4. Do you need other professionals?
If you haven’t already hired a designer or architect, talk to us first. Need a surveyor? We have a great one! Our first meeting will usually help clarify the scope of work and possibly uncover any structural issues requiring an engineer. As many residents are either very busy or seasonal dwellers, we try to offer a complete service and hire any outside professionals needed, making the whole process easier for you.
5. Building permits
Most jobs are going to require a building permit. Shoreline Holdings can help assess if your job is going to need to be permitted. We have great relationship with the local building departments and an unblemished record on every job completed. On larger jobs, there may be quite a lot of work needed before even applying for a permit, but don’t worry—we handle all issues on a daily basis. It is a good idea to quash any idea of doing a project without a permit. Contractors who risk skirting the law can incur substantial fines and the job may be closed down for the time needed to draw plans and submit permits. This can sometimes mean weeks of delay!
As a rule, prime, building, or general contractors are going to use subs as well as their own employees. It is a requirement of city and county permitted jobs that certain trades, such as roofing, plumbing, and electrical must use licensed subs. We carefully screen subs for quality of work, dependability, and knowledge of the trade and local building codes. Experience has proven to us that working with smallerowner-operated firms often results in higher standards. We never recommend being your own contractor unless you are planning on getting into the business or have a great deal of experience. Even small projects can be challenging, and working with a team that doesn’t ordinarily work together can be disastrous. On larger projects, we often find the time to have a jobsite pre-construction meeting with our clients and all subs to go over the scope of work and address any concerns.
7. Selecting materials, fixtures, appliances etc.
For those of you who are on a tight budget and have the time, we can certainly provide a list of online and local resources. If you have the budget for a designer, remember they will often mark up anything that goes into the job. Shoreline Holdings LLC can directly source everything you need for your project. We generally get a contractor’s discount and pass that on to the client, so even though we add a contractor’s mark-up, you often end up paying no more and we become responsible for all items supplied. This is often the easiest way for our clients, especially for people who don’t have the time or energy to do a lot of legwork.
8. Estimates, bids, proposals and contracts
Our approach is to put ourselves in your shoes and deliver what we, as a client, would expect. We do this by drafting a detailed proposal, fully addressing the scope of work, making a note of potential unforeseen conditions, explaining the terms and conditions, and detailing the payment schedule. We often compete against contractors that poorly represent their scope of work, leaving things open-ended. This results in unexpected change orders, leading to over-budget projects and disgruntled clients. We advocate that everything should be in writing and where possible, all competing contractors
should be on a level playing field. At Shoreline Holdings LLC we try not to underestimate projects and always go out of our way to point out any potential changes in circumstances.
9. Starting the project
Once you are confident that you have all the details of your job ironed out, it’s time to pick a start date. Many contractors line up jobs knowing that they are already overloaded and subsequently expect customers to wait. We prefer to set a firm schedule and keep you informed of anything that could cause time delays. As professional building contractors, we never take on more work than we can handle or start your job while putting a bulk of our resources into another.
10. Other points
If you are doing a major rehab, planning to continue living in the house during construction can be very stressful. No matter how much care is taken to ensure your comfort, being without water, electricity, a kitchen, or bathroom for a period can be hard. We recommend thinking about moving out during anything that is going to take more than a few weeks to complete. It is also a good idea to consider moving household items into storage during major renovations. We take the utmost care to protect against dust intrusion and damage to existing property, but certain circumstances make it impossible to guarantee that items would not be damaged.
Hopefully, these points will give you some things to think about. It is not important that you know everything there is to know about the construction process, but hopefully we’ve given you some good information to think about. We hope you will give us the opportunity to help you develop your ideas and turn them into reality. Contact us today at 239-287-7012 for an appointment.