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Five Secrets to Successful Remodeling

Our Design/Build Process

The Design/Build Concept

The term design/build refers to the ability of the contractor to act as both designer and builder on your project. This approach avoids the age-old “too many cooks in the kitchen” confusion between an architect and builder.

With design/build, there is a level of communication, detail, and trust not found in the typical bidding process. We take responsibility for the project, and we will never design something that we can’t build. In addition, if unexpected conditions or new opportunities are encountered during the building phase, we can modify the plans quickly and professionally with time appropriate delays in the project schedule.

We do sometimes work with architects or designers, but only within the parameters of our design/build process. If a rapport can be established early on between Fulford Home Remodeling and your architect or designer, we will form an alliance and together head down the path described below.

The Design/Build Process

When working with Fulford Home Remodeling, the process follows organized stages, from your initial call through the project completion. This process ensures clear communication and expected milestones. We firmly believe that clear and consistent communication is the key to a smoothly-run project.

The stages of the process are as follows:
1. Initial Call/Phone Consultation
When you call our office, a member of our team will ask you a few questions, and forward that information to one of our consultants. If a consultant is on the other line or out on an appointment, we will return your call at a later time and may spend up to 15 minutes with you assessing your needs. At this time, if appropriate, we’ll schedule a meeting at your home.

2. Initial Home Meeting
You will need to allow approximately 1-2 hours for this first visit. All decision makers should be present at this meeting to further discuss your needs, past experiences, expectations, apprehensions, and budget restraints. We would like to see any drawings, pictures, etc. that will help to better define your needs.

After reviewing the project in detail, and if the Project Consultant feels comfortable and confident about your projects scope of work, he will give you a verbal “Ball Park” range of dollars for your project like; $45,000 to $60,000. This “Ball Park” is basically an educated guess based on normal square foot numbers and past projects. Please note that every project is different and we price out every project to the penny during the “Design/Estimate” phase of the project. This “Ball Park” is designed to help make you aware of where the final price could go, and opens up the budget conversation.

Should both parties decide there’s a fit and choose to go forward, we’ll move to the Design/Estimate phase.

3. Design/Estimate Phase
We begin with a “3-D” drawing and layout based on your desires and needs discussed at the initial meeting. If the design was not clear at the initial meeting, we may opt for a “Design Review” before pricing out your project.

Once the design is agreed upon we will start working on the “Fixed Project Cost”; getting fixed pricing from our suppliers, trade-partners, and vendors....completing all of the necessary “leg work” to put together a project that can be performed in a timely manner at the quoted cost.

4. Presentation/Contract Meeting
After the reviewing the drawings, we will provide you with a detailed written proposal (scope of work) and a fixed price for your project. Once agreed upon and signed, this proposal becomes a Construction Agreement. “3-D” drawings and any layout sheets are typically included along with the signed contract.

5. Selections Phase/Pre-Construction
This is the point in time where you will meet with our interior designer and make any final selections or product changes such as; flooring, cabinetry, faucets, or fixtures. This is also the time for you to purchase any “owner supplied” items such as; furniture, appliances, light fixtures etc. After all the selections are finalized we will order all materials, organizing, planning, and preparing your project for production. Once your project packet is handed over to the production team, your Production Manager will select a Lead Carpenter suited for you project, finalize a reasonable project schedule and finish preparing your project for production.

6. Pre-Construction Meeting
Each project has a slightly different set of circumstances and requires a slightly different approach to respect your specific needs and home environment. Our staff who will be managing your project (the Production Manager and Lead Carpenter) will accompany the Project Consultant to meet with you at your home about one week before the construction begins. This is their opportunity to get the “lay of the land” and discuss things such as; areas impacted by the project, debris removal, communication areas, pet issues, etc. We’ll also discuss what steps we can take to lessen the impact of construction on your daily life. At this time, we will also provide you with a project schedule (subject to weather delays, additional work requests etc.).

7. Construction Phase
Here’s where it starts to get fun! Your hard work during the planning process and selection phase is completed and now you can sit back and let the project happen. Your Lead Carpenter will be your daily point of contact and with the assistance of our Production Manager they will guide you through any questions, concerns, and possible schedule alterations. The Lead Carpenter will also work with you toward the end of the project to comprise a final punch list (if needed), so the final walk-thru can be just that. Our crew will provide you with smiles, measurable daily progress, and the cleanest and safest job site possible.

8. Project Completion/Report Card
Finally, within a week of the project being complete we will schedule a time to meet with you one last time and ensure everything is complete to Fulford standards. We will also ask you several questions about the process and see if you have any suggestions that could have made the whole process better. Our clients give the best feedback about where to focus our improvement efforts.

Hooray! Congratulations and Thank You for making the journey with us through the remodeling process. This is what makes it all worth the effort, though some clients describe missing the Lead Carpenter and experiencing a sort-of "post-remodeling depression." The best remedy is to start planning the next project!