How We Manage the Design/Build Process
A Homeowners Guide To Working With Northwest Homecrafters
At Northwest Homecrafters, we take every conceivable step to ensure that each customer’s project will conclude successfully. Upfront planning and continuous communication is a big part of this effort. As such, we have compiled the following construction guidlines:
Prior to Construction
Please remove all items and personal objects from work areas. If you require assistance with a few large pieces, we will be happy to help. If it becomes necessary for us to clear the project area before work can commence, this will be considered a Change Order and will be an addition to the contract price.
Our regular 8-hour workday runs between the hours of 7:30 AM to 5 PM, Mon. through Fri. We will discuss any special accommodations you may require.
Before your project begins you will be provided with a Gantt chart schedule which will predict the progress of your job. You will receive a copy of this schedule with your construction contract documents.
We will take pictures of your project prior to the start of the job, during, and at its conclusion. Upon completion of the project, Northwest Homecrafters may schedule a time with you for “After” pictures to be shot by a professional photographer. Your pictures may even show up on our web site (see our “Portfolio”). Your name and address will not appear in our marketing materials without your permission.
We may request your permission to set one of our company signs in your yard. The majority of our business comes from “word – of – mouth” advertising. This sign not only helps our company generate business, but it also gives your neighbors our phone number in case they have any problems or concerns regarding our activity in the neighborhood. The sign also serves as a marker for material deliveries and subcontractors.
Often during the course of a project, schedules of the field crew and the homeowner don’t match. Because of constant communication during construction is very important, we request that a location be chosen that can be used for leaving noted, requests, Change Orders, and comments, Please select a location for this function. We will supply a Communications Log and pen.
When there is more than one decision maker in a household, sometimes conflict over certain decisions can arise amongst them. To assist in keeping the project on schedule, it is desired that there be one designated decision maker. Please give some thought as to who that will be.
If this person is not going to be at home during the work day, determine the most effective method for emergency communication should that need arise.
Please identify an appropriate area for storage of tools, materials and debris (for projects not requiring a dumpster) during the project. Depending upon the scope of your project, we may request up to three storage locations. We will need one location outdoors for larger construction materials and an additional indoor location for smaller items. If you intend to reuse certain items, or retain items that are not to be reused in this project, areas must be designated for their storage. The areas are to be identified and made ready for our use prior to beginning the project. If these designated areas are not ready for use, we will prepare the area. Any preparatory work required on our part will be considered a Change Order and will be an addition to the final contract price.
A dumpster may be needed for debris removal during a project. Please designate where on can be placed. Many times the only location for a dumpster is on the street, which will require a street use permit. The additional cost for such a permit will be reflected in the project cost. Please do not throw anything into the dumpster without notifying us first. No one, especially children, should climb on the dumpster.
With your assistance, we will choose a location to place a key lock-box. Only the crew of Northwest Homecrafters and chosen trades contractors with a ‘need-to-know’ will have access to the box code. We will also need to be aware of any installed home security system. If it is going to remain operational during the project, we will need directions on how to operate it.
An important matter to consider when remodeling or building a new home is adding a course of construction endorsement to your homeowner’s policy. This endorsement covers loss by theft, of construction materials and supplies, where intended for use in the construction of that specific building.
Changes to Contract
Any requests for changes should be made as promptly as possible. Not having to revisit completed work avoids escalating construction costs. All change requests should be addressed to the Project Manager, who will then instruct you to fill out a Change Order request form.
Our standard policy for changes is through a Change Order process. Here the change is defined, priced and submitted to your for approval before becoming an official Change Order. All Change order payments are due in full at the next weekly progress/payment meeting. Deposits of 50% are required on all changes priced over $500.
Sometimes during the course of a project, an unexpected condition may arise. Some examples are, but not limited to items like, concealed asbestos, deficient building structure, unknown wiring or plumbing, decay and bug infestation. If such a situation arises, your will be notified as soon as possible. All Change Orders not derived from unexpected conditions are subject to a $75 administration fee. The $75 administration fee will be waived for unexpected conditions only.
Payments are made by check to Northwest Homecrafters. A schedule for progress payments is outlined in our construction contract. The schedule will have the approximate payment date and amount requested. An official invoice will be presented to the homeowner by the Project Manager during one of their regular weekly meetings. Full payment is expected within 3 days of receiving a progress payment invoice.
For projects lasting more then 3 weeks, a standing weekly meeting time is established. This time is used to review your project, communicate new project information or questions, and submit a progress payment invoice if due. You may also be asked to make project decisions within a specified amount of time. Your cooperation in making timely decisions will affect our ability to remain on schedule.
Personnel and Work
In order for your project to run in a smooth and timely fashion, we request that any comments and/or questions be addressed to the project Manager within 15 minutes of our work day beginning or ending. We also request that clients refrain from casual conversation with any crewmembers during the workday so that we may concentrate upon the tasks at hand. This will help us complete your project bon on time and budget.
No matter how much effort is placed into controlling dust and dirt during the construction process, inevitably you will find a thin layer of dust will settle throughout your home. We will take every precaution with regard to site cleanliness and protection. These precautions include using sheet visqueen stapled and taped to seal construction areas from the rest of the home, and use zippered dust doors wherever we can. We will either seal or secure a furnace filter over HVAC ducting, and recommend you change your furnace filters at the completion of the project. Flooring and carpeting is protected with visqueen, cardboard, and carpet and floor runners.
If the scope of the project requires more than one person for longer than five working days, we will have a portable toilet supplied. If you prefer to always have a portable toilet on site just ask us. Consider where you would prefer to have it place.
Otherwise please designate a particular bathroom that can be used by our personnel. We will keep it clean and neat.
From time to time your project may not require any personnel from Northwest Homecrafters on site because various trade contractors are needed to perform their tasks before we can proceed any further with ours. We hire trade contractors that have worked with us for many years, or have come highly recommended, and we may leave them unattended while doing their wok. Daily communication is maintained either through site visits or telephone.
We are continually aware of how they are progressing and to any changing circumstances pertaining to your project. Northwest Homecrafters is responsible for the actions and activities of all trade contractors we hire for your project.
Please direct all questions to your Project Manager. Even though the carpenters are knowledgeable in their profession, any decisions will come from the Project Manager. The project will move much more smoothly and quickly when a system is followed.
Please inform your Project Manager of any concerns you have. He will address them with the best solution available.
For not-urgent questions, the Communications Log is always available.
Owner Supplied Items/Work
If you are supplying any items for this project, we request that they be on site prior to the start of construction. Any items not on site when needed will delay the project and increase your costs.
Our warranty does not cover any items supplied by the client. If a product fails, it is the client’s sole responsibility to address that issue. If repair of such a product requires work by Northwest Homecrafters, or our trade contractors, you will be subject to the full cost of the repair of that work.
Any items that are slated for re-use are solely at the risk of the client. We do not accept any responsibility for proper functioning of any reused items. We will take all reasonable precautions in re-installing such items, but will not guarantee that they will function properly again.
Prior to start of construction, Northwest Homecrafters requires copies of the specification sheets of any appliances supplied by the homeowner.
If you hire any trade contractors on your own, (i.e. painters, security, etc.), please remember that it is your responsibility to schedule, supervise and coordinate them with Northwest Homecrafters. We are not responsible for managing or cleaning up after them or for any damage they create.
All personnel have been asked to keep their shirts on at all times, not to smoke indoors, to properly dispose of their cigarettes in a designated can outside, to play their radios at a low volume, and to clean up after themselves. Please notify the Project Manager if any of these rules are not followed.
Unauthorized work or moonlighting is not allowed by our employees or trade contractors. Unauthorized hiring of our personnel or trade contractors could result in an employee’s or trade contractor’s termination.
If children are a part of your family it is requested that they never visit the work area unless attended by an adult family member. Northwest Homecrafters will not assume responsibility for the care a safety of children during the project.
If pets are a part of your household, provisions must be made which will keep them away from the project area during the workday for the safety of both pet (s) and personnel. Northwest Homecrafters will not assume responsibility for the care and safety of pets during the project.
If your pets use areas of your property to relieve themselves, and Northwest Homecrafters is going to be working within that area, or needs to use that area as a pass-through to a work area, it is the responsibility of the homeowner to remove all ‘landmines’ before the start of the next work day. We require this for both health and work reasons. If the area must be cleaned by Northwest Homecrafters, the homeowner will be presented with a Change Order for this service, and the $75 administration fee will be applied each occurrence.
Prevent Remodeling Fever
Remember that your home will soon become a worksite. We will work hard to respect your privacy and help minimize any inconvenience. Nonetheless, the train-station atmosphere may lead to remodeling fever. You may feel a loss of control because of disrupted routines and the impact on your personal space. The best approach is to…
- prepare for inconvenience, and prepare well. Be sure to set aside a room in your home where you can escape from the chaos and commotion.
- maintain a sense of humor. You may need it when the weather refuses to cooperate or a vendor postpones the delivery date for materials; and
- enjoy the remodeling process. Tell the children you are “camping-in” and turn inconvenience into fun. Along the way, celebrate at completion of phases of the project, for example when drywall is finished order in your favorite take-out meal. With patience, consistent communication, and careful preparation, the process will go smoothly and you can enjoy the results for years. There is a light at the end of this tunnel.
A couple of weeks before the end of your project, a punch list will be left with you. This is your opportunity to inform us what may not been completed to your expectation. We ask that you complete it within 48 hours and leave it in the Communication Log. Upon receiving the list, Northwest Homecrafters will begin working on it. After completing all the items on both yours and our checklists, a Project Completion Report will be given you. Upon signing this report, the project is considered complete and final payment is due. Items arising after this point will be handled as warranty items.
Upon completion of the project, all construction materials and debris will be removed from the premises and properly disposed, and the project area will be vacuum cleaned. We do not provide a house cleaning service unless specifically requested.
One Year Warranty
Six months after completion of your project, Northwest Homecrafters will contact you to schedule a project walk-through to inspect our work and to make any repairs or corrections that may be needed. We will repeat the same process eleven months into your one year warranty to be sure things are in excellent shape prior to the warranty period ending.
It is important to review your homeowner’s policy with your insurance agent whenever making significant changes to your home. You want to be sure that your current homeowner’s policy will fully provide for you in the event of a loss.
After the Project
Northwest Homecrafters is committed to providing its clients with the best possible renovation services available. A clearly defined scope of work and chain of command is essential for this and that is why we have established these guidelines. The renovation process can be a very disruptive time for you. If at any time you are not satisfied with something please notify us and we will address those concerns. Open communication is the best way to keep a project on track and running smoothly. Our business relies on referrals and your continued satisfaction is vital.