- Q?Will my project require a permit?
As a general rule, a building permit is required whenever:
•Work involves removing, constructing or modifying structural walls, beams, posts, and foundations
•The living area or square footage of the home is to be changed
•Your home’s mechanical systems such as gas, electrical, HVAC or plumbing are to be reconfigured or modified.
- Q?How long will my remodel take?
With our contracts we include a start and finish date. We are able to do this by use of a scheduling program. With it we create a Gantt chart, or a graphic timeline of the course of your remodel. It shows a start date, the dates and length of the various phases of the remodel, and a finish date. Once we start your project, it is our goal to coordinate our crew and our subcontractors to complete your remodel at or before the projected finish date.
Of course if one includes the addition of change orders, whether unforeseen or requested, will change the finish date. By inserting any changes into the scheduling program, we are able to project a revised completion date.
- Q?What do I do during the remodel?
Northwest Homecrafters will discuss this very topic in detail during our contract signing meeting. We use a 42 point Pre-Construction Review to inform you of exactly what to expect during the course of construction, as well as what we expect from you. Remodeling is a collaborative endeavor between the homeowner and contractor, and defining and documenting those roles relieves the stress and strain of not knowing what comes next.
We also hold a regularly scheduled weekly meeting between the homeowner and Project Manager to discuss the previous week’s progress and to look at what comes next. The homeowner may be informed that a decision about a product selection or design decision is due within a specified amount of time.
There will be plenty to be engaged in during your remodel, but we incorporate many systems and processes to eliminate that fear of walking a tight rope between comfort and uncertainty.
- Q?Is there an average price-per-square foot for remodeling?
The short answer is no. Many variables must be considered when remodeling or adding a room to an existing home to arrive at an “average” square-foot price. These include:
•The home’s current engineering/structural aspects along with the potential impact of any proposed changes.
•The age of the home (many older homes do not meet current building code requirements) and what is required to bring the home into current code requirements.
•Location and condition of existing plumbing and electrical wiring and how any additions will impact the system’s integrity.
•Required changes to the roof line.
•Zoning requirements and setbacks currently enforced.
•Types of finished materials and hardware to be included.
•Interior surface choices (granite, concrete, tile, etc…)
•Plumbing and lighting fixtures (spa shower, hot tub or recessed lighting).
- Q?How do you price your work?
Northwest Homecrafters provides a Fixed Price Contract for nearly all our work, which requires a lot of pre-planning. Experience has taught us that the best interests of our client are not well served by the “low bid” process, with incomplete specifications. We encourage a “negotiated price” process, where we dialogue early, openly and honestly to arrive at realistic design, budgeting and specifications goals.
The bottom line is your remodeling project will run as expected. You will have a completed project you can be proud of and enjoy, because we want you to enthusiastically recommend Northwest Homecrafters to your admiring friends and neighbors. See our brochure, Demystifying the Cost of Construction.
- Q?Should I plan to have additional money set aside once the project starts?
The benefit of a Fixed Price Contract is “No Surprises” for our customers. We will not ask for a change in our final contract price unless there are unforeseen conditions found during the construction process or the cost of materials suddenly jumps do to radical inflation.
Any additional work requested by the customer requires a written change order which details the additional cost.
It is suggested that an additional 5% – 10% be set aside for unforeseen conditions and additional work change orders.
How should I prepare for a meeting with you?
•Complete and have ready the Project Questionnaire sent you with the letter confirming our first meeting
•Gather lots of ideas! Cut out pictures in magazines and/or attend home shows.
•Clearly identify the scope of your remodel with as much detail as possible.
•List all the possible questions you may have.
•Seriously consider the amount of money you wish to invest into your remodel. Let us know what it is so that we can discuss matching your wish list with reality.
- Q?How messy and disruptive will my remodel be?
Remodeling is both messy and disruptive. This is determined by what is being remodeled, as well as if you plan to live in your home during the remodel. We work hard to minimize the impact on your lives by incorporating the following activities into our construction processes:
•Laying down clean tarps and durable floor protection as and where required
•Requesting that you removing pictures, etc. from walls within the remodel area and adjoining walls that could be disturbed by hammering, sawing and other construction activities
•Install dust-wall barriers along the perimeter of the construction area, and place filters over heating registers and cold air returns
•Mechanically depressurize work areas, causing all air within the home to flow into the work area where it is filtered before being expelled from the home. Negative air pressure within a work area will not allow dust to float off into the rest of the home.
•Install ventilation fans when appropriate
•Broom-clean the work and traffic areas daily
•Dust and vacuum nearby spaces
- Q?Do you provide a warranty for your work?
Northwest Homecrafters provides a 1-Year Warranty on all work performed by us. You will also receive the various manufacturers’ warranties on the products used in your remodel. We have also repaired work performed by our company years after a warranty legally expires if we determine our work has not performed to our standards of workmanship and quality.
We will contact you six months after completion of your remodel to schedule a brief walk-through visit to inspect our work and schedule any maintenance or repairs, should they be required. We will repeat this procedure again about one month prior to the one-year warranty expiration, to make certain our work is sound.
In the meantime, never hesitate to call us if you find anything not performing to expectations; we will respond quickly.
- Q?Do you practice ‘Green’ remodel construction?
We have practiced job site recycling since the early–to-mid 90s and have offered suggestions to clients about more sustainable materials. Aside from our religious recycling of deconstructed materials, we have added the service of home energy auditing and retrofitting to our business model.
One service we offer is to take all salvaged and reusable building materials to Second Use inSouthParkand donate those items in our client’s names. When that item is sold, partial proceeds are given to Habitat for Humanity, Seattle. The client is then sent a Building Material Donation Receipt from Habitat, which can be used at the end of the year for tax purposes.
Sustainable construction has always been a passion, but until recently, there has not been much interest in it, and therefore did not pursue that market niche. But we have never been out of the education and awareness loop. We would like nothing more than to work with clients who want to push the sustainable construction envelope. We are in close relationships with companies that offer passive solar design, solar water heating, photo voltaics, and rain water harvesting. We are now exploring grey water systems and want to be able to offer that service as soon as the Dept. of Health gives the green light. If you want to construct ‘Green’, we’re here for you!
- Q?What is Design-Build?
Design-Build provides a comprehensive service—initial design through finished construction—to homeowners planning to remodel their living areas. Working with the coordinated expertise of an architect/designer and remodeling contractor, homeowners are able to control their construction budget by the decisions they make about design and materials specifications for their remodeling project.
By working with a team that considers budget, scope and quality each step of the way, the Design-Build process will save homeowners time and money; increase efficiency by eliminating duplication of service, and offer better communication and accountability. Northwest Homecrafters offers Design-Build service. Also, see our brochure, Remodeling by Design Build.
- Q?What is CAPS and Universal Design?
CAPS is an acronym for Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist, collaborative effort between the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). The CAPS designation as a reliable way to identify professionals that are best qualified to make any barrier-free modifications that will keep your home comfortable as you age. But aging is not the only reason you may want to consult with a CAPS practitioner. Many physical disabilities, even temporary ones such as repetitive stress, or broken bones may require modifications to your home.
Universal Design is the design of products and spaces to make them usable by all people to the greatest extent possible. Universal Design targets the entire population. Northwest Homecrafters has a CAPS certified employee. See our brochure, Safety and Comfort by Design.
- Q?Why do I want a licensed contractor for my remodel?
Being licensed within the state of Washington requires that the contractor carry a liability insurance policy, bonding, and accident insurance for all the employees of that company. A well-run construction business offers better field personnel, better subcontractors, higher quality of materials, better-trained office personnel, and better services and follow-up.
Honest, well-run, profitable companies do not cause the type of grief we often read about in our daily papers, observe on the evening news, or hear about from friends and acquaintances. Established firms are not going to take the money and run. Because they have the resources to manage and complete a specified project in full and on time, the consumer can avoid the nightmares that grow out of disappearing contractors, shoddy workmanship, or unexpected continually mounting costs.
Most important, a good contractor will be around after the project is finished to honor warranties or address any other problems that may arise. See our brochure How To Find The Contractor Your Really Want.
- Q?Do you have references I can contact?
Yes. These are available after our first scheduled meeting if you request them. We encourage you to contact them so that you can hear directly from them about our work, and what kind of business we operate. In the meantime, please visit our testimonials page. Thank you.