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FAQs

About Our Company | Project-Related | Estimate & Pricing | Before You Hire

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Questions About Our Company

We have been in business since January 2005.
We service most of Northern Virginia as well as portions of the Shenandoah Valley and Piedmont. Our service area includes the following counties: Fauquier, Prince William, Fairfax, Loudoun, Culpeper, Rappahannock, Warren, and portions of Shenandoah, Clarke, and Frederick.
Yes! We are a VA Class A licensed contractor and are fully insured carrying liability, automobile, and worker’s compensation insurances.
Yes! Many of our clients are happy to act as references. We can provide those upon request.
Yes! We are an EPA Lead-Safe Certified Firm and have multiple team members who are Lead-Safe Certified Renovators.

Project-Related Questions

Your project will be completed by one of our in-house employees unless a specialty trade is required. Most projects are completed by a two-person team comprised of a Lead Construction Technician and Construction Technician. Some projects may be completed by a single team member.

Subcontractors are utilized for specialty trades only including major electrical, major plumbing, HVAC, countertops, glass shower enclosures, and specialty flooring. Any subcontractors we hire are like-minded, local businesses that have been vetted and are fully licensed and insured. Many we have come to know personally through working together and sharing common business philosophies.
Depending on the size and scope of your project, you will have one to two POCs; a Lead Construction Technician and/or Project Manager. The degree of supervision your project requires will vary, since we complete a variety of projects that vary in length and complexity.

For all projects, your daily POC is your Lead Construction Technician who you will meet on the day your project begins. They will provide continual updates on your project’s progress including reviewing work completed, next steps, options, and addressing questions.

For medium to large projects, your second POC is your Project Manager (PM) who will reach out to you prior to or at the start of your project. Our PMs also consult and direct crews on all size projects and are always available should you have a need your Lead cannot address.

For all projects, we also have a third POC available in our office, our Project Coordinator. They are your POC prior to your project commencing and are responsible for coordinating pre-project preparations. Once your project begins, they are still available during office hours to answer questions should you have a need your Lead cannot address or if you are unable to immediately reach your PM.
A building permit is generally required whenever structural work or the movement or addition of plumbing or electrical are performed. Most new decking projects also require a permit depending on height. Permitting requirements vary by city/town and county and can be found on your county or city building and permitting department website.
Our employees are trained to protect your home and property throughout your project. Our goal is to leave our work area cleaner than we found it. We utilize a variety of measures to limit the mess of remodeling depending on the type of project. They include the use of shoe booties or removal of shoes, covering flooring and surfaces, covering and closing vents, installation of barriers, use of vacuums, daily cleaning and organization of workspaces, and containment of debris.
You will be notified immediately of any changes in your project’s scope of work or if additional work is required. Completion of additional work or changes will not be performed until an estimate or change order has been provided and accepted. Should the changes in scope of work cause an interruption to the flow of work, we will provide estimates and next steps as quickly as possible, so your project may resume with minimal delays.

If you request additional work, we will complete it with your existing project when possible, however, we may need to schedule the work separately to prevent delays to subsequent projects on our schedule.
Our projects are completed by in-house employees unless a specialty trade is required. Any portions of projects requiring specialty trades will be specified in our estimate. Examples of specialty trades we commonly use are electricians, plumbers, HVAC, countertop fabricators, glass fabricators (for custom shower enclosures), and specialty flooring such as carpeting or hardwood floor refinishing.

Any subcontractors we partner with are like-minded, local businesses with common business philosophies and practices. All of our subcontractors are vetted and fully licensed and insured. We are very selective in who we establish relationships with and use only the professionals we can trust to complete projects to the same standards as we do. Many we have worked with for years and have come to know personally.
In most cases, we provide material for projects. This ensures material availability, accuracy, and quality, and that your project is executed in the most efficient manner possible. We do request our clients provide some material when taste-specific selections are required, and we do not have a direct supplier. Examples of such materials can include appliances, light fixtures, mirrors, and plumbing fixtures. Any material not included in our estimate will be identified as items to be supplied by the client.
The start of your project will depend on a variety of factors including schedule availability, project scope and length, special order material availability, weather impacts, and progress of prior projects. Prior to scheduling your estimate appointment, our team will ask about your timeline requirements. When you are ready to proceed with your project, our team will discuss schedule availability and options and provide a tentative schedule following receipt of your signed estimate or contract and deposit. They will also provide continual updates prior to confirming your finalized project date.
To ensure the best experience possible, we only use our subcontractor partners. Your overall experience and the successful completion of your project are responsibilities we take very seriously. Smooth execution of projects requires that all parties have common best practices and work together seamlessly. By working with companies which we are familiar and have an established relationship, we are better able to ensure your project goes off without a hitch. Our established relationships help ensure proper coordination of schedules for continual workflow and adherence to our quality standards.

Estimate & Pricing Questions

Yes! Our estimates are free except under extremely rare circumstances. Should an exception apply, you will be notified prior to scheduling your estimate appointment.
We do! While you may love a good surprise, we know that surprise remodeling costs are not one of them. Most of our estimates—approximately 99%—are lump sum and either a firm-fixed price or firm estimate range.

Our estimates clearly state the scope of work involved with your project, so you know exactly what is included in our estimate. For instance, we never simply say, “Paint master bedroom.” We will identify the surface(s) to be painted, the paint brand, the number of coats, and the prep work to be completed. This way you know the exact work quoted and you can compare apples to apples—or perhaps apples to oranges—with estimates from other companies.

Although remodeling involves many unknowns, we do our best to anticipate as many as we can upfront and will identify any area(s) we foresee a potential for pricing changes. Should concealed or unforeseen conditions occur, an estimate or change order will be provided prior to any additional work being performed.
Most of our estimates are given as lump sum, firm-fixed pricing or a firm estimate range and not as an hourly rate. In the few instances when an hourly estimate is given, your estimate will specify the hourly rate for your project, as well as a rough estimate of the labor costs when possible. We do our best to limit surprises for our clients, so hourly estimates are only given in situations where the work involved is concealed or the cost to complete cannot be anticipated.
We often survey our clients regarding their projects including how we compare to other local companies on pricing and the answer we receive most often is “about the same.” There are also times when we are lower or higher than others.

Simply stated, our pricing is based on the cost for our company to provide high-quality services consistently. Our industry has a wide array of competitors ranging from single person operations to large corporations. Pricing factors vary greatly from company to company with many having limited business and price structure experience. Our estimates and price structure are based on our unique overhead, labor, equipment, and material costs that enable us to complete projects according to our high-quality standards using in-house employees and proper tools and equipment.
We do not offer price matching as we have no way of knowing what our competitor has based their pricing on or what they may have overlooked in their estimate. We do, however, offer no haggle, straightforward pricing with clear descriptions, so you know exactly the work to be performed for the price. We do not pad or inflate our estimates to allow for negotiations. They are structured to be honest, fair, and appropriate for our client’s unique project, so no client is overcharged to compensate for having undercharged someone else.
As a full-service remodeling firm with in-house staff, we are unable to offer discounts on our projects. The biggest cost of remodeling is labor. Since we use employees and not subcontractors, the rates we pay for labor do not change. We employ the best, most skilled, and eager-to-learn team members and pay wages and benefits to attract and retain them. This is part of how we ensure a consistent experience and quality finished product for our clients.
Our payment terms vary by project scope and size. Smaller projects are typically 50% down and 50% upon completion. For larger projects, payment schedules are broken down into three (3) or more payments based on project phases and/or timelines. Other factors include project expenses such as material, including any special order items, and subcontractor payments.
We accept checks, as well as VISA, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express. For projects totaling over $5,000, there is a 3.5% processing fee when paying by credit card.
Delivery of estimates varies depending on the size and complexity of your project. Smaller projects typically take four (4) business days or less to receive. Larger projects, such as basements or kitchen remodels, can take longer since there are multiple elements for which pricing must be obtained. Your estimator will provide a timeline for your estimate delivery at your appointment.
Quite a bit! Big box stores subcontract any work performed and typically mark up those costs around 50%. This means the company performing the work receives low compensation to complete the project and speed of production often becomes the focus. It is also important to consider communication. Having a third party involved can limit communication and cause increased difficulty in resolving issues or changes.

Before You Hire

Asking the right questions up front and considering the qualities most important to you are crucial to your project’s success (and limiting your stress levels.) It is important to remember that you are not only obtaining cost estimates but also interviewing to ensure you hire the right professional. While remodeling can be stressful by nature, your overall experience should not be. Trust your instincts and hire the firm you believe is professional, trustworthy, and with whom you will work well.

Start with considering and prioritizing the factors most important to you for this project. Are they quality, reliability, reputation, communication, availability, time to complete, price?  

Keep those factors in mind and ask the below questions as you interview contractors.
  • Are you licensed? (This should include local business, contractor, and any trade licenses, if applicable.)
  • Are you insured including liability, auto, AND worker’s compensation? (Verify they carry ALL three policies and request a Certificate of Insurance (COI) if you feel you should verify in writing. Contractors in Virginia are not required to carry worker’s compensation insurance until they have three or more employees. This puts you at risk for homeowner’s insurance claims should someone be hurt on your property during your project’s completion.)
  • Are all of your subcontractors licensed and insured?
  • Do you or your subcontractors use employees or day laborers?
  • Do you have references available?
 
The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) recommends also considering the following:
  • Employ a contractor with an established business in your local area. Local firms can be checked through past customers. As tax-paying members of your local community, they are compelled to perform satisfactory work for local homeowners in order for their business to survive. Always be sure that you do business with a company properly licensed to work in your area.
  • Look for a local member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). The NARI logo is the mark of a professional.
  • Check the remodeling contractor with the local Office of Consumer Affairs or Better Business Bureau to see if there is an adverse record or file.
  • Ask for local homeowner references and follow-up on them. Call the references and ask if they were satisfied with all aspects of the contractor’s performance. Ask to see the finished projects.
  • When interviewing the contractors for your project, do not blindly accept the lowest estimate. Ask the contractor why his price is higher or lower than another. Are all contractors planning to build the same project? Have all the contractors considered all the details necessary for your project’s success? Oftentimes, a higher price may be worth the cost of better materials and service. REMEMBER that your remodeling dollars spent represent a permanent investment in the home you will spend countless hours in.
  • Choose a company with which you feel at ease and one that is well-matched to the scope and complexity of your particular project.
When selecting a contractor, we always recommend value over cost. Your home is your most personal possession and one of your biggest investments. Carefully consider the long-term impact they may have on your home, as well as the overall experience and finished product. Are they professionals who will respect your home during your project’s completion? How responsive are they? Will communication be adequate throughout your project? Do you believe you will be happy with the results of their work? Will the work be done right the first time and seen through to full completion?

Secondly, make sure you know exactly what you are getting for the price you are quoted. How detailed are the estimates you received? This is your first indication of the level of attention to detail you can expect during your project. Are you comparing apples to apples, meaning are the scope of work and quality/type of materials identical?

Hiring the wrong professional can cost you more in the end and can even devalue your home. Using cheaper materials with a shorter lifespan, not using proper materials, skipping essential steps, and hiring unvetted day laborers are common cost-cutting methods that often lead to future additional costs. Low-quality results and poor craftsmanship can decrease curb appeal as well as the value of your home. An unfinished project can mean the additional costs of hiring someone to redo or finish the work.