Contact: After you, the home owner has checked my license there is then the phone call or email where I will get an idea of the scope of the project. Repairs and replacements under $2000 can be scheduled at this time and invoiced by mail or e-mail upon completion. Or I might suggest a specialist such as an electrician, plumber, or roofer. For larger projects or first time contact we will agree on a time to meet and look at the project.
If you’re hiring an architect skip to “Proposal”.
Interview: This is the fun part but it can also be a confusing time just because of everything going on so I suggest taking notes. I will be taking notes on your ideas, wants, hopes, and wishes, plus dimensions, locations, and challenges. We may start out discussing multiple projects or one project may turn out to need multiple stages. For example what good is a beautiful ten thousand dollar bath remodel if the water pressure is so low that the shower barely works and the aerators and shower head get clogged by rust once a week. With only enough hot water for one shower in the morning in a four person household, this remodel would need re-plumbing and a possible water heater change.
Evaluation: During the interview I will also be taking a look at your house to see if there are any problems or deferred maintenance that is, or will soon become an issue. Once again what good is that beautiful bath remodel when that next winter you have to go into credit card debt to pay for the new eight thousand dollar roof. So don’t worry if I appear to be nosy, I’m just looking at the house.
If you’re working with an interior designer skip to “Permits”.
Design process: A remodel will start with shopping; sinks, cabinets, tile, when you find something you like document which store you found it in or if shopping on-line get a “spec sheet” and write on it where you found it and how much it was. In a magazine or ad cut it out and save all of these things in a folder.
Drawings: While you are shopping I will generate a drawing of the room or area that we will be working on. When I think the drawings depicts the changes you want we will get together with your folder and discusses what further changes need to be made. This process will continue until your happy with the drawings, the drawings are accurate, and we have an understanding as to what will be done during the remodel.
Drawings will also be required by the municipality as part of a structural permit application.
Permits: Are required for most home improvement processes. Plumbing and electrical permits can be obtained with an application and a fee. A structural permit will require a minimum of five pages of drawings. Most times a civil engineer will have to look at the drawings and add a book of justifications to them before they can be submitted for a permit. To generate these drawings I will require a $500.00 deposit and will charge $55 per/hour for the drawings and application. An application not requiring an engineer can usually be made for around five hundred dollars. The permit cost will be figured by the municipality as a percent of the value of the improvement, plus fees. Most municipalities will hold the approved application or permit unpaid for up to a year, this gives the contractor time to get bids or proposals. The permit usually expires in six months but can be extended for a fee.
Proposal: Now with the approved drawings, with the changes that the engineer and the municipality have added, an approximate cost to build can be figured. This will come to you, the home owner, in the form of a contract referred to as the “proposal”. In Oregon the proposal will also come with additional pages required by the Construction Contractors Board (CCB) - “Consumer Protection Notice”, “Notice of Procedure”, and “Construction Liens”. The proposal is only required by the CCB on projects exceeding $2000 so, as I mentioned earlier, most repairs and replacements can be done with a phone call and an invoice.
Owner Assisted Remodel (OAR): Have friends or relatives in the trades, or would you like to do some of the project work yourself? We will work it out and I will include it in the proposal. It is a good way to make your remodel budget go farther.