The Remodel Process

And Why It Is So Important To Homeowners

Home remodeling can be a scary and frustrating experience.  One of the reasons you hear the horror stories with contractors is because they don’t have a remodel process or their existing process is subpar.

That was one of the main reasons that remodel contractors received the 2nd most consumer complaints in the US.  Click here to see why and how to prevent it from happening to you.

We listened to homeowners and tailored our process to their wants & needs along with what is the most efficient and enjoyable experience. 

We ask you to follow our processes because it ensures you get the best possible service.  By following our processes it ensures efficiency, proper communication, hitting project deadlines and a great remodel.

Respect and communication are very important and we ask our clients to communicate and show respect to all of our team members regardless of their position or role. We will respect you and your home and ensure we will have responsive and respectful communication throughout the entire process.

Phx Home Remodeling handles all of the planning, tear down, construction & clean up services with precision and professionalism which allows you to focus on the important things in life.

Here is the remodel process organized by each remodel phase...

#1 Research Phase

Formulate Ideas & What You Want

Start your journey by exploring the internet for your likes, dislikes, and everything in between. Houzz.com and Pinterest have a lot of examples you can pick from. We suggest creating an Ideabook on Houzz or a Pinterest Board to show us what you like. You can share your Houzz Ideabook directly with us here. As they say a picture is worth a thousand words and it can quickly communicate what you like.  We can often source the same items in a photo to make it easy on you. You can also take a look through our project portfolio for ideas.  

Houzz Ideabooks - kitchen remodel

Preparing A Remodel Budget

It’s important to have a rough estimate of what you are willing to spend on the remodel project(s).  It is important for you and the remodeling company to know this early on to see if it is feasible and what can be accomplished. There are great tools online to help with getting a general idea of remodeling costs.  Check out the Cost vs Value Report and we also have kitchen and bathroom remodel cost calculators on our website.

cost vs value remodel project prices

Research Remodel Contractors

Start researching sites like the Better Business Bureau, Google Listing, Houzz.com & Yelp.com to help in your search for the right remodel contractor.   A 4 out of 5 rating on a review is considered good in the remodeling industry due to construction being a dynamic industry with a lot of facets. We are blessed that homeowners have given us dozens of 5 star reviews on 3rd party websites.

phoenix home remodeling on houzz yelp bbb and Google

Important Remodeling Resources for Homeowners

Here is a list of the most important questions to ask a home remodel contractor. 
That has the questions easily organized by the phase you are in.  We even have an email template you can quickly copy and paste to send to all contractors.

This is a checklist of things to look out for to avoid the bad contractors.

How To Avoid Choosing The Wrong Contractor

#2 Discovery Phase

First Call

Good communication is the number one way to achieve a successful project & happy customers, so from the initial phone call we will be asking several questions to learn how we can best serve you.  

This initial call will take 20-30 minutes. I’ve had a few clients ask me why we do a first call before doing an in-home visit.  The main reason is to see if we are a good fit before either of us spend time. You want to work with a contractor that values their time, because they are less likely to waste yours and more likely to finish your project quickly.

Here’s something to consider...

If a contractor is willing to come out to your house before learning about your project they couldn’t possibly value their time. There’s too many factors that make it not a good fit to just stop by every person’s house. 


And then the question is...

If they don’t value their own time, how could they possible value your time through out your remodel project?

If they don’t value their time, how could they possibly value your time or money.

So during our first phone call, we’ll talk about your project including both your wants and needs. We will also discuss the type of contractor you’re looking to hire. We understand that we’re not always the right fit for everyone and each project. 

Here are the main questions we like to ask:

Where is your house located?
We have a very specific area we serve because we want to make sure we can manage your project with a high level of customer service and attention. Take a look at our service area page to find out if we work in your area.

What are your looking for in a Contractor?
We want to ensure that we can provide the type of service you are looking for.  It is paramount that we are a good fit so explaining what you are looking for in a contractor is important. If the least expensive contractor is your main focus, we will not be a good fit.  While we are nowhere near the most expensive contractor in Phoenix, we are also not the least expensive contractor. There are plenty of one man companies that will do the work for less who are often not licensed, bonded or insured.  If interested in learning more, check out this guide on how to avoid choosing a bad contractor.

What project(s) are you looking to complete?  
We want to make sure we are the right fit for you, so this question is an important one. We want to ensure we are a good fit for your remodel project. Having a list of the things you want to remodel is helpful.  For example in a bathroom you may want to write down which items you want to replace such as the vanity cabinets, countertops, sinks, faucets, mirrors, medicine cabinets, vanity lights, etc.

Why do you want to do this remodel project?
We love partnering with our clients to help make their home a place to make lasting memories. So tell us the deep reason on why you are ready to make such a significant investment in your home.

When are you looking to have the project completed?
Do you have a deadline of when you are looking to complete your project? Whether it is the holidays, a new-born or graduation party, let us know if you have a project deadline so we can discuss your project’s  timelines.

Have you ever remodeled before? How was that experience?
Most homeowners only remodel 1-5 times in their life.  We ask this question to know if you have done a remodel and what the experience was like so we know how much we need to help explain the process.  We find it helps to know if a homeowner hasn’t done a serious remodel, because we’ll spend more time explaining some of the things to look out for because remodel contracting is like the wild west.  

Plus this is a service you don’t see what you are buying until the end, so it is not like buying a car, house or most other things. Regardless if you work with us, we want to make sure you don’t go through the common contractor issues.  

Does my estimated remodel cost range meet your target investment you want to spend?
Setting the right budget is the most important part of any project. Without the numbers lining up, you’ll be wasting your time. We like to provide a rough estimate on the phone call to see if it aligns with your target investment. Check out our remodel cost calculator for guidance in setting a budget. If your target investment aligns with the price range provided, we can schedule the in-home evaluation...

In-Home Remodel Evaluation

At the end of the initial call, If we’re a good fit for one another, the next step is to schedule the in-home evaluation. Here is what to expect at the remodel in-home visit.

We will spend 30-60 minutes at your home getting to know each other better.  We will hear what you have in mind, provide remodel and design advice, fun & functional storage options and talk through your goals, desires, and any fears you may have regarding the remodel project(s). 

While we won’t know the exact cost of your project at this point, by starting this discussion on numbers it will go a long way in helping our team direct you in the best way forward.  

Inevitably you will have lots of questions for us and we will leave time to answer those. We will also talk over our process and what to expect. You’ll receive a document with FAQ client’s normally ask along with a printed checklist of things to look out for in a contractor.

Remodel in-home evaluation

There is no sales pressure at the in-home evaluation or at any point in our remodel process.

I’m concerned with empowering and educating homeowners, not if we can get you to move forward.

If it seems like a good fit in terms of budget, project type and a couple other aspects, we then we meet about a week later to review your new detailed scope of work, price range, the process, etc.

Meeting To Discuss Your Detailed Scope Of Work

This next meeting is to go through your detailed scope of work, the pricing and make adjustments to fit your needs.

We then discuss the Feasibility, Planning and Design Package.  This is the design-build business model where we plan everything out in advance before starting construction, which drastically reduces the issues that would often come up.

Planning is the most vital part to a construction project and unfortunately many companies do this poorly which inflict undue stress on homeowners.

This is an important article on the Design Build business model VS General Contractor business model.

That info in the link above explains the difference between the 2 and after reading it, we are confident you will see how much better the design-build process is for homeowners.

If you are ready to move forward with us, we sign the Feasibility, Planning, and Design Agreement, this gets the ball rolling to start the design process along with the planning. 

This ensures the exact costs are calculated due to a detailed scope of work and ensures you don't have the common contractor surprises.

Thoughts on Design-Build

Here is a question to consider...

If we don’t design it, how can we price it?

If your space isn't designed up front, how could you possibly get a correct price from the remodel?  If that part of the planning isn't done, think of all the issues that will come up as the project start.

"How much can a 30-60 min visit at your home do to get all of your needs, ensure everything is functionally planned, and priced correctly?"

#3 Design & Plan Phase

Feasibility, Planning and Design

Now that you have hired us, we can start to dig into all of your goals and needs while balancing your wallet with your wishlist.

The next step is our Designer will visit your home take more precise measurements and discuss your needs in more detail.

We then work with our in-house estimator to get a closer idea of the cost for your project determined by what you want to accomplish and any adjustments you want to make.

This is important not only from a design standpoint but also a feasibility and functionality standpoint.

Kitchen remodel sketch 1
Kitchen remodel sketch 2
Kitchen-rendering

Certified Remodel Designer 

You work with our designer to pick out your selection items.  This is an important step because a selection item such as countertops could have a $7,000 difference just in the type you choose.

So our designer helps you pick items that meet your design tastes and budget.

They also help you choose items that are of high quality without being unnecessarily expensive.

Dedicated Remodel Estimator

We have a dedicated estimator Sean who lives in the Philippines and has his college degree in engineering. This allows us to keep our costs low while hiring someone overqualified to produce great results.

They take all of the information and they build out your scope of work and pricing using BuilderTrend to create your pricing.

This ensures that items aren't missing.  The top complaint from consumers is that remodelers raise the price on them and the top reason is contractors not including everything on the initial scope of work and then they have to ask the homeowner for more money.

Your Homeowner Remodel Portal

We use an amazing piece of software called BuilderTrend that helps with communication and processes throughout the remodel project.  You can provide what selection items you picked within your BuilderTrend homeowner portal, ask questions and comment on items. We will use BuilderTrend to provide daily logs, upload progress photos, ask you questions, comment on your selection items and keep you up-to-date with the progress. 

In today's age, with so many ways to communicate like Facebook messages, email, text messages, phone calls and more, we ask all homeowners to use BuilderTrend for communication.  This ensures everything is in one place and it keeps everything very organized. That said, of course we still take phone calls, emails and text, but ask that unless it is urgent, everyone benefits if it is in BuilderTrend.

BuilderTrend Homeowner remodel portal

Final Design Phase

Once you have chosen all of your selection design items,  we all know what the total price will be.  Of course as you are choosing your items the price is updated. 

Once you have chosen all of your items, all design elements, your designer will create a final rendering to see it all come together.  You look it over and make any changes needed.

After you approve the final spec book, we provide you the full Feasibility, Planning and Design Package.

At this point, you decide if you want to move forward with the construction phase of the remodel with us, another contractor or take some time before starting that next part.

The designs, plans and everything included in the package belongs to you and you can use it with us or anyone else.

If you are ready to start the build phase, the next steps follow...

#4 Build Phase

The beautiful thing about the design-build model is at this point everything has been figured out, priced, discussed and finalized.  So we have everything we need to provide a smooth process and great experience for you.

Preparing

When it is time to start the project, we prepare the area by putting runners in places because we don’t want to dirty the floor. We also use plastic zip walls and huge BuildClean air filters to mitigate dust.

zipwalls
BuildClean remodel air filters

Even though we usually use a lock-box to access the home, we let you know about each main phase of the project ahead of time. Homeowners like how we take communication and expectations very seriously.

Golden Rule

We believe in the golden rule of treating others as you would want to be treated and we apply that to your home. While construction is a messy industry we do everything we can to mitigate dust, dirt and all around respecting your home.  We do our best to ensure that the area is as safe and clean as possible each evening.

Updates

Probably one of the main reasons we have so many happy clients is our clear, constant communication during the remodel. Your dedicated Project Manager is your one point of contact throughout the entire process.  They will keep you up to date with the project's progress. They are there to help answer any questions or concerns, problem solve and coordinate all aspects of the remodel project. It is always best to reach out to them through BuilderTrend to ensure there is an easy to see communication trail.  

Change work orders

Surprises can come up but we mitigate them with experience, proper pricing from the start, and good communication if something does come up.

Most changes are from homeowners wanting to add or change something. If there are any changes, regardless of who originated it, we create a change work order in BuilderTrend and the homeowner has to electronically sign off to approve it.

We have our $1,000 change order guarantee where if any surprises we didn’t expect come up, we will cover $1,000 of it. We are essentially putting our money where our mouth is!

#5 Enjoy Your Remodel!

Once the project is nearing completion we schedule our professional photographer to take after pictures. We then provide you with the before and after photos so you always have memories of the transformation. There is no copyright or restrictions on the photos so you can share them with friends and family.

Once the project is completed we have you sign a 1 page document confirming we have completed the project.

We pride ourselves on exceptional craftsmanship and it always conforms to the guidelines stated in the NAHB Residential Construction Performance Guidelines.

When your home remodel project is completed, your relationship with Phoenix Home Remodeling still continues on.  If you have something come up, we will be there to make sure it is taken care of promptly.

If you haven’t already, see if we are a good fit for each other:

Which remodel guide would you like for free?

Remodeling doesn't need to be so confusing or stressful. We're here to help.

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