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.
Phoenix 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...
Click here for table of contents of this page
#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.
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.
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.
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.
#2 Discovery Phase
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!
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 don’t remodel often. 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. I find it helps to know if a homeowner hasn’t done a serious remodel, because I’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, I 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.
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 build out your proposal.
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 from the in-home such as images, measurements and notes and they build out your scope of work and pricing using BuilderTrend to create your precise proposal.
This ensures that items aren't missing on your proposal. 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.
Our proposals are detailed and not a rough estimate like many. This is very important to understand!
Many remodel contractors just throw numbers together in their head or use excel and then send it to you, and that is a big problem for the homeowner.
The reason this is such a big deal, is many contractors miss several items they need to add in so they have to as the owner for more money as the project starts.
That was the #1 reason that remodel contractors received the 2nd most consumer complaints in the US. Click here to learn more about this
Some contractors don’t include the selection items (countertops, sinks, bathtubs, shower tile, etc) which is often 20%-30% of the remodel project cost. They ask the homeowner to purchase them, which creates a huge element of surprise plus it is a lot of extra work for the homeowner.
Our precise proposals include selection items with allowances for each item so there aren’t surprises.
To give you an idea of how much time an average proposal takes for 2 rooms is about 12 hours each.
That includes the in-home visit, cleaning up the scope of work for Sean, building it out in our pricing software, checking it and then creating the proposal.
So we put a lot more time into our proposals upfront to get you precise pricing. It means we may lose some potential remodel projects because everything is included, but I would rather lose some business than unethically low ball a homeowner. It is really easy for a remodel contractor to raise the price on you once the project started.
#3 Plan Phase
Signing The Agreement
At this point you have the project’s scope of work with the costs involved.
If you would like to move forward with us, then the next step is scheduling a phone call to review the agreement and then electronically sign after the call. There is no pressure to sign the agreement on the call, we are there to review the first few pages and discuss what the next steps will be.
Our remodel payment schedule is:
Once the agreement is signed, we schedule the initial walkthrough at your home with our consultant, General Contractor and Project Manager. This is to review the scope of work, take measurements again and reconfirm what you want to have done. It is normal for a homeowner to want to make a change at this point, which is okay with us. Construction has not started, so it is easy to make adjustments before getting started.
We will also discuss logistics like accommodating children & pets, along with accessing the home and our normal work hours.
At the initial walkthrough we will provide a document with the best places to find your selection items. Selection items are the products that you will pick out and then we will pick up and purchase. Selection items include things like flooring, countertops, plumbing fixtures and electrical fixtures.
We purchase and pickup everything for homeowners. (Except appliances because homeowners choose those and they are normally delivered for free or less than what we would charge.)
If you have a photo of what you like, our Project Manager can help you source the same item or a similar one, depending on what you like. Your Project Manager will help coordinate the entire project including helping with the selection items. If you have hired out designer, they will help with the design and going with you to different vendors to help pick out your selection items.
We require all selection items (faucets, electrical fixtures, etc) to be picked out before starting the project to ensure the remodel is completed efficiently and as fast as possible.
Your Homeowner Project 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 remodel project 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.
#4 Build Phase
Before we start your remodel project we ask that all selection items are chosen. This ensures we finish the project as soon as possible and it means you have construction people in your house for a shorter amount of time.
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.
Even though we usually use a lockbox 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.
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.
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:
If you are like many of our past clients, you are unhappy with some aspect of the interior of your home, but worried about the stress a remodel can cause.
Everyone wants and deserves to feel great about their home and enjoy sharing it with friends, family & neighbors.
We know the stress of trying to pick a remodeling company and the tremendous headaches many contractors can inflict due to being unorganized, using antiquated processes, and not caring enough about the homeowner's experience.
You can avoid the stress many contractors inflict like:
Everyone deserves to feel great about their home and enjoy the new dream space with friends, family and neighbors... without contractor issues!
If you haven't already, feel free to see if we will be a good fit for your project...