If I (we) have trouble making choices will you help?
Yes. Every remodeling project requires making choices from the largest design considerations to the smallest details. It can feel overwhelming. As a way to help you through the process, Feinmann will develop a project plan that plots all client decision points and assigns dates to those junctures. We have team members that can assist you in your decision making from architectural questions right through consulting on furniture, fabrics and accessories.
Once we begin the project, will someone be here at my house every day?
Yes. A Lead Carpenter will be assigned to your project. It is their job to be familiar with every aspect of your home renovation and to oversee the work every day. Your project is their top priority and they are available to answer questions and address any concerns. Of course, additional carpenters, crafts people and building professionals will also be coming and going over the span of the project – and they will report directly to your Lead Carpenter or Project Manager.
How am I going to be able to live in the space when you are working on it?
We know that home renovation can be very disruptive. That’s why we work very hard to minimize the hassle of living through construction by setting up customized systems to shield your home, yard, children, pets and personal items from dust and debris. In fact, during many renovations, we will even construct a temporary kitchen or relocate plumbing to allow your life to go on as uninterrupted as possible.
I know that you will be giving me an overall estimate for my project but will that estimate be broken down item by item?
Technically we do not given an item by item breakdown because complex renovation projects have many individual variables. These variables are often affected by the choices you will make along the way. At Feinmann, we have found that it makes sense to help our clients assess the value of various design options and discuss how they impact the larger project budget rather than looking at costs on an item by item basis. This type of back and forth dialogue allows our clients the greatest amount of control over costs.
How will you pick who will work on my project? When will I meet them?
When we begin a project we look at three factors to determine the best team members to assign: area of expertise, client personality, and project length. Because Feinmann has a range of designers, architects, carpenters and craftspeople, we can build a team that fits the unique qualities of your project and reflects your individual style. In most cases you will have a chance to meet your Lead Carpenter during the planning stage, but the first “official meeting” is the Pre-Construction Conference. Here you will meet your production team and we will outline exactly what to expect as construction begins.
How does the design process work? Do I get to keep the plans once the design is done?
Design is typically broken down into three phases – schematic design, design development and construction documentation. In the schematic design phase, we outline multiple design scenarios to help you determine the design and budget ranges that best fit your goals. During the design development phase we review the nuts and bolts of a project, including product selections and the finish details. Within the final phase we create construction documents that are used for building permitting and for construction purposes. Each of our clients receives copies of their design plans but the legal responsibility for these plans remains with Feinmann so that we can ensure that your project is built to proper specifications.
What items affect the cost of a project the most? How can I keep these costs reasonable?
Many items can affect the costs of your project but the good news is you have the power to keep them in line with your budget. Components such as kitchen and bathroom cabinets, counter surfaces, tile, fixtures and lighting can vary wildly in cost. So when reviewing these options, look at how they meet your design and budget criteria. You may decide to stay with more standard options or upgrade to items you simply feel are worth the investment. We can help you find a balance of style and affordability.
What is a good rule of thumb for figuring out how much my project will cost? Is it square footage? Type of project? The finishes I choose?
There is no real rule of thumb. Every project has a unique combination of factors that determine the final price. While some other companies use a basic dollars-per-square-foot as a “guesstimate,” we have found that method to be highly inaccurate and often results in “surprises” for the client.
Our approach is to look at the initial scope of the work and compare it to similar projects we’ve completed. From there we add variables based on design options and the existing finishes in your home. We’ve found that this process produces a very reliable estimate.
How often do you update me on the progress of the project?
Project updates, which outline key decisions, changes and/or any cost increases and decreases, are issued at the conclusion of all design and project meetings. This eliminates any surprises about schedule or cost. Since we have someone on site every day, there are also a number of opportunities to touch base and get answers to any recent questions that arise. Communication with our clients is constant via email, phone and face-to-face meetings. We know that communication is key to customer satisfaction.
How do I know when I need to make decisions in the process?
Our project plan will help guide you to when decisions have to be made. We’ll alert you in advance of those important decision points and make sure you have plenty of time and assistance to make an informed choice.
If I have questions or concerns, whom do I talk to?
At Feinmann, we put together an expert and creative team to focus on your project. Depending on the phase of your home renovation, you will always have an experienced professional who is completely versed in your project. From the Project Developer, during the design phase, to the Project Manager and on to the Lead Carpenter who will be on-site every day during construction, there is always someone who is easy to reach and who can answer your questions.
I have an interest in “green materials.” Can I get advice and education in this area from you? Does Feinmann use sustainable materials in renovations?
Yes. We encourage the use of environmentally friendly materials and systems whenever appropriate and have incorporated tenets of sustainable design into several of our award-winning projects. Sustainable products can look great and can often perform as well or better than traditional building materials. If these products and techniques are of interest to you, the beginning of the design process is a good time to talk about options, cost factors, and ways to apply them to meet your budget and design goals.
Will my project come in on budget?
Everyone has heard horror stories of projects that go way over budget. The beauty of the design and build process is that it allows us to control budget issues before your project begins. In initial meetings with clients, we’ll typically define a target budget. Then, as the design is refined, the budget will become more precise, so that once the project begins you can count on your renovation staying within the final budget. We do recommend that you budget between 5-10% after construction begins to allow for upgrades and “while you are here” items that you want to address while we are working in your home.
What happens if there are problems after you are finished?
We want our clients to be clients for life. That’s why we stand behind our work long after the project is completed. In fact, we have a standard “one year warranty” which allows us to fine tune anything that needs adjustment or make any repairs that are necessary during the first year. Of course, we’ll always be happy to look at or assess any problems after that one year warranty and will work with you to make sure you get the results you want.