Do I need permits?
The short answer is yes. The long answer is below. Westside Remodeling will not work without a permit when they are required per the Uniform Building Code.
From the Uniform Building Code:
106.1 Permits Required. Except as specified in section 106.2 of this section no building or structure regulated by this code shall beerected, constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved, improved, removed, converted, or demolished unless a separate permit for each building or structure has first been obtained from the building official.
106.2 Work Exempt from Permit A building permit shall not be required for the following:
- One-story detached accessory buildings used as tool storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided the projected roof area does not exceed 120 square feet.
- Fences not over 6 feet high.
- Oil derricks.
- Movable cases, counters and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches high.
- Retaining walls which are not over 4 feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge or impounding class I II III-A liquids.
- Water tanks supported directly upon grade if the capacity does not exceed 5000 gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2 to 1.
- Platforms, walks and driveways not more than 30 inches above grade and not over any basement or story below.
- Painting, papering and similar finish work.
- Temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery.
- Window awnings supported by an exterior wall of Group R, Division 3, and Group U Occupancies when projecting not more than 54 inches.
- Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a group R, Division 3 Occupancy in which the pool walls are entirely above the adjacent grade and if the capacity does not exceed 5000 gallons.
Unless otherwise exempted, separate plumbing, electrical and mechanical permits will be required from the above-exempted items.
Exemption from the permit requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this code or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction.
How much will it cost?
Once we see the home and what you have in mind, we will give you an estimated budget range +/- 10% for the cost of the project.
Once we know the exact scope of work and all the finish selections have been made we will give you a fixed price for the remodeling work. We will also guarantee that we can do the work for that price.
How long will it take?
Again this depends on the scope of work. Once we know this we will give you a project schedule and a guaranteed completion date. You’ll have peace of mind, knowing when the various aspects of the project will start as well as when the entire project will be completed.
When can you start?
As soon as we complete the design, sign a construction contract and determine the next available lead carpenter date we will start your project and never before.
Do I have to move out?
Please realize part of the decision to stay in the house during the remodel will depend on your tolerance level for disruption of your normal routines at home. Since all we do is residential remodeling, we know how to work with you and your family. We are experts at protection of your home and belongings and we practice “Low Impact” remodeling. Of course some jobs encompass so much of the house that it would be impractical for anyone to try to live there during the remodel. Other jobs are more modest in scope and leave large parts of the house untouched. We find that with the proper protection and use of temporary walls and doors most people can live in the house during these types of remodels.
Who does design?
Our three in-house Design/remodeling consultants direct the design of our projects. They work with the homeowners or homeowners designer to achieve the desired results while advising the homeowners with their decades of experience with design and remodeling. You will get the best finished product by using our designers on your project.
Cabinets – Local?
No! Thank Goodness. Our cabinets which come from out of state, use superior finishes with a lifetime warranty. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen “Local” Cabinet companies finish begin to peel off after a couple years, especially around kitchen and bathroom sinks and dishwashers. Ask the local guys how long their finish warranty is. I bet it will not be a lifetime!
Do you give free estimates?
The initial consultation is free. We do charge for our designs. Typical design fees range from $500 to $2,500. We do complete proposals after the design is agreed upon. We prefer to work with our clients through a design/build process that allows us to deliver the best project to our clients.
Will someone be on my job everyday?
Yes! Each project is assigned a Lead Carpenter. The Lead Carpenter is responsible for the project and meets with the homeowner during the construction process. The Lead Carpenter is responsible for handling all suppliers, subcontractors, customer satisfaction and completing the project according to the schedule and plan.
What quality materials do you use?
Only the best. We provide a One Year Limited Warranty and we use only the best materials and installation methods. If a client wants to use a lower quality material or installation method we can arrange for that, however those items would not be covered by our One Year Warranty.
What is the warranty and what does it cover?
We offer a One Year Limited Warranty on our workmanship.
Do you use sub-contractors?
Yes- We believe that you will get a project with the highest level of quality and craftsmanship by using the best companies in each field of your project. To handle specific mechanicals such as HVAC, electrical and plumbing, and other skilled trades such as drywall, tile and granite, we do rely on reputable subcontractors to help complete our projects. All of our subcontractors must meet our guidelines and expectations, and must sign an agreement with Westside remodeling before doing any work. Westside Remodeling uses the same trade contractors over and over. The subcontractors have been selected from the very best over the last 30 years. You can be assured that the quality of the work is top of the line.
Do you have a list of references that we can contact?
We do have a list of hundreds of customers that can be called for a reference. Out of respect for our past clients, we do not give this list out until we meet with you in person to consider your remodeling project.
Why Westside Remodeling?
- We Really Listen
At Westside Remodeling we ask specific, relevant questions about your project and completely document your every response, every step of the way.
We take you step-by-step through our unique remodeling process.
- Thoroughly Trained Staff
We spend a great deal more on training than advertising. Because our associates know how to deliver the Westside Remodeling difference, they’ll exceed your expectations.
- Courtesy and Customer Service from Everyone
Our office is staffed from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. to assure that your questions get prompt attention. Also our lead carpenters and remodeling consultants give out their cell phone numbers so you can reach them after hours for urgent matters.
- One Project, One Team
The team assigned to your project stays with your project until it is completed.
- Communication: As Important as Construction
Throughout our relationship, Westside Remodeling will maintain an open dialogue with you.
Our formal policy is that we will respond to you within 24 hours, no later.
Our industry and community have recognized us, not only for our commitment to our clients and neighbors, but for the quality work we’ve performed.
Our showroom allows you to actively participate in the remodeling process as well as to see and touch a variety of materials.
- Quality Guarantee
Westside Remodeling guarantees our workmanship for one year.
- Completion Guarantee
We give you a written completion date guarantee.
- Price Protection Guarantee
We provide you with a written price guarantee. We will complete everything in the scope of work for the price quoted – Guaranteed!
- Low Impact Remodeling
We practice low impact remodeling. Ask us how we make the remodeling process as easy as possible for our clients.
Who will be running my project?
We use what is referred to in the industry as The Lead Carpenter System. Entire books have been written on the LCS. Basically a lead carpenter is assigned to each project we do. This person is the single point of responsibility for your entire project. Since he is there everyday and is actually working hands on 80% of the time, he has intimate knowledge of all aspects of the project. It has been proven that this system consistently provides: on time, on budget, delighted clients and a zero punch list at the end of the project. Contrast this with the production manager model that most companies use: One Production Manager attempts to run several projects at the same time. He cannot be in more than one place at once and acts as a “fireman” putting out fires as they arise on each project instead of heading them off by being there. I believe this is one of the biggest contributing factors to why remodeling can be so frustrating and we all hear horror stories about remodeling.
How do I plan for my remodel? Items to consider:
- Determine what you really want in advance. What are your basic priorities and the goals for what you want your remodel to achieve? Write these items down on paper for future reference.
- Cut pictures from magazines and articles on remodeling. Make any notes or questions you have and about the various products and designs that you are potentially interested in.
- Determine a budget. Your budget will ultimately decide what you can do and how you will go about doing it. How much do you want to spend? Are you familiar with current remodeling costs and the value of home improvements? Check out www.remodelingmagazine.com and look at the cost vs. value report.
- Consider how you will finance the project.
- Determine if you will pay cash, home improvement loan, home equity line of credit, re-finance, or take out a second mortgage.
I have three different estimates, and the prices vary greatly, why?
Good question. There are a number of different factors that go into pricing a remodeling job. Check the obvious first. Make sure that every estimate has the same scope of work. If the estimates are so vague that you cannot decipher that information, go back to the contractor for clarification, IN WRITING, not just a “yea, its included” over the phone. If you cannot get satisfactory written results, eliminate that contractor from future bidding.
Another factor is “Builders Allowances”. This can greatly affect an estimate. An allowance for a $20.00 sink one contractor may include may not be realistic to the homeowners style and result in upgrade charges later. A contractor who includes an allowance for finish materials will typically allow for builders quality products. The best way to compare estimates is to request that allowances for finish materials (fixtures, flooring and tile be left out of the estimate) or at least show them separately so they can easily be compared.
The level of service given by a contractor greatly affects the cost. If the contractor spends lots of time picking out materials, attending to every detail, and taking care of all the little extras, so you don’t have to, it will cost a little extra. When a contractor carries all the proper and required insurances, his prices will be higher than a ‘pick-up contractor’. Quality of work, which is hard to show in a written estimate, is also a factor in costs. For example, our carpenters do very high quality work. That piece of mind is worth extra money up front to most people. This facet of the cost difference is usually only confirmed by calling references or visiting jobs the contractor has done in the past.