Frequently Asked Questions
Before starting a remodel or renovation, any homeowner is bound to have a lot of questions concerning the design and building process. Here, we answer some of the most common questions we receive from our clients in order to clear up any confusion before an initial meeting and consultation!
Do I need permits?
The short answer is yes. Generally, the following will require a permit:
- Structural work
- Electrical work
- Plumbing work that is behind the walls
- Drywall work over 32 sq. ft
- Water testing a new shower pan
- Checking waterproofing on shower walls
Please note that Westside Remodeling will not work without a permit when they are required per the local codes.
How much will my renovation cost?
When we meet with you to understand the spaces you plan to remodel and the scope of work, we can give you a realistic budget range for your 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 complete remodel. We also guarantee that our team will stick to that price and work within the agreed-upon scope of work and budget.
How long will my remodel take?
This depends on the scope of work. Once we know the details of your home and vision, we will give you a project schedule and a 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 your team start building?
As soon as we complete the design process, sign the construction contract, obtain permits, order the materials and have projected delivery dates for the materials.
Do I have to move out during my remodel?
Almost all of our clients live in the house during a remodel of their kitchen and/ or bathrooms. Since all we do is residential remodeling, we know how to work with you and your family so that you are able to remain at home. We are experts at navigating the privacy of your home, your belongings and even your pets as we practice *Low-Impact Remodeling. We find that with the proper protection and use of temporary walls and doors, most people can stay in their house during their remodel. Of course, some projects encompass so much of the house that it would be impractical for anyone to try to live there during the remodel. Please realize part of the decision to stay in the house during a remodel will depend on your tolerance for disruption of your normal home routines.
What is Low Impact Remodeling?
The principal behind this term is to make your remodeling experience as trouble free as possible by employing steps to ensure your home environment is as pleasant as possible. Some of the practices include extra measures to greatly reduce dust and noise, keeping the work space safe from debris and tools, daily clean up and use of a temporary kitchen complete with sink and small appliances.
Who works on the design of my remodel?
Our in-house Remodeling/ Design Consultants work with you to create the design for your project. They work with you to achieve the desired results while advising you with their extensive experience in design and remodeling. You will get a beautifully finished space by collaborating with our designers on your project.
Does your team install local cabinets?
No! Our cabinets are made in factories in the United States and superior finishes are applied. They have a manufacturer’s limited lifetime warranty on the cabinet construction, hardware and the finish. We cannot tell you how many times we’ve seen the finishes from local cabinet companies begin to peel off after just a couple years, especially around kitchen and bathroom sinks and dishwashers. Ask the local guys how long their finish warranty is–we bet it’s not anywhere near a lifetime!
Do you give free estimates?
The initial showroom consultation is complementary. During this meeting, we will look at your photos of the space(s) you are considering remodeling and discuss your ideas. We can compare your project to a similar project that we have completed in your neighborhood enabling us to give you a verbal budget range for the cost of the remodel. This is Step 1 of our 4-Step process which smoothly transitions clients from the pricing, planning and design stages to a final set price on their construction contract. We invite you to review this 4-Step Process found under the ABOUT dropdown on our website.
Do we have to meet in your showroom?
We understand special circumstances can hinder customers from meeting in our showroom. That’s why we offer video chat consultations and presentations using a program called Zoom. If you have an iPhone, we can use Face Time as well. We have found this feature to be very effective for conducting meetings when our clients are traveling or homebound due to illness, disabilities, or childcare requirements.
Will someone be on site for my remodeling project?
Yes! Depending on the size and scope of your project, either a Project Manager or a Lead Carpenter will be assigned to run your project. They are responsible for project management and meet with you throughout the construction process. They are also responsible for handling all suppliers and subcontractors. Their top priority is customer satisfaction as they aim to complete your project according to the schedule and the plan.
What is the quality of your materials and construction?
We prefer to use only the best materials and installation methods. If a client wants to use a lower quality material and/or installation method, they may be better served to work with another company. We don’t want to have problems down the road by cutting corners, which rarely if ever saves money in the long run.
What is the warranty and what does it cover?
We offer a One-Year Limited Warranty on our workmanship to be free of defects.
Do you have your own employees or do you use subcontractors?
We have both! We employ project managers, lead carpenters, and carpenters. They do the protection of your house, and in most cases all of the demolition work, framing, window and door installation, cabinet installation, along with the installation of the millwork and trim.
We also use excellent contractors for the various trades needed to complete a beautiful remodel. To handle specific systems such as HVAC, electrical, and plumbing, as well as other skilled trades such as drywall, tile, and quartz/granite fabrication, we rely on reputable trade contractors to help complete our projects. We believe that you will receive the best possible remodeling services and craftsmanship by using top-rated companies in each trade for your project.
Westside Remodeling uses the same trade contractors consistently who have been selected from the very best over the last 30+ years. You can rest assured knowing that all subcontractor work is top-of-the-line and meets our high standards.
Do you have a list of references that we can contact?
Yes. In fact, we have a list of hundreds of clients that can be called as references for our work. 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 Design & Build?
- A Proven Process – The Westside Way
Westside Remodeling has a proven process that consistently delivers beautiful, on-time, on-budget projects with delighted clients. Click on this link to see our up-to-date customer service surveys from Guild Quality: https://www.guildquality.com/pro/westside-remodeling
- We Ask a Lot of Questions
We want to understand your vision, wants, and needs for your project. We ask specific and relevant questions that will help you to have a beautiful, unique, and functional space.
Our showroom allows you to actively participate in the design process as well as see and feel a variety of materials firsthand!
We work with you every step of the way to design and build what you have in mind for your project using our unique design/build remodeling process.
- Courtesy + Customer Service from Everyone
Our office is staffed from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday to ensure that your questions receive prompt attention. Also, our lead carpenters and remodeling consultants give out their cell phone numbers, so you can reach them for urgent matters.
- Communication: Just As Important As Construction
Throughout our collaboration, Westside Remodeling will maintain an open dialogue with you concerning the small details and big picture of your remodeling project.
- One Project, One Team
The team assigned to your project stays with your project until it is completed, starting with design all the way through construction and when we turn over your beautifully remodeled space for you to enjoy for years to come.
Our policy is that we will respond to your phone call or email within two hours or no more than one business day.
- Quality Guarantee
Westside Remodeling guarantees our workmanship for one year.
Our industry and community have recognized us, not only for the commitment we offer our clients and neighbors, but for the quality work we’ve performed over the years.
Who will be running my project?
At Westside Remodeling, we use what is referred to in the industry as “The Lead Carpenter System.” Entire books have been written on the Lead Carpenter System. With this system, a lead carpenter is assigned to manage each project we do. This professional becomes the daily point of contact for your renovation. Since the lead carpenter is on site virtually every day and working hands-on with the designer and the rest of our building team, they have the in-depth knowledge about all aspects of your remodel from beginning to end. It has been proven that this system consistently provides the following benefits: meeting timely deadlines, staying within the project’s budget, delighted clients, and a zero punch-list at the end of the project.
How do I plan for my remodel?
When preparing for your home renovation project, here are some items to consider:
- Determine what you really want in advance. What are your basic priorities and goals for what you want your remodel to achieve? Write these items down on paper for future reference.
- Go to www.Houzz.com and create your own Idea Book using their high-resolution photographs. You can make notes about what you like or dislike about each photograph and save them to your Idea Book. You can also select photos from kitchen and bath magazines, as well as our online portfolio. Then you can begin to convey to our designer what direction you want to go with your own unique design. Be sure to write down any questions you have about the various products and designs that you are interested in.
- Calculate your budget. Your budget will ultimately decide what you can do and how you will go about doing it. How much do you want to invest in your project? Are you familiar with current remodeling costs and the value of home improvement projects? Check out https://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2020/ and look at their cost vs. value report for budget ranges on specific projects – both midrange and upscale projects are listed.
- Consider how you will finance the project. Determine if you will pay cash, take out a home improvement loan or home equity line of credit, refinance your home, or take out a second mortgage. If you are interested in financing your project, we suggest you first inquire with your bank, and then feel free to contact us as we have resources available for you. We do not accept credit cards.
I have 3 different general contractor estimates and the prices vary greatly. Why?
This is a good question. There are a number of different factors that go into pricing a remodeling project. Check the obvious first. Make sure that every estimate includes the same scope of work. If the estimates are so vague that you cannot decipher the information, go back to the contractor for clarification in writing–not just verbal confirmation over the phone or in-person. 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 $175.00 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 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.
When a contractor carries all the proper and required insurances, their prices will be higher than a contractor that doesn’t carry the proper insurance. It is required a construction contractor be licensed, bonded, have liability insurance and if they have even one employee (helper), they must have worker’s comp insurance. Request a copy of the contractor’s certificate of liability insurance and verify the rest on the CSLB website “check a business license”.
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, their prices will be higher than a contractor that doesn’t carry the proper insurance. Quality of work, which is hard to show in a written estimate, is also a factor in costs. For example, our carpenters offer high-quality craftsmanship. 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.
More questions about home remodel services?
Do you have any additional questions about our design and build process here at Westside Remodeling? Don’t hesitate to contact the Westside design team directly for immediate assistance!
Our friendly and courteous staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have!