residential-preconstruction-miami

Your Guide to Residential Preconstruction

Here’s a sobering statement: The overall success of a renovation or a remodel can be largely determined by decisions and actions taken well before the first hammer even hits the nail. It might sound surprising, but that’s just how important residential preconstruction is to the scope of your project.

Let’s dig into the specifics of what pre-construction services entail and why this step is so critical to your residential construction project – in Miami and beyond.

What are Residential Preconstruction Services?

Before your project gets off the ground, some serious planning needs to take place. How long this step takes depends on the size and complexity of your project, and it’s generally conducted in coordination with architects, engineers, inspectors, design consultants, builders, and, of course, you, the homeowner, and any other project stakeholders. The primary goal of pre-construction is to set the scope, schedule, and budget for the project — and gives you time to ask all the important questions. Pre-construction includes the following items, among others:

  • Site analysis – Physically review the site and create a general site master plan.
  • Permits and approvals – Ensure plans receive necessary approvals and project permits to proceed with the build. These vary from city to city and municipality to municipality, so it’s important to understand local processes and allow adequate time to secure permits.
  • Value engineering – A project’s scope can quickly surpass the available budget if a well-defined project estimate is not used. Value engineering helps flag opportunities to substitute products, materials, and systems to better fit the budget while still maintaining original function and design intent.
  • Buildability review – Clarify details, design documents, and decisions.
  • Budget analysis – Align project goals and expectations with scope and projected costs.
  • Scheduling and logistics – Proper planning and scheduling ensures that deadlines are met and the project progresses as expected.

“What value do pre-construction services add to my build?”

Building a home or undertaking a remodeling project is exciting. That’s part of why we love our job so much. But failing to adequately plan and prepare can spell big trouble to your budget, timeline, and overall expectations for the project. It’s important to resist the temptation to jump right to construction and renovation work with the thought that you can make important decisions on the fly. It just doesn’t work that way in residential construction. Nor should it.

Residential preconstruction planning allows you to see a full picture of your project’s scope, budget, and schedule while also bringing to light any anticipated challenges or red flags that could be detrimental to the project.

The foundation of a strong build rests on strong plans. Make sure you get your project off to the best start with pre-construction services — and take the time to make sure you have the right residential contractor for the job.

If you have more questions about what residential preconstruction is and why it’s invaluable to a build, give us a call at 305-790-1722 to discuss.

What to Look for When Hiring a Residential Contractor

4 Things to Look for Before You Hire a Residential Contractor

Homeownership offers exciting opportunities to create your own dream home – whether that’s by building it from the ground up or by renovating an existing property so it better suits your vision and needs. If you find yourself looking for a residential contractor for a renovation or addition to your home, it’s important to do your homework ahead of time so you save yourself headaches and added expense down the road.

When hiring a residential contractor in South Florida, be sure you feel completely confident about these four things:

The Residential Contractor’s Background, Experience and Credentials

Make sure the person you hire has experience with the type of residential remodeling project you are hiring for and get in touch with references to ask about the quality of work and service the contractor provided. It’s also imperative that your residential contractor is licensed and registered and carries the appropriate insurance. If the contractor is not credentialed, he or she will not be able to pull the necessary permits to get your job done.

The Depth of the Residential Contractor’s Bid

As you gather a few bids, look for similarities and differences among them and trust your instincts if somethings seems off. Don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions, and be wary of any low-ball offers. As the adage goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you want to dive deeper into it, ask the contractors to go into more detail about their bid – why are they saying this is how much it will cost? What are they taking into account? Compare notes and you’ll often see why two bids are coming in with different numbers — and why the higher bid on paper may actually have a lower cost when your project is completed.

All the Intangibles

These are things that can’t be put as a line-item on a bid – do you deem the contractor responsible and reliable? How is their communication style and does it jibe with yours? Depending on your home’s project, you will likely be spending a lot of time with the contractor you select. You want to be sure you’ll work well with the person and that your expectations will be met.

The Contract’s Fine Print

Before committing to a contractor, make sure you fully understand the contract. What are the payment terms, timeline, and project schedule? What materials and fixtures will be used? This is again your opportunity to ask questions — and don’t be afraid to ask every single one. If they don’t take the time to answer your questions now, are you comfortable that they will answer it when your bathroom’s walls have been ripped out? Once you’ve got the details ironed out in the contract, things will move pretty quickly.

Have any specific questions you’d like answered (or like a second opinion on a project you’re planning right now)? Feel free to contact us.

 

questions-for-your-contractor

Be Sure to Ask Your Contractor These Questions

Undertaking a new build or residential remodeling project is a big emotional and financial investment. Not only are you committing to a significant structural change in your home, you are also entrusting the project to someone else. Before you move forward with your renovation project, there are certain questions for your contractor that need to be answered so you feel peace of mind going into such a big project. From our experience renovating homes across Miami-Dade County, make sure to ask your Contractor these three questions before you hire them:

Questions for your Contractor:

What is the schedule and timeline for our project?

Communicating about schedules and timelines is one of the most important questions for your contractor during a residential remodeling job. How your contractor answers this question will give you a good indication of where they see your project fitting with others they may be working on at the moment as well as how they see your project progressing from start to finish. A thorough schedule is essential for ensuring all tasks are outlined and that nothing gets missed. It also helps you see the big picture through the eyes of your contractor, which is useful for making sure you’re on the same page. If they shrug and say, ‘oh, it’ll take about three weeks,’ without any details, make sure to ask for a more thorough timeline.

Similarly, you should ask how they prefer to communicate about any decisions that need to be made along the way and how change orders will be handled. You want to feel confident that you will be able to get in touch with your contractor quickly, and that they will reciprocate when necessary.

Do you foresee any challenges or concerns about the project?

Home renovation shows don’t get much right, but one thing they do accurately portray is how common it is for unexpected issues to arise. While most can’t be predicted, experienced residential contractors have hunches about certain projects based on either the home, project type, or other factors. Rather than going down one path only to have to change course mid-way through, talk through any possible concerns and worst-case scenarios ahead of time so you have a better understanding of potential outcomes and are prepared to deal with them if and when they arise. This is one of the questions for your contractor that need a honest and forthright response; if you aren’t satisfied with their answer, it’s time to consider another contractor.

How will my property be protected?

Residential remodeling projects by their very nature can be invasive on a person’s home life. There will be dust and trash and paint, hammering, shaking and jostling. Much of this can’t be avoided. What can be avoided, however, is damage to your existing property. Make sure the contracting team you hire has a solid plan for protecting your property and sealing off the work zone as necessary (especially for projects that include impact windows). You should also ask them about how they clean up at the end of every work day.

As you interview potential contractors for your residential project, keep these questions in mind, and give us a call at 305-790-1722 if you want any more tips to make sure that your home renovation stays on schedule and on budget.