- Business Method and Estimate Process: considerations, costs, estimates
- The Planning process: fees, timeline, planning steps
Business Method and Estimate Process
In considering your addition or remodeling project you will most likely be concerned with not only quality but the cost of the project. Quality and craftsmanship should be expected of any contractor you hire; Brad will ensure that you receive both. But remember that cost is what may make a difference.
Brad and the LHC work on a cost plus a fee basis, commonly known as “cost plus”, a business method of construction considered advantageous to both parties, homeowner and contractor. What this means is that the clients pay the exact costs for all materials, and subcontractors, and labor necessary to complete their project. The client, not the contractors, receives all discounts. Then a fixed percentage “contracting fee” is added to the total project cost. This fee is currently 15%. The average markup elsewhere on construction projects is 35%.
Brad and the LHC provide “best guess” cost estimates, which tend to be very close to the actual cost of the finished project, excluding any changes or upgrades. Brad and the LHC record of coming in on budget or within 10% over budget has proven to be successful and impressive.
This is considered to be the system that is best for both clients and contractors. For the homeowner it means only paying for work that is done. For the contractor it means getting paid for work performed.
Cost plus also provides for complete financial transparency. Every week our clients are provided with statements covering all of the week’s expenditures, down to the penny. This weekly statement also includes copies of every bill and receipt. There is never a question of where the money went. Our clients love this unparalleled transparency.
The Planning Process
Bradford can do just about any small project or handy man repair you ask. Brad charges an hourly rate, currently $65/hr, plus materials. Bradford will meet with you to review your repair or remodeling requirements and then create an estimate of the scope of work for your review.
Large projects (with LHC Carpentry Cooperative)
Many homeowners have larger projects in mind, for which drawings are generally advised and required. The LHC Carpentry Cooperative team uses a design-build approach:
Please click on The DESIGN-BUILD Concept
The LHC team designer is Sam Savage, whose beautiful plans have been executed by LHC for many years and include multistory additions and kitchen bump-outs. He creates several iterations of your ideas for presentation on paper. After review and some tweaking, LHC will assign numbers to each step of the plan to estimate the total project. Again we will meet to come to agreement on the proposal of work.
LHC has also executed the plans of several architects, whose plans are presented to us for estimating.
Please take into consideration that the planning, design, estimating, engineering, and permitting process can take several months.
Steps in the planning process:
- Initial meeting to discuss ideas and get a sense of whether the parties will be able to work together successfully.
- Sam Savage, the designer, spends more detailed time with the homeowner to understand requirements. Then he develops several plans for consideration.
- The plans are presented for review.
- LHC assigns values to each step in the project, from permits and demolition to materials, labor and finish trim.
- A Proposal Estimate is presented to the homeowner.
- With agreement, an expected date to begin is established.