Remodeling Articles & Such . . .

Items We’ve Prepared:

Getting Started with your Remodel . . .

8 Steps to Your Remodel with Our Company
This is a summary of the typical steps to completing your remodel with our company.

What to Expect at our First Meeting
Think of this as a primer of what we usually try to accomplish at our first meeting.

Competitive Bidding: the Bid Package and Why you need one
If you are hoping to get more than one bid for your project this will help you determine what information you need to gather & why.  We do not engage in competitive bidding because remodeling is not a commodity but a very specialized service that we provide.  Every project is different and requires a lot of study before coming up with prices.  “Free estimates” are therefore not in our vocabulary.  Remodeling involves a lot of time to put prices, scope of work, design, and other things together for each project.  We cannot do this without an Agreement to ensure we get paid for this effort.  We rely on our relationship with each client from Day One.  If we are not mutually confident & comfortable with each other when we first meet we prefer to not waste anyone’s time by going through the gyrations of pricing a project that we can’t expect to build.

Professional Services Agreement
We help you get through the Design, Products/Materials Selections, Budget Pricing, Drawings, Final Pricing, Ready for Construction Agreement and Building Permit – (The first two pages of a full Agreement)

Dimensioning & Discovery at Your Home
Gathering the information we need to start designing and pricing

Kitchen Remodel Selections List
Many of the things you need to consider in a kitchen remodel

Bathroom Remodel Selections List
Many of the things you need to consider in a bathroom remodel

Designs & Drawings . . .

Added Eaves & Gables . . .
Sheet 1 – For Exterior Remodel
Sheet 2 – For Exterior Remodel
Before Photo of Home’s Front Elevation
Mock-up of what we designed for the owners
Completed 2017

Front Elevation of Proposed Building
Completed 2014

Master Bathroom Design Options Presented
Completed 2014

Foundation & Framing Plan
Completed 2011

Section & Details
Bearing wall was removed and replaced with a beam hidden in the ceiling – 2014

Electrical & Mechanical Plan
Remodel & addition – 2013

On Planning, Design & Survival:

Getting through a Remodel successfully . . .

Plan Your Home Remodel: The Design and Drawing Phase

How to Create Clear Objectives When Remodeling
6 Steps design brief for your remodel

Kitchen Workbook: 8 Steps to Surviving a Remodel
Ways to survive a remodel, and keep your sanity.

8 Remodeling Costs That Might Surprise You
Some of the unexpected costs to remodeling.

Home Building: 8 Ways to Stick to Your Budget

Purely design . . .

Alternatives to Glass-Front Cabinets
Chickenwire, corrugated metal and chalkboards?

Beautiful Kitchen Designs
Excellent ideas on use of colors, textures, materials, lighting, etcetera . . . and lots of photos. (A bit slow loading.)

Follow a Ranch House Renovation From Start to Finish

On Pricing Tid-bits & Such – Typical Projects:

These items provide general information ONLY that may be of help in establishing a budget for your remodel project, but will NOT necessarily be accurate for your particular remodel. Much of this information is averaged.
The customer controls the cost (or price) of a remodel project:
1 – you determine what you are willing to spend for the remodel project (I.e. the Budget – which the designer and contractor need to know in order to help you make wise decisions about the finished project – see the links below for more on this);
2 – then, you determine the price of the remodel work by what you want to see in the completed project and how soon that will be (I.e. selections of products and materials, design, function, time schedule for completion).
When the contractor calculates the price of your remodel project . . .
it should be the only price that contractor can build the project for and stay in business, to cover the warranty period and remain healthy. ‘Real-world’ pricing is very precise: it requires determining what is in the project and how much (time and material, plus many other state-required and business overhead items) it will take to build . . . pricing is not dependent on the whims of the contractor. Remodel pricing can take from hours for small projects to days for larger ones. Offering this service for ‘free’ is not a responsible business practice as it shifts the cost of this service to other projects to cover the overhead time involved. Therefore we do not provide this service for ‘free’, but also then do not need to include it in the price of the project when we calculate that price. On the first link below, you can see the typical scope of work (with pictures) included in the pricing within the links below that. All of these links are to the same report but this makes it easier to find information for a project similar to yours. Without understanding the information in the scope of a project (the first link below), the next links will be of no value. So in the first link, scroll down to the type of project you are considering and select it to look at the scope of work description. After you know that the scope of work matches your project, come back here and select from the Santa Rosa link below for some comparative pricing of projects in our area . . .
Start Here:
1. 2018 COST VS VALUE REPORT – first link out to descriptions of each project priced
Common Home Remodeling Projects: this is an annual report compiled by Remodeling Magazine, a Hanley Wood Publication. ( This first page is only useful for the Scope of Work descriptions — the prices at this link are national averages, and therefore too low for our area.  Select the item in the left column to bring up information about the project, complete with pictures.
1.a. . . . for Santa Rosa area
Project Cost / Resale Value / Cost Recouped / Regional & National Comparisons – from the report linked above by Remodeling Magazine. See page 6 if this link doesn’t take you there.
1.b. . . . for San Francisco area
Project Cost / Resale Value / Cost Recouped / Regional & National Comparisons – from the report linked above by Remodeling Magazine. See page 6. These are for interest.
1.c. . . . for Sacramento area
Project Cost / Resale Value / Cost Recouped / Regional & National Comparisons – from the report linked above by Remodeling Magazine. See page 6. These are for interest.


How Much Should a Contractor Charge?
Michael Stone’s Blog (of Construction Programs & Results Inc.)
Discussion of Mark-up and Profit, and what they mean.
Mr. Stone is arguably one of the most respected business consultants to the remodeling industry. His insights have proven invaluable to many thousands of remodeling contractors worldwide.

The Vendor Client Relationship
Michael Stone’s Blog
Contains a video: proper prices are non-negotiable.

Are you sure you want to buy the products for your job?
Paul Winans explains some of the complications of buying your own products and materials. This could have been an exhaustive article.

On Techie Construction Ideas:

New, and not-so-new, ideas in building design & use . . .

Popular Science: Double-Shell Solar House
An interesting article from December 1979 magazine on an energy-efficient Double-Shell House – the article below by Oak Ridge National Laboratory uses a similar design idea and has developed it further (30 years later).
Is there truly ‘nothing new under the sun?’
Kudos to research and technology!

Mr. William Miller (of Oak Ridge National Laboratory) explains the ‘techno-stuff’ of ThermaDeck
Great video of how it works: efficiency and effectiveness.