All projects go through a planning, design, estimating and production
approach to Estimating and Production
Estimating: Your project
is unique. A project exactly like yours has never been done before.
Estimating, by definition, is not an exact process. It is a
dynamic process and will undergo many changes throughout the life
cycle of your project. It can be very closely derived if your
professional has been in numerous
estimating situations before. Experience weighs enormously into this
difficult and critical stage. The HomeTime cost database is very
extensive and up to date. Each job is broken down into sequential
building steps and priced accordingly. Couple this with industry
standard estimating tools and the standard for costing can be
established at the outset. My thorough approach forces me to spend
many hours estimating. I have found that most clients would rather
deal with the true costs up front rather than have additional costs
pop up all throughout the project.
I have many contractor friends and we all
have very different approaches to this stage of the construction
process. Some estimate by feel and experience and just don’t like
getting into the details on a job. They either give the price right away
or return with a few paragraphs written on one page with a lot of
ambiguous statements. Others attempt to be wordier but don’t quite write
down enough detail to be of any use to the client.
I can’t even tell you how many times
clients have told me that other contractors have given them estimates
within a few minutes, wrote it down on a business card, and left saying
“give me a call when you’re ready”. Imagine, you’re about to spend
$150,000 on a large project and you have very little in the way of
specifics. The goal of our first meeting will be to establish an exact
specification of your job.
Home Time estimates are associated with a detailed
spelling out exactly what you
are getting for your invested dollars.
If the scope of the job changes so will the associated costs. For
example; are you getting solid core doors or hollow core doors?
Paint grade moldings or stain grade? These are some of the details
you need to have written down in your proposal. I pride myself on
being very thorough. I may not catch every detail but I will catch
98% of them. That translates into you having a truer picture of what
your real costs are going to be up front, not after the project has
begun. I personally don’t like signing up for a service thinking I
will be paying a certain price only to find out that there were many
hidden or forgotten costs that I wasn’t told about.
and Production: Prior to
starting your job a
project schedule is developed indicating approximate
finish times for each phase of the project and an expected
overall completion date for the project.
HomeTime clients get a
copy of this schedule as well as our employees and sub-contractors.
You’d be surprised how this keeps everyone on their toes, since
nobody wants to be responsible for delaying the schedule.
a job phase is completed the schedule is reevaluated and, if
necessary, a new projected finish time is determined. This procedure
works very well and is the main reason we are able to bring most
projects in on time. Of course Mother Nature also plays a vital
Payment Schedules: Our approach to payments will
not give you a heart
attack. The thought of giving any contractor
1/3 of $150,000 project would make anyone nervous. Most contractors
manage their businesses poorly and need to have that “front loaded”
payment to pay for the sins of their last poorly run project.
Eventually their businesses fail and yet another contractor horror
story is born. Our payment schedule requires just a nominal binder
(usually 3%-5%) upon contract signing. All other payments are
commensurate with the amount of materials supplied and labor
performed. Your dollars should pay for your job and your job only.
The payment schedule can be flexible as long as your concerns are
legitimate and reasonable.
All projects invariably undergo changes. How they are handled is
what matters. Any costs associated with changes are discussed prior
to execution and are fully documented on a
HomeTime form. Myself, my project
manager and the client all receive a copy so there is never a “He
said, she said” situation. These Change Orders (AWA’s)
also apply to non cost items such as material selections or
production procedures. This is a very important protocol and helps
the project run smoothly and on schedule.
A note on existing violations:
HomeTime will assume that your home is up to code and that no
existing violations are present. This will not always be the case.
The law requires that these violations be addressed. If such a
situation arises, HomeTime will present you with the proper
procedure and associated costs (by AWA) to remedy the problem. You
are not required to use HomeTime. By all means feel free to go