Dormers, Extensions, Rvations, Reenomodeling



Ideally, as contractors, we require a set of stamped and approved architectural plans before the building phase is resolved.  These plans enable us to better envision and more accurately estimate your particular home remodeling project.

The good news is that in recent years many homeowners are hiring professional architects to handle their design needs. The bad news, however, is that many architects are underestimating jobs, giving homeowners unrealistic construction costs that end up costing them greatly in the end.  

With plans in hand, the homeowner proceeds to interview numerous local contractors who then estimate the project substantially higher than what the homeowner originally believed the project would cost.   At this point, after having invested several thousands of dollars in a professional set of plans, the homeowner has very few options, which may include:

  • Start From Scratch: Redesign the entire project to better reflect the homeowner’s actual budget. This approach would involve additional architectural fees and delay the construction start date considerably.

  • Grin and Bear it: Accept the more costly budgeted project.  This would entail coming up with the additional funds to pay for a project that was significantly underestimated. Or, sacrificing several key design elements that may have been an integral part of the overall project.

  • Abandon Ship: After careful consideration, choose not to do the project at all.  This would mean all funds spent up to this point, including architectural fees, blueprinting costs, permits, etc. would be lost.
  • Bait and Switch: Hire a contractor who will agree to do the project at the original underestimated price. As the job progresses, unforeseen costs will arise and the contractor will then tack on additional work order after additional work order to make up for a job that was under bid in the first place. Definitely not a good choice!


Why does it occur?   

In our view, architects are very well versed with the building codes, structural loads and design factors that go into your job.  However, they are not involved in the day-to-day expenditures that contractors encounter, everything from estimating building materials to construction labor costs to sub-contractor fees.  Those construction costs that architects estimate at the early phases of the design stage are not only unrealistic, but costly in the long run.


What if a homeowner decides not to hire an architect?

Many contractors offer design services as part of their overall construction estimate, however, in order to take advantage of these services, and receive a set of plans, the homeowner must sign a contract up front before the plans are finalized and approved. Now the homeowner may have a set of plans with which they are pleased, but they are also locked into a contract with a contractor with whom they are not pleased.  In addition, the homeowner runs the risk of dealing with underestimating here as well.

At HomeTime Remodeling, we offer a Design/Build Concept that offers the planning and conceptual services of an architectural firm with the building expertise of a knowledgeable, well-established contractor.  

Our approach to Design/Build is decidedly different than that of other contractors.  We offer two distinct stages: a Design Stage and a Build Stage.  And, since we don’t require a contractual agreement at the Design Stage, the homeowner has the option to end the process before the Build Stage begins, eliminating costly mistakes down the road.



The Design Stage is comprised of two phases: 

Phase 1:  Working together with the architect and the homeowner, HomeTime Remodeling will manage, negotiate and determine all the design and cost parameters that go into a homeowner’s particular project. Our mission and our goal is to develop a feasible design that not only meets the homeowner’s vision, but their budget as well.

Within approximately 10 working days, we will present the homeowner with a preliminary set of plans, including floor plan and perspective, a reasonably accurate estimate of costs and related job description. Should changes to the design be required, they are made at this time along with any associated additional fees. 

Phase 2: Upon approval of the plans, a final budget and a more detailed job description are presented to the homeowner.  Here the homeowner can opt to enter into a contract or not enter into a contract with HomeTime Remodeling. Either way they keep the plans and job description to use however they wish. 

The benefits of using this approach are:

  • The homeowner can halt the process at the completion of any phase.
  • The costs are known upfront and considered throughout the entire design process. This eliminates the possibility of an overly designed project which may not come in on budget.
  • A professional builder with over 20 years experience in home improvement, renovation and remodeling is involved from the onset so the “it looks good on paper, but it can’t be built that way scenario” doesn’t exist. Many architects today are very conservative in their structural calculations and will many times use unnecessary amounts of steel in their designs thereby driving up costs exponentially. We have found that in many cases normal dimensional or engineered lumber is sufficient.  As a result, we have saved numerous clients thousands of dollars without compromising the structural integrity of the job or the homeowner’s finances. Better yet, we explore every aspect of the building process to assure the homeowner that their job is built safely, soundly and to code.
  • You get a full set of plans ready for permits, a detailed job description and an estimate of the real costs to complete your job.  Opt to continue onto the Build Stage with HomeTime and we will even expedite the permit process at no additional cost.
  • Best of all, HomeTime offers these services for the same amount of money that it would cost to deal directly with an architect.


    When you really think about, in the long run, it truly makes sense to tackle a home improvement project, whether big or small, utilizing HomeTime’s Design/Build philosophy and two-stage systematic approach.


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