Our Design Build Process

We recognize that home renovations can be an exciting and emotional time for you. Because each client and project is unique, each plan will be unique as well. Don’t stress. We’re your partners and will guide you every step of the way.

We’ve streamlined the process to help fine tune the plan, reduce oversights and keep surprises to a minimum. Client satisfaction is the ultimate measure of our success.

Phone call. The Top-Notch Renovations process begins here. We’d love to hear from you, no matter which stage you are in with your renovation. We will answer your questions and we’ll ask some questions of our own to get a feel for the problems you’re trying to solve with your renovation. If we both agree we could be a good fit, we’ll schedule a time to meet with you in person.
Site Visit. A meeting at your home gives us a chance to talk through your wish list. We’ll listen as you talk us through what’s driving your desire to remodel, then we’ll generally compare your anticipated budget to what you’re trying to accomplish. You can count on us to be open and communicative as we give you a verbal ballpark price based on our experience, checking that we’re on the same page as far as scope and budget. If we are, great, we’ll talk through the next steps. If our verbal ballpark is more than you wanted to spend, we’ll talk through the options. If it doesn’t look like we’re a good match, we’ll part ways here. No hard feelings.
Next Steps. Since each project is unique and each client is on their own journey, the next step isn’t always the same for everyone. The next step for you may be to bring in an engineer or other trade partner to determine the feasibility of your project. Or, if you’re in the early stages, you may need to talk to a designer or architect to define exactly what you’d like to do. No matter where you are on your journey, we can help you determine and complete the next step that’s right for you. The ultimate goal at this stage is to have enough of an idea of what you’d like to do that we can provide you with a preliminary estimate.
Preliminary Estimate. Now that we understand the scope of what you’re trying to accomplish in your remodel, we can put together a preliminary estimate of what we think it will cost. We prefer to sit down with you again at your home to review in more detail the scope of your project and our written preliminary cost estimate. We’ll also discuss any new ideas that may have come up and the general timeline of the work to be done. We want you to have a realistic estimate of the time and money investment needed to bring your vision to life.
Follow up. Some people need more time than others during this stage. We’re happy to answer all questions, help you compare apples-to-apples in all the bids you’ve received and revise the preliminary estimate if the scope changes significantly.
Plan and Design the Project. If you’d like to move forward, we’ll collect 10% of the preliminary estimate amount and get started meeting with the necessary professionals and trade partners to think through every detail of your project. This phase is where most of the decisions happen. Honestly, it will probably take a little longer than you’d expect, but the time invested will be well worth it. The more careful the plan, the fewer surprises and additional costs that will crop up once construction begins.

We will measure, photograph, investigate, sketch and discuss every aspect of the work to be done. The end result is an achievable plan with a detailed scope of work, associated pricing and the documents for pulling city building permits (if required). You’re not committed to doing the project with us at this point. If, as we hope, you decide to move forward with the project, the retainer will be applied to the total cost of the project.

Interior/Plan Designer. One of the best pieces of advice we can give you is to work with an interior designer to bring your vision to life. You may not yet realize how many decisions need to be made for a renovation. Even if there aren’t many decisions in your particular plan or you already have a feel for what you want, we still find that the end results tend to tie into your existing space better when a design professional is consulted during the planning stage. In addition, we need to submit drawings to the city to pull building permits. Working with a plan designer will help you visualize the end result during the design stage and will provide us with the necessary paperwork that we need. For this reason, we include costs for an interior and/or plan designer in our preliminary cost estimate.
Formal Contract. Once the detailed plan and final cost estimate are complete, we will provide you with a formal contract and collect a construction deposit. We like to have you come to our office for this so you can meet the rest of our team. This is a time for celebration. The fun is about to begin.
Pre-Construction Planning. The construction deposit allows us to order your materials and provide trade partner deposits to hold time on their schedules while we wait for permit approval (if necessary). Your timeline will be determined and a start date scheduled. We prefer not to start until all materials are onsite because we don’t want to take over your house only to run into delays when materials don’t arrive when promised. We’ve learned that it’s best to prevent these schedule delays as much as possible.
Pre-Construction Meeting. We’ll meet at your home to review what you can expect during the renovation and answer any questions you may have. Experience has confirmed the importance of our commitment to clear communication and setting expectations about work hours, pets, dust, change orders – really any and all of your specific construction concerns.
Demo day. The fun begins! It’s time to put our detailed plan into action.
During construction. Every client communicates differently and we try to tailor our style to what you need. You will find us to be very responsive no matter how you reach out: email, phone, text or in person. We also use an online tool called CoConstruct that facilitates communication. CoConstruct serves as one repository for all project details. We’ll be in constant communication about where we are with the work and what’s coming up next. It’s our job to set your expectations appropriately so there aren’t any surprises. We can’t emphasize enough how much we value straightforward communication. If things are going well, tell us. If things aren’t going well or you’re frustrated at any point along the way, ABSOLUTELY tell us. We want to know.
When the Job is Done. The job is not done until you’re completely satisfied. We guarantee our work with a proactive 2-year warranty. What we mean by proactive is that we will call you during your warranty period to make sure all is well.
Referrals and Reviews. We depend on repeat and referral business and we are gratified that our strong craftsmanship and thoughtful process make for satisfied clients that pass our name along with rave reviews. If you’re happy, tell your friends. If you’re not, please tell us, we want to know.