- 1 Learning A Little About Your Project
- 2 Initial Look At Your Project
- 3 Designing And Planning
- 4 Detailed Pricing
- 5 Selections
- 6 Pre-Construction Check-List Meeting And Setup
- 7 Construction
- 8 Closing Out The Project
- 9 Transitioning To Warranty Period
- 10 Warranty, Reviews& Referrals
The Secret to Our Success
Over 35 years, we have developed a systematic approach to the “Design/Build” Process that is client-focused.
- What is your vision for the project?
- What problems are you trying to resolve?
- Do the solutions we offer truly meet your needs?
- What is your budget/investment range?
- What is your time frame and requirements for starting the project?
All of these require careful listening, creative thinking, trust, patience and team-work.
Every remodeling project begins with custom design services to help you to imagine what your new kitchen, bathroom or room addition might look like. With Legal Eagle you can explore possibilities by seeing floor plans and design options in 3-D without the commitment of signing a comprehensive remodeling contract. It is what we call a “Design Agreement”, and it is truly what sets us apart from all other home remodelers in the Houston area.
The end result from the process, you will know:
- What your project will cost
- How long it will take
- What it will look like
This unique process is broken into 4 Phases and is summarized in the 10 steps to the right.
1. Learning A Little About Your Project
- TELEPHONE CONVERSATIONS – During the initial phone call,we listen carefully asking you lots of questions and guide you through the discussion of the wants and needs for your renovation project. This will enable us to see the project through your eyes so that we can work more effectively with you during the rest of the planning process.
- PROJECT IDEAS BOOK – SENT IN ADVANCE – Before our first meeting we ask you to go HOUZZ.com and open an “Idea Book”, or otherwise collect a scrapbook of ideas, notes, pictures, priorities and styles. It can be as detailed as you wish. We ask that every member of your household contribute to the Project Idea Book to ensure that the final project is truly a reflection of your family. This process not only helps us, but helps you to express what you really want to achieve with your renovation project. It will also encourage you to discuss the elements of the new spaces with any family members or anyone else who will be using the new spaces.
2. Initial Look At Your Project
- FIRST APPOINTMENT – At our first meeting we will do several things:
- Get to know each other
- Be sure that our “chemistry” is good
- Walk the areas of the home to be remodeled
- Take some initial measurements
- Take digital photos and video if needed
- Discuss feasibility and initial design ideas in the context of your wants and needs.
- REVIEW PROJECT IDEAS BOOK – By looking at the colors and styles that you have collected, we can see what types of cabinetry, stone, etc., catch your eye. We get a deeper understanding of what you are looking for and a sense of the cost and quality of the finishes you seek as well. This helps enhance budget discussions later.
- BALLPARK COSTING EXERCISE – If possible our design expert will give you some idea of the cost to design and build your project. This is a very important moment in your project. If budget needs an adjustment to fit your pocketbook, here is where it is done, not after we have done the plans that are out of your range.
- PROFESSIONAL PROPOSAL AND ESTIMATE – Once you confirm that the ballpark estimates are feasible, we will prepare a detailed proposal and estimate for your renovation. It will lay out the project from beginning to end, roughly in order, discussing everything from demolition to framing, electrical and plumbing, and materials. By adding this additional layer of detail, we make sure that you won’t face budget overruns at the end of the project.
3. Designing And Planning
- THE DESIGN MEETING AND THE BEGINNING OF 3-D DESIGN PLANNING – We will begin with the big picture, looking at the existing conditions of the space and taking detailed measurements of current dimensions. If the project is an addition of any kind, or involves moving walls; architectural drawing will need to be made. As a Design-Build General Contractor we can provide these services along with the engineering and permitting that follow. If the project does not involve moving walls or an addition, then we do not need to provide 3-D plans. We will however, create detailed drawings of tile layouts, shop drawings of cabinetry and so on as the planning goes along.
Our 3-D plans include doing a detailed “As-Built” plan and a Conceptual Plan and perhaps with 1 or 2 variations showing everything in a floor plan view and 3-D view like you see on HGTV. Our plans will detail the placement of lighting, outlets and switches. They will also show ceiling heights, arches if any, placement of windows, doors, flooring schoolwork and cabinets. Later, we will add Construction Drawings that show the technical details required for permitting by the city.
The initial big picture look will help us as we dig deeper into the fine points of:
- Placement and layouts of the room and new features
- Layout of new foundation
- Air-conditioning and heating
It is imperative that good detailed and planning be done on these elements in order for the finished product to be successful. This information will go into a combination of a comprehensive Scope-of-Work and the 3-D design drawings if they are required.
The Scope-of-Work is the game plan for how the project will be built. In it are allowances for things such as stone counter tops, cabinetry, tile, shower glass, but also states that all work we do will meet or exceed code requirements. The plans and Scope of Work will include the architectural drawings, thoughtful space planning and structural changes. It also describes what is in and what is not in the project. This is presented for your approval.
Part of our process also includes the engineering services that may be required if you are doing an addition or moving structural walls. Once we have the engineer’s drawings showing beam sizes and framing dimensions, we can lock in on a solid project cost, and get your building permit.
4. Detailed Pricing
When the architectural drawings and or the Specifications are made; a re-pricing of the project will occur based on the additional information and details during the preparation of these, we will pause and take another look at the budget for the project and make any adjustments for the project and make any adjustments necessary.
Now the fun really begins! We will provide you with a list of local showrooms where we have established relationships, so you can easily make all of your selections. If you enjoy doing this on your own, you are welcome to do so. However, most of our clients decide to work with our designer, Sahra Ward. She is not a decorator; she is a University of Houston trained interior designer. You can work with her on a comprehensive or on a limited hourly basis, your choice. She gives you a 50% discount,if you hire her through our company, but you pay her directly. An excellent value! During this process you will be meeting with our partners in various showrooms to select cabinets, countertops, plumbing fixtures, appliances, and decorative hardware, such as towel bars, cabinet knobs, etc.
The selections information into customized selection forms by Sahra Ward and incorporated into our comprehensive software called “Builder’s Trend”. You will be able to access the list of items you will need to shop for and the status of those items using your portal on Builder’s Trend. We will show you how to do this.
All the information that has been gathered to this point; scope of work, drawings, if any, and the selections sheets are all assembled into the final construction contract. This will also contain the Payment Terms Schedule and reference a project time line that you can access in real time on our Builder’s Trend software.
When construction begins a lot of things will be happening simultaneously. This is an exciting time but can also feel confusing and overwhelming to you, the homeowner.To help you be prepared; we will provide you with our “Homeowner’s Expectation Guide”. This will walk you through each step of the construction process, sharing with you the highs and the lows and the moments that you may feel frustrated or impatient. We want you to be fully informed so that you know what to expect during every phase of construction process.
6. Pre-Construction Check-List Meeting And Setup
Once we have signed the contract, made selections and purchases, and obtained our permit; we will all attend a Pre-Construction Check-list Meeting at your home. The whole team will meet: You, theProject Manager, the salesman/designer involved in planning your project. We will read through the scope of work, step by step, line by line, to make sure everyone has the same understanding of the details before any work starts.
This meeting typically takes place 1 to 5 days before starting work on site, and can take between one and three hours, depending on the size of the project. We will use our systematized a Pre-Construction Check-list so that we can discuss all the project details making you comfortable about the work about to begin in your home. We will cover details like; what time workers come and go, where we will be putting up plastic walls to isolate construction area(s), where we will be storing materials, how trash will be hauled, special precautions to protect children and pets, which bathroom may be designated for use by the crew, and preparations you need to do before starting construction, like emptying cabinets, clearing off counter-tops, etc.
During the read-through of the Specifications;yourProject Manager will be creating a schedule for all of our trade contractors, particularly for the first two weeks. We will be scheduling the delivery of all initial materials needed. By this time you will have purchased all or most of your selection items. We want to make sure your fixtures and appliances and hardware are on-site in time for their installation to avoid interrupting the construction process. These systematic steps are tried and true, and will definitely help reduce the level of stress that you may otherwise experience during your renovation.
Before starting work, we will obtain permits unless it is a very small project and/or you have asked us not to. If the project includes an addition, moving structural walls, etc. we will always be permitting those jobs.
Regular communication is critical during the remodeling process. Your Project Manager will have a WEEKLY MEETING with you to give you the proposed schedule. This meeting may be in person or over the phone, as you may mutually decide. A detailed agenda covering what selections are due, the progress expected to be made that week, pay points or milestones or payments that are coming due and answering any questions or concerns you may have. Be aware that if work is added to the project, this will add time to the duration of the project also. Of course, any changes to the project will be documented by written Change Orders approved by you.
8. Closing Out The Project
In the interest of making the transition for your move back into the remodeled spaces of your home as easy as possible, WE BRING IN A SPECIAL POST-CONSTRUCTION CLEANING CREW. They will clean everything in the affected areas, including the insides of cabinets, windows, and any other surfaces on the interior so that you can move your belongings back into a sparkling clean space. The final-clean process happens at the very end of the project when the spaces are ready for you to move back into. It is right after the final clean that-your final payment is due. Sometimes there are a few cosmetic items that you may notice after the final-clean. Don’t worry, these items will be taken care of under your written warranty.
Near the end of the project(and before the final-clean), your Project Manager will meet with you to do a walk-though. During the walk-though a written list of steps needing completion will be made. This is your Final Punch List. This will cover all the touch-ups and items that need to be done at the end of the remodeling project. The Project Manager will work with you to make sure the items on the list are completed to your satisfaction, then you will sign the Final Punch List once it is completed.
9. Transitioning To Warranty Period
Once the project has been completed and the final payment has been made we will provide you with a “Certificate of Completion and Lien Release” document. This will confirm that the project has been brought to a conclusion and that you are satisfied with the work. It also states that we, as your general contractor, have paid all of our sub-contractors and vendors and there is no possibility of liens being filed on your property.
10. Warranty, Reviews& Referrals
Your warranty period starts on the date of your last payment. For your records you will receive a warranty folder detailing the process that we go through to address any warranty issues you may have. In this folder there will be a copy of your warranty and a copy of the warranties for the appliances and fixtures that you have purchased for the project. We will also provide, free of charge, a Homeowner’s Maintenance Guide designed to help you maintain the major investment you have just made in your home.
We stand behind our work with a 2 year Workmanship Warranty; a 7 year Structural Warranty.
Reviews are critical to the survival of every small business. At the end of your project, we will send you a list of 5 to 6 links and ask that you write positive review posted on the site listed, such as Google, Yelp, Angie’sList, Houzz.com, etc.
We hope that you will pay us the highest honor of continuing to refer your friends and family to Legal Eagle Contractors.
It is our goal to provide a remarkable, remodeling experience for every one of our customers. Our philosophy is work with you as partners on the project, and also to be a continued resource for you and your home as the years go by. Please call us if you have any home related issues. If you just need a referral for an electrican, plumber, etc. we will be happy to provide one. We want to be your “Home Improvement Expert” always available at the other end of the phone when you need us.