Getting Started

1

Idea Stage

Before beginning any project, it is helpful to assemble a project folder with pictures, magazine clippings, paint swatches, fabric samples etc. Many clients use software or web resources depending on their preference. Use any and all resources you are comfortable with to centralize your idea bank for the upcoming project. Here are some that may be of interest:

2

Budget Stage

When entering the design stage, it is very important to establish a realistic budget range for your project. Considering the current value of your home compared to homes in your area may be a valuable exercise if you don’t plan to live in your home for many more years. If you plan to stay in your home for the long run, your decision making will rely less on comparable homes in your area. When evaluating how much ‘room’ you have to invest in your home and recoup costs, there are several things to bear in mind:

  • Additions (Foundation to Roof) — Increasing square footage by adding on has two distinct advantages: First, new construction without the constraints imposed by renovating an existing structure provides greater architectural opportunity, which can differentiate your home from others like it. Second, adding square footage is the most surefire way to increase the value. Price Range: $130-$190 per square foot
  • Build-out of Existing Space — Finishing out a basement/garage or converting an attic/porch to living space generally results in a greater return on investment than other projects since square footage is increased while taking advantage of existing foundation, framing, mechanicals and/or roof. Price Range: $80-$150 per square foot
  • Reconfiguring Walls / Complete Renovation — As anyone who has lived in a 60’s era ranch knows, they do not live large! In many cases, opening a wall between kitchen and living room can transform the way a home feels. Removing paneling and ‘popcorn’ ceilings, adding or updating electrical devices and installing more appealing door and cabinet profiles are guaranteed to improve your home’s value and livability. If your project does not call for adding space, reconfiguring walls can give an immediate sense of more space and livability at a fraction of the cost of new construction. Price Range: $40-$90 per square foot of affected space
  • Kitchens — This is the most expensive room of any home, however, it is also the room most likely to add to a home’s value and livability. Kitchen cabinets and tops will be the single largest expense and should be the cornerstone of the design. Replacing cabinet doors or “re-facing” cabinets are very popular options that offer a new look at reduced cost. Appliances will also need consideration at the outset if a gourmet kitchen is the desire. Plumbing fixtures, flooring, backsplashes and lighting can dramatically change the way a kitchen feels. Price Range: Subjective to scope of renovation and specifications, however a make-over could be as affordable as $5,000 and a full renovation could range between $20,000 – $50,000.
  • Bathrooms — Bathrooms, especially the master bathroom, factor in greatly to a home’s value. Improvements can range from a new vanity and fixtures to a down-to-the-studs renovation. Tile selection and installation affects pricing more than any other single item and can turn a bland room into a showpiece. Price Range: Very subjective but full renovations can run between $8,000 and $15,000 for a standard “hall” bath and $10,000 to $30,000 for an up-fitted master bath.
  • Outdoor Living — Adding or improving outdoor living areas, such as a porch, deck or patio, can create exceptional value and make your home more enjoyable. Given our area’s mild climate, porches can be used most of the year for entertaining, relaxing or family activities. At a fraction of the cost of ‘heated living space’, an outdoor living project can be a great investment. Price Range: $20 – $100 per square foot.
3

Specifications/Design Stage

After you have established a budget range that you are comfortable with, the next step will be working with a licensed architect or contractor that offers design services. Mighty Oak Builders offers full design/build services and can keep all aspects of the project in-house. Depending on the size and scope of your project, having full architectural plans may be a necessity. For smaller projects, Mighty Oak Builders can provide detailed sketches without the costs associated with architectural design.

Many of our clients choose to work with designers, interior or otherwise, to develop color palates and finish schedules. If you do not have a designer and think that may be beneficial, we work with several professional designers who will be glad to consult you along the way. To facilitate the planning and specification selection stage of your project, we will provide you with detailed specification forms customized to your project to guide you along the way. As the big picture begins to come together and we gain a better understanding of your needs and wants, we will tailor the budget to your selections providing a comprehensive and itemized proposal for your project. It is our goal to have as much information and be as thorough as possible to ensure that the final product is delivered within your budget.

4

Scheduling & Contract Stage

Once a design is established and specifications have been completed, Mighty Oak Builders will generate a detailed construction schedule. We will incorporate lead times for materials to arrive and consider all aspects of the project to ensure that we have a realistic and workable plan to deliver your project on time.

With a plan, specifications, schedule and comprehensive budget, we have everything we need to go to contract. Depending on the size and scope your project, we use a short-form or a long-form contract to give both parties a clear understanding of expectations. We want to be as flexible as possible and therefore we can tailor our contracts to fit your needs.

5

Construction Stage

Preparation:

When we begin, our entire staff, as well as each subcontractor, strives to treat your home as if it were our own. Nothing is more important to us than your family’s safety and satisfaction. We provide dust-barriers, air filtration, floor coverings and periodic cleaning to ensure that our level of service exceeds your expectations. If you have any specific concerns, just let a member of our staff know and we will go above and beyond to deliver.

Security:

By its very nature, construction can be a very invasive process. Having strangers in your home is not the most comfortable experience in any situation, however we work diligently to ensure that our staff and subcontractors are worthy of your trust. We’ve worked with most of our subcontractors for years and will send no one into your home that we would not have in our home. We hire only after verifying references from sources we trust such as clients and colleagues. Our company policy is to lock up at the end of the day and we use lock-boxes for safe key storage.

Communication:

Mighty Oak Builders takes pride in maintaining open lines of communication. We make it a point to call back as soon as possible if we cannot take your call. Emails and texts are expected to be returned within 8 business hours. We try to keep most communication during business hours but we realize our working clients may need us to be flexible after 5. We are more than happy to accommodate and will schedule appointments before or after business hours as requested in advance.

Punch Lists:

During your walk-throughs of the construction site, you may see items that have not yet been completed or may require more attention. This is part of any construction project and Mighty Oak Builders periodically performs quality/progress inspections. If you see something of concern, please email us so that we have written record and can forward to the appropriate party. Towards the end of the project, we will do an inspection with you and compile a list of all items required to complete the project and ensure that they are done to your satisfaction prior to leaving.

Delayed Items:

Occasionally, some items may not be delivered when expected. Lighting and specialty hardware among other items can sometimes be backordered causing delay in completion. We handle these instances case by case and will work to progress the project without them. However, some items do have longer-than-usual lead times. Shower doors can take up to 3 weeks after template to install. We will do our best to set the proper expectation and ask for your patience as these items are largely out of our control.

Final Cleaning:

We work very hard to minimize the mess that construction generates however a good deep-cleaning will be necessary after completion of interior projects. Our cleaning contractor is very thorough and will work diligently to see that your home exceeds your expectations when you move in to your new space.

Warranty:

Mighty Oak Builders takes great pride in our work and want to be sure that our craftsmanship serves you well for years to come. We warrant all workmanship and materials against defect for 1 year. All roofing, plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems are warranted for 2 years. Despite the improvement in construction methods in recent years, you are sure to notice some cosmetic changes as your home ages. Caulk and drywall naturally expands and contracts and treated lumber can ‘move’ as it dries out. We are more than happy to correct any of these issues however normal wear and tear items are not covered under warranty.