Pre-Construction Planning: START RIGHT, FINISH RIGHT
The first question from new renovation clients is often: “Can we meet in person?” Yes, we’d love to, but there are some things you should know before we meet. For instance, we don’t offer ‘free quotes.’ We’ve found that free quotes set the wrong expectation. Instead, we offer a ‘No-Obligation Consultation.’ The difference may seem subtle, but it means everything. A quote implies a detailed, well-researched plan, yet most free quotes are based on a contractor’s quick estimate using predetermined square foot costs instead of actual-cost calculations. And that’s where the trouble starts. Your contractor has already started taking shortcuts. We prefer to begin our renovation relationships by being open and honest. Nothing more, nothing less.
We also offer Virtual Consultations too! Whether you are across town or around the world.
No Apples to Oranges - Three Steps to Renovation Bliss
Homeowners are often advised to get three quotes before deciding on a contractor. While this may seem like sound advice, it really isn’t. We believe you’re better off interviewing three contractors and then hiring the one who you trust the most and who has the best reputation.
Why? Unless you prepare a detailed specifications plan in advance, every quote you get will be based on different criteria — the old apples to oranges comparison. And some firms will often make unrealistically low bids to get jobs that they will have to recoup later in the construction phase. And that’s what drives homeowners nuts. It reinforces the old cliche: ‘Ask three carpenters to build you a doghouse, and you’ll end up with three different doghouses.
You can avoid this dilemma by engaging a reputable firm like MAC to give you an accurate fixed project cost. This way, your final budget is based not on generic estimates or gut feels, but actual costs.
Here’s how our process works:
- Feasibility Study — A preliminary study to understand your needs and wants, matching the facts with your proposed budget. We’ll take site measurements, coordinate a hazardous risk assessment (legislated by law in B.C.), and consult with architects, structural engineers or other specialists as required. An interior designer is not involved at this stage.
- Design Review — Depending on your needs, we’ll bring our ￼interior designer into the process. We’ll refine your vision and the scope of work into a working floor plan with elevation drawings, lighting and plumbing fixture locations, and a more precise budget.
- Final Plans & Specifications — We’ll get firm quotes (not guesstimates) from all the sub-trades, consult with city officials on permits, select the cabinetry, appliances, lighting, plumbing fixtures, countertops, flooring, paint, and everything else. By the end, you’ll have a firm scope of work and an accurate fixed cost for your project.
This process ensures accurate fixed pricing and a cohesive work schedule, so you can avoid the missed deadlines, hidden charges, and faulty workmanship that you hear every other homeowner complain about. And, through our Contractor-for-Life program, we’ll check in with you on the first and second anniversaries of your renovation to make sure you still love your space. That’s our commitment to quality.