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Pre-Construction Services

Pre-Construction Planning — Starting On the Right Foot

The first question from new renovation clients is  usually: ‘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. We’ve replaced this with 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 never to start a relationship this way.

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 dog houses.’

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:

  1. Feasibility Study –A preliminary study to understand your needs and wants, and match the facts with the your proposed budget. We’ll take site measurements, coordinate a hazardous risk assessment (legislated by law in BC), and consult with architects, structural engineers or other specialists as required. No interior designer is involved at this stage.
  2. 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.
  3. Final Plans & Specifications — We’ll get firm quotes (not just estimates) from all the subtrades, 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 accurate fixed cost for your project.

This process ensures accurate fixed pricing and a solid time schedule. You’ll avoid the missed deadlines, hidden charges, and faulty workmanship that you hear every other homeowner complain about.