Frequently Asked Questions
A: YES! We value the trust you have placed in us when you choose us to remodel your home. We work with professionals who do everything within their power to minimize risk to themselves and your home. However, accidents happen, and we are prepared to respond to the unforeseeable. We carry a $1 million liability policy for all of our projects.
A: No, we provide a preliminary range of cost estimate free of charge. When you sign a Professional Services Agreement with us and pay a retainer fee, you receive our commitment of time and resources to begin the project development phase. You’re paying for design time, as well as the time spent determining the exact cost of your project, not an “estimate, which is ultimately a guess at the price. Adequate project planning & budgeting leads to satisfied customers, less unnecessary surprises and a high-quality finished product. We dedicate time to planning because we are committed to providing the highest level of service to our clients.
A: Our fixed bid is what you will pay for your project. We always include a client contingency budget: an amount we recommend our clients set aside in case something unforeseeable comes up during construction. However, we never require this amount to be paid unless we find something we could not have known about during the design phase. Errors for items missed on our end during the design phase cost us money, not our clients.
Your fixed cost proposal is presented with a detailed Scope of Work / Design Package, which calls out all specifications for your project. Signing this document is your construction agreement.
A: Yes, absolutely! We realize that our clients change their minds and are happy to accommodate that. Additionally in any remodel, or even new builds, surprises can be found. Our goal is simple: limit surprises and changes as much as possible by making sure we put in the work during the project development period. All of our clients receive a detailed bid which includes a contingency budget to cover unforeseen circumstances. This contingency money is purposefully set aside to help our clients stay on budget should it be needed.
A: Project Development is the process by which we walk our clients through the choices involved in bringing their project to life. It means that we will present layout and design options to you, assist with material selections, get accurate bids from our subs, and take every step necessary to plan ahead so that construction goes smoothly. It means that we are not going to ask you to make a significant financial decision without thoroughly knowing what you’re getting from us.
A: A competitive bid contractor is usually only focused on one thing: getting a signed contract and the deposit that goes with it. The problem most clients don’t see is that competitive bid contractors rarely put the necessary time into the details. Their contracts are usually populated with allowance after allowance, include no project design element, and rarely reflect detailed specifications. Furthermore, these types of bids are no more accurate than the preliminary range of cost you will be given in our initial meeting. Buck the Builder’s number one priority is NOT to get you to sign a contract because we presented the lowest range price, only to add cost after cost during construction. Our focus is to earn your business through our attention to your needs and expectations.
A: Allowances are an estimated cost for any given item in a remodel. For example, you are told by another contractor you have an allowance of $3 per square foot for floor tile. When it comes time to pick a floor tile, your tile options are limited to those that cost $3 per square foot (or less). At this point, you either settle for something you aren’t happy with or pick something more expensive increasing the overall cost of your project. Some competitive bid contractor use allowances to their advantage to make their final contract appear low. In reality, you will end up disappointed when those numbers don’t include the materials you have in mind.
A: We have no problem with allowances. In fact, in certain cases, allowances can be beneficial for arriving at a final contract in a timely
manner. However, allowances are usually only necessary for very large projects such as new construction, whole home remodels, or additions. Our issue lies with how some contractors use low allowances to get their bid signed and deposit paid by the client. Once they have your initial commitment, they know that money will be made up on the numerous upgrades and changes orders to come.
A: A subcontractor is a skilled professional who specializes in his or her field. While Buck the Builder will build your cabinets and perform the demo & carpentry on our jobs, we hire highly experienced subcontractors to perform the parts of your remodel we are not experts in. From drywall and paint to plumbing and electrical, your home will be in highly experienced hands from start to finish. We have a small pool of subcontractors that we use, and have years of business rapport with them, which help your project run smoothly.
A: Some clients experience sticker shock when receiving remodeling bids. Price per square foot figures given for new builds are achieved by high production volume, a lack of customization (most “custom” homes are not 100% custom like a remodel), and sometimes compromise on quality of materials and finishes. Unlike most new construction, no two remodels are alike, and that comes with more design time, construction time, and therefore, cost.
With Buck the Builder, every facet of your remodel: from the design & construction process, to our choice of subcontractors, to the in-house cabinet construction, is marked by a commitment to quality. As the saying goes, “quality isn’t expensive, its priceless.”
A: Buck the Builder has proudly served the Brazos Valley since the summer of 2013. During that time we have completed dozens of bathroom remodels, kitchen remodels, attic conversions, whole home remodels, custom cabinetry projects, and various other projects for our clients. Our team has a combined 100+ years of experience in project management, construction, and custom carpentry. We are also a firm believer in the old adage, “a jack of all trades is a master of none.” Thus, we work with a small team of expert subcontractors who have decades of experience in their trade and are dedicated to keeping their skills sharp and providing high quality construction.
A: There are a number of factors that determine our potential construction start date. The primary one is the time needed for project development. We spend the necessary time up front creating a design, construction timeline, and a fixed budget proposal for our clients. Most project development takes anywhere from 4 – 12+ weeks depending on the size of the project. Our process ensures that once we begin construction, we are more likely to stay on schedule, limit the long-term inconvenience to our clients and ultimately arrive at a finished remodel that you will be proud of for years to come.
In addition to project development, our current work load plays a big role in our state date. During lighter times, we can start a project within about a month after project development is completed and the construction agreement is signed, giving us just enough time to have materials ready to go. When our work load is heavy, there will be a 3+ month wait for our construction schedule to have availability.
Lastly, material availability plays into our construction timeline. We can start demolishing your home, but if we don’t have the materials in hand to put it back together, your home will be under construction much longer than necessary. We always check with our vendors to make sure we will have the materials needed before starting construction.
A: Most projects require materials and tools to be stored on site at multiple phases of the project. However, we understand the need to keep yourself, your children, and your pets safe. We also want those tools and materials to have minimal interference in your daily life. Tools & materials are stored either within the construction zone, a designated place in the garage, or outside near the home, always with client approval. Tools and materials are never stored within the main living area of your home if it is not in the construction area. Within the construction area, they are placed to the sides to allow for safe walking paths for all site workers.
A: Site protection for each project is custom, depending on the layout of the home and where construction will be focused. We have a walk-through meeting before every project to determine where protection needs to be placed. We use temporary plastic walls (with zip or magnet doors as needed) and an HEPA filter air scrubber to minimize dust and other airborne particles from circulating in your home. We apply heavy duty contractor board to your floors to prevent scratches and wear and tear from foot traffic. Furniture and fixtures that cannot be removed during the remodel will be covered as well.
We also provide a general sweep & debris removal daily. However, it is impossible to prevent 100% of the dust from escaping the construction zone. We highly recommend that clients plan for more frequent whole home cleaning during construction, as well as more frequent air filter changes for their HVAC system.