How do I get a “bid” from Scovell?
After a quick phone call and subsequent on-site meeting, we’ll determine if it makes sense to enter into Phase 1: Initial Design and Budget Development. It’s in this phase we’ll develop initial concepts and a preliminary estimate so you know if you’re comfortable enough with the probable cost to continue plan development.
As we get further into the design process and enter into Phase 2: Full Design we will ultimately conclude with a comprehensive fixed price proposal (aka bid) which if approved, we can hand our Production team so they have a complete and in-depth plan of action.
Should I get multiple bids?
The desire for multiple bids is usually predicated on the fear that you otherwise won’t get the best deal. To that we would say, interview several firms, but choose a company that you love being around, that will serve your family well, that will communicate well and often in a way that makes you feel at ease, that will warranty their work and be around to deliver on that warranty. Then trust them to design a scope of work that fits your budget and to negotiate pricing on your behalf.
Many of us working in Hallbrook, Mission Hills, Sunset Hills and Leawood are using the same vendors, lumber yards and subs. So if you were to truly bid the same scope of work — down to the very same cabinet hinges and dimmer switches — with two companies who offer the same level of service, the numbers would very likely be within dollars of each other. So consider price, but choose personality.
What is the cost of doing design work with Scovell?
We base our design agreement fees on the probable cost of your project. Most clients tend to spend between three and six thousand dollars to get through Phase 1: Initial Design and Budget Development. This fee is what covers all of the design and drafting work you would otherwise pay a third party architectural firm to do.
Do you provide multiple floor plan options during Initial Design?
We often show two concepts. Occasionally there’s only one way to approach it while still achieving your goals and staying in budget. But if there are two smart, feasible options we will show you both.
Can you prepare 3D renderings if I’m a visual person?
We love creating renderings during design so you can feel confident in your decisions. We typically begin with black and white perspective drawings while we work through space planning. As the design gets developed we invest more time in creating realistic 3D color renderings - either by hand or using CAD.
Can we do design work with Scovell, but build the project ourselves?
As a Design + Build firm we only enter into design work that we believe we will build. We’ve structured the size of our team to feed just the right amount of work to our talented field staff, and don’t have additional resources to do design-only work. Plus, we’d hate to design something beautiful and not get the chance to watch our field team bring it to life!
What if I already have a relationship with an architect or designer?
Some of our favorite projects are the fruit of working with outside firms. We still apply the same collaborative approach by working with the outside parties from the beginning so you avoid getting too far down a road that isn’t feasible or isn’t within your budget to build. In these cases, we enter into a modified Pre-Construction Agreement instead of a Design Agreement.
How many months usually pass between starting design and starting construction?
We constantly try to balance keeping momentum, yet going slowly enough to make sound, thorough decisions. Phase 1: Initial Design and Budget Development tends to take 4 weeks. The next phase - Full Design - varies greatly depending on the scope of work. Simple projects without engineering can sometimes complete development in as little as eight weeks. Other projects require several more months of planning, engineering, permitting, etc.
Living in a Covid world, we continue to experience long lead times and labor shortages. As a result we prefer a longer runway of time between completing design and beginning construction. We use this time to order materials and begin building cabinetry.
In sum, from the day you sign a design agreement to the day we break ground is often at least 6 months.
How often do you see clients go “over budget?”
As a fixed price construction agreement, there are few ways in which a client goes “over budget.” We do our best to make all decisions prior to construction with very few, if any, allowances. As such there are essentially only two opportunities or risk exposures for the price to increase: Client-requested Change Orders and Site Driven Change Orders. We typically see 2-3 Client-requested Change Orders on a project. These range from deciding later to do wallpaper in a powder bathroom to repainting more of the house than planned.
Site Driven Change Orders are definitely something to count on in an older home. Once we pass the demolition phase of construction, a lot of previously unseen factors become known. We do our best to communicate them quickly and develop effective and efficient solutions for addressing additional, needed work.
How much will my project cost per square foot?
This is a helpful tool when talking about new construction, but is unfortunately not a relevant or meaningful number in remodeling.
Will we get what we put into the remodel back out if we sell?
Candidly, probably not, unless you’ve lived in the house long enough, or you bought it for a great price. It usually takes years to recoup your investment. So for it to be worth putting so much into your home, you have to be investing in more than “your asset.” You have to believe in the value of improving the way your family will function in the new floorplan, or in the way you’ll enjoy cooking and gathering with friends in your new kitchen.
Can I live at home during my remodel?
In many cases the answer is yes. If you are remodeling a kitchen we can even help you set up a temporary kitchen in another room. Of course, there are certain project scopes that make living at home difficult. This is something we’ll address during our design process.
How long will my project take to complete?
After 30 years in the industry, we know that when we speak the words “four to five months,” all the client hears is “four months!” So while we dread this question given the dozens of variables that make answering it so difficult (weather, backorders, unforeseen issues discovered behind walls), we know that it’s one of the most desired answers. Our most common projects take between 3 and 5 months to complete. Larger, whole house remodels often take closer to 7 months.