Building Confidence Over 30 Years
What To Ask When Planning a Remodel
Getting An Accurate
Houzz Featured Kitchen
When you remodel, a home design is just as important as the build. Deciding what your home will look like should really reflect the personality and needs of the homeowner(s).
This kitchen was featured on Houzz for having a very unique style. With that style came a very interesting inspiration; the Alps.
Many features in this kitchen directly correlate to the Alps. The counter top is quartz which represents the natural granite found there, while the cabinets are composed of two different types of wood, Alder and Walnut, representative of the trees in the forest.
Even the floating shelves are put there intentionally to mimic the branches on tress.
Much thought was put into the back splash being the focal point. They were placed to look like the Alps itself, with three different colored tiles being incorporated and representing the Alpine lakes, sky, and clouds.
Once the design came together, functionality came into play. Using an existing opening, they increased the kitchen size and replaced and increased the size of an older window to help bring in more natural light.
If you are interested in seeing and hearing more about this project please visit the link below.
You are getting ready to remodel your home but you are overwhelmed with so many decisions. You know what style you're after and you know your budget. Do you start with a designer or a contractor? Do you really need both? Is it really feasible and affordable to have both?
Design/Build is a project delivery system that allows you, the client to contract one entity and receive all the benefits of both design and build (construction).
Do I need a Design/Build firm?
This question will help determine the best way to gain the maximum usage of your existing square footage. If it’s moving or removing walls to gain the maximum livable existing space or maybe adding on new space, this is best determined during your meeting with the design/build contractor.
Before you begin the researching of design/build companies, you should first ask yourself a few questions.
- Are you planning on keeping the current floor plan?
- Would you be open to moving walls if it improves the design and saves you money?
- Are you considering making any changes to the exterior of your home?
- Are you open to relocating plumbing fixtures if it improved your space?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions then enlisting the help of a good design firm will probably save you money in the long run and result in a better designed project.
How do I benefit from a Design/Build firm?
A good design/build firm will take your wish list, wants, needs, and budget and develop the best project for you. A good design/build firm should be able to explain costs and options so you can determine what works best for you and your budget. Many times there are simple options that save a great deal of money. In most situations these savings should offset the cost of the design process. Many times, with the appropriate construction experience, a design/build firm will know the most efficient way to build and work with the engineer to make sure the structural work can be done the most cost efficient way.
How does the Design/Build process work?
The design/build process allows for an overall look at the project to help identify issues before they become a problem. A good design/build firm will be able to show you options and costs during the design process so you can make a decision on where you most want to spend your money.
Sometimes moving a wall is simple, while other times it is load bearing and can affect other aspects of a home’s structural integrity. A design/build firm will explain limits and potential pit falls of a design before you begin a remodel, which in turn will help eliminate any expensive items that might turn up during work or the permitting process. Many times there are simple options that save a great deal of money, with these savings ultimately offsetting the cost of the design.
When working through the design process, May Construction designs around your budget, not budgets around your design. With keeping this in mind, our design process also includes working with skilled interior designers who will help lead you through your product selection choices, color choices, and finish choices. This helps create the beautiful flow from room to room. Working with such a cohesive team is a value in itself. During this process, we are continually evaluating the cost of your project from floor plan through the product selection, this provides us the opportunities to discuss where you are within your budget. This will help you determine where you most want to spend your money. At this point you will begin to answer the questions you ask yourself; do I really want that radiant heating, or is the larger pantry better for my lifestyle?
The highest standards for superior customer service at May Construction are backed by vision, integrity, dedication, and commitment set by Greg May and his team. These elevated standards not only benefit clients, but are carried out through our project management. May Construction continues to specialize in Design/Build, Whole House Remodels, Additions, Kitchen and Bathroom Remodels, and total project management.
Using Design/Build these clients found that removing the peninsula counter in their kitchen and extending their counter top down the wall would help
open the space.
This kitchen is a great example of design and functionality being combined; open wall cabinets, modern eating area, and a focal point back splash.
Building Confidence Over 30 Years
This year May Construction Inc. is celebrating Building Confidence for over 30 years in the construction industry. Many don't know the history of how May Construction came to be a successful, long standing company. This month we want to reflect back to our beginnings and share our history.
Greg and his father, Marion May were always working on projects together ever since Greg was a young boy, this created Greg’s passion for construction. When he entered his teen years his father and a partner started flipping homes. This furthered Greg’s interest for remodeling. Once Greg was and adult, he started working for his father on the large projects in Atherton, CA.
In 1995 Greg left the company to pursue his own vision. In just 9 months Greg had already grown the company by 100%. This allowed Greg to work on contracts with design firms that together brought the company unique work and high end projects.
The business has continued to build a great team of people and sources. We have perfected systems that help jobs run smoothly and efficiently and developed a bid process that provides clients with complete and accurate pricing before a job starts.
About 15 years ago May Construction started using the Design/Build process, which helps a customer’s overall experience in the planning process. This includes educating them on their decision process while still helping them stay within their intended budget. Before a project even begins, we make sure each client is fully aware of what will cost. While May Construction is still continuing to fine tune this process, we are always looking for each opportunity to educate clients of the challenges and opportunities that may arise. We continue to use experts in all fields to help optimize cost savings and take some of the burden off the homeowner.
As of 2017 May Construction Inc. continues to be family owned and operated by Greg and Debbie May. They continue to bring highest standards for superior customer service which are backed by vision, integrity, dedication and commitment set by Greg May and his team These elevated standards not only benefit clients, but are carried out through project management. May Construction continues to be specialize in Design/Build, Whole House Remodels, Additions, Kitchen and Bathroom Remodels and total project management.
What Do I Ask
When Planning A Remodel?
Remodeling your home, whether small or large, is a process. This process has no set-in-stone list of directions and instead varies from home-to-home and family-to-family. Before you begin looking for a contractor, there are questions you should to ask yourself. Here are a few to begin with.
Why are you remodeling?
This question is the integral
groundwork into your remodeling
journey. What are you looking to
accomplish with this remodel. This
is a great time to sit and write down
a list of NEEDS and WANTS. Needs
within a home are always subject to
change, so don’t necessarily think of
what you need now, also consider what you need in the future. Is this a home you want to live in through your senior years? Will you be having more children? Do you plan on having guests for long periods of time? Just as needs are important, so are wants. These will help you LOVE your home!
What is your investment or budget for your remodel?
Next, is your investment or budget. You might be asking, why do I need to decide my investment so early in my remodel? Knowing what you are looking to investment in your project is important information for a good design/build contractor. They will be able to help guide a project away from a financial direction that will not fit a client’s investment. A quality design/build contractor’s goal should always be to assist clients in making educated decisions while being aware of the challenges and opportunities that may arise.
Next, consider other elements of a remodel.
Will you use a designer?
Do you have the expertise and time to make product selections and design decisions? How much is your time worth? In most cases a skilled designer will be able to get three times the work done than you could in the same amount of time. They will know what decisions to make first and build from there. If decisions are made in the wrong order you could potentially stall a remodel, or waste time having to rethink selections already made. A designer will also bring their creativity and their inspiration along with their knowledge of products. Their job is to know the current trends and many carry an unrivaled experience in home remodeling projects. If you live in a high value home, the investment in a designer is well spent. It will result in time saved for the homeowner, a project that will have design elements that would never have been explored, and a project that runs smoother.
How do I find a contractor?
This is definitely the most tedious,
but important part of a remodel. The
best way to start is by researching. A
contractor that has been around for a
while should have references, on-line
reviews, and projects underway that
you can see. This is a person that you
will be spending a lot of time with, so
you need to make sure they are
someone you get along with and can work through potential problems with smoothly.
Once you have narrowed down your choices, make sure you know what to ask. Your contractor should be licensed and in addition, their license should be in good standing. They should also carry active workers comp and liability insurance and be Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) certified by the federal government. Some people might think that using an unlicensed contractor is the more affordable option.
Using an unlicensed contractor leaves the homeowner with no recourse if the project does not go right or there is damage to the home. A homeowner could even be held responsible for injuries that happen on their property if the contractor is not fully insured. If you use a licensed contractor you also arm yourself with the California State License Board as an advocate and the contractors bond if anything goes wrong.
Planning a remodel can feel overwhelming in the beginning; there are many pieces that must be brought together just right to make it a success. If you answer just a few of these questions before hand, and build a good team around you, you'll be sure to have a great remodeling experience.
Four Years and Counting...
Houzz has become a staple for any homeowner that is looking to remodel their home. Houzz covers everything related to remodeling from beginning to end; gather ideas by looking through pictures and creating idea books, reading articles, getting advice, locating finish materials items such as, tile, plumbing fixtures, flooring, furniture, and even locate the type of contractor you need to help with your project.
Since the onset of Houzz in 2009, May Construction has been involved in the Houzz community sharing project pictures and remodeling ideas, creating polls and engaging in discussion posts. As well as being involved in the Houzz community, we have been awarded badges for things including being a Houzz community influencer, having our photos saved to idea books over a thousand times, being featured as well as recommended.
May Construction is proud to announce we have received the Houzz Best in Service Badge for 4 consecutive years. This award is a directly related to our high standards for superior customer service.
Through our process it is our goal to continue to assist clients in making educated decisions while being aware of challenges and opportunities that may arise.
Getting An Accurate Estimate
So, one of the issues that we’ve seen is making sure that a client is in a position to get estimate that are truly apples to apples. Can they really compare the estimates at the end of the day when they’re sitting down at the table looking them over? If a client comes to us and has no information on the products or exact details of the scope of work, it’s really impossible for a contractor to give the client a true number for the project. The issues we’ve been seeing is a client will call, they want their bathroom or kitchen remodel, and we get out there and they don’t have the details or even know what products they want. And sometimes don’t even know the exact layout they want but they want an estimate.
Maybe they’re calling two or three
contractors. Then, when the estimates
are put together, if the contractor
hasn’t sat down and worked through
all those details and the exact products,
there’s really no way for the client to
know what each contractor has included
and what he hasn’t, and what is the true
bottom line figure for the project.
A bathroom cabinet can be $500.00 or $5,000.00. A counter top can be $300.00 or $3,000.00 or even higher. Without doing the initial product selections, there’s no way for the client to really know if he’s comparing apples to apples and can he sit down at the table and make a true informed decision. What we see happen quite a bit is the client will go with the lowest price and then find out that the actual finished cost of the project was quite a bit higher because the products that were specified, or in the mind of the contractor, weren’t meeting the expectations of the client and change orders have to be written. So, that’s something that – I always try and get a client to do their due diligence up front. Do the research up front. You’re going to have to make the decisions anyways. Why not make them up front and make sure that you’re protecting yourself and your budget. Make sure the number that you get for your project is truly the number for your project.
Houzz Featured Kitchen