We wrote an article on remodeling your kitchen for Builders Showcase Nov/Dec 2020 magazine. Have a look here!
So, you’ve met with Greg or Dane a few weeks ago and have been (patiently?) waiting to see what ideas they may present for your kitchen or bathroom remodel project. Depending on the size of the project, you will be presented with either a Design Retainer or a Proposal. This article will focus specifically on the Design Retainer process.
If your project is larger and requires walls to be built or removed, a Design Retainer will be your next step. This could be the case for basement finishes or when a kitchen remodel requires adjusting the layout on the first floor. A Design Retainer allows us to design intelligently and accurately estimate the project cost. The important work completed in the design process leads to more accurate budgets, a design you envisioned, maximum return on your investment, and better planning by us.
If you decide to work with GMH on your project, we will set an appointment for a field measure. Depending on the scope of work, we may bring in a designer whom we think is best suited for your project. During the measuring meeting, we review the project goals, measure the rooms, and photograph the existing layout and features, including the mechanicals such as electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems.
After the field measure and site review, there will be a few design review meetings starting with a review of the basic proposed layout options. Over the course of these meetings, your design will evolve from a general concept to specific details. Floor plans, elevations, and perspectives help you visualize your project.
After creating a plan and design matching your vision, the scope of work and project budget are refined. You will then receive a list of selections and allowances to begin meeting with our local vendors and interior designers to finalize selections of finishes, products, and materials.
By the end of these meetings, you will have a completed design and selections that you absolutely LOVE and can’t wait to live in!
We are so happy you found us and would like to meet Greg or Dane to discuss your possible future remodel. Whether a basement remodel, kitchen remodel, or bathroom remodel we are excited to be a part of your journey. In person or by a virtual meeting, the initial consultation with you allows us to identify the scope of the job so we are all on the same page. So how should you, as the homeowner, prepare for this meeting? Here are just a few suggestions:
Clearly identify specific rooms to be remodeled with as much detail as possible. Include the things you NEED to have done and the things that you MIGHT like to have. This is a vital starting point to help determine cost and drawing plans.
Gather lots of ideas! Look in magazines, go on Pinterest, Instagram or attend trade shows. It is extremely helpful to show us what you would like so we can discuss if it’s doable and what it might cost.
And speaking of cost – be prepared to discuss the budget. When you have an idea what it is, we can then offer suggestions to help you be able to reach your vision within your budget. The cost of a remodel can depend on a number of factors, and we are prepared to discuss how much it will realistically cost.
What questions do you have for us? Even before our meeting you might have a ton of questions. Keep a running list and add to it when new one arises so as not to forget! Some of them might be: What will be the best way to stay in contact? Who will oversee the project daily? Are you licensed and insured?
After this initial consultation we will take about 2 – 3 weeks to prepare an estimate and possible design plans for your project. We know hiring and entrusting your home to us is a big deal and its one that we seriously. So, when we all do our part to prepare and have open communication from the start it will help ensure you get a remodel that you love.
At GMH Construction, we are dedicated to pursuing recycling and sustainable design from set up to clean up. Because, we don’t just work in our local communities, we live in them too.
One area of focus is to reduce our carbon footprint and the impact on the environment. We do that through salvaging and donating certain demolition products for reuse and recycling common Construction & Demolition (C&D) debris.
- These materials include debris generated during the demolition and construction processes. Common debris such as lumber, metal, masonry, tile, carpet, insulation, plastic, tile, cardboard, and more is taken to a single-stream recycling facility for sorting and processing.
- You trade in your car, can you trade in a kitchen? Items such as cabinets, countertops, and fixtures in good condition may be donated to a local charitable organization such as Habitat for Humanity® for salvage, sale, or reuse.
What are the Benefits of Environmental Sustainability?
- Help to offset the environmental impact of construction
- Potentially reduce the associated environmental issues
- Conserve landfill space
- Socially and environmentally responsible activity
This year has people canceling plans and putting things on hold. Maybe you can’t go to that festival or ball game. But what about remodeling your home? Is now the time to go ahead with a big project? Before you say no, consider these points:
The Strong Resale Market & Low Interest Rates – With interest rates low and property values on the rise, now might be an ideal time to take out a HELOC or refinance and tackle that big home improvement project. You will experience an immediate increase in your home value and enjoy the benefits of your new space in the meantime.
Safety First – We take the personal health and safety of our customers and employees seriously. Many steps have been implemented and reinforced to ensure we minimize exposure and maintain personal distance. It has been our practice for the last several years to use HEPA air filters to ensure there is sufficient ventilation and air flow in the work area. Surface protection and plastic sheeting is also used to separate workers from homeowners. Lastly, we have adjusted our project work schedule so that fewer workers are onsite at any one time.
Expected ROI – A word of caution: be aware of undertaking renovations that may price you out of your local market. Research the value of your home and the average market values in the surrounding area. However, if you plan to stay in your home for a longer period of time, it may not be a major issue and you could recoup the value of the remodel. Current cost verse value reports for our area estimate that for a major mid-range kitchen remodel a homeowner could recoup up to 64% of the cost. For bath remodels up to 72%.
Updated Kitchens and Baths Help Sell Houses – Realtors have known this for years. That’s why a remodeled kitchen or bathroom, or a finished basement is often a highlighted feature in real estate photos. If you love the new space, likely the right buyers will too, seeing it as a key selling point. Remodeling these rooms positions the house for a faster resell at the best price.
Comfort, Enjoyment and Personal Satisfaction – Regardless of the economic advantage for remodeling now, the most important reason is knowing the entire family will enjoy an improved quality of life right away and you will be able to stay in the location you’ve come to call HOME. We want you to love where live.
A homeowner hires a contractor to remodel their kitchen. After they hand over a check for supplies and materials, work begins. The contractor asks for more money but one day leaves the job. The homeowner tries to contact the contractor but again and again fails, the contractor has disappeared leaving the job incomplete, incorrect and unsafe. The homeowner has lost thousands of dollars and then finds out the so called contractor isn’t licensed with the state. It’s a story that you have no doubt heard many times on the news. So why is a license so important?
When a general contractor is licensed it means they have earned a trade license as required by their state and local laws. They have put in the time required to pass competency tests about business practices, safety measures, and trade skills. They are also required to provide proof of insurance, which protects you, your family, and home from bodily injury and property damage that could potentially happen during a project.
A general contractor will serve as a single point of contact and manages all the aspects of your project. This includes securing builders permits, scheduling inspections, and ordering building materials. They schedule and supervise all trades required to be on your project – electricians, plumbers, tile installers, HVAC technicians, drywallers – to name a few.
Not every contractor uses the same steps to complete a project. But when licensed, a contractor carefully plans out the whole process before starting the work keeping in mind federal, state, and local ordinances. Keeping open communication with you, the homeowner, is a top priority. A contractor will also make sure there is a legal signed contract between the two of you to ensure all commitments are met and adhered to as a protection for both the homeowner and remodeler.
Hiring a licensed general contractor may cost a bit more, but it is a long term investment that will save you time, worry, and trouble. GMH will be with you every step of the way until your project is complete and you are more than satisfied.
Being a Wisconsin-based business, we support the efforts of other local businesses. If you are in need of a new heating & cooling system or a repair, we invite you to learn more from the licensed contractors at Action Heating & Cooling of Milwaukee. And if you are looking for hardscaping or landscaping services throughout Southeast WI, check out Green Hills Contracting.
Recently large chain stores are offering remodeling services for kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. What are the differences between remodeling with GMH and these type of stores?
Simply put: service. In most cases, installation quality, attention to the little details, custom or out of the ordinary work is not their trademark. Also, a lot of things can pop up during a remodeling project- unforeseen conditions can occur. GMH has the people and resources to deal with these in a timely manner and will make sure the project keeps moving.
Do you need just a new toilet installed or maybe new blinds in the living room? Or what if you need a new garage door put in? These are times when a big box store is the right way to go. However, it is best to have GMH handle the complete job. When we take on your remodel, we have greater flexibility to get the job done. Every job, every situation, is different- so be sure to compare estimates but remember that it likely is not an apples to apples comparison.
At GMH, we value the trust you put in us to handle your complete remodeling job. And when you invest in us, we invest in you to make sure your home is getting the best service and top-quality products. We would love to hear from you and learn more about your next project.
Please take a moment and view our recent work on our portfolio page.
What do you like most about managing projects?
Every project is different and has its own unique design, I like the variety that every project presents. I enjoy seeing progress on a job everyday and making sure the customer is getting what they have envisioned. I enjoy working along with our team – carpenters, electricians, plumbers, tilers. We have fun and take pride in our work.
How does GMH differ from others in the industry?
Since we are a family owned business and a close knit group, we work well together and that means better service for our customers. Our time and energy isn’t spread thin so we can develop better relationships and beautiful homes.
What are some challenges to remodeling?
Staying up to date with the industries best practices – codes and regulations can be a big challenge. Also trends in design are always changing. We want to deliver what the customer wants and needs so we need to constantly educate ourselves on new methods of construction and products.
Tell us a little bit about you…
I live in Waukesha with my wife of 7 years and our 8 month old son. We have two cats, Leo and Obi. In our free time we love working on our home and spending time with family and friends. I love spending time outside playing golf with my buddies.