How many estimates should I get for my remodeling project?

If a contractor comes to you highly recommended by a trusted friend or family member and you have met with the contractor and feel comfortable with them, then getting additional estimates is probably not necessary.

However, many clients new to the process invite 2-3 companies for an onsite consultation at their home. At that point, the client either chooses the contractor with whom they foresee the best relationship or elects to have 2 contractors bid the project. Keep in mind that to produce an estimate and written proposal is very time consuming and expensive for the contractor – though it’s a free service to you – so if you really like one better than the others, why put them all through the estimating process?

Additionally, we often find that a client may casually mention a brick laid patio to one contractor during the bidding process while another contractor – having not received any information – uses instead flagstone and the labor required to lay it for their job costing. So the two bids may look vastly different based on differing kinds and quality of materials used to estimate costs. Essentially, you must keep in mind that two bids – while they cover the same scope of work – are often still like comparing apples to oranges.

Should I plan for more money than the contract price?

We recommend reserving an additional 10 percent to cover the costs of overages on allowances (like choosing a more expensive marble for your countertop than anticipated) and unforeseen issues (like discovering wood rot or termite damage) once construction is underway.

Will you provide a list of references from which I can call?

Yes! We will happily provide you a list. We are very proud of the work we have performed for our clients, many of which are now our friends, and are excited for you to hear what they have to say!

How should I go about getting started?

To gain a better “big picture” perspective, you should visit our Process page. That said, whether you’ve architectural plans in hand or nothing more than a Pinterest picture locked in your mind, we can step in and begin working with you at any point.

Do I always have to have plans for my project?

The answer to this question is easy…yes, and uh, no! If you are intending to build a new home, then we definitely need to have plans drawn up by an architect at some point. However, if you are keeping within the existing footprint of your bedroom, kitchen, etc. we can likely collaborate with you in-house and provide you with plans using Chief Architect.

How much will my project cost per square foot?

No two kitchens are alike, no two bathrooms are alike, no two room additions are alike and thus a cost per square foot just can’t be used.

Are you properly insured?

Yes, we carry a $2,000,000 general liability policy and name our clients as an additional insured during the project. Moreover, we have Workers Compensation Insurance in place for all of our employees and never enter into a relationship with a subcontractor who does not also carry satisfactory levels of insurance.

What if my remodeling idea won’t work or is cost prohibitive?

More often than not, it will work! Virtually anything in remodeling can be accomplished…but, how much it will cost to achieve it is the better question! In remodeling it is very easy to reach a point of “diminishing return” whereby the cost of the activity significantly outweighs the benefit.

It’s in this respect that Scovell Wolfe and Associates has a very unique corner on the market. In addition to being a certified remodeler, our owner and president Jim Scovell is – and has been for nearly 30 years – a licensed real estate agent in Missouri and Kansas. In addition to providing you with answers about what can and can’t be done in a remodeling project, Jim can shed light on what ought to be done given the neighborhood and current market values.

How long will my project take to complete?

After 25 years in the industry, we know that when we speak the words “two to three months,” all the client hears is “two 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! So we’ve done our best to throw together some estimates. But take these time frames for what they are…ESTIMATES!

Kitchen remodels – An average kitchen remodel where the size remains generally the same will take between three and four months. If your kitchen remodel includes expanding the existing footprint of your home it will take longer.

Bath remodels – An average-sized hall bath cosmetic remodel can take as little time as 3-5 weeks. However, if you are contemplating remodeling and moving the location of the fixtures in a hall bath, it will increase the duration of the project. As will remodeling the master bathroom and grabbing a closet or part of another room to increase its size.

Room additions – Obviously, how long the project will take to complete depends on the type and size of the addition and its final use. For instance, an addition that adds an extra bedroom and closet will take less time than an addition that expands your kitchen. Generally, a bedroom or family room addition will take around three months to complete.

Basement finishes – Depending on the level of finish desired and size of your basement, times for the project can vary quite a bit. For a minor finish of a basement, you may be looking at 4-6 weeks to complete. On the other hand, if you want to include a bedroom with a bath and a family room with a small kitchenette it could take 10-12 weeks. One of our proudest basement projects in recent years took much longer…it also included features that earned it the Best Basement Remodel of the Year by REMY!

New home construction – If you already have the plans and the lot and the home is going to be 4,000 square feet or more with a high-end finish, it is not uncommon for it to take a year or more. Smaller homes with less involved floor plans can be built in six to nine months – weather cooperating…

Can I live at home during my remodel?

In most 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, if you are planning on a whole house remodel, you will need to find someplace else to live.