Frequently Asked Questions
Year founded? 2002
Service area? We are based in Corvallis, Oregon. (Visit our show house at 728 NW 4th St.!) We serve Corvallis and the surrounding area; generally, Benton, Polk, and Linn counties.
Are you licensed? Yes, we are fully licensed, bonded, and insured to perform residential construction work in Oregon. Our Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB) number is 177999, and our prior number was 153738 (we were issued a new number when we incorporated.) You may review the spotless record of both numbers at the CCB website by clicking here. In fact, it is a great idea to review the CCB claims history and license status of any contractor you are considering hiring. This is exactly what we do before hiring any subcontractor. We are also Certified Lead Paint Renovators (license# LBPR177999). This is a relatively new license mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and administered by the CCB. The license is REQUIRED to be held by any company that disturbed more than a few square feet of paint on pre-1978 homes. 1978 was the year lead paint was outlawed for non-industrial uses in the U.S. When reviewing a contractor’s information on the CCB website, look under “CCB business detail record” to see if they have this license.
How much will my project cost? That really depends on the scope of work to be done. Every year Remodeling Magazine compiles a report of remodeling costs around the country. They call it the “Cost vs. Value” report, and it’s available at this link. Although your desired project will undoubtedly be somewhat different from their example projects, the report could still give you a rough budgeting “ballpark.” For more tailored budgeting feedback on your desired project, please contact us.
I have a hard time visualizing a finished space by looking at a floor plan. How will you help me visualize the new design? We utilize design software to create full-color 3D perspective drawings of your new space. These perspectives give you “snap shots” of the proposed design from various angles inside the space. If you would like, we can also mark out various changes in the existing space, using easily-removable tape. For example, we could mark out a new window opening on the interior and exterior of a wall, or a new kitchen peninsula on the floor. This would give you the opportunity to visualize a new feature in its actual environment, as you go about your daily activities.
What will it be like to have you working in my house? Let us show you! Click here to see a series of videos documenting a Corvallis kitchen remodel from start to finish.
How much of the construction work do you subcontract? We complete the majority of the construction work using in-house labor, but some specific trades are required to be subcontracted. Specifically, electrical and plumbing work must be completed by trade contractors properly licensed in their respective industry. Some areas of construction, such as slab countertop fabrication or comprehensive HVAC installations require specific equipment and training that is better suited to a specialized trade subcontractor. And some areas of construction, such as drywall and insulation installation make sense to subcontract on larger projects, to reduct the project’s cost and schedule length. So, the short answer is “it depends on the project.” But, every project we do is assigned to a dedicated lead carpenter who is onsite nearly every day and completes the majority of the work. As with our employees, all of our subcontractors are carefully vetted, very tightly managed, and are trusted and invaluable members of our team.
How do you ensure my project will come in on-budget and on-schedule? First, the budget: Once you have a complete set of plans, we provide you with a fixed-price proposal to build the project. “Fixed price” means that any labor over-runs or material cost increases that may occur are absorbed by us, providing you with the peace of mind of knowing exactly how much the project will cost. (By comparison, some contractors use the “time and materials”, or “cost plus” methods of billing, where the risk of cost increases is borne by the home owner.”) The exception to this rule is that we designate certain material choices as “allowances.” Allowances apply to fixtures and finishes that have not yet been chosen when a construction contract is signed, such as sinks, faucets, tile, light fixtures, etc. We insert a lump sum into the proposal for each of these items, and you will be credited or billed the difference in cost between that place holder amount, and the actual cost of the item you select. This system allows flexibility for you to make your selections, while providing the certainty of an otherwise fixed-price contract. The other way to change the project cost, either up or down, is to request a change in the scope of work. For this, we provide you a fixed-price change order. Now, the schedule: We create a detailed schedule for each project. When the construction contract is signed, we also provide the client with a list of target dates for making allowance selections. We set up the schedule to have all the allowance items on-hand well before they need to be installed. This allows for the inevitable items that show up damaged or incorrect to be exchanged without having any effect on job site production.
Will the remodel leave my home coated in dust? We use extensive measures to contain dust and debris to the work zone, and keep it out of the rest of your home. For every remodel, we seal off the work zone with plastic sheeting and use a fan to create negative air pressure in the space to push dusty air outdoors. We also run an air cleaner and install floor and wall protection along our path into the work zone. There’s no denying that an extensive remodel is disruptive to your home life, but our goal is to minimize that discomfort as much as possible by maintaing a clean, orderly job site.
Do you do handyman work (such as small repairs)? Generally, no. However, there are some minor remodeling services that we are happy to provide, such as skylight, window, and door installation. We specialize in full-service design/build remodeling projects, such as complete kitchens, bathrooms, and whole-house remodels. But please don’t hesitate to contact us– we may be able to point you towards a company better suited to your project, depending on what you need done.
I already have a design. Could you provide a estimate to build the project? We are a “true” design/ build company, meaning that we create a design in-house for every project that we build. The design/build process has some advantages vs. hiring two separate companies to perform design and construction of your project: 1) We are able to keep a tight grip on costs by creating a design to meet your budget. 2) The production manager is closely involved with design creation to ensure the design is “buildable”. 3) The designer is closely involved with your project through completion of construction to ensure all design details are properly executed. 4) Your project is able to move seamlessly from the design to construction phase, eliminating hassle for you. 5) The buck stops with us! As the designer and the builder of the project the responsibility to fix any goofs lies with us, eliminating finger-pointing.
I would like to talk to you about remodeling my home; what is the first step? Wonderful! Please contact us using your preferred method (see contact information here.) We offer a free initial consultation where we can discuss your project in-person and get to know each other a bit. We will send you a “Pre-Meeting Worksheet” to help you organize your ideas/priorities for the project and give us enough information to provide design and budgeting feedback.
Don’t see your question on this list? Click here to email us your own question. (Kirkbuild@kirkbuild.biz.)