Q How long have you been in business?
A Newtown is celebrating 15 years of residential remodeling in Seattle.
Q Is your company licensed and bonded to do business in Washington?
A Yes, we are licensed, bonded, and insured. We have never had a claim or legal dispute since the start of our business.
Q What kinds of contracts do you offer?
A Generally, we offer a cost plus contract, however on clearly defined projects a fixed bid is appropriate. A cost plus contract consists of charging for the actual costs of the job plus a fee to cover overhead and profit. Costs include fees, material, labor and subcontractors. In addition, the contractor will bill for hours spent ordering, acquiring parts, supervising labor, working on elements of the job, and meeting with the client. Overhead expenses are those that the contractor incurs as a result of being in business.
A fixed bid contract states a price for completion of the project. It means the contractor needs to add a percentage, or a safety margin onto the estimated cost to cover any unforeseen problems that may come up during construction.
Q What are your billing methods?
A With cost plus contracts, customers are invoiced every two weeks. At each invoicing, an envelope containing all time sheets, receipts for materials, and subcontractor’s invoices will be submitted to the client with the totals including the profit and overhead. We ask that the client submit payment in one to two days.
Q How much money do you require prior to the start date?
A Depending on the job and scope of the work, we require 5-10% of the total project cost to hold the spot on our schedule. When the job begins, this amount is deducted from the first submitted invoices to the client.
Q Will we need a permit for this project?
A Most cities require permits for building projects. Failure to do so can be illegal. If a project violates a zoning law and it is discovered by the city, it may need to be demolished. Therefore we are very conscious of the permit process and ensure that all permits have been retained before starting any work. If a job requires an architect, then the architect will make sure that all permitting is done.
Q What happens if one of your employees is injured on the job?
A We are current with Labor and Industries and Workman’s compensation insurance. Our employees are also offered a full insurance package so they are 100% covered.
Q I've heard about construction liens. What are they?
A If a contractor fails to pay subcontractors, suppliers or laborers or other legally required payments, those who are looking for payment can look to your property for payment even if you have paid your contractor in full. You can go to www.lNI.wa.gov/IPUB/625-017-000.pdf  for more information on construction liens.
So as you can imagine it’s very important to pick a contractor who has a stellar reputation and track record. We have never had one of our clients involved in any type of lien dispute because we are very careful to make sure we pay all of our debts on time.
Q Can I buy my own bath fixtures and faucets to save money?
A We highly recommend not doing this. Past experience has proven that even though the client may think they are going to save money, in the long run they may not. Fixtures provided by the client are not covered in our warranty. If there are problems it will be up to the client to replace or repair it. We have also found that fixtures supplied by the internet will arrive without all of the needed parts. This requires the subcontractor to be rescheduled, costing the client the time for the first visit as well as the time lost in sequencing. In addition to the above reasons we receive substantial discounts from our suppliers, which we pass on to our clients.
Q How do your warranties work?
A We warranty our work for one year from the project completion date.
Q Can we see other projects you've done or talk with prior clients?
A Absolutely! Go to our portfolio page on this site to see a few examples of our work. We also provide a list of references after our first meeting.  We encourage you to call our past clients and ask them about their experience with us.
Q What percentage of your business is repeat or referral business?
A We are proud to say that 90% of our business comes from leads from prior clients and architects that we have worked with in the past. We believe in building strong relationships with our clients and building a trust that will give them the confidence to refer us to their family and friends.
Q Do you recycle?
A Yes, we do whenever possible. We are members of the NW Eco building Guild and try to promote green remodeling. Green building can be more expensive in the beginning but over time the costs average out.  We can discuss with you options and costs for recycling and using earth friendly materials during the design and feasibility phase.
Q Should I live in the house during the remodel?
A This depends on the size and scope of the project. If the project is large, added consideration for the client’s comfort will be needed, resulting in a longer completion date and increased costs. However, whether a project is large or small, we use protective systems for every aspect of construction. We use temporary walls for dust control, protective mats for foot traffic, and cover all furniture that will be exposed and cannot be moved. We do regular sweep ups in an attempt to keep dust at a minimum. We also make every attempt to not disturb landscaping and if necessary work with the client on  temporary relocation of endangered plantings.
Q Where do we begin if we aren’t sure what the design is?
A We have architectural and interior design services available in house. We are also happy to work with your architect or designer. The first step is to have a meeting and look over the scope of the project and decide what design or engineering will be needed. We also suggest that clients start putting together a design portfolio that contains images from magazines or other sources, of products or looks that they want to incorporate into their project. The end goal is to design and build a space that reflects the client’s style and meets all of their needs.