Do you only work on big jobs?
We do it all. We are happy to help you with any home improvement project, from installing a new screen door to adding recessed lighting to replacing a deck. Feel free to contact us for projects of any scope or budget.
Can I buy cabinets from you?
Yes. MAK can provide Bellmont Cabinets for other contractors or do-it-yourself homeowners. We can also provide cabinet layout services and/or cabinet installation services as needed.
I want to do all kinds of projects in my home – where do I start?
We recommend that you first start with a budget and a list of priorities. We have an exercise called “I Wish I Want I Need” to help you and any other decision-makers determine your remodeling priorities. This exercise is a great tool to use to establish the essential goals of your project. Writing your remodeling needs on paper will also help to get everybody on the same page!
Can you create a design for all the things I want to do, and then build them in phases?
We can. Sometimes phasing a project is the best way to minimize the impact on a household when it comes to larger-scale projects. However, phased projects are not usually cost effective. They often require more design and administration time to execute effectively. They can also require more permit fees if the phases extend over a long period of time.
Do you give estimates?
Yes. After an initial consultation, a ballpark number and a scope of work are established. The ballpark number and the scope of work become the basis for the Project Analysis and Design (or PAD) agreement. As long as the scope remains unchanged, the ballpark number is estimated to be within 10% of the final project costs. From the outset, we research all aspects of a project thoroughly to come up with the most accurate figure possible. Upfront project costs are a fundamental advantage to working with a design and build company.
I just bought a house. Can you finish all my remodeling needs before we move in?
Yes. MAK has successfully fixed up a number of houses prior to new homeowners taking occupancy. We will work with you to coordinate a scope of work with your particular time frame.
Do I need to use a licensed builder?
Yes. It is in the best interest of all parties to have work done legally and with valid written contracts. When you work with a licensed contractor you can protect yourself by verifying that contractor’s good standing in the industry. You also benefit by working with somebody who is properly bonded and insured. The Contractor State License Board website, www.cslb.ca.gov, is a great resource for learning more about these issues.
What are the next steps?
The next step is simply to give us a call, 530-750-2209. We will set up an appointment for a phone conversation that usually lasts a half an hour to an hour. During this conversation we will discuss the parameters of your project and the ways we can work together to achieve your goals. At the end of the conversation we will schedule a time to meet at your home and get a better understanding of your project.
Do you have references?
Yes. MAK is proud to report that, based on a recent survey from Guild Quality, we have a 100% referral rate! It is our mission at MAK to build lasting relationships, and to do this, we need to provide extraordinary service while delivering high quality projects. Once we know a bit more about your project we will give a list of references. We encourage you to ask our past clients about their experience with MAK.
Why are there so many meetings?
We have found that structured communication is the best way for us to work together to keep your project moving as scheduled. We take and distribute notes from each meeting to make sure that the decisions made during the course of the project are understood by everybody involved. At MAK, we understand the value of clear communication during this complex process.
My husband/wife/partner says this is my project and he doesn't want to get involved. Why do they have to be at the meetings?
MAK understands the importance of communication and client satisfaction is our primary mission. Because both partners will be affected by the product (dramatic improvements to their home) and the process (demolition, dust & disruption) we would like both partners to be involved in the discussions and decisions from the beginning. When ideas, issues, and expectations are fully communicated during design and during construction, the finished project meets the needs of everybody in the household. We want to leave you with a happy home.
How much does design cost?
Design fees vary depending on the scope of the project, but are typically around 10% of the construction cost. Prior to beginning your design, we prepare a Design Agreement for your project that outlines a preliminary scope of work and a ballpark number. The ballpark number for your project determines the design fees.
I’ve seen a lot of modern looking projects in your gallery, is this all you do?
Absolutely not. At MAK, we pride ourselves on coming up with thoughtful, design solutions that reflect our client’s personal aesthetics and lifestyle. We see every project as the successful merging of our client’s dreams and our own expertise.
Can you develop a design and I send it out to bid with other contractors?
Unfortunately, no. Due to licensing and insurance restrictions, we cannot design projects for other builders. We can only design what we will build
I heard that Davis has a really picky permit department, is that going to be a hassle?
While the Davis Building Department is meticulous, they are also responsive, fair and more than willing to make the permitting process as smooth as possible. We have a great deal of experience working with the Building Department and know what it takes to get your project properly permitted.
What sorts of restrictions/codes/rules do I have to research for my property?
The first step would be to research your neighborhood set back regulations. The set back regulations establish limitations for building in relation to your property lines. Every city has standard set backs, but there are also variations from one neighborhood to the next. Each county will have its own set back standards. Another important regulation when considering adding square footage to your house is the Floor Area Ratio (FAR). The FAR compares your living space to your lot size. The standard is 40% of living space to lot size. If you find that your project exceeds this, it is possible to apply to have this percentage amended. There are also historical districts in the area that have building guidelines that need to be considered early on in the design process. A visit to your building department is a great place to begin gathering this important planning information.
When can we get started? How long does it take?
The answers to these questions usually hinge on the scope of your project. We can usually make room in our construction schedule for smaller jobs on short notice. The larger jobs require a bit more planning. As part of our design agreements, we establish a start date for the design process and a design schedule that leads right into a start date for construction. For reference, a full kitchen remodel takes about 3 months and a complete bathroom takes between 4-6 weeks.
Will the remodel be loud/messy/disruptive?
There are definitely noisy parts to a typical remodel. Construction is a loud and often dusty business. Knowing this, MAK makes every effort to work with you to minimize the disruption to your normal life. All of the extended MAK team understands that it is your home first and our jobsite second. With structured communication, we will keep you informed of the construction schedule so you are always aware of things to come.
Regarding Green Buldings
What is green building?
Green building is an approach to design and construction based on the knowledge that the entire house is a connected system. Building green means making informed decisions to improve the quality, durability, comfort and function of your home. Green building emphasizes several areas to improve on common current building practices by focusing on :
- quality and durability
- energy efficiency
- resource conservation
- water conservation
- indoor air quality
- community planning*
Every project is an opportunity to choose green building practices and/or products. There are many ways to improve your home while reducing the environmental impacts of those improvements.
*See more details about green building practices.
What does it mean that you are a certified green builder?
MAK is certified through Build It Green (BIG). Being certified means that staff attend BIG trainings, take continuing education courses to renew our certification and exchange ideas and network with other BIG members. You can learn more about Build It Green at: http://www.builditgreen.org/
We are committed to being current and informed about emerging green design/build practices, and to being a part of the green building conversation in our area. In 2005 we brought the City of Davis and Build It Green (BIG) together to discuss how Davis could implement green building guidelines like those already in place in various Bay Area communities. As a result of that meeting, the City of Davis representatives have themselves attended BIG’s trainings and are now implementing a pilot green building guideline program for local projects.
Does building green cost more?
When you compare the initial cost of durable building practices and materials to entry level, lesser quality materials, and hurried design then, yes. However, making an upfront investment in durable, energy efficient products and a well thought out design means your remodel will give you years of satisfaction, reduced maintenance, improved efficiency (cost savings), quality of life and overall enjoyment of your home.
Many green building practices can be incorporated into your project for little or no extra cost. We work with clients to help them understand what sort of small changes, as well as larger changes, can be made to improve the health, durability, and comfort of their home.
I’m not so “green” but I do need a quality contractor, can you still design and build my project?
MAK is committed to quality design and building, and green building is a part of that commitment. Green building IS quality building, and vice versa. We can show you easy and economical ways to incorporate green building into your project, but our goal is to build a lasting, quality home even if you aren’t as concerned about the recycled content in your countertop.
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