Frequently Asked Questions About Building a Home
Contact us for our references, and feel free to ask these types of questions of our previous clients.
How much will it cost?
- The overall cost depends on several factors. Some costs we consider “fixed”, meaning that it cannot be changed, while other costs are decision driven and can fluctuate based on the client’s wishes.
- What is the level of finishing detail (hardwood vs. carpet and tile vs. marble)?
- Are there any hazardous materials or presence of mold in the home (example of fixed cost)?
- Once we have our initial meeting with you, we can give you a ballpark idea of what your home will cost.
- There is no way to give a reliable cost per square foot for a remodeling project because every job is unique. However, if the scope of work is mainly in adding space it will be less expensive than interior remodeling.
- The more existing structural elements such as windows, doors, stairs, etc. we are able to keep in the new plan the less expensive it will be.
- In the past few years our remodeling projects have ranged from $80,000 for a simple kitchen to over $2 million dollars for remodel of an entire home.
Can we stay in the home while you do the remodeling?
- Yes and no. The final answer depends on the size and scope of the project and the temperament of our clients.
- If the job is properly designed and staged the disruption can be minimized. Still there may be times, when it is best not to be in the home due to noise, fumes, access to power, heat, etc.
- When additions are constructed, we do everything we can to complete as much of addition as possible before we break through to the home.
- Some projects are too massive to safely or economically keep the family in the home. In other cases, the family may be able to stay in the home until certain phases are so invasive that we will need access to the entire home to get the job done efficiently.
- We are skilled in blocking the remodeled portion section of the home with the occupied area to keep the dust and disruption down to a minimum.
- This is an important aspect of the project for some clients and we can have a discussion of what and when certain things will be done and if the family should stay in the home or not.
Where do you build?
- We are not locked into any particular lots or area and have traveled but our core market is located in Northern Virginia focusing on Fairfax and Loudoun Counties.
- Most of our clients in the last two decades have been in McLean, Vienna, Falls Church, Great Falls, Ashburn, and from Leesburg to Bluemont.
We’ve never done a remodeling job before. How can we possibly figure out what we can do and how can we make all the decisions?
- Many of our clients have never done either a small or large remodeling project before, so we know how to simplify a complicated process by going step by step.
- Once we finish the project our customers consistently tell us that everything was a lot more fun, went more efficiently and the whole process was a lot simpler than they had anticipated.
- Once you tell us what you want to accomplish with the existing home we will suggest different ways to accomplish your goals as well as the finishes that might be appropriate for your tastes, the neighborhood and your budget.
We’ve heard all remodeling projects go over budget and that “change orders” are to blame. How can we be assured this will not happen to us?
- Change orders are not a bad thing. In fact they are a good thing, because they allow you the homeowner to change your mind about a material, design, system etc. while construction is on-going.
- Our contract will include a price to build the home as drawn and specified so that you have an understanding of what you are getting for the price.
- If you don’t surprise us with a drastic deviation from your original decisions, then you will stay within your budget.
- We give you a guaranteed price for your home and we will deliver for that price unless you choose to change it or some unforeseen condition is discovered such as bad ground, etc.
- When you choose to make a change once construction starts (change order) we contractually guarantee that you will be charged the same rate that you paid for the rest of the home.
- We do not discourage or penalize our clients for making changes in a timely fashion.
- Our customers have an average of 20 to 30 change orders.
- Most of our customers (even with 20 to 30 changes) stay within 2% to 3% of the initial contract price.
How long does it take?
- How big is the project?
- What is the level of finishing detail?
- How much do we have to tear out before we start and how much do we have to replace?
- Do you plan on staying in the home for all or part of the remodeling?
- What is our access to the remodeling area?
- Are you going to make your selections on time?
- General Timing:
- If Foley Construction is designing the project we can typically complete the design and costing work in under 3 months. Simpler projects can take only a couple of weeks while more complex projects will take longer. If civil engineering (land development) is needed this can add time to the overall design process.
- If you are using a designer or architect for your project, we recommend you get a written commitment as to how long it will take to perform the aforementioned tasks. If the start date is important to you, then the design time should be resolved up front to insure your project’s success.
- Permit times vary depending on the state, county and overall scope of work. Simple projects can get a permit in as little as 1 day while more complex projects which require grading plans can take 2 to 3 months.
The length of the remodel is all dependent on the scope of work. We have completed some projects in a matter of weeks while others take a year. Our most typical remodel projects (range in cost between $250k-$500k) take between 3 and 6 months.
Who are your clients?
Our typical client is a first time remodeling client or a client who has experienced a remodel that went badly because they selected a less experienced company the first time. Most of our remodeling clients have busy schedules and come to us with a general idea of what they want, but no idea on how to make it happen. They are willing to pay a reasonable price for good quality and want to be treated fairly and kept abreast of what is going on with their home.
What do you build?
- If you can dream it – we can build it!
- We have built homes from 1300 sq. ft to 20,000 sq. ft.
- We have built houses ranging from contemporaries to traditional center hall colonials on estate lots.
- We have built on 6,000 sq. ft in-fill lots to an 18-acre estate lot.
- Most of our clients come to us because they want their home to fit their needs and not what a marketing director thinks will sell.
- We are also experts in extensive remodeling projects.
What happens if we have a question or a problem during construction?
- Our field staff is available by email even when in the field.
- You will also have the email address and personal phone numbers for the principals of the company.
- We will answer any question within 24 hours if possible.
- You will have your superintendent’s number and a 24 hour a day emergency contact number.
Are you a green builder?
We are totally committed to being environmentally responsible in all our projects and are Green Certified builders. Please go to the “green” section of our web site for more information.