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New windows allow natural lighting to pour into the dining area

It’s important to keep in mind that retrofitting a space is more complex than building something from the ground up. This is true even when adding onto your home, as it will still require blending the new structure into an existing one and connecting all the necessary services (e.g., electrical, heating and plumbing, etc.) to the original home.

Other factors involved include maintaining the livability of the existing home for family and pets throughout the process — which is a situation unique to remodeling, and one that STRITE is experienced at handling.

There are many advantages to working with STRITE when considering the above. Among these are:

  • STRITE design + remodel incorporates design and planning into all of our remodeling projects, and we have in-depth remodeling experience as well as a thorough understanding of its cost.
  • Having in-house design professionals allows STRITE to keep the budget in mind throughout the design process. This solidifies the cost effectiveness of STRITE’s systems and processes.
  • STRITE has a reputation for excellence. We invite you to view our client list and talk to past clients about their experience with us.
  • STRITE’s team approach — maintaining its core team members for the past 20 years — has been a primary factor in providing excellent customer service.
  • STRITE is a local and national award-winning company that has served the remodeling needs of Treasure Valley residents since 1975.
  • STRITE is a member of GuildQuality, a third-party customer satisfaction survey and reporting company, and has been recognized as a Guildmaster or Guildmaster with Distinction for the last five years in a row. According to GuildQuality, over 97% of our customers surveyed since 2006 would recommend STRITE design + remodel to others, compared to a national average of 60%.
During demolition by Strite Design in Boise, Idaho
FAQ

A client once showed us an ad from a bathroom remodeling company that she had clipped from the daily paper.  In it, the remodeler claimed that they could complete a bathroom makeover in one day. “Why is it taking you three weeks?”, she asked.

The fact of the matter is that in our business the second most frequently asked question after “how much” is “how long.”

Discarding the possibility that the bathroom remodeler in the ad used a time projection more in keeping with Genesis than with a 24-hour day, the simplest explanation is that things take what they take — and not all remodel projects are created equal. In planning a remodel in which a number of trades are involved, one can’t simply assume that things will be done simultaneously. Scheduling a dry wall installer, a hardwood floor installer, and a painter in any order other than sequentially is a recipe for disaster, if not chaos and compromised quality. If each trade in the sequence takes a week to complete their tasks per the Description of Work (DOW), you’re looking at three weeks. That’s how the real world works, based on the Gregorian calendar.

That said, there are a couple of key factors to getting a project completed as quickly as possible. The first is organization…which in turn is a function of experience. Having done thousands of remodel projects over nearly 40 years, we know how the necessary sequence of tasks mesh, and how to condense them down to a schedule that lets us hit the ground running while avoiding the inefficiencies and errors that occur when people are trying to work on top of one another. There is, however, another factor that ultimately trumps experience when it comes to the timely completion of a remodel project: the willingness of your trade partners to make your priorities theirs. This is especially important when it comes to scheduling work by trades with typically long lead times — concrete and excavation being two such examples. (To better appreciate the relationships we cultivate with our trades partners, we encourage you to read our blog, Don’t Call Them “Subs”!).

Regardless of what a remodeling company may tell you about their project completion time — through an advertisement or in person — the litmus test for their ability to meet a project deadline is how they respond when you ask them for a calendar. What you will likely discover is that most remodeling companies are hesitant to provide project calendars because they don’t believe they can adhere to them — and the most likely reason they can’t is that they don’t have control of their tradespeople. Because of the relationships we have established over the years with our trades, we are in the enviable position of having them build their schedules around ours, rather than vice versa. That makes all the difference in the world when it comes to answering the second most common question in the remodeling business.

Process

For nearly 40 years, the STRITE remodel process has been refined by hundreds of experts: our clients. While good communication is always critical to delivering what you’re looking for, there are steps to getting there that are as critical to the STRITE experience as the people we employ.

While you can review a detailed schematic of the STRITE process by clicking here, the major stages of a remodel project are summarized below.

Input — We ask questions about your expectations and lifestyle, and then we listening. Together, we create a list of your project objectives and prioritize them room-by-room.

Design Agreement — We create an outline of your objectives and an agreed upon budget range.

Conceptual Design — Our design team creates what will be the basis of the preliminary plan for your project.

Final Selections — We provide a shopping list with budgeted allowances for your remodel finishes. Time to hit the showrooms!

Description of Work — We schedule a “trades party” for team members at the project site, and use their input as the basis for a comprehensive “description of work” (DOW) that details every step of the construction process.

Pre-construction — We walk through the entire scope of work with you and discuss project details, such as the preparation of the construction site.

Construction — During construction, you’ll remain in close contact with your assigned Project Manager, who will provide you with frequent production schedule updates. As your project nears its end, you and your Project Manager will review the “punch list” of details that need to be addressed. Upon completion, STRITE will review the remodel experience with you and provide product information and warranties to add to your Project Binder for safe keeping.

 

Bob Mundy

Industry Trends

STRITE design + remodel has once again been ranked by the trade publication Qualified Remodeler as among the top 500 remodeling companies in the U.S.  While this is a notable achievement in itself — especially considering that we operate in a much smaller market than most of the other companies in this prestigious ranking — the larger story behind this recognition is something worth sharing for what it reveals about our industry and the environment in which it currently operates.

To gain some insight into the dynamics of the Treasure Valley residential remodeling market, I turned to a veteran of both the upturns and downturns of our industry: STRITE’s president, Bob Mundy.  I asked Bob to characterize and contrast the current remodeling environment with what was happening in our industry just a few years ago.  Whether you are a homeowner who is contemplating a residential remodel, or simply a keen observer of our local economy, his perspective is worth noting.

If the remodeling business is a less volatile place to be since the bursting of the real estate bubble five or so years ago, some credit is due to an overall improvement in the regional economy.  However, this explanation only goes so far.  For one thing, while STRITE has seen its estimated revenue for 2013 improve by roughly 20 percent over the previous year, the pace of economic growth in the Treasure Valley has been far less robust.

From Bob’s perspective, the improvement STRITE has seen in the remodel market can be attributed to five factors that, while they may not constitute a “perfect storm” of business opportunity, at least point to a more sustainable environment in which to continue to do what we’ve been doing for the past 37 years.  In no particular order, Bob Mundy characterizes these factors as follows.

Pent up demand — After a lot of fear and trepidation regarding their economic future, home owners are deciding to no longer put off their home improvement goals.  “People are deciding to live their lives, and they want to genuinely add more value to their homes, and to their experience of their homes.  Folks are just more positive about the future.”

An acceleration of new products and technologies — Not that many years ago, the pace of new products and technologies being introduced into the home improvement market was much slower than it is today.  “We used to wait for five years to entertain new products in the market place.  Now, the quality that is coming out is really exciting to both us and our clients, and we can move forward with much more confidence because of the improved quality of innovations in lighting, materials, colors — things that are really having an impact on peoples’ lifestyles.”

The role of the Internet — In a trend related to the one previously cited, the Internet is fueling an increased awareness of new product and design trends — especially through social media sites such as Facebook, HOUZZ, and Pinterest. “Thanks to the Internet, people are not only exposed to new ideas, but they are able to share them and create conversations around them that add to the ‘buzz’ taking place in our industry.”

The desire to update rather than move — Moving is no guarantee that people will be able to more closely align their lifestyle needs with their homes.  This is especially true if they want to stay in the neighborhood where they currently live.  In that regard, remodeling is an option that allows homeowners to have their cake and eat it too — or at least redecorate it.  “Builders are hard pressed to respond to all the new design ideas that are out there today, so they tend to stick to more generic products and designs.  Remodelers don’t face that constraint.  More than ever, if you want your home to reflect the latest design and product innovations, remodeling is the best avenue.”

Adapting to lifestyle needs — As more people choose to invest in the long term livability of their homes, they are taking a more critical look at how they use their living space.  “We’re seeing less of an interest in adding space through additions, and more of an interest in better using existing space through changes in layout.  This is going to be an even more pronounced trend as the aging ‘boomer’ population increasingly looks at ‘aging in place’ as an option to retirement communities or assisted living situations.”

This last trend points to a broader and more fundamental factor that STRITE believes will contribute to a more sustainable growth in the remodeling business over the next decade: the growing interest in universal design.  “While the new construction industry may continue to experience ups and downs along with the economy, the interest in adapting homes for changing lifestyle needs such as aging in place will be more significant as time goes by.  People will always have an interest in updating the look of their homes, but improving the livability of their homes is a more fundamental investment in value that bodes well for our business.”

For some additional perspective on the Treasure Valley remodeling market, read our blog “The New Normal.”