FAQ

Sales

What is a feasibility study?

Feasibility study takes into account averages of other like kind projects and projects a value for your home or project. This gives us a really good snapshot of cost for our clients with or without plans.

What is an allowance?

An allowance provides you with a budget for specific selections like tile, plumbing, cabinets, countertops, etc. for each showroom vendor applicable. This guides you to help keep you on track.

How long will it take for my project to be complete?

Schedule is a tough item to estimate not knowing the exact scope of a project but to give a quick couple ideas a whole house remodel can range from 90 days to 150 days. A kitchen can range from 30 days to 60 days. And a whole home can range from 150 days to 200 days depending on the size and intricacy of the project.

When can I start?

Our start cycle will be determined when we complete the contract. Typically we can start a project within 60 days of contract but that might vary depending on the season and work load.

Why wasn’t “it” included?

Our sales and estimating teams have a tremendous amount of experience in large remodels and new construction. In the building of a home, there are over 40,000 different parts that make up your home. There could be a time(s) when something like a selection or project task discussed or assumed may get missed. As a partner in building your home with Drake, communication is important to both of us. Please send an email to make us aware of it. Drake staff will review and respond promptly.

Estimating/Purchasing

Can I use a subcontractor that Drake does not have a relationship with?

Drake has long-standing relationships with multiple vendors in Birmingham.  We partner with vendors and subcontractors that we know will create and stand behind the quality of work and product that Drake and our client’s expect.  Using our vendors and our subcontractors streamlines your project and ultimately saves time and money for you as the client, as well as Drake Homes. If an exception is made, Drake will need to charge you a service fee to coordinate the purchase of materials through another vendor.

Can I purchase materials outside of Drake from online or other sources? 

Drake has many supplier relationships to source materials for your project.  Our relationships and our volume allow for builder discounts that we pass along to our clients for added savings to allow them the most out of their budgeted allowances.  Use of our predetermined product sources also helps the design process to run smooth and keeps project timeline intact.  There are certain instances where Drake will approve a client to go outside our predetermined sources. This would need to be discussed with our Sales team and approved prior to contract.

It’s important for you to know that any selection(s) agreed upon to be purchased outside of Drake’s approved vendors are not warrantied by Drake or our subcontractors.

Can you provide a bid/quote so we can shop around?

Unfortunately our privacy agreement with our suppliers prohibits us from passing along full bid pricing.  Drake is a pricing advocate for our clients and assures that we are searching for the most competitive pricing each and every day for our clients.  We are always open to discussing additional supplier options with our clients when it makes sense to do so in order to get the best value for our clients.

How can I get a price request if I want to add something to my project?

The designer can request one for you via Drake’s Estimating team. It’s not uncommon for some additional work to be requested post contract. All we need is to have you provide it in writing via an email through BuildersTrend (our communication software tool). Also, please allow up to a week to receive a quote back. You will be notified via BuildersTrend when the quote has been entered for your approval.

Design

Is there any homework I should do prior to making design selections?

Prior to any showroom appointments, it is important to provide the designer with inspiration photos and/or existing home photos to help understand your style. You can find inspiration through Houzz, Pinterest, magazines, and books. Also, it’s important to consider how you function in your home, room, etc. Consider your everyday needs and make a list so it’s available during plan design, showroom appts, etc.

Where do I go to make design selections? How much time do I need to plan for?

One of our onstaff certified designers will assist you in making selections by attending Drake’s vendor showrooms. Depending on the scope of your project (remodel or new home) you may need to visit at least six showroom appointments (1-2 hours each); cabinets, countertops, plumbing, flooring, brick/stone, and appliances. You will have a handful of other appointments at Drake’s office too to select materials such as roof shingles, gutters, trim, door hardware, etc.

How do I know if I am on budget?

Your budget is given to Drake’s vendors prior to each showroom visit. Your assigned designer will help keep you on budget. For the most part, the designer will inform you of overages/upgrades prior to making a selection. It’s important to understand that you will always find something that cost more than what is in budget. Your designer will do her best to provide you with alternatives and still find materials you love. As always, it is up to you as the client to determine if you are willing to splurge or not for that “something” special you always wanted.

Can I use the designer to help with my furniture placement?

Our plate is full just with focusing on the house itself. We can recommend interior stylist that will work with you on selecting new furnishings for your home and placement of your existing furniture.

Building

Can we stay in the house when you remodel?

It really depends on the remodel itself. There are some remodels where you can stay in the house and we will not be in the way. Although there might be some times during the process that we might ask you to vacate if we are finishing floors or doing something that might affect the access to the sleeping areas. Remodels are sometimes dusty and we do everything in our power to keep the remodel clean. We use HEPA filtration systems that filter the air during the remodel to provide our clients with the cleanest experience we can.

Do I get a plan and electrical review?

Yes, once you sign your contract with Drake you will be provided a plan and electrical review. Drake’s project manager lead and designer will lead you through both. Normally, it is scheduled via the designer and within a week of contract signing. This appointment can take up to three hours.

Who is my main point of contact for my project?

Drake’s lead project manager will assign your project manager at your plan and electrical review. He/she will be your main point of contact using the following communication tool – BuildersTrend.

BuildersTrend is a communication software tool Drake uses to share and exchange details of your project that includes; budget, schedule, change orders, selections, approvals, and emails. As an added bonus, this tool protects you so that nothing is ordered unless you approved it.

How do I know the timeline/schedule on my project?

Drake’s lead project manager will determine your schedule after discussing your timeline with you at plan review. At this time, we will introduce you to BuildersTrend. This is where your project schedule will reside.

Will I get a frame and electrical walk-through?

Yes, your project manager assigned to your home will schedule one with you.

Why is no one working today?

It is not uncommon to have days on you project when no tradesman are onsite. Please do not be concerned. Your project manager provides a general schedule for you that includes major milestones.

Accounting

How can I pay?

We accept checks and ACH payment through our secure website.

How often will I receive an invoice?

Invoices are emailed and uploaded into Buildertrend on the 1st and the 15th of each month.

How do I pay for change orders?

Change orders are approved via our online Builder Trend system. You will be billed 50% upon approval on your next invoice and 50% on completion of the change order.

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