What You Need to Know to Thrive During a Project
The most stressful part of any project is not knowing what to expect. Here are some helpful tips
from Blue Canyon and our clients:
Where do I start?
Gather examples of what you like and organize your ideas. Determine your budget and then give Blue
Canyon a call. We're glad to discuss your project and review the possibilities with you. If you have
a project requiring structural change, we can recommend an architect or collaborate with one you've
already chosen. As the most successful projects are a team approach, Blue Canyon likes to be
involved early in the process to understand a client's vision and advise on feasible and
What about financing?
The most common options for financing a remodel are a line of credit based on existing assets, a
home refinance, or a construction-type loan which converts to permanent when the project ends.
What if I don't know exactly what I want?
Blue Canyon works in partnership with clients to realize their own sense of style. We collaborate to
review options and help make choices to ensure the finished product reflects your unique taste.
Should I remodel or move?
A good exercise to determine this is to add your estimated remodel budget to the current value of
your home and look for houses in that price range to discover what is available and what your home
may be worth after a remodel. After doing this research, many people find a remodel is the best
option. A trusted real estate agent can help validate that your planned remodel won't "price you out
of the neighborhood."
Keep in mind remodeling is both an emotional and financial investment. If you plan to move in less
than five years, consider what will yield the best return on a monetary commitment (typically
kitchen and bathroom remodels, and siding replacement). However, if you plan to remain in your home
for more than five years, consider the emotional investment and identify aspects that will improve
your quality of living.
How much will the remodel cost?
Average cost per square foot can range from roughly $100 - $300 depending on design and
specifications. Visit completed projects to get a sense of the varying levels of quality and scope
that influence budget. Anticipate paying more for your project than originally planned, because even
with detailed estimates, people often add elements as the project evolves. For instance, you might
decide to add ceiling speakers while the remodel is underway, or upgrade to an extra bath as new
pipes are already being routed. The good news is, these periodic "adds" typically result in a better
investment than originally planned.
How do we get the project started?
Blue Canyon develops an initial cost estimate and project plan by studying existing plans, creating
conceptual designs either in-house or with an architect, and conducting site visits. Work begins
once the permit is issued and the contract signed.
What about permits?
Most cities and counties require permits for plumbing, electrical and structural changes, which can
take from one to eight months to obtain. Architects coordinate permit application for large
projects, while homeowners or the contractor make arrangements for smaller projects.
Will the project be disruptive to my neighborhood?
Blue Canyon's team follows guidelines to minimize parking, noise and construction debris
inconveniences. Before starting a job, we send an introduction letter to neighbors explaining the
process and providing a number to call with questions or concerns.
During the Project
How does Blue Canyon charge for its services?
Blue Canyon is a "cost plus" contractor, meaning we charge actual cost for expenses, plus a fixed
percentage for profit and overhead. See more about cost-plus
contractors. Labor is charged at an hourly rate, and clients receive copies of all receipts with
their monthly invoice, as well as a record of logged project hours.
Should I live in the house or move out during the remodel?
Living in your home during a remodel can be challenging and is especially hard on small children and
pets. Also, if you do live in your home during a remodel, it can take longer and may cost more to
complete the project, as consideration for homeowner safety and comfort does affect project
efficiency. However, many of our clients have survived (even thrived) while staying put, but advise
to relax your normal cleanliness standards as dust and dirt is present despite daily sweepings.
What's it like to have construction workers show up every day at 7:30 AM?
We'll let our clients answer this one!
"Exciting! The BCC teams that show up are professional, talented, and a pleasure to meet and see
their finished product. These folks are craftsmen and their dedication and expertise is phenomenal."
"At first it was a little daunting to have someone working on or in our home five days a week -
especially since I worked at home. You just have to realize the guys are focused on what they need
to get done that day, not on what you might be doing. I got so used to having them around, I missed
them a lot when the project was finished!" -M. K.
How should I interact with the crew and subcontractors?
Being considerate of the crew (water, coffee, occasional break-time snacks and most importantly,
treating them like the professionals they are) will pay dividends and make the project more pleasant
for all involved. Be aware that when you are visiting with the crew or asking for additional tasks,
they are on the clock - your clock! Extending their work time can cost money and delay project
How and when will decisions be made?
It can be overwhelming to think about all the decisions that need to be made during a project. The
good news is they don't all have to be made at once! We believe the whole job, from initial concepts
to finished product, is an evolving process, one that Blue Canyon enjoys helping clients through.
Our process is to present decisions at the appropriate time during the project. Decisions that
impact structure need to be made before framing begins, while paint colors and appliance choices can
wait until much later. Our premier subcontractors and suppliers provide a variety of options to
choose from. Decisions will need to be made in a timely manner to keep your project on schedule, but
keeping you up to date on what needs to happen when will be part of your regular progress meetings.
What's the communication process?
Blue Canyon holds weekly or monthly progress meetings with clients dependent on project scope. Site
supervisors manage job site day-to-day operations and immediate issues. High-level project and
design questions are addressed with Rick King, who is readily available.
What about changes to the original project scope?
Ideally, major changes to the original scope will be documented on a change order form, estimated
and signed by the client and Blue Canyon. Changes may be authorized verbally, but should be
documented at least by email so all parties have a record.
Unexpected changes or upgrades to the initial project can combine to quickly put the project over
the original budget. Blue Canyon does its best to anticipate the impact of changes, but we also
encourage clients to take the time to understand their statements and be aware of progress on the
job. This will minimize surprises during a billing cycle.
How is Blue Canyon held accountable for the quality of its work?
Blue Canyon implements a variety of factors to ensure quality: hands-on project management from
start to finish; long-term relationships with sub-contractors; one year warranty on all work;
liability insurance; written contracts with all subcontractors and most importantly, a passion to
meet our client's expectations for excellence.
The End and Beyond
Just when the Blue Canyon crew begins to feel like "family", the project nears completion. BCC
conducts a final walk-through with the homeowners, confirming that the job has been completed to
their satisfaction and noting any details that need to be finalized. At this point, the one year
warranty begins, so clients can be assured that BCC is there to help with any questions or concerns
that may arise.
Blue Canyon Construction is proud of the fact that 95% of our business comes from referrals and many
of our clients invite us back for additional projects.
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"We wish we'd known about BCC before contacting an architect. Using BCC building expertise
with our architect would have saved time and money through that process." - D. B.
"We were concerned when the project started to run over the amount we originally budgeted. However,
looking back on the decisions we made that caused some of the overruns, we wouldn't change a thing.
It was a big investment for us, but our lovely, updated home is appreciating faster than our stock
portfolio!" - M. K.
"The great thing about the Blue Canyon crew and subcontractors is they are guys you'd be proud to
have as sons or brothers. They are good at their craft, trustworthy in every respect, and truly care
about the job they are doing." - D. C.
"We, my wife and I, jointly made all decisions. Everything was on the table with us and BCC,
nothing held back by any of us which kept us all optimistic and forthright about any issue which
might pop up." - D. B.
"In the beginning, Rick explained that he was the focal point for all communication with Blue
Canyon. That really simplified the process for us. When there was a decision to make, Rick was the
one to ask the question and see that the decision was implemented." - D. C.
"I never worried about the quality of the job, how it would turn out, being cheated by
subcontractors, or not getting full attention from our contractor". - M. M.
"After four other projects, smaller and larger, I have found that the construction process at times
can be extremely frustrating to the owner. This is probably true also to the builder. We can
honestly say that this project was the best ever and this was directly due to the outstanding
efforts of Rick and Terri King. (We) would do it all over again just because of you two, your
excellent team and subcontractors". - D. B.