How is MWI of service from “concept to completion”?
We offer a range of interior design and/or architectural services depending on your needs and your scope of work. Our specialty is full service projects where we are involved at every step, right up until you move into your new space. We work with you from concept and planning through to final completion, including art and décor. We also document the design for contractor pricing and building approvals, and oversee the entire construction process.
What are the typical phases of the design and construction process?
The phases for which you may contract with MWI will vary depending on your needs. The typical phases are: survey of existing conditions, programming, schematic design, design development, documentation, bidding and bid analysis and finally construction, followed by punch list and project close-out. While the phases as listed, are generally sequential, there is often overlap, particularly in the design and documentation phases where your scope of work is being developed and refined. And many of our clients engage with us pre-purchase so we can verify that they changes they have in mind are feasible and code compliant.
How is a contractor selected for my project?
Sometimes General Contractor (GC) referrals come via word of mouth and we're always looking to develop new professional relationships. Over the years we have been fortunate to work with a wide range of quality trade professionals that can handle a range of project types. We'll vet any viable candidate if it leads to a means of providing the best value for your investment.
What is the difference between contractor bidding and a negotiated contract?
Most often clients prefer a bidding process whereby a shortlist of qualified GCs submit competitive pricing proposals based on the documents we produce. These documents are critical to convey the design intent and instruct the contractor about the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of your project’s scope of work. A bidding process can take a couple of weeks to a month or more depending upon your project's complexity and scope of work.
Often clients prefer to eliminate the bidding phase in order to save time. In this case the GC is usually identified during the design and documentation phases to begin estimating the projects costs. Once the design and documents are completed, the GC will finalize his pricing and the client is able to move into the construction phase more rapidly.
How long will my project take to complete?
Obviously this will depend on your scope of work and your location in the tri-state area. The renovation of your bathroom and kitchen can take as much as 4-6 months, from concept to completion of construction, whereas a gut demolition and renovation of an apartment or house can range from 6-12 months or more depending on the size and complexity of your project.
How much will my project cost, (estimate vs. actual)?
Cost is most often the biggest unknown for any project. The best way to avoid cost overruns is to issue a comprehensive set of construction drawings so that important details are captured, leaving little room for the GC to find opportunities for change orders. Diligent jobsite overview is equally important to insure quality workmanship and be informed of tangible progress.
How will I have input to the design and planning?
Your input is the key to any successful project. Through regularly scheduled meetings, email and text correspondence you will have ample opportunity to share your ideas and questions throughout the process. We provide floor plans, elevations and renderings as required to help you with envision the design and make informed decisions.
What happens after I approve a floor plan?
Upon your approval and signed-off floor plan, the foundation of a design, we move into the development phase of the project. Completion of each subsequent phase will require your review and approval prior to advancing further phases of work.
Will DOB building permits be required?
This will depend upon the complexity and scope of work for your project and your building's policies. If the scope is limited to cosmetic renovations and upgrades or changes to fixtures and fittings, generally you will not require local building department approval and permits. On the other hand, if your project includes demolition and reconfiguration, building department approval and permits are often required. Although often subjective, most Condo’s and Co-ops supply “Alteration Agreements” that explain each building’s position on filing for permits, insurance requirements, fees, etc.
Is there a warranty on the project work completed?
Warranties for work completed on your project are offered through two sources: individual manufacturers of products and materials specified and installed on your project, and through the general contractor for performance of workmanship. Of course manufacturer warranties will vary depending on the nature of the product, while a well qualified contractor will generally guarantee their workmanship for a period of one year. But like manufacturer warranties, a contractor’s warranty can vary depending on the GC.