Q: How much will it cost per square foot?

A: This is by far one of the more common questions we get asked. It’s a good question, but more often than not, it’s really not the best question. Actually the question really is - - What is the “cost per cubic feet by volume?” “Cost per cubic feet by volume” has many variables. It is not a total indicator of actual projected costs versus desired results. We always ask customers what their vision of a project is; the intended uses for the project, family size, seasonal use, energy concerns, lot placement, etc…, and of course, budget.

Many variables are going to affect total cost outcomes. A good example might be someone seeking an addition to create a Home Theatre or Entertainment Room.

  • What consideration in the customer “vision” has been given to architectural conformity to the pre-existing structure?
  • How is the existing structure architecturally detailed?
  • Is it desirous to maintain detail conformity with the renovation or addition?
  • Will the outside of the structure be conforming to the existing structure?
  • Framing, roofing, siding, fenestration (windows), doors, finishing and external design details all must be considered when factoring “square foot costs.”

In today’s market there are many options in building and finishing materials, all of which need to be included in the pre-planning phase of any project. Then there are “out of sight – out of mind” details such as:

  • Cabling
  • Electrical
  • HVAC (heating and cooling)
  • Insulation
  • Plumbing
  • Septic concerns, when applicable
  • Environmental protection requirements
  • Disposal of waste or demolition materials and any related permits and fees
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Q: Do I need an Architect, Designer or Engineer?

A: Very often we are called for an estimate by homeowners who have a great vision, but have not consulted with a designer, architect and/or engineer or do not have a full understanding of contemporary building codes in the town, location and/or district they are intending to renovate or build in. Although we can help with small projects (such as replacing a deck or a porch), without the insight of professional planners and designers, more significant projects always produce better results and overall cost effectiveness when design professionals are included in the pre-construction process.

We work with a network of local professionals with long term presence in the marketplace and will be happy to include them in the pre-planning phase or refer customers to them on an as needed basis.

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Q: When can I see an Estimate?

A: We are often asked for “ballpark estimates.” While we can loosely discuss these “roundabout” figures and budgets in the very early phase of pre-construction conversations, we think it is a precarious practice that can lead to disaster scenarios in the long term. If a contractor gives you a “roundabout” estimate without the benefit of the required and thorough pre-planning phase and detail review (architectural plans, designer drafts, engineering specifications and material selection), then we would caution going any further with any kind of relationship.

We render complete estimates once all the details are agreed upon, the permitting process is reviewed and a complete understanding of the project scope and desired outcome is understood.

Estimates are time consuming and subject to market fluctuations in materials and supplies. We prefer to render estimates and bids as close to construction start dates as we can, so we can pass along price protection guarantees set by suppliers and manufacturers. We also consider availability of materials and supplies so we can properly time deliveries based on anticipated project timelines.

We are just as concerned with cost management as you are, but emphasize the total value and “vision” outcomes as first considerations.

Pricing only considerations are deceptive at best and more often than not, a grossly duplicitous and disastrous disservice.

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Q: Do I apply for the Building Permit or should Sederman Builders apply for the Permit?

A: We recommend letting Sederman Builders file for all permits. The Board of Building Regulations and Standards in Massachusetts cautions home owners against applying for their own permit. Massachusetts (M.G.L. c. 142A) offers protections to all homeowners through the Guaranty Fund within the Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulations.

The Guaranty Fund is funded by fees that all contactors are required to pay at the time of registration.

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Q: Is Sederman Builders licensed, what kind of licenses do you carry and why?

A: Massachusetts has two primary categories of licensing and registration. Construction Supervisor License (CSL) and Home Improvement Contractor (HIC). Sederman Builders carries an Unrestricted Construction Supervisor License and is registered as a Home Improvement Contractor.

Effective July 1, 2008, the Seventh Edition of Massachusetts State Building Code identifies four new Construction Supervisor License (CSL) categories. New Specialty Licensing includes: Residential Roof Covering, Residential Window and Siding, Residential Solid Fuel-Burning Appliance Installer and Demolition Only.

A Construction Supervisor License is required for any work that involves a building’s structural elements. A list of work that requires a license includes, but is not be limited to:

  • Constructing a new home (irrespective of size) or other building type that is less than 35,000 cubic feet in volume.
  • Constructing an addition to an existing home (irrespective of size) or other building type that is less than 35,000 cubic feet in volume.
  • Adding a new deck or porch to an existing home or reconstructing an existing deck or porch.
  • Constructing a new garage, shed or other accessory building (to a new home or other building type) or reconstructing a garage shed or other accessory building.
  • Renovating an existing home (irrespective of size) or other building type that is less than 35,000 cubic feet in volume. **

“It is the responsibility of both the Home Improvement Contractor and the Construction Supervisor Licensee to obtain all building permits prior to beginning the project.” **

** Source: www.mass.gov

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Q: How will the new building codes regarding “hurricane” construction affect me?

A: They will have some impact on overall costs, depending on the project you have in mind. Recently, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts enacted new building codes to address the threat of hurricanes here in Massachusetts (January 1, 2008).

We understand all the options available to homeowners and can work with every budget to provide the most cost effective way of meeting these new standards.

Once we get started with pre-construction conversations regarding your “vision” and, as we start building your estimate, we will be happy to review the options available to you as determined by the scope of your project and a working budget. The key here is to understand that there are some options.

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Q: Can I get some referrals?

A: Chances are we’ll be meeting for the first time based on a referral. That’s how we get almost all of our work. And, we have a very large percentage of repeat customers.

Actually, we have done very little advertising or marketing over the years. We do so today because there is so much at stake when making significant investments and we hope you see this as a public service as much as you recognize it as our marketing efforts and the importance we place on building relationships. We provide all of our clients and their agents with at least three (3) referrals as recommended by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS).

And we’ll try to match referrals based on the scope and nature of your project!

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Q: Can I get a list of some business and supplier referrals?

A: We are happy to provide you with a list of our suppliers and businesses that we partner with.

Many of these businesses and suppliers have been in business for dozens of years and are readily recognized in the community. And, we have been well established with them for dozens of years.

Please give us a call if you would like more information.

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Q: Are you insured? Do you carry Workers Compensation? Are you OSHA Certified?

A: We are fully insured and will provide you with a Certificate of Insurance before we get started.

For your protection we carry Workers Compensation and General Liability Insurance.

As a matter of good common sense and employee/site visitor well being, we are current with OSHA requirements and practices, and maintain our certification, as required periodically.

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Q: How does Sederman Builders handle any design changes during the construction process?

A: It does happen. You visit the site and realize that the closet “looks too small.”

How we deal with this (Change Order Management) varies on the stage of construction of course, the architect or designer and, sometimes, the engineer. We’re flexible with small changes to some degree. Larger, more complex reconfigurations will affect cost and we address these concerns in all our contractual agreements.

We pride ourselves and recognize the value in the level of communication we maintain with all our customers and other building professionals involved with the project - one of the reasons we prefer to take on a limited number of projects, which allows us to keep focus on your needs or desires and the product we deliver.

We will take every step available to us to maintain the cost management aspect of your project, maintain the building schedule and deliver the “vision” you have in mind.

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Q: Are you a year round Cape Cod business? (When can you start…..will it be ready in time for….)?

A: Yes, we are a year round business with roots in the community.

Starting dates are dictated by getting an early start on the pre-planning phase of your project. The larger the project, the more lead time we recommend. It’s always good to call us once you and your family have decided to make the investment.

We recommend you call us to schedule an appointment; at that point, we will tell you what our availability is and…..if it will be ready for July 4th, your anniversary or any other notable event or time in your life!!

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