Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
  1. Do I need plans to get an estimate?
  2. Do I need to hire an architect or professional designer?
  3. Is it OK if I have my own architect or designer?
  4. Can I be my own general contractor and save money?
  5. Can I use my own subs and save money?
  6. Can I buy my own materials and save money?
  7. Are you licensed and insured?
  8. How exactly do you bid a job?
  9. Will you fix rot and bug damage?
  10. Do you do structural repairs?
  11. While you are here, can I have your guys do some little things on my "honey-do" list?
  12. Where, geographically speaking, will you work?
  13. I don’t need your "best" work, so can I get a price for the "good" quality of work and save some money?
  14. Will there be anyone licensed on my job?
  15. What is my role as the customer in the construction process?
  16. Do you do small jobs?
  17. Do I need to be home while work is going on?
  18. Do you use the same subcontractors all the time?
  19. Is Millwork certified to conduct business under the rules set forth in the EPA’s new Lead Safe Remodeling law?
  20. I heard that there is a way to "opt out" of doing Lead Safe Remodeling and that enforcement of the rules was postponed by the EPA. Is that true?


1. Do I need plans to get an estimate?
That depends on the nature of the work. For smaller repairs, bathrooms, and carpentry work you may not need plans. However, it is very helpful if you know what you want. Links to websites, clippings from a magazine, or an address in town with the front entry you just love will all help us understand what you want done. For additions, kitchens, and larger remodeling projects you will need plans.

2. Do I need to hire an architect or professional designer?
Again, the answer depends on the magnitude of the job. We generate our own plans for bathroom jobs, for some kitchen jobs, and for smaller projects. For bigger jobs, we usually do a rough estimate, and then suggest that you get plans drawn up if your budget is realistic.

3. Is it OK if I have my own architect or designer?
Absolutely. We can work with a professional of your choice or can suggest one from our list of reliable partners. We do like to be involved early in the design process to help lend some reality to the budgeting process. We have seen some magnificent plans never get built because all the bids exceeded the budget. This unfortunate event can usually be avoided if the builder is part of the design process.

4. Can I be my own general contractor and save money?
Yes, and maybe. Many people attempt to do this but few have the knowledge and/or time to do all the work a general contractor does. If you decide to GC your own project, you are responsible for all aspects of the project, including procurement of materials, managing change orders, scheduling and coordinating the efforts of the sub-trades, and interfacing with inspectors and engineers.

5. Can I use my own subs and save money?
Yes, and maybe. Sometimes this works well, but it can be a difficult experience and adversely affect the quality of work done on the job. There is a lot of teamwork on a construction site between the workers from different trades. When we enter into these relationships it is important to have expectations outlined and understood by everyone on the team.

6. Can I buy my own materials and save money?
Yes, and maybe. If you decide to purchase your own materials, you will be responsible for all procurement issues and warranty issues related to those materials. In addition you may end up paying for lost labor if necessary parts are not on site when needed. In addition, most manufacturers warranties do not cover labor so if that toilet proves to be defective and needs to be replaced under warranty, you will end up paying the plumber to do the work twice.

7. Are you licensed and insured?
Yes, we have Workers Compensation Insurance, Liability Insurance, and Auto Insurance. Millwork, Inc. also has a Mass. Home Improvement Contractor (HIC) license #112555 and Glenn’s unrestricted State Construction Supervisor’s License number is #50261. In addition, each of our project managers has their own individual State Supervisor’s License.

8. How exactly do you bid a job?
We bid work either on a Fixed Price basis or on a Time and Materials basis. In a Fixed Price situation, we bid off of a well defined set of plans and/or job specifications. These jobs have a start price and an agreed upon payment schedule and any changes are executed via change order while the work is underway. In a Time and Materials (T&M) situation, we quote you our Labor Rates per hour, and all other out of pocket costs associated with the job are charged to you at our cost plus a markup. We usually work under a T&M arrangement if the plans must evolve as the work continues or if the scope of work is impossible to determine at the time of the bid. Some kinds of work, such as bug damage repairs, rot repairs, structural work, and historical restoration work almost always are done on a T&M basis.

9. Will you fix rot and bug damage?
Yes, we have done a lot of rot repair and handled many bug infestation jobs over the years. We always do this type of work on a Time and Materials basis because the work is normally much worse than the visible damage would suggest.

10. Do you do structural repairs?
Yes, usually under the watchful eye of a structural engineer or professional engineer. Their job is to exactly specify the repairs to make, and we are the mechanics responsible for making those repairs correctly. We have done a lot of "non-trivial" structural work over the years including steel beam assemblies, complicated framing, home jacking and sill replacement, and foundation underpinning.

11. While you are here, can I have your guys do some little things on my "honey-do" list?
Absolutely. We will hang your blinds, replace sash cords, shave the doors so they don’t stick every August, clean the gutters, change the batteries in the smoke detectors, and do just about anything else you need done. Most of the time, we do this work on a Time and Materials Basis.

12. Where, geographically speaking, will you work?
We are based out of Winchester, MA and usually do work in Winchester and touching towns but have worked in Belmont, Boston, Concord, Lincoln, Newton, Sudbury, Wellesley, Weston, and on the North Shore of Boston. We have done projects as far away as Norwell, Rockport, and Martha’s Vineyard but for jobs far away we charge for travel time and sometimes for lodging and per diem for the crew.

13. I don’t need your "best" work, so can I get a price for the "good" quality of work and save some money?
Nope. Sorry, but we don’t offer "good, better, and best" like some of the big box stores do. We have worked long and hard to refine our craft and have built our reputation in the community by doing the best job we can every day. If you are looking for "good" instead of "best" we are not the crew for you!

14. Will there be anyone licensed on my job?
Yes, all four of our project managers have their own Mass Construction Supervisors License.

15. What is my role as the customer in the construction process?
Before construction starts, the most important thing you can do is to tell us as much as you can about the work you would like done. During the bidding stage we are often asked for a fixed price quote on a poorly defined scope of work and that’s just not possible. A detailed, comprehensive bid requires an equally detailed and comprehensive scope of work. Once work begins, we need you to make decisions promptly, speak up if anything at all concerns you, and of course pay the bills promptly.

16. Do you do small jobs?
Yes we do. We have always done small jobs, even when we were very busy with big jobs. We understand that is an important part of running a full scale construction operation. Attention to detail is of paramount importance to us, and that attention goes into the little tasks as well as the big jobs. Sometimes when people see us working on a big project, they hesitate to call us to fix the soap dish, clean the gutters, or hang a storm door. We will always take on the small work.

17. Do I need to be home while work is going on?
No, in fact we do a great deal of our work for families with dual breadwinners who are seldom home. In these instances, early morning or evening meetings, phone calls, text messages and emails are used to keep everyone on the same page. We will adjust our working habits to fit your lifestyle and your work schedule.

18. Do you use the same subcontractors all the time?
We have long term working relationships with our subcontractors, all of whom share our high standards of workmanship and professionalism. We require all our subcontractors to embrace our teamwork oriented approach and to always respect your home, property, and your neighbors’ property.

19. Is Millwork certified to conduct business under the rules set forth in the EPA’s new Lead Safe Remodeling law?
Yes. Specifically, the EPA’s Renovation, Repair, and Painting Final Rule (40 CFR 745) requires that renovations conducted for compensation, must be performed by Certified Firms using Certified Renovators. Late last winter, all four of our project managers completed their individual training and received their Certified Renovators (CR) certificates. Soon after, Millwork Inc. received our firm certification from the EPA. All of our certifications were in place before the April 22, 2010 deadline imposed by the EPA.

20. I heard that there is a way to "opt out" of doing Lead Safe Remodeling and that enforcement of the rules was postponed by the EPA. Is that true?
Neither of these is true. For up to date information on Lead Safe Remodeling and the specifics of the law, please go to the EPA website link at www.epa.gov/opptintr/lead/pubs/lscp-renov-materials.htm.

 
 
   
         
 

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