Frequently Asked Questions

What are the advantages of design-build remodeling over a more traditional approach?

That’s a great question, and one of the most popular ones we get asked. The answer is straightforward: since we design what we build, clients come to us for a more streamlined, one-stop process. Before you start your own remodeling project, asking the right questions will help you make informed decisions in which you can feel confident about. Below are some of our most frequently asked questions, along with the answers we hope explain what working with us is all about. If your question is not answered here, please contact us.

The value of a remodel depends on the outcome you’re looking to achieve. Remodeling for resale value can help move the home faster and make it more appealing to a wider audience. Remodeling to add a level or improve the function of a room lets you personalize the space and offers great rewards through updating appliances, fixtures and finishes; creating a space that is efficient and easy to use; and addressing any special needs. We believe that remodeling your home should, first and foremost, be about your family living comfortably in a house that suits everyone’s needs. If there are things missing that would make your lives easier and more efficient, a remodel is a good option. It’s up to you to decide whether a remodel is worth it. Two things to consider are whether you plan to stay in the home for a certain amount of time, and if it’s worth the effect the remodeling process itself would have on your family’s daily life.

Cost depends on the project itself. The price can change dramatically by changing the scope of work, completing it in stages and by the material selections. A larger, more in depth project can affect several things in your home that you may not have realized would be part of the scope of work. For example, if you’re remodeling a master bath but your water heater is 20 years old, there’s an opportunity to replace it while you’re having the construction done. If you’re concerned about costs, creating a scope of work that adheres to a budget can help control them and give you peace of mind.

These are the challenges upon which we thrive. We have seen lots of interesting workmanship, design features and plenty of project houses. Almost anything can be done, it’s just a matter of cost and timeline. More complicated projects will obviously require more time and materials which are the main cost drivers. That said, our goal is to help you make the right decisions, and occasionally that means not doing a project. Our long-term goal is relationships built on trust and confidence, and we believe an honest answer is always the right one.

While we try to avoid using finishes or materials that might soon become dated, the choice of materials is up to you based on your unique preferences. We will do our best to point you in the right direction as far as durability and functionality, but there are so many color and style options, you don’t need to be pigeon-holed to one look. We design your home as if we were going to live there ourselves. That means durable products you can clean easily, living your daily life without worrying about scratching a floor or staining a countertop.

We have two interior designers that are adept at more than just helping you select colors and textures. They help in the design process of the room itself. They also listen closely to your wants and needs, asking the right questions to find out what styles you like best. They also help narrow down the options to keep you from feeling overwhelmed. Our goal is to make shopping fun, easy and a painless experience! Once materials are selected and before construction begins, your designer creates a 3D rendering that represents what your project will look like when it’s completed.

Thank goodness for the internet! You can research the company online and contact local organizations such as the Home Builders Association for referrals. Ask your coworkers and neighbors. Ask the contractor for references from past clients, and make sure the company has a process which includes a schedule and open communication. Ask for a copy of the contractor’s insurance coverage. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’re potentially letting this company into your home and you should feel comfortable asking them anything. For their part, they should be forthcoming with information that makes you feel well-informed. You should never leave a meeting with more questions than answers. Feeling in sync with your contractor is important because you need to feel that you can trust him or her to take care of any situation in a way that is best for you and your project. In Illinois, contractors are required to give clients a Consumer Rights pamphlet informing them of their rights under the law as a consumer – be sure to get your copy.

Our company usually stays within a 1-hour travel radius but will go farther for the right client and project. For example, we’ve been working with a professional family about 2 hours from our location for 10-plus years.

We are a design-build firm that takes our clients thru the entire process from start to completion.

We’ve done several projects that did not require the help of a designer. We’ve also done projects where a shopping trip was not necessary, but the plans and renderings still needed to be created. The designer may do some work behind the scenes with the help of you and our estimator. Most handyman, general repair, and mine subsidence projects do not need the work of a designer.

One of our top goals is keeping your remodel in line with the level of your neighborhood. If you plan on staying in the house indefinitely, resale isn’t an issue. This isn’t necessarily the case for everyone. We often rely on the yearly Remodeling Magazine Cost vs. Value report that compares average costs and resale values for a number of common projects in residential homes throughout the country. That allows us to look at the St. Louis market and tell you what your return might be for any given project. While you’ll never get 100% of your investment back when selling, you’ll be better educated and able to make more informed decisions.

Every family’s lifestyle is different. Some people decide investing in their current home is a better option than building new or moving to a smaller or larger home. If a family is growing and they feel more space is needed, a finished basement is a popular way to gain usable square footage and a little bit of breathing room. Some couples want to downsize and need to remodel a new, smaller home to fit their needs. Some families have children who are just starting college, but they aren’t ready to downsize. In those cases, we remodel and bring the house up to date, as it’s usually been neglected while the parents were focused on raising their family.

Part of our design process is creating 3D renderings of your project using the materials selected during the shopping trip. We can walk you around the space as if you were there and make any adjustments before the project even begins. Before you enter the design stage, we’ll show you 3D renderings of some of our past projects to give you an idea of how the software works.

Our company is composed of designers, lead carpenters, an estimator, and office staff who all work together to make sure your project runs smoothly from the first phone call to the final walk-through. Check out our “About Us” page to read about each of us!

Our firm uses the Lead Craftsman system which puts one Craftsman in charge of the project from start to finish. You’ll be introduced to your lead during the bidding process or at the preconstruction meeting for the project. Your assigned lead will be your point of contact throughout the project. You’ll be able to contact the lead before the job starts for whatever advice and services are needed. The lead, for efficiency’s sake, will not necessarily be on your site at all times. If a tradesman is working in your home, the lead carpenter will be there at the start to go over expectations and make sure the tradesman is comfortable with his task – and that you are comfortable with them. They’ll also be following up with the trades each day, most times in person, to ensure all the work is being done according to plan and to the highest standards.

Our company strives to create long-term relationships based on integrity, quality and honesty. It is our goal to be the first and only name you refer. Being a smaller company, by the end of a project we’ve truly become a part of your family! We want you to feel comfortable talking freely with us about any concerns. And because it makes the process so much easier and more enjoyable, we work to be as transparent and open as possible with you and our trade partners. We really do become friends with most of our clients, and we love getting the call that there is a new project. We also complete both large remodels and small handyman repairs for past clients.

All projects have challenges. Remodeling is not an exact science and issues continually arise that must be solved. Open communication and striving to identify possible issues in advance through our bidding process allows for a less stressful experiences for you when a problem does arise. Any changes in scope of work are discussed and approved by you. When problems do come up, we try to get ahead of them as best we can. It’s important to come up with solutions before bringing the problem to you, the homeowner, because the last thing we want to do is worry you. Things happen in every job, it’s just a matter of how we can solve it and move past it. Sometimes, the solution works out better than the original plan would have! We believe a company’s character is determined not by how it handles things that go perfectly, but by what it does in the face of a challenge.

Our company culture from top to bottom is based on a quality experience for our customers. The real heroes are the talented craftsmen that work in your home. The respect they bring to your home and family is ground zero in our approach.

Quality, professionalism, and continuing education are the cornerstones of our company. Our process includes written procedures that ensure you a stress-free step-by-step path to completion and satisfaction. Our team members are guided by a written employee handbook that they’ve all had a hand in creating. Even our preconstruction meetings have a written agenda that requires us to ask all the right questions to identify special circumstances for each and every project. Our Sales, Estimating, and Production Departments have weekly meetings that allow direct communication between parties to facilitate a structured and organized approach to scheduling and tracking progress. We measure so we can manage.

To facilitate communication, we use Buildertrend™ construction management software which provides our clients with real-time access to scheduling, documents, photos, change orders, homeowner selections, and more. Of course, we’re always available to speak and meet with you face-to-face.

Every project has a budget. It’s important for you to first learn all you can about what remodeling and construction costs are on average. That’s where the Cost vs. Value report comes in handy. Once you know how much of an investment a project of your scope costs, it’s a matter of adjusting the scope of the work to fit your personal budget. While you can save a little by adjusting your material selections, the real cost driver in any project is the construction labor. That cost can only be adjusted by changing the scope of work – whether that means removing parts of the project completely, or you doing some of the prep work yourself.

When it comes to the floorplan and material selections, there are always options. The designers first work up a few concepts to give you an idea of what is possible in your space. After that, you can pick and choose aspects of each concept to build your perfect layout. Our goal is to keep you from feeling overwhelmed during a process that should be enjoyable and exciting!

As a family-owned business, McDermott Remodeling is able to stay true to its employees and customers by adhering to values that instill admiration and respect for their fellow man. Our employees are truly good people and outstanding craftsmen who produce great results for our clients. Honesty and integrity combined with a lot of experience make the difference.

Every job is different and it’s impossible to know. That said, before we begin any project we create and share with you a customized schedule that you can log into at any time of your choosing.

There are lots of decisions to make throughout the process! We try to be there to advise you as best as possible in each one, making the experience as simple as possible. The goal is to narrow down for you to just a few the multitude of available options so that the process and decisions don’t become overwhelming.

You have daily communication with your Lead Craftsmen and are also given a cell phone number in case something occurs. The office staff is always available to you. We have a software program that allows you to log in and track the daily logs and photos provided by our craftsman, even if they are out of town. Our second-generation owner, Josh, is also available to you.

Our employees are McDermott Remodeling. It’s not uncommon for our clients to become friends and advocates for our employees. We have clients we’ve worked with for years who request their favorite craftsmen. Our trade partners are also a part of our team and are under the control of our Lead Craftsmen. Our Trade partners are vetted and have signed an agreement that dictates jobsite manners.

Each project is unique. We’ll provide you with a timeline for both the design and construction stages during our initial consultation and will refine and define the details as the process moves along.

Each project is different based on the time of year and the materials required. We start our projects based on the lead time of materials and the availability of our staff. We never want to have too many projects going at once, as that doesn’t allow us to provide the customer service that you deserve. Also, we don’t want to take apart a kitchen or bathroom without all the materials on hand to put it back together.

Your Lead Craftsman and our production team work with you on exactly when that is necessary, and they’ll help in any way they can to make it an easy process.

That depends on what your project priorities are. If necessary, our design team works with you to help determine those priorities so you can easily make those decisions.

To ensure that our rates are in line with the level of service we provide, we carefully and continually review our prices as they compare to similar companies both locally and across the country. We are a full-service design-build company and our rates are deliberately and appropriately structured to ensure we’ll be here year in and year out to handle any warranty issues that arise. Compared to many smaller remodeling firms with just a few employees, we deliver a higher level of service and that is reflected in our price.

Your comfort level with your project and with our company is paramount to its success. Our goal is to help all of those we meet to find the most appropriate solution to their situations and needs.

Remodeling should be thought of as a long-term investment in your family, lifestyle, and property – in that order! Only in certain parts of the market does a project return 100% of its cost. Most clients who have remodeling projects completed by firms such as ours do so for their personal enjoyment, not to reap a return on a financial investment. This doesn’t mean that we give no thought to cost; we do work with our clients to tailor the project to their long-term financial plans and goals. Think of it more as the car you love but know in 10 years won’t be worth what you paid for it today.

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Our team is out of the office until Friday, November 25th. We will give you a call then.