Can you describe the budget and estimating process?

It is not an easy matter to prepare an estimate for a new home or major renovation, and we take the matter seriously. We spend many hours studying the plans, determining quantities, and estimating labor and material costs. Each job has its unique aspects, and it is not simply a matter of entering some basic data into a computer program and waiting for an answer to appear. We ensure that every detail is reviewed, and then check and recheck the calculations.

Once the estimate is prepared, we review it with you. We answer your questions, explain what’s included and what’s not, and provide any additional information you may require. After that we make any adjustments that may be necessary due to changes in the scope of work, allowances, type of materials, and the like. We finalize the estimate and then provide a proposal and schedule the work.

Do I need a variance for my project? How do I do this?

That depends. Every town has specific zoning requirements such as minimum lot size, the maximum number of stories allowed, minimum front, side, and rear yard setbacks, and what percentage of the site can be covered with primary and secondary buildings. We can contact the town in question and learn what the zoning requirements are for your location to help you stay within the township’s limits. In fact, that is one of the services we provide, and if a variance is required, we can take the lead to help you get it.

How long does it take to get a set of architectural plans?

At Massaro Construction, we often provide “design-build” services for our client. That means that we are there every step of the way from initially developing a concept, preparing a preliminary design, establishing budgets, and working with the architects to obtain construction drawings. This process typically takes 8 – 12 weeks.

What is my interaction with Massaro Construction, Inc.?

You will have a close involvement with many members of the company throughout the estimating and construction process. Once we start the project, we assign a project manager to lead the construction. He is your primary point of contact throughout.
The project manager meets with you on a regular basis to update you and review your selections for shingles, floor tile, exterior finishes, and the like. He also handles any issues that may arise during construction. Over time, you will also get to know our lead carpenters and office staff and find them helpful in the construction process.

How long does it take to complete a project?

The answer to this question is that it varies a great deal. In broad terms, most renovations take 3-6 months and most new homes take 9-12 months. If you stick to the plan and minimize the changes, the time frame for the project can be estimated reasonably well. Often there are long lead-time items such as front doors, staircases, and special finishes that the client must select. These selections need to be made well in advance so the project will not be delayed. We always discuss the anticipated time frame for the project with the client and explain why we think it will take the time it will require. Every job has its own personality and unexpected events such as weather, unavailability of specialty products, and mid-course architectural changes can impact the finish date.

How do I compare estimates?

This is not as easy as it sounds. It is not simply a matter of checking the final number and saying ‘well, this one is $20,000 less than the other.’ You have to be careful to make sure everything is included that should be. This can dramatically impact the cost of a project. There are many variables which go into preparing an estimate, and we strive to make ours easy to read and as complete as possible. Many estimates are simply incomplete, and there is a great deal of guesswork about what is included making it difficult to compare.

How does Massaro Construction, Inc. manage a project?

Once we start a project, we immediately assign a project manager to handle the construction from beginning to end. This person will be your primary point of contact although you will deal with other people in the company along the way. The project manager will submit for building permits, schedule the work, meet regularly with you and trades people, schedule inspections, ensure proper workmanship, and shepherd the project through to completion. Every job is different, and the key to success is to plan ahead and keep an open line of communication with the client and all the trades. Our lead carpenter and office staff is readily available to assist in the daily operations and to assist you through the construction process.