FAQs


Click on the “+” sign to see the answers to some of the most common remodeling project FAQ’s below:

Built by Design defines remodeling as a project where we strip the existing area down to studs & implement a completely new design. Design elements might include custom cabinetry, new flooring, new lighting, plumbing fixtures & paint. A refresh, for our company, is where everything stays in its original layout but cabinets might be painted, new hardware added, new counter tops & backsplash tile installed, and light fixtures swapped out. Built by Design specializes in large-scale remodeling, although if our schedule allows we may take on the occasional refresh project.

Built by Design is a custom design/build firm & as such, we do not price our jobs by the square foot. Our design allowances are very generous (no “builder grade” elements go into our bids) so an attempt to compare our bid to a “per square foot” bid is like comparing apples to oranges. Our fixed price bid stays fixed unless the homeowner chooses to upgrade something; most per square foot bids end up costing a lot more than the homeowner budgeted because almost everything is an upgrade.

Built by Design pulls a permit for each project meaning we are ultimately held responsible for every aspect of the job. Allowing a homeowner who is “pretty handy” or has a “cousin who is an electrician” would open our company up to liabilities in the future. When you hire Built by Design as your contractor you are putting your faith in us as the experts & our goal is your satisfaction & safety. While we appreciate your efforts to save a few dollars, we do not allow clients to participate in the execution of the project.

Built by Design only uses one local custom cabinet shop to fulfill our cabinetry needs. Unlike cabinets from Ikea, Home Depot or Lowe’s, our cabinets are made to fit exact specifications without the use of up to 3” of filler. We can also offer multiple wood species, door styles & hardware choices. Our standard offering includes full-extension drawers, & self-closing doors/drawers.

Built by Design utilizes a Design Contract anytime a project includes structural alterations such as removing load bearing walls or designing a room addition. Once the homeowners have met with a company representative to go over design ideas & estimated costs, a Design Contact is signed & a fee is collected. The fee covers the cost of an architect &/or engineer, our design time, as well as any other expenses incurred during the process of creating a fixed price Build Contract. Once both parties have completed their Design Contract deliverables, we present a complete build package to the homeowner that includes stamped architect/engineering prints, all design elevations & showroom selections in a comprehensive Scope of Work. If the homeowners decide to move forward the Design Contract fee is deducted from the Build Contact, at this point the homeowners own everything we’ve done to date.

Built by Design is a custom design/build firm and custom is never average. We work diligently to design what homeowners dream of, making certain that the finished project is a reflection of their unique tastes, not what their next-door neighbor has already dreamed of. We make every effort of work within the budget parameters given to us & do our best to offer cost-saving ideas that don’t compromise quality. In general our “floor” for basement work is around $45k or $50k.

The key words here are “same thing.” What most homeowners don’t realize is that the plumbing fixtures (just one example) with the Delta name on them found at a big box store are manufactured specifically for those stores and are of lesser quality than what they will find at our plumbing showrooms. If a homeowner insists on providing their own plumbing fixtures we will install them, but they will be excluded from our warranty.

Built by Design carries a $2 million insurance policy & has full workman’s comp coverage. Our subcontractors are also licensed & insured; this is verified every year by outside audit. We are licensed in all cities in the KC metro area.

As a general contractor, Built by Design utilizes the skills & experience of licensed sub-contractors on our projects. Unlike some of our competitors, we have been using the same companies, & in most instances the same tradesmen, for over 13 years. We don’t shop our jobs out to find the cheapest solution. Our subcontractors specialize in remodeling (a different beast than new home construction), they know what we expect of them to meet our very high standards.

Built by Design has 3 project managers with over 25 years of combined experience. Because we are a small company and each project manager can only effectively manage a finite number of jobs simultaneously, your project manager is assigned by virtue of the currently in progress calendar.

Built by Design employees & those providing services on our behalf typically enter through the garage via the code provided by the homeowner or with a key kept in a secure lock box by the designated door. Our work day is 8-5 unless other arrangements are made.

A lot goes into a room addition that the average homeowner is not aware of; often the cost just to get out of the ground is more than $50,000. It’s not as simple as just knocking out a wall adding on. *See What is a Design Contract for more information.

Built by Design is one of the only contractors among our peers that does not charge to provide an estimate for our work or to do the design work that precedes the estimate. After we’ve presented our design, the homeowner is left with a detailed Scope of Work & a fixed price bid. The actual designs remain with us until a deposit & a signed contract are received. We believe this business practice truly sets us apart from the competition.

Absolutely not. We firmly believe that by using the same subcontractors for every job (some since Built by Design opened our doors in 2004), we are providing the highest quality of service & products to our homeowners. That old saying, “you get what you pay for” really means something to us & our clients are better off for it.

At this time Built by Design does not provide financing or take credit cards. Most of our clients have lined up financing prior to contacting, or signing, with us.