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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Classic Receives Guildmaster Award for 10th Consecutive Year

We are pleased to announce that we have been awarded a 2015 Guildmaster Award for exceptional customer service. GuildQuality, an independent customer satisfaction surveying company, has powered the Guildmaster Award since 2005 to celebrate service excellence in the building, remodeling, contracting, and home services professions.

Classic Remodeling was selected as one of the over 300 North American builders, remodelers, developers, and contractors recognized by GuildQuality for our superior delivery of customer care. We are one of only 6 remodelers nationwide to receive the award for 10 consecutive years.

Over the past few months, GuildQuality reviewed numerous survey responses submitted by customers of Guildmaster candidates. In granting awards, GuildQuality considers two primary metrics for each candidate: the percentage of customers who would recommend and the percentage of customers who responded. Classic Remodeling achieved a recommendation rate of greater than 90% from their customers, who were surveyed through GuildQuality.

Client satisfaction is of the utmost importance to us at Classic Remodeling. We take great pride in the fact that 98% of our clients over the last 10 years consider themselves clients for life. The GuildQuality survey process allows us to continuously evaluate and improve our service which is vital to our success.

For more on the 2015 Guildmaster Award and qualifications, visit www.guildquality.com/guildmaster/.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Celebrating a Whole House Renovation on Wadmalaw Island

A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of celebrating the completion of a whole house renovation with the Kutch family. This renovation completely changed the flow and appearance of the entire home.

The original floor plan was very awkwardly "cut up" into several small rooms. We reconfigured the main living spaces and bedrooms to create a more open concept floor plan. By removing the walls to the original master bedroom, a guest bath and two bedrooms, we were able to create a more expansive master suite with large master closet and spacious master bath as well as a larger space for the kitchen, which was relocated to the back of the house and opened up to the living room. The old kitchen location was converted to a new guest bedroom/home office.

Here are a few before and after pictures of the project:

Kitchen, before:

Kitchen, after:

Master bath, before:

Master bath, after:

Guest bath, before and after:

We had such a great time celebrating the completion of this project with the homeowners and sharing the new space with their friends and family.

As always, there was a delicious spread of food, including several items prepared by the homeowner. Bob provided one of his signature dishes, pulled pork sliders with blue cheese cole slaw. No one went home hungry!

Ever the perfectionists, even when the job is finished we're still examining, analyzing and discussing techniques and materials used on a project.

Everyone agreed the project turned out beautifully, thanks in large part to the efforts of Mary Todd (l), our design associate on the project and Terry Simon (r), project craftsman.

Another successful project and a wonderful evening spent with some truly hospitable (and fun!) clients.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Don't Miss ACBA's Craftsmen & Craft Brews Lowcountry Boil

We’re gathering our aprons to support a great organization!  Join Classic Remodeling at the Craftsmen & Craft Brews Lowcountry Boil, a part of the Masters of the Building Arts Festival hosted by the American College of the Building Arts.

The Masters of the Building Arts Festival is a week-long event running from April 3-11 and features a series of professional workshops, hands-on demonstrations, lectures, tours and a variety of family activities.

Craftsmen & Craft Brews Lowcountry Boil brings the festival to a close on Saturday, April 11.  Join us from 5:00 to 8:00pm and enjoy a Lowcountry Boil with all the fixins’ - prepared and served by our very own Bob Fleming - with some help from the ACBA students.  Kick back, tell stories, listen to live music, and taste our craft brews from Holy City Brewing or Tool Brewing.

Tickets are $25 ($15 for students with a valid ID) and are on sale now. Proceeds from the Craftsmen & Craft Brews Lowcountry Boil benefit the student guild organization. Contact Ginna at 843-577-6283 to purchase your tickets today!

For those who aren’t familiar with ACBA, it is the only school in the country to offer a four-year liberal arts bachelors degree where students learn traditional craftsmanship along with modern building trades. Charleston is our learning lab where students learn the “old ways’ and develop the skills needed to help preserve historic buildings not only here in Charleston, but around the world.

We hope you’ll come out and enjoy this great event, and learn all that ACBA has to offer.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

FEMA Flood Zones, Freeboard, and How They Affect Your Remodel

This month, our project consultant Mary Todd shares some important information homeowners may not be aware of regarding FEMA flood zones and how they may affect your remodeling project. 

If you are thinking about tackling a remodeling project, whether in your current home or a newly purchased home, it’s easy to dream big. After all, the fun of remodeling is making the space perfect for you and your family. Unfortunately, in our area, there can be limits on what you are permitted to spend on your remodeling project, depending on which municipality you are located in and if your property is located in a FEMA Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).

What is an SFHA and how do I know if my property is located in an SFHA zone?
FEMA defines SFHAs as land areas that are at high risk for flooding, where high risk is defined as having at least a 1 in 4 chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage.

Your home’s flood zone designation is listed on your elevation certificate, which should be provided
to you as part of your closing documents when purchasing your home.

If your flood zone designation is “X” or “C” then you are not in a SFHA.  

If your flood zone designation is “A”, “AE”, “AH”, “AO”, or “AR” followed by a number, you are in a SFHA and your property may be subject to additional permitting restrictions.  

What does the number following the flood zone designation mean?
The number listed adjacent to your flood zone is called the Base Flood Elevation, or BFE. FEMA defines a BFE as “the computed elevation to which floodwater is anticipated to rise during the base flood and the regulatory requirement for the elevation or flood-proofing of structures.”

The first floor of all new construction homes must be built above the BFE. Most municipalities in our local area have also adopted additional requirements, known as “freeboard.”

What does “freeboard” mean?
Freeboard is a “safety factor” that individual jurisdictions can adopt, imposing more stringent height requirements than the FEMA mandated requirements. For example, Charleston now requires an additional 1’ of freeboard. Freeboard requirements differ based on municipality.
How does flood zone, BFE, and freeboard affect my remodel?
FEMA flood zone maps, FEMA requirements, and individual municipality requirements change regularly. As a result the first floor of your home may fall below the Base Flood Elevation or below the freeboard requirement of your given municipality. If this is the case, you can only spend 50% of the value of your home’s structure (excluding the value of the land) on home improvements OR you must bring the home up to the current municipal code and FEMA guidelines (a.k.a. raise the home).

For example:
A homeowner purchases a marsh front property in the City of Charleston for $800,000. The land is valued at $500,000 and the house is valued at $300,000. It is in an AE-13 flood zone.

The first floor of the property is located at elevation 11’-6” (1’-6” below the BFE). In order to meet both the FEMA requirements and the city of Charleston’s freeboard requirements, the first floor needs to be at or above 14’ (AE-13 + 1’0” of freeboard).

The homeowner can only permit a construction project worth $150,000 ($300,000 x 50%), without raising the first floor elevation.  

There is also a required reset period. The city of Charleston has a 5 year reset. With regard to the example above, the homeowner is limited to $150,000 over the course of 5 years.  In Mount Pleasant, the time period is 10 years; each municipality varies.

The Bottomline:
These are complicated issues for those who aren’t well-versed with the various rules and regulations that apply to properties located in SFHAs. There are also exceptions to every rule. Your best bet is to hire a contractor with experience working in flood zone restricted areas, who is familiar with various municipal codes, reset periods and qualifying exceptions in your region.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

More Ways to Find Classic Online

There are now even more ways to stay up-to-date on the latest Classic news and industry buzz.

In order to stay better connected with our customers, we're adding to our social media profiles. Now, you can find us on Twitter. We'll be tweeting the latest industry news, company updates and keep you up-to-date with what's going on in Charleston. Stop by and check out our profile and be sure to follow us! 

We've also got a new way for potential clients to gain some insight into our company and the work we do. Porch.com is a free home improvement network the connects homeowners with the right home service professionals based on who neighbors have used, project and cost history, and friend and neighbors' endorsements.
 You can, of course, still find us on Facebook, Houzz, YouTube, BuildZoom and Google+. We hope that by adding these two new resources to our already established social media presence, we can make it a little easier for you to get acquainted with our company. Whatever your preferred channel is, we hope you'll follow us and stay in touch!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Classic Remodeling Awarded "Best of Houzz" for Design and Service

We are pleased to announce that Classic Remodeling has been awarded "Best Of Houzz" for Design and Customer Satisfaction by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. Classic was chosen by the more than 25 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 500,000 active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz award is given in two categories: Design and Customer Satisfaction. Design award winners' work was the most popular among the more than 25 million monthly users on Houzz, known as "Houzzers." Customer Satisfaction honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2014.

"Houzz provides homeowners with a 360 degree view of home building, remodeling and design industry professionals, empowering them to engage the right people and products for their project," said Liza Hausman, vice president of industry marketing for Houzz. "We're delighted to recognize Classic Remodeling among our 'Best Of' professionals as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively remodeling and decorating their homes."

For those who aren't familiar with Houzz, it is a great way to find inspiration, get advice or find a home building or design professional for your project. Users can view project photos and save their favorites to an ideabook for future reference or ask questions about specific products or design dilemmas and get advice from professionals around the world. It's also another great resource to help you find qualified home design and remodeling professionals in your area. "Best Of Houzz" award winners will have "Best Of" badges on their profiles to make them easily recognizable.   

We're honored to be among the "Best Of Houzz" award winners this year!

Be sure to stop by and check out our Houzz profile and see what we've been up to!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wadmalaw Renovation Project Celebration

Another great client party is in the books!

We really enjoy hosting client parties and try to do several throughout the year. Parties are great ways to help our clients’ celebrate the end of their renovation project, and we get an opportunity to meet their friends and neighbors. It takes a lot of work to put these parties together, but when you have great clients – many of whom you also end up considering friends – they are a lot of fun.

Homeowners Jack and Vivian Huguley hired Classic in 2011 for an interior renovation project in their Wadmalaw Island home. We spent about 6 months with the Huguleys, working through the design and planning stage and then completing the construction. Check out some of the before and after pictures from their project.

Over the course of construction, we grew to really love these clients . And they were so much fun to work with, we knew a party would be even more fun!

After months (ok, maybe a year) of trying to coordinate a date that would work for everyone, we finally settled on October 18.  Jack called on his friends at JMC Charleston, Eventhaus Rentals and Icebox bar service to help with the d├ęcor, setup and drinks. Classic took control of the food and set about developing a menu to feed approximately 130 of the Huguley’s friends, family and neighbors.

When the day of the party finally arrived, our crew gathered early in the day to put the finishing touches on all of the appetizers and do all of the prep for the main course. We arrived at the Huguley’s  around 3:00 pm and immediately got to work setting up our catering station.

By the time guests began arriving everything was ready to go and we could sit back, work the crowd and enjoy.

Appetizers and the main course, which consisted of pulled pork sliders, 3 varieties of cole slaw, jalapeno cornbread and Frogmore Stew, were served as we enjoyed entertainment by The Bluestone Ramblers. Following dinner, a delicious array of desserts, prepared by our hostess Vivian Huguley, awaited us in the kitchen (a perfect way to draw people into the house to check out their renovations).

As the sun began to set on this gorgeous October evening, we packed up the van and headed home, bringing to a close another successful event. A beautiful night spent on the water with some great people – it’s going to be a hard night to top!

Homeowners Jack and Vivian Huguley with Classic Remodeling President, Bob Fleming
To check out more pictures from our Wadmalaw party, check out our Facebook page.