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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Frequently Asked Questions

We are often asked these questions from prospective clients. I hope you will find these answers informative and that they will add credence to what we feel helps make Classic unique.

1. We are interested in an extensive renovation to the kitchen, bathrooms and need additional space. Do you take on projects of this type?

Yes. We have completed a large list of projects similar to this on both older and newer homes in Charleston and surrounding areas. Some of them can be viewed online at www.classicremodeling.com. Two of our highlighted projects, Himmelein and DeBiasi, are award winning and historic in nature.

2. How many historic home remodels have you completed?

We have completed numerous projects over the past 19 years that Classic has been in business ranging from simple repairs to million-dollar plus renovations. A typical project for us is a whole-house renovation with additions, kitchen upgrade and master suite. Many of the projects we work on are located in the historic district, and we have competed hundreds of projects on older homes with involvement/interaction with Mt. Pleasant TAC, City of Charleston ARB, Historic Charleston, and other historic agencies.

3. If requested, would you be willing to provide a list of client references for these projects?

We always provide a list of client references. We are proud of the fact that many of our clients refer us to their friends and family, and we are often asked to return for more work at a later date because of our successful client relationships. We also employ a third-party surveying firm to assess our performance, which allows for unbiased feedback from the client. This constant feedback tells us where we can improve and where we excel. Our client relations coordinator will provide a list of client references, along with other testimonials. Testimonials can also be readily viewed on our web site.

4. How many projects do you typically have going at the same time? Are they primarily residential or commercial?

All of our work is residential. We often have several projects going on at the same time, but each project has an in-house project manager and project craftsman assigned to it. Each project manager typically handles a few larger projects and a few smaller projects at the same time, but the project craftsman stays onsite with the project 95% of the time. This gives us much better control of quality and coordination of subcontractors.

5. Geographically, where are your current residential projects located?

Mt. Pleasant, Charleston, West Ashley, Sullivan's Island, and Isle of Palms.

6. Is there a job site that we could visit?

Absolutely. Anyone anticipating a remodeling project should visit some ongoing projects to get an idea how the prospective contractor works. You should be looking at quality of workmanship, cleanliness (safety) of the jobsite, and how the crews interact with clients/children/pets. Every project has challenges specific to the project and there will be things that crop-up along the way. You should be asking those past clients how the contractor handled issues that arose during the project.

We are very proud of our projects and client relationships. I would be happy to arrange visits to both ongoing and past projects.

7. For which trades do you typically use your own crews, and which do you typically subcontract?

We are self-performing in all carpentry areas (demo, foundation layout, framing, exterior siding/trim, interior trim, and final detailing/punch). All of the specialty trades are subcontracted to include masonry, electrical, plumbing, heating/air, drywall, painting, cabinetry, and tile (along with some other minor trades). Many of our specialty trade partners have been working with us for years.

8. How long have you been in business in the Charleston area?

20 Years. We are very proud of our longstanding commitment to our community.

9. If requested, would you be willing to provide credit references from suppliers or banks?

We are happy to provide this. We have strong relationships with our banker and vendors, and maintain good credit by paying all of our bills on-time. Vendors are paid within their terms, and we often take discounts for early pay. All of our specialty trade partners are paid weekly.

We bank with Carolina First locally, but our primary contact is located with Carolina First in North Carolina (he is also a client of ours)
JW Davis: 828-693-7376 / j.w.davis@carolinafirst.com
Dan Bannister: 828-693-1851 /

Our Customer Relations coordinator will be pleased to provide a list of vendors with contact information.

10. How do you typically structure contracts for renovation/remodeling work? (e.g. itemized bid, cost plus percentage, cost plus fixed fee)

We only work on a fixed price. Cost-Plus or Time & Materials contracts are not usually successful because of cost overruns throughout the project. Our estimates are itemized as far as quantities and quality of materials, with a room-by-room breakdown of pricing.

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