Our Process

A design-build remodeler both designs the living spaces you, the client, have been dreaming of and ensures that it is built to fulfill that vision.  We will coordinate with any designers, subcontractors, vendors, and permitting entities required to get the job done.  And at the same time, we’ll communicate with you daily throughout your project so you always know what to expect and have your finger on the pulse of the project.

What is a design-build remodeler?

Setting Up Our First Meeting

When you contact Yates Remodeling LLC for help with your project, we’ll ask you some basic questions about your project to ensure we can be of assistance.  We’ll also ask you for some contact information, the location of the job site, and anything else we may need to know before we meet in person.  You’ll then receive an invitation to Buildertrend, our online project management portal, that will allow you to review your estimate, make payments, communicate with the team, and track progress from start to finish.

Your Initial Estimate Meeting

With that information on hand, we’ll set-up an initial estimate meeting.  During this mutual interview, we’ll go over what your vision for the project is, your budget, preliminary design ideas, likely materials to be used, scheduling, and the initial estimate process.  We find the best first meetings are the ones where clients come prepared with a list of ideas and a clear budget.  We’ll be listening carefully to you to ensure we put together a plan that will meet your goals on budget.


Your budget is critical to this process because the same project, say a 12’ x 16’ deck, can be built at a variety of costs.  When we know your budget, we can suggest decking, railings, benches, gates, steps, and many other features that will work for you.  When we don’t understand your budget, we’ll design based on your vision and that might produce an estimate that will be out of reach.  Lots of people may have an idea of what their dream project costs but might be leaving out very expensive details.  The key is that we are on the same page and on the same team.

Post Initial Estimate Meeting

Using measurements from our estimate meeting, the information you provided about your budget, functionality, possible materials, and design ideas, we will develop an initial estimate. The initial estimate will give you a close idea of exact costs of your project.  At this point you can modify the project or scope of the work to realize your goals.

Deposit and Payments

Once the estimate reflects your vision, you can then approve it on Buildertrend.  In order for us to add your project to our queue and begin designs, a 20% deposit by credit card or e-check is required. You may also provide a check payable to Yates Remodeling LLC.  Once the job begins, we will bill you weekly for any work to be done the coming week along with any work that has been completed up to that point that has not been paid for (this does not include change orders).  Your 20% deposit will be used to cover the initial work and material purchases, you will be notified when your first weekly payment will be due after the deposit has been allocated.

Weekly billing will be sent out by Wednesday at 11:59 pm and will be due that Friday by 11:59 pm by either an electronic payment or personal check.  All personal checks are to be dated before the due date and made out to Yates Remodeling LLC.  Any change orders that are made after final design has been completed will need to be approved and paid for before work will be started.  This may hold up production.  An administrative fee may be added to all change orders depending on their impact.  All costs will be listed on the change order for approval before work will begin.

If weekly progression payments are not made when due, work may be delayed or deferred.  If payments are not received within 5 days of the due date a 1.5% late fee will be charged to account, as well as 1.5% compounding for every 30 days after that.  Five percent of the total end project costs will not be billed until the project is complete, all inspections are passed, and you have completed a final walkthrough of the project.

Design Phase

The design phase is the stage at which we’ll make material and product selections that replace the allowances from the initial estimate. For some of our clients the design phase is the most fun part of the project while for others it can be an overwhelming experience. There are endless choices of every material you can imagine from siding, cabinetry, tiling and on and on. How we approach this phase depends on you.  If the project requires matching materials to existing carpentry or finishes in your home, we’ll recommend a selection of materials, parts, and finishes that we think will achieve the look you want.  If the project requires matching the style of your home, but does not require an exact match of materials, we can bring you items to choose from or together we can take a trip to the design center to help you navigate the choices and ensure the budget implications are clear.  Design decisions can play a large role in the final estimate we will begin developing at this time.

Depending on the scope of the job, we’ll create a drawing in CAD, computer-aided design and drafting, to create a realistic, 3D model of the finished project.  Depending on the size and scope of your project, this may take about a week to develop.  During the CAD design process, after we have an initial design, we will have an engineer give us specs on how the structure will need to be built or altered.  We will use this information as part of the final design. With the CAD drawing complete, we’ll ask you to review the plans and provide feedback.


At this time, we may bring in subcontractors to appraise the job and provide additional insight into pricing. Subcontractors may be required for your project.  We will coordinate all aspects of the work by Yates Remodeling employees and our subcontractors.  We have a list of preferred subcontractors that we have used on many projects whose quality of work we can depend on.  The costs for any and all subcontractors will be included in the final estimate based on our final design and specifications.

Revisions and Feedback

Communication about the final estimate will be critical in ensuring the scope of the work is properly understood and set.  You should feel free to ask for a window opening to be larger or to move the pool house to the other side of the yard.  You can also ask for revisions based on your budget. 

Final Estimate

It’s now time to provide you with the final estimate.  This estimate is a deeply informed version of your initial estimate which calculates all the various steps mentioned above.  Your approval of the final estimate will trigger the beginning of demo and/or construction.

Once again, Buildertrend allows you to review and approve the final estimate online and to make additional payments for the project via credit card or e-checks.


Setting the schedule will also be an important step after you agree to the final estimated price.  We’ll want to set a realistic schedule that ensure the project is completed on time and to plan.  Weather, time to receive order materials and products, permits, and inspections can all effect the schedule.  We’ll try to build in time to create flexibility for the unexpected.  We hope you’ll keep unexpected delays in mind as well as we work to meet your final delivery date.

Permits and Permissions

During this time, we’ll also start work on getting any permits and permissions required to proceed with the project. Each city, town, and unincorporated area has a different permitting office with different rules and fees for permits.  If you have a Home Owners Association (HOA) they also may have a set of rules and permissions that we’ll need to obtain.  Understanding what will be required and what the timeline is for each of these approvals will be critical as we design the schedule and final estimate.

Mark-up and Taxes

Markup is a general term that applies to the overhead and profit that any company needs to stay in business. It is the amount a business charges above their direct cost.  It covers overhead items such as; advertising, sales commission, job supervision and scheduling, office expenses, project management software, insurance, accounting and legal fees, licenses, taxes, warranties, shop costs, tools, storage, employee expenses and salaries.  These are some of the overhead expenses for a remodeling company.  On top of overhead there is also profit.  We do the best we can to keep these costs as low as possible while still staying in business and providing the best possible service and products to our customers.  All our estimated figures always include our markup.  This can be a confusing subject for most, here is a link to an article that does a great job explaining this in more detail: https://www.markupandprofit.com/blog/how-much-should-contractor-charge


As part of your estimate, you will receive an “allowance” for each of the items you will select as part of the design process.  These are estimated dollar figures based on what we have learned about the style and quality of the items you have asked us to install.  For example, you will receive an allowance for light fixtures if we are installing new lighting.  The allowance might be an amount or a dollar range.  We will provide you a variety of items that will work with your design and the specifications of the remodel.  It will then be your choice to follow the allowance, exceed it, or use less than the allowance.  If you select an item that is more expensive than the allowance, that increase will be reflected in your invoice.  If you select and item that is less than the allowance amount, that decrease will also be reflected in your invoice.

Change Orders and Troubleshooting

While our CAD drawing will give you a strong idea of what the project will look like, on occasion once the paint is on the wall you may not like the color, or you may want to add doors to your built in.  We’ll work with you to make changes along the way and help you understand any impact to the budget and timeline they may cause. Also, once we start opening walls and digging holes, we may find unexpected surprises.  We’ll work with you to troubleshoot any of these surprises and discuss any necessary budget adjustments as a result.  A good rule of thumb is to plan 10% of the budget for any potential issues.

Review Us

Upon completion of the project, we’ll invite you to review us on social media and share your experiences.  As a small business, we rely on referrals and reviews and hope you’ll love your project and want to share it.  The craftsmanship of our work has a lifetime guarantee, but should you ever need anything else, please think of us.  As we say, Yates Remodeling LLC is all your home will ever need.