How We Do Business
The reality in today’s business climate is that there is a lot of distrust towards contractors by the general public. In many cases, it is totally justifiable. I have seen some of the horror stories first hand as our company has been called upon on several occasions to either finish or correct a job that was started and abandoned by another (not so ethical) contractor. However, this inherent wariness on the part of the customer makes the job of a construction company committed to ethical business practices more difficult than it otherwise would be. So, the first hurdle we must overcome on the road towards developing trust and respect with our customers is to convince you we are a reputable, customer centered company, committed to giving the best possible value for the construction dollar invested. Hopefully, our good reputation precedes us (Personal recommendation or referrals). But if it is your first experience with our company, we are happy to provide you a Referral List of recent customers, so you can check us out for yourself.
It is in the spirit of developing trust and communication that I want to impart to potential customers how our company does business. We have a very specific approach to the way we help our customers develop and or design their projects. It is open, honest and customer directed. So let’s begin by listing some of the basics.
We Charge for Estimates
I have over 28 years of estimating and field experience to offer, and I am trained in AutoCAD drafting and design as well. So if a customer wants to know what the project will really cost, he consults a pro. And professional services have value. But before doing any estimating and related work, I will ask you for your Budget. I know you don’t know how much your project is going to cost (Neither do I at this Point), but most people have a figure in mind that they want or are able to spend. Once I have spent time with you learning the scope of you project, I can usually determine if what you are budgeting for your project and what it is likely to cost are in the same ballpark. If they are, we are ready to proceed to the next step. If not, we have only wasted a little time finding this out. OK, let’s assume that your budget and the likely cost of the project are compatible. With this settled, we move on to step # 2. (Remember we are already working under a budget assumption that both customer and contractor have agreed on.)
At this point, the Customer and Marathon Building Company will enter into one of two types of agreements:
PROJECT DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT:
If no design or drafting services are required, this agreement authorizes Marathon Building Company to define and clarify the construction project. Marathon Building Company will provide a “Lump Sum Estimate”, Scope of Work and Contract. As a part of this process, contractor will determine building code requirements; meet with subcontractors and or city officials to ensure that a Building Permit can be issued for the project. The fee involved for this service is usually around $300.00, but can vary based on the size of the project and how much time is involved. However, this fee is credited in full against the contract price if the project moves forward.
DESIGN RETAINER AGREEMENT: (An Agreement for Professional Services)
This agreement would be entered into if the project requires Design and Drafting Services to produce drawings necessary to define and clarify the project and obtain a Building Permit. The fee for this service is based on a percentage of the estimated project cost (Usually 3%) and includes the following actions by Marathon Building Company:
- MARATHON BUILDING COMPANY meeting with Owner as needed to clarify scope of work;
- MARATHON BUILDING COMPANY reviewing any Owner provided blue prints or sketches and site measuring the existing home;
- MARATHON BUILDING COMPANY checking with the local building officials concerning code and zoning issues;
- MARATHON BUILDING COMPANY creating conceptual plans based on discussions with Owner and site review;
- MARATHON BUILDING COMPANY reviewing logistics of this job with trade contractors and suppliers on site as needed;
- MARATHON BUILDING COMPANY compiling an approximate cost estimate and construction schedule with the Owner;
- MARATHON BUILDING COMPANY compiling a separate construction contract at the completion of this agreement and a firm price quotation for the project.
Note: These services are comparable to what an Architectural Design/Build firm would deliver, but at a much more affordable price.
Once all the necessary drawings, specifications, etc. are complete and agreed upon, Marathon Building Company and the Customer will enter into a construction contract agreement which among other things stipulates the approximate start and completion dates of the project along with a payment schedule that contains very clear target points as to when payments to contractor are to be made. Our philosophy is really pretty simple. At the end of the day we want our customers to be glad they chose our company and recommend us to others. To us there is no better sign that we have done our job well than a personal recommendation from a previous customer.