Below are a list of commonly asked questions and our answers.  If you have an inquiry that is not addressed below then please send us a note and we will address it here.

At what point can I get an accurate cost of the project?

Prior to contract sign, we meet and discuss the high level requirements.  We then take some time to calculate at a very high level the approximate cost of your project.  The only possible way that we can determine the actual cost of the project is by conducting a detailed take off of labor and materials that will be required for completing the project.  A detailed take off requires a completed and fully vetted design which requires architectural and structural design hours and locking down of finish selections.

We typically sign a contract with our clients based on an initial project estimate.  The initial deposit will fund hours that will be required for finalizing the design and the remaining balance will be retained in the project balance.  Once the design has been finalized, we conduct a detailed take off of labor and materials that will be required for completing the project.  Keep in mind that throughout the design process we will tailor all efforts to ensure that the final scope of the project will contain the scope and requirements that meet your budget.  We submit a change order based on these finalized requirements and once it is approved we submit the plans to the county / city for permit.

Please reference the Services page for further process details.

I'm considering building an addition. How much will the construction impact my daily life?

Depending on the type of construction, you may be required to vacate your home or you may be able to stay home while construction is underway.

Here are two example scenarios:

  • Addition to the rear of home: There is no need for the home owners to vacate the home.  The new structure will be built first, and demolition of the existing wall that joins the new structure to the old will be done once the new structure has been concealed and the drywall has been finished.  After this demolition, the remaining finishes will take place in the addition for completing the project.
  • Second Level Addition: In most cases, we ask that home owners vacate the home when the construction project requires construction on top a habitable existing structure for safety reasons.  We normally ask the home owner to vacate the home while the structural potions of the project are underway.  Once structural portions have been completed and the top structure has been concealed and insulated then the home owners can return to the property.

Why do I need a design build firm, why can't I hire an architect and manage the project myself?

The benefits of a design and build firm are that you work closely with the architects and the structural engineers of the firm and that firm will then bring that design to realization having full knowledge of the intricacies of the design.  The firm will also have the knowledge and experience of coordinating the various build teams and working with the county for obtaining the necessary permits.  The firm will also conduct oversight of the project and ensure that the teams are properly building the various components of the plans.  Because the same firm is familiar with the plan, they can quickly make adjustments during the project as necessary.  Such things as the build of support structures, electrical and plumbing systems, and many other components of the structure are closely scrutinized by the build firm to ensure that they are up to code and are effectively built.  The build firm will also extend a warranty in the event that the owner experiences any problems with the built structure(s).

What are the factors that I should consider for selecting a design & build firm?

There are several factors that you need to carefully consider before selecting the firm that can best deliver your project.

  1. Capabilities – The contractor should ideally have in house architecture and structure resources for delivering your design.  They should also possess in house project management experts whom are experienced in developing a detailed project plan and effectively orchestrating the build process.  All these capabilities will be active during the build project to ensure that the project is delivered with the utmost quality and within time, scope, and budget.
  2. Experience – You must ensure that the contractor has the necessary architectural, structural, and delivery experience for delivering a quality structure within time, budget, and scope.  Be mindful of contractors who quote very competitive prices but are not able to deliver within the three tenants of project management (cost, scope, time).
  3. Cost – Most clients consider this a significant variable in selecting the contractor.  However, there are many contractors in the market where they provide very competitive pricing but they are not able to meet the expenditure requirements during the project.  Ensure that the contractor uses the appropriate market research methodologies and costing models for providing you with the overall cost of the project.

My project requires intricate design and details, how do I know that you are capable of delivering?

K-One Corp. has operated in the Metropolitan DC area since 1989.  As a family owned business, we run our business on the pillars of Service, Integrity, and Trust.  Our business would not exist today if it weren’t for these pillars.

Throughout the years, we have experienced a variety of projects, small and large, and have delivered intricate designs that required careful attention to detail.  We have over the years developed the skillset of our crew and have developed close relationships with trusted subcontractors who deliver amazing workmanship.  The attention to detail that our management team, our crew, and our subcontractors cater to has resulted in a strong brand that delivers.

We are happy to share pictures of past work and provide you with contact information of clients whom we have supported in the past.

We just bought an older home, we would like to add additional space and remodel.

Sometimes a property acquisition strategy involves acquiring a property that is older and in need of updates.  This allows the buyer to realize savings in the purchase and instead spend the savings on updating and remodeling.

Our architects and structural engineers and designers will work closely with you to come up with optimal design options that will turn your new acquisition into your dream home.

Our structural engineers assess the current state of the structure and ensures that the new build will not adversely impact any existing structures.

Our designs are focused not only in meeting your needs but we also take into consideration the existing architectural finishes and the overall spirit of the neighborhood.  The designs that we developed are created such that the new structure melds with your home seamlessly and is compatible with other architectural designs of the neighborhood.

Should I buy an old property and demolish or should I upgrade an existing property?

Sometimes a good strategy is to buy an existing home and realize savings in the acquisition as opposed to buying a recently built home.  The savings realized in the acquisition can then be expended in updating the property and potentially expanding the structure.

There is also the option of buying an older property and demolishing it for build of an entirely new structure.  The benefit of this option is that there are no surprises during construction during the project which minimizes occurrence of change orders.

Either strategy is dependent on the owner’s budget and timeline.  An entirely new structure will normally take more time to build than an addition.

What is the typical process for finalizing a design and building?

Whether your project involves building an entirely new structure or an addition we work closely with you to ensure that all aspects of your vision are captured in the design.  No surprises!

After our initial site visit, we provide free consultation where we meet with you and provide a high level quote which includes high level costs of the project and an estimate of its duration.  Once the quote and contract have been approved, we develop a detailed architectural and structural plan in preparation for county permit submittals.   All content must be approved by all project stakeholders before they are submitted to the county plan reviewers.  After all permits have been obtained, a schedule is developed for deployment which takes into consideration current ongoing projects and their projected end date.  Our process involves a heavy front-end planning process in order to minimize surprises during the project build phase.  Heaving front-end planning also enables us to shorten the construction phase which is especially beneficial during remodeling and addition projects where the homeowner is living on the property.

For further clarification, review the processes that are shown towards the bottom of our Services pages.

How can I find out how the construction is progressing once the project has begun?

Prior to the start of the project, our clients are provided with a project roadmap that is updated throughout the project to show progress that is being made.  In addition, we are in constant engagement with the customer throughout project whether it is on the job site or via email.  We establish a stream of dialogue with our client to 1) address any questions that they may have during the project, 2) show the over progress that is being made.

What is the process for keeping track of changes to the original plan?

Any change from the original plan has to go through the Change Management Process.  The change is first discussed with our team, we capture all the deviations from the original proposal and a change order form is submitted for your review and approval.  Once the change order is approved, an invoice is sent for that change order only to address the additional labor and materials that are required for delivering the new change.  The entire process is transparent, approval must take place prior to execution.  In certain cases, changes are discussed verbally and executed quickly but the majority of the time changes in scope must be discussed and formally approved.

What does a typical day in the project look like?

Our crew typically deploys to the construction project between 0730 and 0830 to address the portion of the project as scheduled per the project roadmap.  Materials are brought to the site accordingly and the project for the day continues until 1600 and 1700.  Our crew takes a lunch break and an additional break during the day.  Our project management team is present during the project and ensures that all work progresses as scheduled.  All team members are aware of the type of work that has to be completed during the day and execute accordingly.  Additional time is reserved towards the end of the day to clean up the construction site and ensure that the project site has been secured.

I'm considering hiring my own architect and have another first build the completed plans. What are the pros and cons?

The most important aspect of construction which ensures reduction of risk in a project is making sure that the entire process, from the initial design, to the final build delivery is seamless.  Any delays or unforeseen aspects of the project encountered in the midst of the project causes delays and unexpected costs that could have been otherwise avoided.  For example, we recently had a client who approached us with a completed set of plans that had been approved by the county and the build permit had been issued.  The plans detailed addition of a second level and major remodeling of the main level.  The plans were developed by an independent architect and an  independent structural engineer.  The home owner had decided to act as the general contractor and coordinated the design efforts.  They worked with the architect to develop a design that met every possible aspect of their needs.  The architect did a fantastic job of capturing their feedback in the final design and the plans were superbly annotated with great detail.  We could also tell that the county was very appreciative of the level of detail that was included in the design based on their comments during plan review.  The architect shared the final design with the structural engineer who developed his calculations of the existing structure and the support system that would be required for build of the additional level.  We reviewed the plans after county approval and noted that the existing support structure and the proposed new structures were not sufficient for building a stable final structure.  In addition, when we tried to align the budget of the client with that of the plans and the scope of work that were developed, we realized that the scope of work that had been designed did not meet the client’s budget because that important aspect of the project had not been carefully considered while developing the plans.  The client decided to once more work on the plans from scratch and develop plans that met their budget.

At K-One, we ensure that the design and build aspects of the project are in full alignment with scope, budget, and schedule.  Our project management professionals engage from the very beginning during the proposal process to ensure that the client’s expectations are fully understood and accounted for by the designers.  Budgets are recorded, materials are selected based on allowed budget, and the build is executed with quality and professionalism to ensure complete client satisfaction.  Keep in mind that during almost all projects (just like a pre-planned wedding) there are always surprises and matters that could not have been accounted for during planning.  Our client’s put their trust in our many years of experience and rely on us to account for these risks prior to project start; when the risks do come up during the project, our design team is readily available to assess the situation on site and develop strategies to resolve them.

In the end, it’s best to hire a professional design and build firm to management the entire design and build process from the beginning to final build delivery.  This ensures that the designer fully understands the scope of work along with the project management.  The project manager in turn can effectively delivery the project as he / she has a deep understanding of the design and the client’s expectations.

Will I realize savings if I buy the materials myself and only pay for labor?

We pride ourselves in being a design and build company where we deliver turnkey solutions.  We are in control of all aspects of the project and closely engage with project stakeholders to ensure that decisions are made quickly and that the project is confined to the agreed upon scope, schedule, and cost.  Having full control of labor and materials ensures that the project is delivered by meeting or exceeding our company’s quality standards.

We have experts on our team with many years of experience both academically and from the field who can steer our clients in the correct direction.  As such, we know best the types of materials that are required, where they should be sources and purchased from, and the best method for installing them.  Even in cases where we may not have the in house expertise or special products we can still seek through our deep network and bring them into the project and deliver effectively.

How do I know the type of workmanship that I'm going to receive?

We have been in business since ’87 and we pride ourselves in running our company on the pillars of Integrity, Service, and Trust.  As such, we seek to deliver superb workmanship to exceed our client’s expectations in order to grow our company’s brand.  Our crew is regularly mentored and trained on best practices across the work spectrum of construction, our subcontractors have been selected because of the superb quality of work that they deliver, and all together our native and subcontracting teams are dedicated to delivering fantastic solutions to our clients.

We hire and retain crew members whom are dedicated to our mission, who strive every day to become better at what they do, and provide superb client support.  No shortcuts or poor workmanship is allowed.

We also have a checks and balances system where work products are tracked in detail on our project backlog tracking system which is reviewed every day.  Completed work products are checked by fellow team members at the end of the day for quality assurance before the task is marked as complete.

I am in urgent need of construction on my house, how has COVID-19 impacted construction?

We are in unprecedented times.  When COVID-19 came to realization, we experienced an increase in backlog of work as more and more home owners are interested in expanding rooms, changing the layout of their existing homes, or simply building new homes and moving our of densely population regions.  The demand for construction projects continues to rise.

As for the process of construction, all matters from supply chain, to permitting and inspections, to vendor support has been impacted.  We are experiencing increased prices construction materials such as windows, lumber, structural lumber, roofing, siding, and concrete.  Below is a list of items and their associated lead time that we are experiencing:

  • Truss Manufacturing:  2 to 4 weeks (normally 10 days) – in certain cases, we have been able to fast track leveraging our relationship
  • Pressure Treated Lumber: May not be available on the market due to demand and reduced manufacturing
  • Permitting: 8 to 10 weeks for remodeling / new homes (most county employees are working remotely so it’s difficult to verbally interact)

We have found that extensive planning and simply considering matters way ahead of ground breaking is the best approach to ensure that projects remain on track.

In addition to delayed related to the supply chain, we have noted significant increase in construction materials prices.  Prices from January 2020 as of the date of this posting (9/2/2020) have increased anywhere from 80% to 150%.  This of course has the most impact of build of new homes.  Medium sized remodeling projects are impacted by increased lumber prices but now has much.

As for shopping and locking down selections, most vendors have restrictions in place to ensure that COVID-19 is not spread through their offices.  This means that we cannot visit their show rooms or if we can, then we will have to schedule the visit ahead of time.

As for the work at hand, our crew ensures that masks are worn during construction to ensure the safety of the crew and our clients.