Questions and Answers

General

We have been in business since 1986, working exclusively on residential remodeling projects.

We have been licensed in the state of California since 1986, originally as a sole proprietor, then as a corporation as of 2001. We always recommend that you review the status of any contractor you are considering for a home improvement project via the state licensing board website: www.cslb.ca.gov

We carry general liability insurance, workers compensation insurance, and automobile insurance. We also strictly enforce and monitor the insurance policies of our trade contractors. For an extra fee, we can provide our clients with additional insured endorsements on our general liability policy.

We work in San Francisco and San Mateo Counties, as well as the northern portions of Santa Clara County.

In San Francisco, we have completed projects in the Castro, Cole Valley Forest Hill, the Marina, Noe Valley, Pacific Heights, Potrero Hill, Presidio Heights, the Inner Richmond, Russian Hill, Saint Francis Wood, Sea Cliff, and South of Market.

In San Mateo County, we have completed projects in Atherton, Belmont, Burlingame, Foster City, Hillsborough, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Redwood City, Redwood Shores, San Carlos, San Mateo, Woodside, and other unincorporated parts of the county.

In Santa Clara County, we have completed projects in Palo Alto and Los Altos.

Besides finding professionals who can accommodate your needs, homeowners should evaluate several areas:

  • What are your long-term plans for the house?
  • How will these improvements enhance your lives?
  • What is your investment range?
  • What are your priorities?

We don’t, because we prefer to commit our time and energy to clients who value our role in the design process. Our company has concluded that competitive bidding on projects is a disservice to our industry as a whole. Fundamentally, the victor in the competitive bidding process identifies missing items in the construction documents and/or errors in the estimating process, and recovers these costs during construction. Such outcomes do not result in a mutually beneficial relationship.

We suggest that you hire a licensed handyman to perform maintenance and/or minor repairs.

Design

Design-build is a team-based approach that incorporates the design team and construction team working together with the homeowner to properly plan, design, and construct their project.

Podesta Construction’s innovative approach to design-build is based upon the following core principles:

  • Effective use of your time and decision making input
  • Respectful consideration of your investment and design criteria
  • Schedules that meet your requirements from start of design to completion of construction
  • Award-winning design with professional renderings and easy to understand plans and specifications

We can provide you with case studies that highlight our work.

Of course, with the understanding that this exclusive working arrangement is not meant for the homeowner who intends to pursue competitive bids. We love to collaborate and assist in budgeting and designing your project, and are willing to work with your design team to prepare and complete plans and specifications. This approach requires our involvement early in the design process, with a definition of everyone’s respective roles.

We request a deposit at the signing of the design agreement, and we bill hourly for services provided at specific intervals. The design agreement is separate from the construction agreement, and in addition to plans and finish selections, can include engineering and other consultants, such as interior decorators and experts in lighting and color. If required, we also provide for planning and building permit application and submission fees.

Construction

Our standard fixed price contract provides the basic framework for entering into agreement with our clients. It is in compliance with state and federal requirements, and includes forms such as Notice to Owner, Notice of Cancellation, and Lead Based Paint Disclosure. It also includes a payment schedule, with billing on the 15th and last day of every month.

That depends on the following factors:

  • Your comfort level
  • Your household size
  • Your remodel’s scope
  • Power and/or water disconnection
  • Hazardous materials that require abatement

We address these issues early in the planning process. During construction we provide effective dust barricades to areas not being remodeled, and maintain neat and organized job sites. We broom clean daily and vacuum clean before weekends. Finally, we always communicate our schedules and how they will impact your household.

Our typical workday is Monday through Friday, 7:30am to 4:00pm. We generally do not perform work on weekends and/or major holidays. These hours of operation are typically acceptable for specific neighborhood, HOA, and city requirements.

Every project is assigned a project manager who is responsible for day-to-day operations and communication for your project. They are available through mobile phone and email. The project manager will meet with you weekly or bi-weekly to discuss project status, scheduling, and any other items or decisions. In addition, our office staff supports the project manager to ensure immediate response to any questions that may arise. All emails and/or phone calls will be returned within 24 hours.

The construction timeline depends upon the size and complexity of your project. Our design-build approach allows us to become familiar with your project and the products installed so that we can thoroughly plan and schedule your project. Early in the design process we will provide you with a good indication of how long construction will take. We provide you with a firm starting and completion date along with a schedule reflecting the phases and duration of work performed. Our weekly meetings continually update on our progress.

That depends on a few factors. We categorize change orders as follows:

Unforeseen conditions. These typically represent items that are not visible to us prior to beginning construction, such as dry rot damage, code violations, and structural deficiencies. We do our best to identify these items as part of our planning process, however they generally manifest during the demolition phase of construction. If these occur they generally do not represent more than 5% of the construction contract.

Additional requests for work. These typically represent requests by the homeowner to increase and/or decrease the scope of work. We prefer that our clients make us aware of these items prior to construction so that we can include them as part of our planning process.

Allowance adjustments. In the event that product selections have not been finalized prior to the start of construction, we provide budget allowances for these items. Once the product has been selected and purchased, we adjust the allowance amount, which can result in an increase or decrease to the contract.

Contrary to popular belief in the industry, we prefer to not have any change orders on our projects. They disrupt the flow and scheduling of the project.

Our reputation is based upon the high quality work we perform, and is supported by the numerous awards we have won for remodeling excellence. Our company culture instills pride of workmanship with our project managers, carpenters, laborers, and trade contractors. We apply quality control measures during key construction milestones, and upon concluding the project, we perform a thorough analysis with our clients to ensure 100% completion of punch list items.

We will provide you with a new owner’s manual that includes all manufacturer information such as maintenance, operation, and warranty details. When we complete your project we will ensure that you are familiar with the contents of your owner’s manual. In addition, we will follow up with you at both the six-month and one-year anniversaries of your project’s completion date to address any warranty items related to the work performed.

We have fulfilled the requirements of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Section 402, and have been certified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to conduct lead-based paint renovation, repair, and painting activities pursuant to 40 CFR Part 745.89.

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