Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’ve got a question that’s not answered here, feel free to send an email or give a ring.

Any work that will result in an additional cost will be processed through a Change Order. We’ll notify you of any Change Orders and get your approval before doing the work. You will always know where the overall project cost stands. This eliminates “surprises” at the end of your project and allows you to make sound financial decisions.

Although remodeling often is very dusty and dirty, we take measures to reduce the mess while your project is under construction. We install plastic dust barriers and drop cloths to isolate the construction area as much as possible. The bottom line is that we are very sensitive about dust control and try to be very conscientious about keeping the disruption to the rest of your home to a minimum. We will do what we can to make sure your experience is as pleasant as possible.

Before we start construction we map out a timeline for your project, and are happy to share that with you.

Every project is different. Let’s talk and we’ll try and give you an estimated timeframe.

Typically, yes. We rarely come across municipalities that don’t require a permit for the larger remodeling projects that we provide such as small additions and sheds decks or porches. If your project is fairly simple, you may not need a permit. The best way to find out is to call and ask your specific city or township building department. We can take care of getting all the paperwork and inspections that are required for your project.

Unfortunately, we do not do projects without providing the products ourselves. We used to do this but have had many issues with incomplete orders, products that have come damaged or that we aren’t used to installing. We rely on our partnerships with our vendors to help with damaged products, unique installations, and specialized product information.

You receive your project drawings after you sign our proposal or design agreement. For porches/decks, kitchens, and bathrooms; we’ll meet with you during the proposal process to make revisions. Room additions require a signed design agreement and required payment to release your drawings.

It depends. We typically use in-house software to design projects when working with the original footprint of the house (like a deck or porch). For particularly challenging designs or if you plan to build an addition, we have architects that we partner with to help with design and draft all the necessary drawings.

We’d love to help you design the space of your dreams, but if your budget doesn’t match what you have in mind, we’ll both be wasting our time from the get-go. By starting with a realistic budget, you allow us to design based on both your needs and your finances. Being candid about your budget allows us to come up with value-driven ideas and solutions. It’s normal not to know what your particular project may cost. Let’s talk and we can help you get a better idea what money you should set aside.

We’re dedicated to reversing many of the preconceived ideas homeowners have about contractors. If we decide to work together, we will do absolutely everything possible to keep your project on schedule and ensuring it is to your satisfaction throughout the process. Many of these stories stem from contractors starting too many projects at one time or charging too little up front to get the business, which in turn doesn’t match the scope of work.

The bulk of our work is located in Bethlehem and Albany, but we serve the entire Capital District region, including the Albany, Schenectady, Troy and Saratoga areas.

In order to keep overhead expenses to a minimum, we do not accept credit card payments. We want to make sure we keep costs as low as possible for our customers and accept cash or check.

This can be a tricky question, but we always advise our customers to set aside additional funds beyond the anticipated cost. Unforeseen issues, including bad framework, outdated wiring, and rotting wood can result in additional costs beyond those outlined in the proposal. We always try to limit these expenses and predict these problem areas well in advance. However, issues can arise beyond our control that need our immediate attention. No matter what may happen, our team will do everything we can to “make it right”.

Estimate: This is just that – a rough range of the costs that you’ll incur during your project. It will likely change as the design and your material selections are refined. This gives you a better sense of how much you should set aside for the project before we move forward to nail down the exact specifications of your project.

Proposal: This is a detailed price which is typically based on visits to our client’s home. It will include the exact design plans, labor and building material costs, and a detailed project scope. Our staff and our clients will both sign off on this proposal (called the “Construction Agreement”) before any work takes place.

Yes, our initial consultation is free of charge because we understand that it’s really hard to get an idea of how much your project will cost on your own. After the initial consultation (which typically lasts about 30-60 minutes), we will provide you with a “Budget Estimate”. This estimate doesn’t get into too many of the small details of your project, but will give you an idea of cost on a high level before going to the next step of the process. The next step is usually signing a design agreement and making all the material selections, before creating a proposal with a detailed scope of work.

Learn more: Our Process

Once you have a signed contract on a home, we would love to meet with you and do a walk through of the areas you are looking to remodel.

We are typically available for in-home meetings from Monday through Thursday during the day, with some evening availability. We also set aside time on Friday mornings for appointments. We’ll work with you to find a time that fits your life.

We use email and text communication a lot through the process of a project but we believe the first conversation should be done over the phone. There are many projects that don’t fit our company profile and process, and we would rather have a conversation first, to make sure not to waste your time with a meeting.

Comparing different estimates can certainly help, but judging service, craftsmanship, and customer service can be tough. We always advise homeowners, whether they choose MacFee Contracting & Design or another company, to only hire the contractor that you feel the most comfortable with. Remember, no matter who you choose, these individuals will be in your home on a daily basis, so you must completely trust them.