Clear Communication

We strive to make the remodeling process as seamless as possible through clear, open communication from start to finish.  It is our goal to respond to client calls and emails within one business day, deliver estimates to clients as quickly as possible, be upfront about any necessary changes or delays to a project, be available to answer questions every step of the way, and above all listen to and respect our clients' unique needs. One tool we use to keep the lines of communication open is a document called "Communication and Expectations".  Clients fill out this detailed questionnaire before the start of a project to inform us of everything from which bathroom we may use and where we can park, to considerations for neighbors, kids, and pets.

Open Book Billing

Open Book Billing is a unique aspect of Phil Carlson Custom Woodcraft that offers significant benefits to you as a customer. In essence it means that you only pay for the exact work performed and the materials used. No more subjective estimates and no more wondering, with no explanation, what exactly you are being charged for. Along with Open Book Billing we are committed to earning your trust by laying out all of the potential costs at the beginning of the project in a detailed, itemized estimate. We will be honest with you at the outset regarding all job related costs, and inform you of any necessary changes along the way, so there will be no surprises at the end of the job.

How Does Open Book Billing Work?

  • Step 1: You will receive a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) Estimate which will specify all work to be done, and provide a cost estimate that will be your guaranteed maximum price. (Note: Any subsequent changes, additions, abatement, or unforeseen conditions not specified in the estimate may cause the cost to exceed the GMP estimate.)
  • Step 2: Accurate records of material cost, subcontractor cost, and labor cost during construction will be recorded by Phil.
  • Step 3: Upon completion of work you may request any additional financial information regarding your project.
  • Step 4: Your final bill will only include the actual material cost + actual hours worked + business overhead + coordination cost from your project - not to exceed your original GMP Estimate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it true that some remodeling companies charge as much as they can get for a job rather than what the job is actually worth?

Yes. Some, but not all, companies profile potential customers and will at times overcharge simply because they can. With Open Book Billing you will be 100% confident that you have not been profiled or overcharged for any reason. Every job is done to the same standard of excellence and all costs are fully disclosed to you, the customer. You will be billed for exactly what is done and no more, no matter who you are.    

Why do you charge the additional percentage for Coordination Cost?

The Coordination Cost is included in order to cover actual costs not covered by the labor, material and overhead. For example, the coordination cost helps cover time spent calculating, ordering and delivering materials. It also covers work performed beyond hourly labor on the job such as time spent estimating jobs and organizing subcontractors.    

Why do I get drastically different estimates for the same job?

There are many reasons why estimates can fluctuate so dramatically, from the quality or legality of a company's practices to their level of ability to estimate accurately. With Open Book Billing the confusion caused by receiving drastically different estimates is eliminated. With Phil Carlson CWC you will get a quality job done in a timely manner with the confidence that you are only paying for actual work performed.    

Is it possible that I may be charged more by a contractor to make up for a previous loss?

It is not uncommon to hear builders say that what they lose on one job they will make up on the next. With Open Book Billing, Phil Carlson CWC makes the same percentage of profit on each job and we will not need to make up what is lost on one job by charging more on the next.    

If I have any financial questions during the building process how will they be handled?

With Open Book Billing there are no hidden costs and everything is open to you. If you have any question about pricing we will not only address your questions in an open and honest way, but we will show you any applicable receipts or records that would be helpful.    

I have heard about a builder who was two thirds done with a kitchen remodel and left his tools and never came back. Why does that happen?

Usually the cause of this kind of breakdown is related to the contractor under-estimating the job in order to win the bid and realizing he is not making enough money half way through. This is one reason why a builder's reputation and word of mouth references should be more important to a homeowner than the lowest bid. Open Book Billing also avoids these breakdowns, because the builder is getting paid for all his work (not exceeding the GMP estimate) so you can avoid the pitfall of the lowest bid, and at the same time know that you are only paying for actual work performed.