Frequently Asked Questions

What is Design-Build? How is this different from a traditional General Contractor?

When you choose Design-Build, you are engaging with one company that will handle all aspects of your project from start to finish. This includes concept and design, planning, permitting, scheduling and managing trade partners, selection and procurement of materials and products, construction, completion, and beyond.

Typically, with a General Contractor (GC), you will need to hire and manage subcontractors for each individual discipline (i.e. electricians, plumbers, painters, structural engineers, etc.). If you require design services or an architect, you will also need to interview, vet, hire, and liaise between them and the GC. Additionally, you may be expected to source, purchase, and arrange delivery of your own products and materials.

Do you have any professional certifications?

I’m a certified Home Improvement Contractor (HIC #181753), hold a Construction Supervisor License, (CSL #108512) am a Certified Lead-Safe builder, and also hold a Certified Remodeler Designation.

As a Home Improvement Contractor, licensed in the commonwealth of Massachusetts, I’m experienced in:

  • Carpentry
  • Demolition
  • Flooring
  • Insulation
  • Masonry
  • Plastering
  • Roofing
  • And many other construction specialties

As a Certified Remodeler, I studied:

  • Green, eco-friendly building and remodeling techniques
  • Building codes and requirements
  • Construction, planning, and how to complete remodeling projects successfully

By becoming a certified Lead-Safe builder, I’ve studied and am experienced in how to work safely in homes built before 1978 that potentially contain lead-based paint.

Do you belong to any trade groups?

Yes! Staying on top of new tools, technologies, and industry trends is very important to us.

We are members of PRO New England, which offers certifications, training, workshops and seminars, and enables us to stay current on market trends and regulatory changes. It provides a collaborative environment for continued learning and helps us further develop and improve our knowledge, skills and talent.

Will I get to stay in my house during the remodeling project?

In most cases, yes, you will be able to continue living in your home throughout the remodeling project. However, during certain phases of work, access to some areas may be limited. This is a tough question to answer, as every home remodeling project is unique!

How far are you typically booking out? What parts of the project can be done prior to construction?

We are generally booked out approximately six months. However, depending on the types and sizes of our projects at any given time, this can shift a month or two in either direction.

This timeframe is for construction, but there are other things that need to be done in the months leading up to “breaking ground”. We’ll work together on the design and selecting materials and products; we’ll complete all construction planning; we will obtain permits, and finalize any necessary details.

When you’re finished with a remodeling project, is clean-up and debris removal included?

Yes, we remove all construction related debris and leave the new space vacuum clean.

Do I need to hire an architect or designer? How do I choose my products and materials?

When you work with us, you do not need to hire an architect or a designer. We have an exceptional architect partner that we work with as well as in-house designers. You will most likely have the opportunity to work with Jericha McCooty, who will partner with you to create and manage your design, walk you through your product options, schedule product and materials showings, make recommendations, and finalize your selections.

How much of your work do you subcontract out?

We subcontract trade specialties which either require their own license (such as electric and plumbing) or which require a high skill level to achieve the best result (such as blueboard and plaster and hardwood floor refinishing.)

All of our trade partners are licensed and insured (both liability and workman’s compensation coverage.) We hold all the current certificates of insurance for our trade partners.

Do you ever hire day laborers?

No, we don’t hire day labor.

My uncle/father/brother-in-law is an electrician, can he be part of the remodel?

In most cases, unfortunately, no. In our experience, projects run much more smoothly when we bring in our entire team from start to finish. Adding unfamiliar people (even if they are skilled) during crucial parts of a remodel often results in uncertainty and substantial delays. We’ve assembled and refined our team based on years of experience working together and communicating on a consistent basis.

Is your work guaranteed? Do your materials include a transferable manufacturer’s warranty?

Yes, by law in Massachusetts, all of our work is guaranteed for 1 year from completion. This includes all materials, unless supplied by the owner.

Are you insured?

Yes. Godfrey Design-Build is fully insured, carrying a $1,000,000 insurance policy to protect your home and property.

I’ve heard that hiring a Design-Build company is more expensive than hiring a general contractor. Is this true?

The monetary costs can be higher, but the time commitment and emotional costs are typically much lower. Design-Build is meant to take much of the stress and worry away from the homeowner during a remodeling project. It is meant to ensure you are still free to tend to the other important things in your life; caring for your family, working, spending time with your hobbies and relaxing, maintaining a healthy balance for yourself and your loved ones. Managing a construction project on your own can be a full-time job. Most people don’t have the time for that, nor do they have the expertise to manage all aspects of a complex project from beginning to end.

The Design-Build process is very involved for us and while you may pay a little more than if you were to engage the services of a general contractor, you are retaining one of your most precious commodities: time. You are also participating in a process that will not only be as stress-free as we can possibly make it, but one that you are likely to enjoy, as voiced by our happy clients.

Can you provide references?

Check out our testimonials page to see a few of our favorite projects and what our clients had to say about our work. Then give us a call at (978) 704-8187. We’d be happy to answer your questions and put you in touch with homeowners we’ve worked with in the North Shore area.

What is the size of the projects you typically take on? Can you install my new countertops or cabinets?

As our time and the time of our trade partners is extremely valuable, we have determined over the course of our years in business that our minimum project must be a complete room remodel. It would take another layer of management to effectively produce smaller jobs. However, if you are contracted with us for a complete room remodel and have smaller projects that can be done while we are in your home, we are happy to discuss and provide quotes for those projects as well.

Do you only serve the North Shore? Why don’t you serve my area?

We serve Boston’s North Shore and a few surrounding towns on a case-by-case basis. It is extremely important for us to be able to use our resources wisely. We value our employees’ time and that of our trade partners and wish to minimize their commutes. Less time on the road means more time working to create the spaces and homes our clients are dreaming of. This also means we complete projects sooner, which results in our clients getting back to their lives and enjoying their new spaces much more quickly, and affords us the ability to keep a reasonable schedule for starting new projects for new clients.

Are you available to answer questions during the project?

Yes! Open communication is a key aspect of the design-build process. Throughout your project, we’ll provide updates on the status and cover any issues that may arise. But you don’t have to wait for us to bring you updates; we’ll be available before, during, and after your project to answer any questions you have. 

How will we communicate before, during, and after the project?

We are accessible and available to you during business hours before, during, and after a project.

We make every effort to answer the phone as calls come in, or to return your call as soon as possible if we are assisting another client or actively engaged in construction. In the event of an emergency, if you need to contact us outside of our regular business hours, we will respond as quickly as we can.

We have dedicated employees in the office and in the field who are happy to help you, and we will gladly provide phone numbers for our lead carpenter and any field staff you may need to engage with, our owner, and our office staff.

In addition to this we are available via email, and you may communicate with us through our project management platform, where you will have your own unique login and be able to participate in and follow all phases and stages of your project.

I’m interested in getting started. What’s my next step?

We encourage you to contact us online or call (978) 704-8187. We’d love to meet with you, talk about your goals for your project, discuss your budget, and visit your home.

Thinking about remodeling your North Shore home?

Godfrey Design-Build is ready to plan, design, and construct your new space.