Posts tagged with "Construction"

Best Contractor To Add A Second Story

Hey, if you’re a San Diego homeowner and you are **this close** to having an ocean view, then you're in the right place!

Ocean view, home value, outdoor living. These and many more are the apeals of building a second story addition. Check out these common questions and their answers below:

  • Is the project possible?
  • Can I just "get a few bids" to see if it's feasible?
  • How long will it take to build?
  • Is there a way to keep it under $100,000?
  • What types of permits will I need to pull?

A large project takes time and due diligence. Give us a call to schedule your free consultation.

Teknik Testimonial

Is The Project Possible?

In the world of remodeling, anything is possible. 

But it is possible to get the right answer to the wrong question. Try these collaborative questions and prompts when speaking with the design-build firm that you choose:

  • This is how I plan to use my second story addition, **insert description**. Allow questions and discussion to flow.

  • This is what frustrates me about the current layout/what it's missing **insert description**. How might you change it to accommodate x, y, or z function?

  • I plan to have my two boys use this as their bedroom, bathroom and play room, what can we do to bring the plumbing upstairs?

  • I'd like this second story addition to be an apartment eventually, but I'm not determined to have a second kitchen up here; what do you think?

These questions may be all wrong for your project but the format is collaborative and discussion based. They will allow you to discuss if your project is possible after project specific dialogue. 

Can I Just "Get A Few Bids" To See If It's Feasible?

You're welcome to try, but you'll find that most reputable contractors will charge you incrementally for the phases of design and you will not want to be design with multiple firms. 

Go ahead and survey their reviews, past clients, office staff, process, and choose your contractor early. Then work with them on design, layout, special features and value engineering. 

The art and the science of estimating projects occurs in tandem with or just after design and scope decisions are made. It requires tremendous focus.

The most common mistake we see people make is to get pre-qualified or fully qualified for a home equity line of credit and then see what they can have built for that amount.

We recommend doing more research up front. Don't talk to lenders until you know that what you're looking to build is possible, within reason, for approximately what you're looking to spend.


If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one. 

- Russian Proverb

How Long Will It Take To Build?

For some perspective, the smallest remodel projects tend to be small bathrooms.

These small bathroom projects are often completed in two to four weeks. But with just a few hiccups, these small projects can extend to two or three months, and sometimes longer. 

It has become more difficult to build project schedules due to COVID-19 and how the pandemic affects each sector of the construction industry uniquely. 

For a large remodel like adding a second story addition, it is common to spend a few months in the design phase, and five to eight months in the build phase.

Many second story additions without any major hiccups do run more than twelve months from the first design consultation to the completion of the punch list

Is There A Way To Keep It Under $100,000?

Lol. Nah. Not even close.

What you could build for less than $100,000 wouldn't allow the project to be worth the hassle for most people. 

If you took the exact layout of the second story you're looking to build and, hypothetically, got bids to do that same scope except as a first story instead, it would cost significantly less.

Why? Because you'd be able to start from scratch, zero, a clean slate, tabula rasa. 

You'd be avoiding all the additional labor and materials required to gently navigate demolition and structurally enhancing your existing home $$$ before starting to build your second story. 

Second story addition projects can be extremely costly, so it is best to set your budget up front, and allow 7% to 10% for extras or unforeseen scope requests. 

Even the most thorough and experienced contractor cannot include everything.

Take It From Our Happy Customers


"Kevin had the work done as if it were his own house and the project was completed before the contractual completion date."  - Jack B., San Diego, CA

“This is our second remodel with Kevin. Once again, done on TIME! Great job! Just sorry we’re out of bathrooms! 🙂 He’s on speed dial in case we have another project.”   - Gary G., Encinitas

“Kevin told me to allow 25 days and it was done in just over two weeks.”  - Gina H., San Diego, CA

Call (888) 747-2013 or click here for a free consultation now!

What Types of Permits Will We Need To Pull?

Each project is different and the specific permits required for your project will depend on the scope. 

Typically you'll see these permits cover most projects. 

  • Structural
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Mechanical
  • Combination

Your contractor will take care of coordination and can answer all project-specific questions you may have. 

Why Choose Teknik for Your Second Story Addition?

You need to choose a firm who has a track record that includes both of the following: 

  1. Foreseeing issues before they arise and solving issues before they become project delays or worse.

  2. Being professional, prompt, and communicative when unforeseeable issues arise so that you can rest at ease. 

If they and their team posses both of these qualities, they will help you avoid these classic industry pain points:

  • Late Completion  
  • Going Over Budget 
  • Overuse of Subcontractors

Still have concerns? That's normal! You'll be 100% protected with our Spoiled Rotten Customer Guarantee!

1 - Dream Design

Step 1: Dream Design


We’ll collaborate with you to transform your dark and outdated space into bright and inviting space.  It all starts with your free consultation so book now!

Step 2 - True Quote

Step 2: True Quote


You can trust our service agreement!  We get to know your home intimately before working on it to ensure we stick to budget with no change orders.

Step 3 - Complete On-Time

Step 3: Complete On-Time


We'll make your dream come true and do it on-time and on budget!  Then it's party time!  Perhaps leave out your friends who get jealous easily.

Call (888) 747-2013 or click here for a free consultation now!

8 Things to Never Say to A Contractor


Hey, if you’re a San Diego homeowner and wondering what questions you should ask or not ask, check out these eight hot buttons that you'd be better off avoiding. 


Teknik Testimonial

1. Never Say "I'm Talking To Five or Six Contractors"

Dead give-away that you're either kicking tires or just surveying professionals to get oriented in your local market.

There's nothing wrong with checking things out...BUT...if you want accurate estimates, each estimate will take time and a lot of collaboration. If the contractor gets the sense that you're doing research and not ready to buy, he'll find a way to bail.

What you should say: Share that you are either doing research to get general ballpark ranges, or that you're serious about selecting the right person and collaborating with them to get a detailed line item estimate

2. Never Say "I Just Need A Material Installer"

I'm sure your heart is in the right place (Bless your heart!) but it's insulting to lump general contractors into the same group with a material installer. Here is what she's thinking when you tell her you have your materials and you just need labor costs for installation.

"No"
"Heck no"
"Call a handyman."
"You don't need a GC apparently...you are acting like your own GC."
"Good luck if you need a permit"
"Have fun with finding qualified tradesman if you need a subcontractor or specialty material"
"So you're planning to have no snags or problems throughout your project?"

What you should say: Ask if you have called the right firm. Is this a general contractor? Is this a design-build firm that's a one-stop shop? Do you have a service labor department? Here is my scope; what type of firm would you recommend?

3. Never Say "I Need To See All The Pricing Options"

Quality estimates take time and different materials have different installation styles/types, and different labor costs. Most of your questions can be answered in conversations and design options should be considered. However, the options available to you range from the dozens into the thousands. It is unwise for the contractor to begin estimating with no information from you to serve as his direction.

Work from the macro to the micro and make the big decisions first. For example: choose your kitchen style and layout first (macro), and then look at, for example, all the design and selection options for your cabinets (micro). 

Don't Say: "I'd like to see three different pricing options for my kitchen, please."

Do Say: "I'm shooting to keep the kitchen between $XY,000 and $XYZ,000 and here is a list of what I know I want, and what I'm not sure about." 

4. Never Say "Cost Is Really The Biggest Factor"

If cost is the biggest factor, you are putting yourself in a loosing position. As a friend, he might help you out and give you an "estimate" or "bid" but it will not reflect the level of effort and thoroughness that you'd like. It will simply reflect what you told him mattered; a number.

Shift your mindset with the following questions:

"What makes a remodel as painless as possible?"
"What makes some families trust their contractor with multiple projects, in multiple homes, over multiple years?"
"What type of firm is most compatible with my project and what systems make them most compatible?"
"What are my assumptions and expectations regarding communication, my experience of my project, etc."
"If I get what I pay for, will I be happy with the product if select mostly based on price?"

Take It From Our Happy Customers


"Kevin had the work done as if it were his own house and the project was completed before the contractual completion date."  - Jack B., San Diego, CA

“This is our second remodel with Kevin. Once again, done on TIME! Great job! Just sorry we’re out of bathrooms! 🙂 He’s on speed dial in case we have another project.”   - Gary G., Encinitas

“Kevin told me to allow 25 days and it was done in just over two weeks.”  - Gina H., San Diego, CA

Call (888) 747-2013 or click here for a free consultation now!

5. Never Say "We Need This Done Next Week or Next Month"

Remodeling takes time and usually more time than you think it will. Heck, for most contractors, it takes longer than they think it will.

First, you've got to interview and select contractors. Then you've got to go through design & selections followed by building an accurate estimate, signing your contract, ordering product, and then you can begin after your materials have been delivered. Material ETA's are not the contractors responsibility, be it credit or fault.

We'd recommend cooling down your expectations; a lot of good contractors are lost because a client flies off the handle about how "long everything takes" when in reality, the owner should have started their process much sooner. Ask about timeline before the first day of demo.

6. Never Say "We Don't Have A Budget"

This is for a different reason than you'd think. Most think it is because you don't want the contractors to take advantage and build an astronomical estimate, just hoping you're a sucker. In reality most families that say "We don't have a budget" mean that they don't know how much things cost in general, so they aren't there yet.

Solution: understand that there are two separate categories of "estimates". It's impossible to give you a price, but it might be possible to give you a general ballpark range based on their experience.

Each project is different, but aside from the costs associated with your remodel, you'll need to know that you won't spend more than $20,000, more than $50,000, or more than $160,000. There may be flexibility, but you still need to have an accurate understanding of your budget for yourself. 

7. Never Say "We Want You To Use My Brother"

You may know a few tradesman, your brother may be a plumber, and you may have grown up around construction because your dad was a contractor. Please keep this experience separate from your project.

Every contractor will have established relationships with his tradesman and crews. The efficient cost and timeline you desire will come from trusting one ecosystem to produce results, not from breaking your project apart to avoid paying markup. 

Find someone that you can trust. Then deploy your trust.

8. Never Say "Can You Provide A Discount For Early Payment?"

This goes against the law and common sense.

By law in the state of California, a contractor may not invoice you for labor or materials not yet delivered. Their payment schedule will reflect this. 

By common sense, you want peace of mind and paying someone in advance to get peace of mind from a discount, actually discounts the peace of mind you will get from paying at regular installments as the project meets benchmarks.

Why choose Teknik for Your Kitchen or Bathroom Remodel?

For over twenty years we've been helping families to walk through the remodeling mine field safely. The most common three mines that families hit are:

  • Late Completion  
  • Going Over Budget 
  • Use of Subcontractors

Call today for your free consultation!

1 - Dream Design

Step 1: Dream Design


We’ll collaborate with you to transform your dark and outdated space into bright and inviting space.  It all starts with your free consultation so book now!

Step 2 - True Quote

Step 2: True Quote


You can trust our service agreement!  We get to know your home intimately before working on it to ensure we stick to budget with no change orders.

Step 3 - Complete On-Time

Step 3: Complete On-Time


We'll make your dream come true and do it on-time and on budget!  Then it's party time!  Perhaps leave out your friends who get jealous easily.

Call (888) 747-2013 or click here for a free consultation now!

Getting Back To Your Remodel Amidst Ongoing Social Distancing?

The most important factor that San Diego homeowners look for when interviewing contractors are as follows:

  • Honesty
  • Excellent communication
  • Quality craftsmanship
  • Promptness
  • Cleanliness during remodel

During this time of continued quarantine, social distancing, and exceptional safety standards to slow and flatten the curve, here is what our home owners have been asking:

  • How soon can I get back to my remodel if the lock down starts to loosen in May?
  • How do we keep planning and making decisions so that we are ready when things open up?
  • How can I make sure I am covering all basis if we aren't meeting with the contractor in person?

During such an important time for the safety of our community, it is vital that we are careful in asking and answering these questions.

But don’t worry. You’re in the perfect place! 

In this article, we'll answer all your questions so you can make a great decision about your remodel for you and your family.  

Teknik Testimonial

How Soon Can I Get My Remodel Started as The Lock Down Starts to Loosen?

The nature of the design-build process allows us to work with you and for you whether we are meeting in person or not. The collaboration and design decisions can often be made remotely and with the aid of Zoom meetings and material sample deliveries. 

Though there should be no need for you to delay design and collaboration, the process of construction has slowed somewhat, so you may find a later start or completion since all the projects that were going on during the second half of March are also experiencing delayed wrap up.

Regardless, we recommend getting started sooner rather than later.

How Can We Keep Planning & Making Decisions So We Are Ready When Things Open Up?

If you are already engaged with a design-build firm, then each meeting in their process should include homework and next steps for you to complete between meetings. 

  1. Contractor--If you are still kicking tires or looking to choose a contractor soon, follow these steps to make the right selection
    1. Call 3 to 5 contractors
    2. Intentionally qualify each over the phone considering character, integrity, experience, and follow-up.
    3. Schedule a site visit with only your top 1 or 2 and get a ballpark range from each based on pictures and experience.
    4. Select your contractor 
    5. Follow the remote process to collaborate on a design, layout, and scope that you love. This collaboration will produce your detailed estimate, or Teknik True Quote. Yes, this price will fall within the initial ballpark, unless the scope is increased. 
    6. Complete your project on time!
  2. Materials--Create a Houzz.com Ideabook
    1. Create a Houzz.com account.
    2. Hover over the "My Account" button on the top-right of your screen
    3. Click on My Ideabooks
    4. Create a new one and choose a name

Finally, use the search bar to find photos that you love! You may find your tile, plumbing, flooring, and light fixtures. Ensure that you make notes under each photo to specify which features you've noticed in each photo. When you select your contractor, you can share it with them on houzz.com. This will save you lots of time during your interior design & finish material meetings.

How Can I Make Sure I Cover All Bases If We Aren't Meeting With The Contractor In Person?

Our remote design consultants are not computers; they are not automated! They are live! For each and every question, comment, or concern you have, a real person will reply and walk you through it personally. 

Regarding samples, you do not have to make your selections 100% online. We have a dedicated team to pick up and hand deliver your top three options so you can see them in your home for a couple of days before making a choice.

Please feel empowered by this: it is truly the responsibility of the design-build firm you are working with to ensure that no steps are missed. You should really make sure you can trust their process; that they are organized and lay out a clear path for you. 

For more info on selecting the right contractor visit this article: https://teknikinc.com/how-to-plan-your-kitchen-remodel-around-the-post-covid-19-san-diego-market/

Finally, you will eventually meet in person and be able to review everything face to face, or mask to mask. We have simply re-ordered the process to accommodate greater safety precautions. 

Will The Design Process Ever Get Back To Normal?

In some ways, this is like asking if our cell phones will ever go back to normal. Change can be a great thing, even if a tragic pandemic was what forced us to be better.

We will keep our improvements and avoid slacking off or letting old habits sneak back into our NEW sharper processes. 

The biggest way that we have become better is to take on the burden of planning and organization more fully and even more upfront.

The site visit used to be step 3/4, depending on the situation. Now, we stack a lot more work up on ourselves to make your life easier before its necessary to send anyone to your home. 

Take It From Our Happy Customers


"Kevin had the work done as if it were his own house and the project was completed before the contractual completion date."  - Jack B., San Diego, CA

“This is our second remodel with Kevin. Once again, done on TIME! Great job! Just sorry we’re out of bathrooms! 🙂 He’s on speed dial in case we have another project.”   - Gary G., Encinitas

“Kevin told me to allow 25 days and it was done in just over two weeks.”  - Gina H., San Diego, CA

Call (888) 747-2013 or click here for a free consultation now!

What Should We Expect In The New Normal?

“A ton of people’s lives are going to change. A ton of people are going to realize that they love working from home but they can’t work out of their kitchen so they will have to change their lives accordingly.” – Dave Rubin

We can expect the remodel focus with shift slightly to include more living spaces, dens, and office remodels. 

“This is changing everything. People don’t realize, but things will never be the same again.  This is going to change things permanently”. – Gary Vaynerchuck

Historically, during times of uncertainty and instability, an unprecedented number of people turn from full-time employment toward starting small or online businesses as a way of having greater control of time and money. Expect to see more internet business, expect the flip from brick and mortar to online!

“Back to normal? No. Nothing is going back to normal. We don’t want normal. Things will never be the same again.” – Steven Furtick

Human resilience and human kindness are unbeatable. We are more kind, more patient, better listeners. We can expect significant loss. We can also expect to get through it and come together with more conviction to serve our fellow man and with more resolve to find great ways of doing business. 

Why Choose Teknik for Your Remodel?

Our industry is known for three areas of frustration:

  • Late Completion  
  • Going Over Budget 
  • Overuse of Subcontractors

Let us show you our perfect remodel process and demonstrate how we have been helping families avoid this frustration for over 20 years!

From your Dream Design, to collaborating to build your True Quote, we will walk you through each step to get your project Complete On-Time.

1 - Dream Design

Step 1: Dream Design


We’ll collaborate with you to transform your dark and outdated space into bright and inviting space.  It all starts with your free consultation so book now!

Step 2 - True Quote

Step 2: True Quote


You can trust our service agreement!  We get to know your home intimately before working on it to ensure we stick to budget with no change orders.

Step 3 - Complete On-Time

Step 3: Complete On-Time


We'll make your dream come true and do it on-time and on budget!  Then it's party time!  Perhaps leave out your friends who get jealous easily.

Call (888) 747-2013 or click here for a free consultation now!