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Expert Insights on Our Design and Build Process

Greymark design+build services the neighborhoods within the loop of Houston, Texas. These neighborhoods include Montrose, River Oaks, Memorial Villages, the Galleria, Timbergrove and Lazybrook, the Heights, West University, Rice Village, Southgate, Southampton, Afton Oaks, Boulevard Oaks, Bellaire, Rice Military, the Energy Corridor, and Museum District.
Researching contractors should be your first step in your remodel journey. Start by asking friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers if they know a trustworthy contractor. People are likely to share their honest opinion of their experiences during their project. Ask your confidant how the contractor problem was solved when issues arose because there will be hiccups in any construction project. What makes a great contractor is how they handled complications when they came up. Talk with 2-3 contractors about the details of the project, timeline, and budget, so you ensure who you're working with will connect with you the most.
Design+build firms have everything you need when looking for a remodeler. These firms will have an architect, designer, estimator, and a project manager on staff. Homeowners looking to hire a design and build firm with these benefits only have one contract signing and a multi- talented staff at their disposal. This setup takes stress off homeowners because they no longer have to communicate with a designer, architect, and subcontractor on their own. The highlight of a design+build firm is they take care of all communication, trade/subcontractors, material acquisition, and design.
We own the drawings and do not create a set that is for bidding purposes. To take full advantage of using a design+build firm, the same team should be involved in both phases of your project.
In a design+build model, we keep the same team and the same knowledge from initial conversations through your warranty. The same team that you’ve been building trust with to listen to your needs and understand them is the same team solving those problems and building your dreams. The design team is involved with production and on site to QC any questions that arise during production, as a standard part of our process. This also allows you to find a partner one time, rather than searching for several different partners: architect, designer, engineer, and builder.
Discussing your project with multiple design+build firms before making your decision will lead to a better understanding of whether your project is possible or not. Finding a builder that is trustworthy and produces quality work should be your top priority, not searching for the cheapest contractor. Often times the lowest estimate trades off quality for price. This could lead to hiring someone else to finish the job, leading to costing you more money. While cost is a factor when deciding on a contractor, take a moment to talk to their past clients, look for their online review presence, and search their social media page to understand their process and how they communicate with their clients.
Design Process
  1. 1. First phone call
  2. 2. Initial Meeting
  3. 3. Sign Design Agreement
  4. 4. Measurement Appointment
  5. 5. Design Presentation
  6. 6. Selections and materials shopping
  7. 7. Electrical and Elevations Meeting
  8. 8. Trade Day
  9. 9. Scope Presentations
  10. 10. Construction Contract signing
  11. 11. Pre-Construction Meeting
  1. 1. Demolition
  2. 2. MEP rough-ins
  3. 3. Inspections
  4. 4. Painting prep and painting
  5. 5. Finishes and appliances
  6. 6. Flooring
  7. 7. Punch list
This might be a surprise, but remodeling costs are not as simple as TV makes it seem. Remodelers work with unforeseen conditions, trade bids, and material cost fluctuations that dramatically affect your budget.
We have found Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value report to be a great place to start when determining your target investment levels: value/2024/west-south-central/houston-tx
  • Primary bathrooms start at $70,000+
  • Kitchen renovations start at $100,000+ (plus appliances)
  • Whole House renovations start at $250,000+
  • Additions start at $75,000+ (for a 50 sq foot addition)
  • Historic Homes require further investigation before determining a starting place
Greymark's design process is truly unique. Our specialty is filling out plans and refining the details before a hammer's swung.
Design Process Schedule: about 15 weeks:
  • Design Agreement (week 1)
  • Measurement Appointment (week 2)
  • Schematic Design Presentation (week 3-4)
  • Electrical and Cabinet Elevations Presentation
  • Design Details (weeks 5-8)
  • Fixtures and Finishes Set
  • Trade Day (week 9)
  • Internal Final Review (week 10)
  • Proposal Presentation (week 11)
  • Contract signing (week 12)
  • Internal Pre-Con Meeting (week 13)
  • Pre-Con Meeting (week 14)
  • Start Date if permit is ready (week 15)
Design clients can take their time through our design process. But to guarantee a successful design, 15 weeks is the quickest a client can complete design.
The design process includes design, planning, estimation, and permitting that takes at least 15 weeks. Once that is finished and the construction contract is signed, we are ready to move into construction.
Construction timelines based on recent past projects:
  • Primary bathroom remodel at least 3 months
  • Kitchen remodel at least 3 months
  • Whole house remodel at least 6 months
  • Additions at least 8 months (weather permitting)
  • Historic homes at least 12 months
We have a long-standing partnership with our engineer who we fully trust. We’ve been working together for many years and we facilitate the process for you.
Permitting usually takes on the shortest end one month, but more typically around 2 months to get through permitting. Most of our projects involve structural at minimum, with many going through planning, utilities, and flood as well. On occasion it can take up to three months to get the permit back.
When choosing between remodeling your current home or looking for another that fits your needs, there are many factors to consider. Location, costs, equity, interest rates, appraisal value, and project feasibility are what professionals remind their clients to consider when deciding between the two.
Remodel costs, timeline, and feasibility are important aspects to consider when committing to a reno. If you love the location of your home, have an emotional attachment to the neighborhood, and the area can support an upgrade, remodeling might be for you.
Greymark highly recommends all their clients move out for major renovations like kitchen and whole-house remodels. Additions are almost always required move-out because of the nature of the project. Construction is an invasive and destructive process before adding everyday life activities.
If you need recommendations for places to stay during your remodel, Greymark would be happy to help.
We set up a temporary kitchen in a location decided on together during our pre-construction process. This typically involves relocating your existing refrigerator and microwave to another location. Our clients will also typically use a toaster oven, air fryer, or crockpot as accessory small appliances in lieu of their range, cooktop, or ovens.
Many of our clients have found housing during their remodel. Options include finding an apartment or townhome for a short lease, utilizing AirBnb or VRBO, or staying with family.
When moving out and transporting your belongings to storage, it is important to take everything from your home, even rooms that are just being painted. This is to ensure none of your things are damaged during the remodel.
  • Woman-founded, woman-owned, and woman-ran business started in 1993
  • The promise of quality work guaranteed
  • A design process that includes award-winning building designer, selections coordinator, and estimator dedicated to your project to get everything decided before we start
  • A process that centers around you and your needs
  • Our design style is not one set style, but what taste and desire fit each client
  • Constant desire to make our clients happy
  • Greymark cares about each client and their needs
  • Continually striving for improvement
Greymark understands that some people will need to apply for a loan when doing a remodel. While paying cash is always an option, applying for a home improvement loan is feasible.
A home equity loan allows the homeowner to borrow typically up to 80% of the home's value (minus what you owe on your mortgage), which you pay back at a fixed interest rate. This loan is perfect for homeowners that know how much their project will cost. At Greymark, we have our clients sign a fixed price contract, meaning our clients know how much they're going to spend before demo is started.
We have referrals for bankers who have helped our clients out with their projects and are happy to provide recommendations.
Greymark's preferred method of acceptable payment is ACH through a link provided to you with each invoice. We also accept checks.


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