Maybe it’s all those TV reality shows, but consumers think remodeling projects don’t take long and that just about anyone with some tools can do them. To combat that, Amber Mazor, owner of Perfect Renovation, in Brooklyn, N.Y., created a project guidebook to lay bare the process.

“When homeowners come to us [hoping to renovate] their brownstone, they oversimplify or exaggerate the complexity of doing a project,” Mazor says. “I realized early on that what they needed was some kind of educational session that illustrates the phases of the project from the design through the construction.”

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Amber Mazor, owner of Perfect Renovation, in Brooklyn, N.Y., uses a detailed project binder as a sales and communication tool.

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By the Book

Perfect Renovation’s heavy duty aluminum-covered binder consists of 12 11x17 pages that break down a project into five phases: schematic; design development; approvals; construction documentation; and construction administration during the construction process.

The first page is a flow chart of the life of a project. The rest of the book holds field measurements, as-built drawings, design and layout options, design work development, material selections, filings and approvals, working drawings, and construction details and construction administration.

When explaining the process using the binder’s detailed graphs, charts, drawings, photos, and text, Mazor says he can easily show clients how the company is able to save time by doing things in parallel. “For example,” he says, “We can continue the design of the finishes, fixtures, and materials while we are obtaining the approvals from the condo association, landmarks society, or building department.”

Bound to Understand

Mazor shows clients the binder at their second meeting, which is held at Perfect Renovation’s office in the heart of Brooklyn’s brown­stone district.

Afterward, he says, clients feel comfortable knowing what’s involved in their project and how long it will take. “They understand that it doesn’t just take 10 minutes to measure a floor,” Mazor says. “They really see that this project is being done professionally, and they forget about the story they tell to themselves that their grandmother could do it.”

—Stacey Freed, senior editor, REMODELING.

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