Dennis Hopkins,
founder and owner

Office: 425-774-9110

Cell: 206-910-6063

Fax: 425-774-9210

PO Box 1896
Edmonds, WA 98020

  email us

IMR Renovations, Inc.
All rights reserved.
IMR Contractor ID:
Site development by
Eben Design, Inc.
Copy by Steve Gray.

Getting off to a good start  |   Redefining "Cost"  |   References

Why is remodeling like whitewater rafting?

According to one of our clients, a remodel is like a whitewater raft trip. Before it starts, you are excited and a bit nervous. Once underway, it starts calm, builds with and few bumps, and finishes at a point where you can barely hold on. At the end of the trip, you are glad you did it, only remember the good, and brag to all your friends.

Prepare yourself for the remodel. There will be confusion, stress and dust. Anyone who tells you different is just plain lying. Stay your course. Just around the bend is a beautiful remodel, one which will increase the value of your house, and increase the comfort and livability for years to come. Take lots of pictures and prepare for a memorable experience.

By now you've probably looked over our website, maybe sent us an email or viewed some of our work in our online portfolio. Now we would like to meet you in person.

Step One: Our First Meeting. It is never too early for a preliminary meeting, especially to discuss ideas, get to know each other and discuss timing. This meeting is at no cost to you and you are under no obligation. This is also a perfect opportunity for us to demonstrate our consulting expertise. Even if you don't choose IMR, we want you to have the benefit of our experience and would be happy to act as an information hub to get you started on your project. Unlike some companies, we do not do estimates over the phone. We feel a meeting is the only way we can get to know your projects and you. What you need to have ready:
  • A list of objectives. Keep it general: "create a kitchen with more storage" or "increase the feeling of openness" are good objectives to help us envision what you want. Keeping things general allows us to present options you may not have considered, but still accomplish your goals perfectly. There will be plenty of time to talk specific colors, fixtures, and materials later in the process.
  • A preliminary budget. Chances are you have a budget in mind. Can you spend $40K, $100K or $300K? Getting a snapshot of your budget allows us to present ideas that are realistic and strategize on ways to accomplish your goals while working within your budget. A more limited budget may require you to prioritize your projects.
  • Create a wish list of future remodel projects. This gives us an idea of what you may need down the road and can help plan and build accordingly during your current remodel. For example, if you are planning a new bathroom addition in a few years, we would rough in electrical and gain efficiencies with the current project. Details like this can save you lots money and headaches in the future.
Step Two: Preliminary Scope and Budget. For the second meeting, we bring a document which recaps the scope and objectives of your project based on information from our first meeting. We reiterate your objectives to make sure we understand your unique goals. We also provide a preliminary budget. At this meeting we may also present CAD drawings to illustrate design concepts.

Another goal of this meeting is to make sure we are a good match. An extensive remodel means we may be in your residence for months. It is important we can communicate well with each other from the outset. If you like what you see, like what you hear and think IMR is a good match for your personality, then we are ready for step three.

Step Three: The Contract & Deposit. As long as our first two meetings have gone well, we'll put our plan into action. We have spent considerable time and energy to create a contract that is written in easy-to-read terms and is in plain English. Each contract is unique and created specifically for your job so there are no surprises along the way. If everything meets with your approval, both IMR and you will sign and work can begin.

IMR uses a process called Time & Materials (T&M) for billing. This is a method where you pay for labor, subtrades, and for material plus mark-up until your job is complete. If a job runs longer than anticipated, you pay more. If the job goes more quickly than estimated you save. We feel this is the best method as both parties win: the homeowner pays exactly for the work done and the contractor can complete the job without cutting corners while still making a fair living.

Step Four: Starting the Remodel. Once the contract is in place, it is now time for your remodel to start. Here is what you can expect:
  • Refining Your Design: We continue to refine the initial design concepts and tighten-up your plans.
  • Product Selection: before we start, we often order items which require long lead times. Usually these are custom-made materials such as unique kitchen cabinets, unique doors, and custom windows.
  • Preparation of the Job Site: this may include drop cloths, floor protection, dumpsters, portable toilets and sealing areas for dust control. This step can be surprisingly extensive.
  • Demolition: this may be a good "zoo day" as we begin to remove sheet rock, walls, floors, etc. Expect dust and noise.
  • Construction: during the construction phase, we will be in constant communication so you know exactly what to expect each step of this process.
Tip: Inform your neighbors of the remodel well in advance. It's just good etiquette. Let them know the approximate length of the remodel to help them prepare for increased traffic and noise in the neighborhood.

We're not the cheapest contractor in town, nor do we want to be. We never artificially deflate an estimate to win a job (and then stick you with multiple change orders and "up charges" along the way to recover cost). Granted, surprises do happen-especially in older homes-and the scope of the project may change and budgets may need to be adjusted.

The cost of design and construction can be misleading if you only consider the initial price. For instance, the fees for proper planning can result in tremendous saving during construction; certain higher-end appliances can have tremendous energy savings which will be realized for years to come; modernized heating and insulation can pay for itself in just a few years. Keep in mind that much of the expense for kitchens, bathroom and square footage additions is recovered immediately with an instant boost in the value of your home.

Over the years, we have been fortunate enough to have enthusiastic clients willing to provide equally enthusiastic references for our work. If you would like to speak with a previous client we would be happy to arrange it. To maintain client privacy we do not publish their contact information on our website. Call us at 425-774-9110 or send an email to to schedule an appointment to review your project. After our first meeting we will provide a list of references.