How to Select Your Home Remodeling Partner – Tips for a Successful Remodel

August 11, 2022

Deciding to remodel your home is a big commitment—one that many of us will do only once in our lifetime. Yet home renovation is an investment more Americans are making: According to a recent study by Houzz & Home, 55% of homeowners have plans to renovate their homes in 2022. And of those homeowners planning a remodel, 89% plan to hire a professional to help with their renovation rather than choosing DIY. 

The truth is, despite how simple home improvement projects may look on TikTok and Instagram, it can be challenging to plan and execute a home remodeling project on your own and get the professional results you want. That’s where the experts come in: Working with a partner like Dover Home Remodelers brings confidence and preparedness for virtually any situation. With nearly 40 years of experience — and more than 5,000 homes remodeled throughout Northeast Ohio —Dover has seen and managed everything – from new-build construction to historic home renovation and straightforward home updates and projects requiring extensive structural engineering. 

Dover’s signature design-build approach is one we’ve followed for over three decades because it gives homeowners everything you want from your home remodeling project: A beautifully designed custom living space that suits your unique style and budget. 

How Dover’s Design-Build Process Saves Time and Money 

At Dover, our customers drive the remodeling process. Your design ideas, requirements, and desires for your newly renovated living space create the project vision and budget. 

Beyond your ideas, it takes the work of a highly coordinated team of professionals to bring that vision to life. Many home remodeling projects require the work of designers, architects, skilled-trade contractors, and craftsmen, as well as resources for procuring and scheduling on-time delivery of building materials, fixtures, appliances, and more. 

Our value at Dover is that we bring all these services together under one roof, giving you a single, accessible point of contact and access to experts at every step throughout the remodeling process. This integrated project management approach is part of our efficient design-build process. It provides less risk, lower costs, faster (and coordinated) delivery times, and allows you to stay involved at every step. 

What to Expect During Dover’s Home Remodeling Process 

We follow a highly regimented project management process to help you get precisely what you want from your home remodeling experience.

Concept & Design 

When you work with Dover, you get the creative energy and expertise of our entire team—not a lone contractor. You partner with one of our lead designers who works side-by-side with you to manage the process from concept and design to installation and final walkthrough.  

Our designers begin by leading you through a discovery process that helps you articulate your wants and needs, and your dreams.


These essential details help to shape design plans. You’ll identify project specifics such as: 

  • What is the purpose of the remodel? How would you like to improve your home functionally? 
  • What aesthetic do you desire? Styles, materials, colors, and other inspiration 
  • What is your lifestyle? Specific constraints or desires, must-haves and negotiables 

Project Plan 

 At this stage, we work with you to identify the materials and products that work within your budget to achieve your desired project results. At Dover, we never want to let budget destroy an idea or keep you from realizing the functionality and the feeling you want to create in your home. Our designers are experts at helping maximize project budgets. We aim to help you include everything you want in your renovated space, even if that means shifting priorities or making minor concessions such as swapping out materials or fixtures to get the desired look but at a lower price point.    

Based on your direction and a review of your existing space, our designers create sketches and the Chief Architect designs drawings that show a rendering of the proposed remodeled living space. These detailed 3D drawings help bring the remodeling project to life, so it’s easier for you to get a feel for how your finished space will look. Here’s an example: 

                      CAD drawings for home remodelingCAD drawings for home remodeling

Project Scope & Budget 

Every project at Dover includes a written proposal that details everything needed for the project and a finalized total. This detailed proposal ensures there are no surprises down the road for everyone involved on the project unless something changes in the scope of the project or possibly design selections. 

Once you sign the proposal to contract with Dover, detailed project work begins. Every project has a designer who works with you every step of the way, including helping you choose and finalize all selections for your project – including fixtures, countertops, flooring, tile, carpet, appliances and more.

Based on our meetings and the detailed proposal, your designer helps guide you in selecting options that stay within the proposal and meet your design vision for the space. However, we know that changes may come up. If any product selections affect the budget, the proposal is updated and approved by everyone to ensure there are no surprises as the project continues. This helps ensure work continuity and keeps the project running on schedule and on budget. 

Design-Build Experts

As a design-build contractor, Dover may utilize design-build based on the size, complexity and other factors tied to a potential project. With design-build, Dover will design and present plans for the remodeled space for your review and approval.

Typically, larger, more complex projects are design-build, including:

  • Complex remodels
  • Additions
  • Remodels where structural integrity may be affected (ie. homes removing walls and going to open-concept layouts)
  • Projects where the homeowner may want to see options for the remodel like a kitchen with an island vs a peninsula or a bathroom with and without a tub.

In a design-build project, we do require a small retainer to create these design-build plans. Once a design-build project is approved, a detailed proposal is created, and we follow our standard project plan to ensure everything stays within budget and on schedule.  

Field Meeting 

After the final selections are made, a pre-construction conference is held in your home to review the construction process and answer your questions. At this meeting, you’ll receive the project start and punch list dates—in writing.  

Quality Craftsmanship & Constant Communication 

When you work with Dover, you get the best of what we offer — quality materials, custom craftsmanship with precision and close attention to detail and consistent project management.

You’ll meet our team, the people who will be working in your home — not rotating subcontractors. And your construction manager will be on-site managing the project and responding to any questions or concerns you may have. 

Final Walkthrough & Close 

When your remodeling project is nearly complete, your construction manager meets with you for an informal project walk-through in your home to review work to date and compile a checklist of incomplete items or issues that need to be addressed. The articles on this list are usually managed within one week. 

With all items checked off our list and all expectations met, your new living space is ready for final reveal: Our team hands the final product over to you to enjoy. 

Check out some of our final projects on our portfolio page to see the final reveal for other Northeast Ohio homeowners. And when you’re ready to start your project, give us a call!

The best is yet to come, 

Beth Orr