2 Hat Design Build LLC

2 Hat Design Build LLC

4 employees
20 years in business

About this pro

We provide both design and construction services.  The person doing the design work is the same person doing the construction, which is unique in the Boston area. Combining these 2 services helps to streamline the process and identify issues more quickly than a more traditional client/architect/general contractor arrangement.  We specialize in whole house renovations in the Beacon Hill area, but do smaller renovations (kitchens, baths, master bedroom) as well.  We work throughout the greater Boston area. We have been serving our clients in the Boston area since 2003.

I enjoy a challenge, which is why we specialize in restoring older historic homes. We deal with projects that many other contractors don't want to deal with (sagging floors, structural deficiencies, foundation problems, etc.). I also enjoy working with clients to help create designs that are both functional and beautiful.

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Charlestown, MA 02129
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What is your typical process for working with a new customer?

Typically I meet with the client at their home to discuss the project. Depending on the scale of the project, I may then need to develop a set of architectural drawings or create an estimate. If we are creating a set of drawings, we will generally need to come back and measure the house to create a set of base plans and elevations. Once the client has reviewed the estimate and/or drawings, we often meet again to discuss any changes in the scope of the project.  From there we sign contracts and begin the process of filing for a building permit. Once the building permit has been approved, we start the construction process.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I have a bachelors and masters degree in architecture.  I have also worked as a carpenter for the last 15 years.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your services? If so, please share the details here.

Every project we do is unique and varied, therefore we don't have a standard pricing system.

How did you get started in this business?

I have always felt that architects should be actively engaged in the construction process.  I looked for companies that did both design and construction. While there are many design/build firms in the area, the designing and building are done by seperate teams.  I wanted to start a business that got back to a more traditonal approach of the builder-architect.

What types of customers have you worked with?

Most of our clients are families with young children. However we have worked with a wide variety of different clients: Older couples needing accessibility improvements, young couples looking for affordable renovations, landlords, property managers.

What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a pro in your area of expertise?

Ask for references or examples of recently completed work. If possible, visit a recently completed project. Spend time getting to know the designer or contractor to make sure it is a good fit. Ask about how they estimate their work and the payment scheule. Our estimates are very detailed allowing you to see the costs associated for each task. This makes it easy for a client to add or subtract work from the estimate and have an accurate accounting of the cost increase or savings.

What questions should customers think through before talking to pros about their needs?

While budget is usually the main consideration, many clients need to consider the schedule of the design/construction professional as well.  It is not unusual for a contractor to have a 6 month to 1 year lead time before they can start any new projects.  Best to think well ahead of time for before you want to start your project.

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