Gannage Design & Construction FAQs

Here Are Some Frequently Asked Questions
To Help You Understand Our Design-Build Process

Can you Explain the Process of Working with you?

During an initial phone conversation, we will discuss things like

  1. Scope of Work
  2. Desired Budget
  3. Timeline requirements.

If these three items align for both us and the potential client, we will set up an onsite appointment to evaluate job site feasibility and discuss our process and mutual expectations. If a client would like to move forward with us, we then step them through our proven three-tiered process.

What is our Design Philosophy?

We like to encourage clients to think about their lifestyle. Do you like to watch the sunrise from your bed? Do you need a quiet place to escape the hustle and bustle? Do you congregate in the kitchen or the living room? Answering these questions helps our design team as they attempt to tackle the puzzle of optimizing your home.

Thinking about basic room requirements, such as “We need a three bedroom, two bath home,” often leads to missing the mark. All these elements will be wrapped in an architectural style of the client’s choosing.

How do you Handle Project Timelines and Budgets?

These are two constantly moving targets. Like shooting skeet, we have developed some clearly refined processes to still hit our target. Timeline comes in 3 different stages. The Conceptual Design timeline is variable as each client works through this process differently. However, we can take As-Built measurements within two weeks of receiving your contract and will have initial drawings in your email another two weeks after that. Most clients finish this stage within 1-3 months. The permitting process varies by project size and the municipality that we are dealing with. Projects including an addition or major remodel (with structural modifications) currently take about 4-6 months to obtain a permit. Smaller projects can take between 3-4 months to obtain a permit.

Construction timelines vary depending on project size, but we tend to stay on track for several reasons.

  1. Before starting construction, we get schedule and timeline buy-in from all the subcontractors we have chosen for your project.
  2. We utilize powerful scheduling software to manage our projects, which allows our entire team to receive schedule updates and collaborate on changes immediately when they happen, limiting downtime. Since we can see the entire project at a glance, when something comes up, as it always will during construction, we can move entire teams around to minimize the impact.
  3. Another potential hiccup that we like to avoid is missing or damaged materials. We avoid this by purchasing all selections immediately after the signing of the construction contract. This allows us to lock in pricing on all finish materials immediately.
  4. We then have internal quality control inspect and inventory all these finishes, checking for damage and missing parts, both of which have increased in the last few years. If it is not possible to store onsite, we have storage buildings in our yard that house these materials until your job is ready for them.

When initially meeting with clients, we like to counsel them to have two budget numbers. The first is, “This is what I would like to spend.” the other is, “I cannot or do not want to spend more than this.” Every single client dreams beyond their budget. We are here to help you organize your dream and maximize your investment. Written Rough Construction Estimates are reviewed at the end of the Conceptual Design contract, which gives us the opportunity to change the scope of work early on to fit your desired budget without the client dumping a bunch of money into a design before knowing the build cost.

Who Will be my Primary Contact During the Project, and How Often Will I Receive Updates?

During the design process, your main contact will be our design manager, Denise. During permitting you will still communicate with Denise on these matters and for any questions in regards to your selections. She will step you through the entire design and finish selection choices. You will also start to communicate with Nick, our Project Manager. He will refine and clarify your scope of work and communicate with trade partners their part in that scope of work.

During the Construction phase, you will communicate mainly with Bill, our Site Superintendent, as well as Nick. However, the entire Gannage Design and Construction team is always at your fingertips through the Co-Construct (our project management software) messaging board. Much like social media, you can tag anyone in our team with an @ in any message on Co-Construct.

During the design phase you will hear from someone at critical points, like a design is ready for your review. During Permitting, we will communicate regularly in Co-Construct in regard to your selections, and you will receive permit status updates as we receive them. During Construction, you will see daily progress logs in Co-Construct, often with documentation photos. You will be able to follow along with the construction schedule and see when your site meetings with Bill are scheduled.

How Do You Handle Changes to the Design or Unexpected Issues That May Arise During Construction?

We do our absolute best to avoid change orders by doing thorough exploration prior to construction. However, if something were to come up, for example, in a home in Cayucos, after demolition we discovered that a beam stopped short of the exterior wall by 8.” Completely unexpected. We had the beam evaluated by our engineer, consulted our framing contractor, and then presented the client with a Change Order. The other, more common use of a Change Order is that after demolition or framing, during a client walk-through, a new idea will present itself. “Now that all the drywall and siding is gone, I am enjoying the view of that tree. Can we add a window?” Change orders always include a detailed description of work and the time and cost impact. These are sent and approved by the client digitally in Co-Construct; this will immediately notify the affected crew and ensure minimal delays to your project.

What Sets Gannage Design & Construction Apart From Other Remodeling Contractors?

Most contractors are focused on the building and the client second. We believe that the client is the central focus. Execution of a well-built home is a process that we are skilled at, but behind it is a family or individual who wants to change their lifestyle. This is where we set ourselves apart.

Learn About Our Master Builder Approach  

Talk to me About the Subcontractors you Partner with? How do you Select those Contractors, and why Should I Trust in Their Quality and Process?

We select each trade partner for their skill and experience in the field of interest, but beyond that, we want partners that love what they do, and it shows. We want people who are passionate about their craft, not just a guy getting a job done.

Our subcontractors are also selected for the specific type of construction we specialize in, residential remodeling. Some tradesmen may be great at what they do but are not great in the remodel environment. We have refined these details in selecting our partners. We understand that remodeling involves a higher level of trust with our team who is working in our client’s home.

What Happens if the Project Doesn’t Meet the Deadlines or Expectations?

The key is always communication. We work very hard to meet the delivery expectations. We proudly deliver on time for most of our projects, but we are also not God. Over the last few years, we have been reminded that regardless of the best-laid plans sometimes we can’t recover time lost. These times require careful communication and consideration of the impact on our clients. Often making special accommodations to help soften the impact on them.

How do you Navigate Challenging Conversations and Situations?

Avoidance and delay are aggravators to an agreeable resolution. Prompt communication is imperative.
First, we listen to all parties involved and clearly communicate the challenges we face together. Regardless of all our great technological advancements, when possible, these are conversations that still need to be face-to-face. If we have made a mistake, we are quick to acknowledge our failure and move forward with a mutually beneficial solution.

Will you Take Care of the Permits?

Yes, the second step in our three-tiered process is our Permitting Contract, which includes the cost and facilitation of any additional engineering such as fire sprinklers, soil reports, structural engineering, and Title 24 (energy calculations).

What is your Payment Schedule?

The Conceptual Design Contract is a retainer-based contract that we bill hourly against with scheduled invoicing. The retainer is determined after our initial evaluation of the scope of work.

The Permitting Contract is a fixed-fee contract with a payment schedule on the contract. This consists of an initial payment and subsequent payments based on progress, i.e. (permit submittal, plan corrections, permit issuance.)

Do You Have a Contractor’s License and Insurance?

Yes, we do. Our $2M general liability is through Engle Insurance Brokers. You can check our license, bond, and workers comp status here. This is a link to the CSLB License check website.

What’s Your Background and Experience?

Our principal, Mikhail Gannage started this company in 2000. He is the third generation in land development in the Gannage family. His father was also a real estate broker and owner of Gannage Realty based in Los Osos, CA. His grandfather and uncles all have retired from construction-related businesses varying from high-end finish carpentry to high-rise buildings in Stuart, FL.

Mikhail has a passion for the people, which has led him to focus exclusively on improving families’ lifestyles through the reimaging of their existing or recently purchased properties. He has carefully assembled a team of people who are equally passionate about the excellence with which we can serve our clients. His grandfather would frequently remind him of their motto, “service before self”. Mikhail continues to work hard to see this come to life in each project and person the team works with.

Is There a Warranty for the Services and/or Materials Involved?

Yes, each project has a full 12-month warranty.

Will You Take Steps to Protect My Property?

Absolutely! Each project has differing requirements, but we often have security fencing in addition to multiple security cameras, as well as simply locking or boarding up projects throughout the process to ensure our client’s home and their contents are secure.

What Should I Consider Before Remodeling?

Consider Why
Many potential clients come to us with thoughts about some modification or added space but have not clearly articulated to all those impacted why they want to do this. This often becomes an issue as we go through the process of refining the scope of work after the initial shock of discovering what everything they want will cost.

Prioritize your Why
We typically start with two designs: one that says we heard everything you dreamed of, and the second that says we heard you when you gave us budget limitations. The real magic happens when we begin to help you refine this down to the dream that lives in reality. This is only possible with a clear prioritization of why.

Moving Out?
Having your finances secured is an obvious consideration, but often overlooked is the need to assess if and when your family is ready not to occupy or delay occupying the home. Most major remodeling projects require you to move out all your belongings, at least in the parts that are impacted by the work.


“He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”

– Saint Francis of Assisi.

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