Home Remodeling Birmingham AL

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Remodeling – Understanding A Home’s Past, Present, and Future 

Home Remodeling Birmingham AL is about relevance. It’s about considering a home’s past use, current operations, and future needs. A family plan can change a lot over the life of a home. While many home purchases are made with the idea of long-term living in mind, these ideas modify over time. Remodeling is the science of how to adapt a home’s ability to be relevant to the changing needs of the family living inside. To be clear, remodeling is far more than maintenance. Maintenance is and must be done to all structures to maintain good standing regardless of who occupies them or what they’re occupied for. While home remodeling often incorporates maintenance work, it has a far deeper reach. Home Remodeling Birmingham AL ultimately revolves around finding the keys to restoring relevance.

Relevance can be measured several ways depending on how a family’s plan has changed since first settling in their home. A home’s relevance might be practical, based on the size of the family and how they are increasing or decreasing. Relevance might be necessary, based on changing family health needs due to age or ability. Relevance could be based on change, where space for hobbies or in-home business becomes necessary. Relevance could also be based on desire, where updating is feasible due to circumstances allowing for different aesthetics. Whatever drives the need for change, there’s rarely an original home design that meets the ever-changing expectations of a family’s growth. For those who love their home and property, this can present quite a challenge. This is where Home Remodeling Birmingham AL comes in.  

As mentioned above, Home Remodeling Birmingham AL is different from maintenance. Every structure, as it ages, requires maintenance and upkeep. This is simply caring for a structure by continuing to maintain it as built. There are multiple contractors and handypeople who can review a property and suggest what upkeep needs to be done for maintenance. These contractors however, while often skilled in their particular trade, are not in the business of helping families create more relevant spaces in which to live. Designing relevancy requires a trusted team who listens, comprehends, anticipates, and creates custom solutions for individual properties. Designing relevancy requires Oak Alley.

Remodel is a Broad Term

When you contact Oak Alley you’re engaging with a team of people who earn their living helping families discover the best lifestyle their home can provide. You’re contacting a team who’s been building homes and participating in Home Remodeling Birmingham AL across the Greater Birmingham area for thirty-seven years and are ready to apply what they’ve learned to your home. You’re contacting a team who wants to hear about your dream for your home – what needs you have – what desires you have. A team who wants to work with you to bring your home back to relevance. 

Many contractors are equipped to tear something down and rebuild it. While this does go further than maintaining a property, it may not go in the right direction to make the property relevant. It might address one problem while creating two more. Without considering the overall implications of your Home Remodeling Birmingham AL, quick changes or studying the future needs of a family, a poorly thought-out remodel can quickly become a mess. Oak Alley listens, studies, and develops design-builds with both the homeowner’s current needs and future expectations in mind. We create spaces where you can live as long as you like and be comfortable while doing so.

Our goal is to create a partnership in which we work together now and also down the road to meet your home’s continually changing needs. When we design, we design so future updates can be made with minimal impact. Only you know the needs you have from your home. Oak Alley knows how to design and build to meet those Home Remodeling Birmingham AL needs.

Remodeling with Oak Alley – Understanding the Process

Recognizing there is not a one-size-fits-all answer for homes, families, and budgets, Oak Alley can look at an overall project and help plan what needs to be done now, what doesn’t need to be done at all, and what can be saved and done at a later date. We don’t have one particular floorplan we try to sell to clients or one particular approach we use for certain style homes. We take into account the style of the house and don’t design an interior that doesn’t fit the home. We approach each home we are invited into with fresh eyes and fresh ideas. Building and Home Remodeling Birmingham AL on our staff’s years of experience, we are able to quickly engage in brainstorming with homeowners. It’s an exciting process where dreams are expressed, challenges are presented, and ideas are born.

We look at the budgets (and yes, we work with a variety of budgets) and help homeowners understand what their budget can accommodate for during their Home Remodeling Birmingham AL. We talk openly and honestly about where costs rise and fall when it comes to remodeling. What materials and what craftsmanship takes more or less time and money. We discuss alternatives when budgets don’t match dreams and we discuss how to correctly remodel in stages so budgets can be created over time. We take the time to answer the questions that build lasting partnerships.

How does a homeowner know if Oak Alley is the right remodeler to do their Home Remodeling Birmingham AL project? While earning a profit is mandatory for any successful business, earning a reputation is equally important. We are proud of our reputation in the Greater Birmingham area! Oak Alley’s reputation was not created by us though, but rather by our clients. Our past customers with whom we built relationships. Homeowners who have taken the time to review our work online, on websites, on video, and person-to-person. Homeowners who have asked us to come into their homes a second, third, or even fourth time to maintain their home’s relevancy. A reputation like this, after almost forty years in the industry, can only be built on relationships extending beyond a simple construction process. That’s how potential clients know they can trust Oak Alley to be the best choice for home remodeling.

Remodeling Cost

Many homeowners want to know if they can afford to do a remodel at all. The cost of a project can either be driven by budget or by design. That’s a decision made by the homeowner that shapes how we approach the project. If there is a strict budget then we will do our best to work within that budget. We will also be upfront and let you know when a budget does not adequately cover the requests. We are never going to try to get you on the hook just to upsell you once construction has begun. While Home Remodeling Birmingham AL isn’t an inexpensive option, it’s more cost-efficient and far less disruptive than packing up and moving each time you face a lifestyle change. When you’ve made the decision to plant roots and be part of a community, moving just isn’t an option. Luckily, it doesn’t take long for many remodel projects to pay for themselves in both homeowner satisfaction and increased home value.

The Process

Oak Alley works with homeowners to first determine a ballpark number to see where the dream and budget match up. After entering into a design agreement, those numbers are tightened up to give a closer idea of what can be done with the available funds. This is not a contract for the build but rather a small fee paid to Oak Alley for creating designs to get the homeowner a layout that meets their needs. We feel it’s better to know upfront and have an understanding of how much it will cost to turn your house into what you always dreamed it could be than to enter into an agreement only to find out halfway through the project that you’re either not getting what you wanted or that you have to pay twice the amount to see it to the end. While we don’t provide itemized pricing on all pieces of the Home Remodeling Birmingham AL project we are happy to provide alternate pricing in areas where options exist. As noted above, Oak Alley works with a variety of budgets to help homeowners achieve their goals. Sometimes this means breaking a project into stages that happen over the years. 

When the homeowner and Oak Alley settle on a design, a letter of intent is signed to move forward with the project. We bring in our carpenters and any tradespeople who will be associated with the project. The homeowner is given the opportunity to meet the people who will be in their home and the tradespeople are given the opportunity to meet the family for whom they will be constructing. This is also done so the trades can see the property firsthand, discuss any challenges they see, and supply actual costs for the project. 

With actual costs from our trade partners, estimates become firm pricing, and a contract is drawn. This includes the actual price to see the project through from beginning to end. Our contracts use language developed by the Homebuilders Association of Alabama, protecting both the homeowner and the remodeler. Our Home Remodeling Birmingham AL contracts not only lock in the price but also provide the timeframe goal for project completion.

Any unforeseen or additional expenses or changes that develop during the project are discussed in real-time and are paid for in real-time as they come up. Unforeseen expenses are existing issues like the discovery of wood rot, the discovery of mold, or previously unknown foundation damage that are outside the scope of work but must be dealt with per building code or common sense. Expenses such as these are not rolled into an overall final bill but rather addressed immediately, priced accordingly, and dealt with promptly.


Changes requested along the way by the homeowner are handled with a Confirmation of Instructions (or “COI”) which acts as a change order outside of the existing project. While we try to mitigate changes along the way with thorough communication prior to the project beginning, we recognize that often the visual change brought about as the project progresses ignites the imagination. New ideas are bound to develop, and when and where possible, we are happy to incorporate them in the overall Home Remodeling Birmingham AL project. These changes are also addressed, priced, and paid during the project and not at the end.


Homeowners working with Oak Alley are kept up to speed with workflow, changes, conversations, and general progress with a weekly or bi-weekly meeting with the Operations Manager. These meetings are established at the beginning of the project and are consistent throughout the life of the project. Homeowners receive a meeting report at each meeting recapping the prior meeting. Events that happen between meetings and upcoming events are discussed. Draw payments are collected at predetermined project milestones. This is a designated time for questions (although we are happy to answer questions at any time during the project). Any conversations or meetings that need to take place with Oak Alley carpenters, owners, or sub-contractors also take place at this time. The goal is open and honest communication on a scheduled basis that keeps everyone on the same page about the Home Remodeling Birmingham AL project. 


Our employees – the Operations Manager, Lead Carpenter, and carpenter’s assistants – along with any trade partners  who work with Oak Alley, are all properly licensed and insured to be on the job site. We monitor the Home Remodeling Birmingham AL job site to make certain both people and property are protected. Oak Alley works within the building codes of each municipality and does so only with proper permitting. Oak Alley obtains all permits and arranges inspections with the appropriate vendors and inspectors. 


As each Home Remodeling Birmingham AL project is unique to its homeowners, the amount of time required to complete the remodel varies. Some homeowners have a clear vision of what they want done from the first meeting. Others are looking for advice and ideas on multiple fronts. Regardless of what the homeowner is seeking, most projects begin with measuring and modeling the house. Our Designer measures the portion of the house being remodeled and then builds a 3d rendering of it. It’s from this initial rendering all the subsequent ideas are created. 3D views allow homeowners to see what’s possible as opposed to having to imagine it while staring into the existing space. Renderings are presented a few weeks after measuring and are modified until the homeowner finds the layout that fits perfectly. Once that layout is agreed on, working drawings are created and the project is ready to get rolling.  


Dreams, needs, plans, budgets, desires, thoughts, renderings, allowances, drawings, contracts, schedules…carpentry, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, tile, sheetrock, flooring, painting…whew! It’s a lot to take in. It can seem overwhelming. Just thinking about your Home Remodeling Birmingham AL project can make you nervous. 

You know what you need…but getting there seems so far away. When you work with Oak Alley, however, your Home Remodeling Birmingham AL idea is not nearly as far as you might think. 

We take on the work and leave you with the fun. You dream while we plan. You select while we install. You choose colors, textures, and finishes while we organize where and when they are applied. You get excited when you share ideas, gasp when you see your home deconstructed, question as it all comes together, and cheer as the finishing touches are applied, all the while relaxed because you are confident that your Home Remodeling Birmingham AL venture is in the hands of qualified professionals!

Relevance that counts requires a quality builder with quality craftsmanship using quality materials. If you’re someone who appreciates quality and is ready for a home that is relevant to your needs, we look forward to meeting you.

Mike McKay

President and Chief Designer

Oak Alley, Inc