Can you design specifically for my house and my lifestyle?

Oak Alley enjoys working with homes of all different styles, sizes, and ages. We partner with families to meet their vision, not to sell ours. Historic or modern, large or small, our goal is to develop designs that blend seamlessly into the existing house. We want the finished project to look as if it were built that way originally. On the occasion a family wants to change the style or appearance of their home, we study what exists to determine what elements can remain and which need reimagining. We preserve where possible and modify where necessary. 

Can we work together if I already have a design in mind?

Having a design in hand is another good way to communicate your remodel vision. Oak Alley is happy to work with families at any stage of their project to determine the correct answers for their homes. When designs and building goals are already established, Oak Alley is able to move forward in the process to help homeowners review, organize, schedule, and build the project. We discuss preliminary ideas, checking for compliance with permitting and codes. We arrange tradespeople and product selections. We manage and oversee the build itself. If you know what you want, we are happy to help you bring it to life. 

Can you design specifically for my house and my lifestyle?

Oak Alley enjoys working with homes of all different styles, sizes, and ages. We partner with families to meet their vision, not to sell ours. Historic or modern, large or small, our goal is to develop designs that blend seamlessly into the existing house. We want the finished project to look as if it were built that way originally. On the occasion a family wants to change the style or appearance of their home, we study what exists to determine what elements can remain and which need reimagining. We preserve where possible and modify where necessary. 

Is my project too big or too small for Oak Alley?

Oak Alley is uniquely positioned to approach projects of varying sizes, complexities, and budgets. We are ready to assist with a four-week bath or kitchen remodel or a six-month whole house remodel. We recognize for some homeowners, the budget drives the project while for others, the needs drive the budget. Every home requires an individual solution so there’s never a cookie-cutter approach with Oak Alley. We attach the same level of importance to any project we work on, regardless of size. Our goal is satisfied homeowners living in comfortable, well-built spaces. 

Do you have your own employees? Who will be in my home? 

Oak Alley works with both our employees and trusted trade partners with whom we have long-standing relationships. We are fully licensed and insured and require the same of any trade partners we work with. We work within all building codes and permits pertinent to each individual piece of property. Our lead carpenter, (an Oak Alley employee), is on site much of the time and our operations manager, (also an Oak Alley employee), makes frequent visits to the project. We never leave your home in the hands of a stranger.

Who answers my questions during the project?

Prior to beginning a project, homeowners are introduced to the Oak Alley Operations Manager. He is their liaison for questions during the course of the project. One of the first steps is establishing a fixed weekly meeting time between the homeowners and the Operations Manager. During these weekly meetings the past week’s work is confirmed via a written report and the week to come is discussed. This keeps everyone in the loop on where the project stands and what can be expected. The Operations Manager is available by phone or text should more immediate questions arise. We never want to leave homeowners with unanswered questions. 

What if I want to make a change during the project? 

Substantial changes to a project after it has begun are handled with “COI‘s” or Confirmation of Instructions. These document changes outside the contract or earlier scope of work and note any cost adjustments to the agreed-upon contract. The Operations Manager reviews printed COI’s with the homeowners to confirm details. COI‘s keep changes organized and provide records of cost modifications. Payment for COI’s are handled outside the draw schedule payments. 

Can Oak Alley help me select products that match my design?

We assist homeowners with every step of the project including design and product selection. Prior to beginning a project, homeowners are introduced to the Oak Alley Designer. She serves as the professional design consultant throughout the course of the project. Part of the Designers job is guiding homeowners through the selection process so they aren’t overwhelmed. One of the most enjoyable aspects of a home remodel is selecting the finishes, appliances, fixtures, and other details. We strive to keep that fun! Oak Alley works with reputable suppliers around town with whom we have long standing relationships. We also welcome and are just as happy to work with suppliers chosen by the homeowners.  

How can I trust Oak Alley is the right choice for me?

In business since 1983, Oak Alley has built its reputation on solid, dynamic work. While our many awards of excellence in home building and design speak to our knowledge of the craft, it’s really the reviews from our former customers we hang our hat on. People across the Greater Birmingham area have not only been pleased enough with our work to leave us a review but in many instances, pleased enough to call us back on multiple occasions to do additional work in their home. It’s the repeat service that speaks highly of a relationship with Oak Alley. 

Can Oak Alley deliver the quality build my home deserves?

Oak Alley quality is unsurpassed. We pride ourselves on our designs and the level of craftsmanship we put into a project. Quality remodeling requires an attention to detail and problem solving not found in standard building practices. We are only as good as our work, so we don’t cut corners with materials or technique. We study layouts, anticipate present (and future) challenges, and prepare long-term solutions that look beautiful. We strive to not only maintain the quality of your home build but enhance it as well. 

How is your design/build process beneficial?

The design/build process with Oak Alley covers your project from start to finish. By carefully studying and discussing the project beforehand, we make certain our designs fit your budget and needs. We work to maximize budgets and give the highest quality job possible. Careful planning and clear communication helps avoid cost surprises in the middle of the project. Our design process uses 3-D renderings to allow homeowners an accurate representation of what the final project should look like, eliminating uncertainty as pieces come together. One team, operating off a fixed price with weekly written project updates, cuts the confusion, giving you peace of mind. 

How much will it cost? Are you more expensive than other remodelers?

Expensive is a relative term based on individual budgets. Oak Alley does quality builds at competitive prices. While we strive to create beautiful projects within homeowner’s budgets, we won’t cut corners just to make a project cheaper. We use quality materials we have researched and are comfortable recommending to our customers. We work with trade partners whose craftsmanship is at a level matching our designs. We are also able to break projects into stages to help you achieve your vision. Oak Alley sells design/build while providing peace of mind. A partnership with Oak Alley is an investment in your home.

What happens when the project is finished? How will we know it’s finished? 

A project with Oak Alley is complete when it meets the homeowner’s approval. One of our benchmarks is “Substantial Completion” which means the project is usable and livable for the purpose as intended. We work together to develop a punchlist of final finishing items and then turn that over to our lead carpenter to complete. But the relationship doesn’t end there. Oak Alley is always a phone call or text away from assisting you with challenges that may present themselves as you settle into your newly remodeled home. We check in on our homeowners from time to time even years down the road. Remodeling done to address one need may need addressing again years later for new needs. After a remodel, we have a relationship with you and with your home. We strive to be your builder, not your builder of the moment.

What are the steps to an Oak Alley Remodel?

With Oak Alley, we recognize every home as a distinctive project requiring an exclusive solution. However, we process those solutions with a standardized structured approach developed over years of experience. Our process allows homeowner’s the best opportunity to bring their vision to life with the least amount of drama and within a set budget. 

We begin with an initial meeting where we review the property with you and listen to your ideas. We brainstorm and offer ideas of our own to help you understand what is possible, practical, and permissible. If everyone is in agreement, we have a viable project to move forward with, we offer a design agreement for a small fee. This allows us to move forward with measuring the structure, recreating it using our design software, developing potential layouts, and creating renderings to show. This process takes between two and four weeks. 

We present renderings to you and decide on a layout. If we need to go back to the drawing board to tweak a few things, we don’t charge extra. We only want to build a project you are happy to have built so it’s important to get it right from the start! 

When a layout is established, we draft a letter of intent and take a down payment to move to the next stage. We meet our trade partners on site and walk through the property discussing each aspect of the project from each trades point of view. This allows them to prepare fixed pricing. When the pricing is received, we provide a firm, fixed price presented in the final contract. 

Once the contract is signed, permits are applied for and we meet for a pre-construction conference. During this meeting, the Oak Alley Operations Manager outlines project management details, sets the weekly client meeting time, and answers any remaining questions. 

From here the project work begins. Each week you meet with the Operations Manager to receive a written report of the previous week’s activities and conversations. The project is reviewed, and any new questions recorded. This allows you an understanding of what has gone on before and what will be going on next. These meetings continue through the end of the project. 

We never want to leave you in a position of not knowing where things stand. Keeping you informed of project status is what helps build our relationship!  

Do you have references? 

Google reviews, Houzz reviews, video testimonials on our website, and client references provided on request all speak to the quality of an Oak Alley remodel. Our website features a robust photo gallery illustrating the range and depth of our work in addition to featuring local and regional design awards we’ve been honored to receive over the years.

Where is your work? Where will you work?

The bulk of our projects are in the South Jefferson / North Shelby County area of Alabama. We also work around the Logan Martin and Lay Lake areas. However, if you are in another area of Greater Birmingham and feel we are the builder for you, we are always willing to take a reasonable step outside our usual footprint and visit a potential project. 

What can you do as remodelers? Can you do what I want done?

The quick answer, Yes! We are happy to find creative solutions to whatever your project needs are, as long as those solutions are within local code requirements and neighborhood ordinances. We never work around permitting or without licensed and insured employees. 

We can, expand your bath, reimagine your kitchen, add an exterior garage, or build a deck. We can put a second floor atop your single-story house, install a secret room, lengthen your basement, or expand your office. We can change your roof design, change your front door, or change your family room lighting. We can work on one end of your home while you live in the other. Take a look through our photo gallery for examples of some of the unique projects we’ve had the opportunity to work on for our clients. And if you don’t see anything like yours, then give us a call so we can build it and show it off as well!