FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Multiple issues? Need help prioritizing work and estimating true costs?
In my decades of experience in this field, I’ve seen historic property owners begin the restoration process rather haphazardly…usually after something falls off a building, or when overt evidence of severe water infiltration becomes noticeable. Unsure of their next step, an architect is often hired. The architect’s predicable first step is to charge a fee for the “condition survey”. This expensive review normally consists of multiple photos, an assessment that may or may not solve the problem, and an even pricier proposal to do a “specifications package”, that inevitably leads to a low bid scenario, or so-called “select contractor list bid”. This method of restoration typically results in a long and expensive ordeal, where property owners can spend all their money before work even begins…or go broke during the restoration phase, due to excessive change orders and contract modifications. After thirty-five years of experience, I can confidently predict the outcome; conflict…between the owner, designer, and contractor, resulting in higher costs for the customer.
Is there a better method of restoration?
Wouldn’t it be nice, if there were someone who would unequivocally assist? What if there was a tried and true method that minimized unexpected costs, ensured a concise plan of action, and completed the project with few or no expensive change orders or contract modifications?
Such a process exists…the Project Management Method of restoration.
If you have multiple problems, i.e. leaky roof, old and dysfunctional gutters, rotting window frames, or crumbling masonry, then Waters Craftsmen is the solution. Our goal is to restore your buildings AND ensure you stay ahead of the maintenance curve, thus keeping future expenses manageable. And our proven approach to restoration, the Project Management Method fits the tightest budget. We help property owners prioritize and schedule work over a period of several years if needed…and more important, our process avoids the expensive fee-based system that economically motivates and rewards architects and contractors instead of you, the customer.
How can you integrate a new heating and cooling system?
Is there a desire to integrate a new heating and cooling system that is less intrusive, more economical, and easier to control? Do you need to replace an old boiler…looking for a way to eliminate all the ductwork and pipes? Would you like to integrate geothermal systems and reduce heating and cooling costs? Waters Craftsmen has experience integrating the newest heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system technology with the unique requirements of historic churches and buildings. We work with architects and engineers who are skilled in historic restoration rather those that are typically focused on new or more modern construction styles and techniques.
Is a twenty, thirty, fifty, or one hundred year plan what you need? What about a thousand years?
While traveling and studying historic restoration in Europe and the Orient, I encountered temple and church staffs that develop multiple year restoration and maintenance plans…to include a thousand year plan. This is the paradigm and approach Waters Craftsmen has adopted and applies to every project. Our starting point begins with a holistic view that encompasses not just your immediate needs, but future requirements. We educate as well as repair and restore. We stand out among our competitors because we are the absolute experts in this field, and more important, we treat our craft as an art and realize the cultural significance of maintaining our past, by preserving the quality and workmanship of fading American architecture.
How can a company that has helped restore hundreds of buildings over a period of thirty-five years help you?
Historic property caretakers face daunting challenges. Not only do they deal with limited resources and day-to-day maintenance concerns, they must also anticipate and forecast structural problems unique to old buildings. And too often, soaring preservation costs and shrinking budgets make it difficult, if not impossible to get ahead or maintain the status quo. Simply put, operating costs outpace income. And religious institutions in particular, are tasked with outreach and other related programs that constantly compete with maintenance dollars.
Even if ample funds are available, hiring an inexperienced or unqualified architect to design restoration projects is usually counterproductive. Architects typically design new buildings, and at best have limited experience using "old world" materials and the craftsmanship needed to restore historic structures. Instead, they rely on boilerplate trade specifications, which are little more than modified off-the-shelf "cookie cutter" spec-packages and plans, that give only modest attention to the practical means and methods which owners must face to repair and maintain old buildings. And when it comes to assigning skilled craftsmen who can accurately estimate and perform the work, their standard choice is to recommend the “low bid” scenario. I have witnessed this scene play out over and over throughout the years. In the long run, the low bid process is anything but, and will more likely result in excessive costs caused by the wrong approach, poor planning, and inexperience. The Project Planning method is the best, most sensible system for historic restoration, and no one has more experience with this tailor made approach than Waters Craftsmen. We uniquely design each project in a way that clearly illustrates in detail, the customer’s requirements, tasks, materials, and estimated time to complete the project. Minimum changes…expert workmanship…no hidden costs!