Vermont Construction Company serving VT & upstate New York
As a full-service Vermont construction company, we are mindful of the importance of making a difference in our environment by using green products and techniques and we have done so for well over twenty years. For example, while others are just now using spray foam insulation, we first applied this on one of our own projects in 1968! We believe in the preservation of land and water, the improvement of indoor air quality, and the promotion of resource conservation. New environmentally sound and energy efficient products are emerging frequently; we constantly evaluate these and incorporate the most responsible and cost-effective ones into our designs and renovation work.
Our work starts with a thorough evaluation of the proposed site with consideration for passive solar heat gain, potential wind breaks from the north, prevailing winds, and snow loads. This is especially important in Vermont construction and affects the general design elements such as size and placement of windows, type of roof system, and general orientation of the structure.
Active green building components we commonly employ include the use of insulated concrete foundation forms that result in a cooler house in the summer months and warmer in winter; sprayed urethane foam insulation that creates the tightest building envelope possible, a draft-free interior, and enhanced structural integrity; heat recovery systems developed to efficiently provide fresh air to the interior without substantial heat loss; high performance lighting; energy star rated appliances and numerous other environmentally sound products. In short, we strive to eek out as much efficiency as possible for our clients.
We have the “know how” and resources to offer the latest in off-grid energy sources to provide as much of your energy needs as you desire. We install photovoltaic and solar hot water systems routinely and have successfully installed various types of geothermal ground source heat recovery systems as well. We stay in tune with the latest technology and urge our clients to consider all of these to minimize their “footprint” on our environment.
Building and renovating a home or business is one of the most satisfying experiences you will ever undertake. It is important to choose a company that has a history of success, is financially sound, has versatile building experience and one who will provide you with excellent customer service.
We combine old materials with up-to-the-minute energy efficient technologies and have perfected the art of renovating old buildings. The end results are modern, spacious, light-filled and colorful office buildings and homes with a patina of age and history. We reuse whenever possible.
Working with a large staff, we have the capacity to build a quality home with speed and skill in any season. We have experienced Project Managers who oversee the building process ensuring a seamless process that eliminates costly mistakes. We offer the latest products and systems that are sustainable in their efficiency and economy.
We recognize your individual needs and tastes and work with you to achieve that vision. As a Vermont construction company, the relationships we share with our clients are a testament of our commitment to customer service.
Building Tips to Avoid Disaster
As New York and Vermont home builders we are proud to share our years of experience with you. Building a new home is one of the most creative satisfying experiences you will undertake. It is important to choose a company that has a history of success, is financially sound, has versatile building experience and one that will provide you with excellent customer service. The McKernon Group has been building in Vermont and New York since 1987. We have constructed a wide range of homes that are created with new technology and time proven master builder skills. We are known for building quality homes with an emphasis on energy efficiency. Here are few items to consider before signing a contract with any home builders:
Ten Steps to Avoid Disaster (and Protect Your Savings) in Your Upcoming Construction Project
- Carefully check the credentials of your contractor. Be sure they have a history of the type of work you are considering, the resources, and the time available to complete your project on schedule. Ask for references!
- Ask to meet your project manager. Will you be compatible? The Project Manager will guide you from start to finish so ensure that you can work with this person from a compatibility perspective.
- Have a thorough understanding of the scope of work. Leave nothing to the fertile imagination of your contractor. Be sure the contract is tied directly to the scope of work.
- Be honest and “up front” with your contractor about your budget. If you have chosen a reliable contractor, he will not escalate the cost, but instead tell you what you can do within your budget. If you understate the financial resources you have available, you are likely to end up with a job that is less than you expected.
- Spend whatever time is necessary to research products and energy saving technologies that will achieve your goals. It is likely that you will live with them for a significant portion of your lifetime.
- Review the various options for payment of work. Some projects are more appropriate for a “time and material” contract, others for a lump sum. What is good for one is not good for all. Plan carefully to meet the obligations of a deposit and progress payments. Nothing will slow your job down quicker than failing to meet these deadlines!
- The punch list (large and small items remaining after the job is substantially complete) is often a sticking point and a bone of contention between owner and contractor. A complete and detailed scope of work combined with a conscientious construction crew will go a long way to avoiding a tedious punch list.
- Minimize allowances. A lazy contractor will not go the extra mile to provide an exact price for a particular item and instead assign a “rough” number to it. That number is invariably well below the real value and misleads the owner.
- Have a clear agreement with your Vermont home builder in the contract that no work of any substance will be undertaken without your written approval. This is the cause of many “he said- she said” disputes that end up in litigation!
- Allow in your financial planning a reserve for unforeseen contingencies. No amount of preparation can avoid the hidden pipe in the wall of a renovation project or a change of mind needing the higher priced kitchen faucet. A typical amount might be either 5% or 10% of the contract amount. Whether you spend it or not, you will be happy that you planned for this reserve.
As upstate New York and Vermont Home Builders, we are very experienced working with all types of budgets. The importance of having a clear and concise work plan within a detailed budget cannot be over-stated.