You have questions, we have answers.

Curious about building with Rust? Below, you’ll find answers to the questions we get asked the most frequently.

The simple answer is that it varies. Calculating exact costs is an art, not a science. We work with you to ensure that your budget and schedule are feasible for your project goals. By making sure that your project is fully planned out and clearly understood by you before we start construction, we give you the control to make informed decisions about the project cost and what you get for your money. 

We typically have two contracts for our projects: 1) a preconstruction agreement and 2) a construction agreement (usually fixed price). The preconstruction agreement covers all of the work that needs to be done before we start construction, such as the project design, permitting, pricing, and logistics. A pre-construction agreement ensures your project is set up for success. 

We can start planning your project immediately.  Construction can start in days, weeks, or several months depending on your schedule, your financing requirements, material availability,  timeline for the design and permitting process, and our current construction backlog. We’ll clearly communicate with you as we establish a timeline for your project.

It depends. The construction phase of most major remodels will take anywhere from 4 to 9 months. Smaller projects may take 6-8 weeks. This includes everything from demolition to final punch list. 

Yes. Historic district oversight bodies like the Alexandria Old and Historic District Board of Architectural Review (BAR) and the District’s Old Georgetown Board (OGB) enforce strict guidelines on the methods and appearance of any improvements visible from public streets. Any work visible from the street must be pre-approved by these review boards before submitting for a building permit. Some repairs and other minor work such as in kind window, trim, and door replacement may be approved through a short administrative process, but other projects are required to process through a formal hearing in front of the oversight boards. This can take months from the time that the application is submitted to the time that the application is placed on a hearing docket and reviewed. Rust Construction is very familiar with this process and successfully permitting projects.

It is not uncommon for clients to request changes during the course of construction. However, changes will almost always impact the cost and schedule of your project. This is why we work hard during the pre-construction process to make sure that decisions and costs are fully discussed before we start your project. This helps us keep you happy and your project on budget and on schedule.
It depends on the extent of your project. For an addition, kitchen remodel, bathroom remodel, or deck and porch work, it is possible. However, if we’re remodeling your whole home, then you may need to move out for some time.

Yes. Our subcontractors are part of the package deal when you work with Rust Construction. We consider them to be an extension of our business. In many cases, we have worked with the same subcontractors for decades. Plumbers, electricians, HVAC professionals, and others all require professional licensing that is not covered under our general contractor’s license. They are subcontracted to us and must apply for separate trades permits that are associated with our license for each project. We also work with specialized subcontractors like excavation companies, plasterers, painters, and cabinet makers as necessary. Rust Construction manages your project and performs carpentry and general labor tasks.

In general, urban projects tend to have more regulatory and logistical costs. Building and parking permits are not only more expensive, but also take administrative time to manage. We may not be able to stage or receive materials on site, meaning that we have to pay for off site storage and transport between our warehouse and the job. Rust Construction has extensive experience with managing  the unique logistic challenges that are inherent in the work that we do in neighborhoods like Old Town Alexandria, where site access is far more restricted compared to our suburban projects.

Absolutely! Our goal is to deliver a well-built project with the least stress for you. This requires planning and collaboration with you and your architect early in the design process. We sign a preconstruction agreement and work with you and your architect throughout the design process to make sure that your project is set up for success. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you plan to directly hire an architect or designer. 

No. We provide the most value when we work with you from the beginning of project design through the end of construction. This allows us to make sure that your design, budget, and schedule are aligned and developed together. In some cases, we will provide pricing on fully developed bid sets.
Yes. Although we do specialize in remodels and additions, we have the capability and expertise needed to build you a custom home.
Yes. While we specialize in home remodeling and additions, we also have the skills needed for a successful commercial remodel or small new construction project. We are especially experienced in working with businesses in historic and urban areas.

Yes. We sometimes do “small projects” in between our larger home renovations and additions which are our bread and butter. A small project for us would be a bathroom remodel, a porch or deck project, a minor basement renovation,  or a small structural repair job. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us to discuss your small project.  We will let you know quickly if we can do it or not.

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