1. Getting Started
You can contact us either through filling out our estimate request form, through email, through a phone call or in person. Our first step is to have a discussion in order to determine your goals for the vehicle and the work to be done. If needed we can help you determine what type of project is best based on your goals. From this information we will provide you with a ballpark estimate. This is an initial estimate based solely on what you tell us. The purpose of the ballpark estimate is to ensure that we are both on the same page financially before you go through the trouble of bringing your vehicle to us.
Next is getting the vehicle to our shop. We take in projects from down the road as well as from across the country. If you need help setting up transportation, we have carriers that we use. Let us know and we will set it all up for you. If we set it up we let you pay the transporter directly so it doesn’t cost you any more to have us take care of it.
Once the vehicle is at our shop, we will have a more in-depth conversation to determine more specific details of what you are looking for. Also, we will do an inspection of the vehicle and get back to you with a detailed and final estimate for your project. We are a time and material shop.
4. Legal Stuff
If you wish to move forward, the next step is to sign our contract and provide a deposit.
We usually have a waiting list. Vehicles are placed on our schedule in order of when the contracts are signed. We have two types of projects as far as scheduling is concerned. Long term and short term projects. We use this system so that short projects do not have to wait behind long term full restorations.
6. Order Parts
Once a vehicle is in our schedule we will order parts as needed for the near future.
When all needed parts arrive, we bring the vehicle into the shop and assign a technician. Our goal is to keep a technician on a project until completed. However there are several obstacles that sometimes prevent that from happening. These are usually either parts delays or payment delays. We plan projects so the parts are in the shop before we need them, however sometimes for varying reasons we need to order a part and/or do not receive it by the time we need it. When this happens we may need to put the vehicle in our warehouse until the part arrives. Also, it is very important that invoices are paid on time. We have multiple projects ongoing at any given time and we simply cannot afford to financially carry the cost of a project. If we do not receive timely payment, we must put the project on hold and put it into our warehouse until we receive payment.
We have found that in our business, communication with the customer is extremely important. We strive to communicate with our clients at every key stage of the process, whenever important decisions need to be made as well as having regular update conversations from beginning to end.
One of the most important things to keep the client informed about is budget. We track the budget of each vehicle by system. For example, your estimate will be broken down to a certain number of hours and parts for metal work, a certain number of hours and parts for the brake system, drive train, suspension etc. With these budgeted hours from our estimate, on a daily basis we track each hour spent on your project by vehicle system. We use these numbers as a gauge for staying on track within your budget. Achieving your desired quality level as well as sticking to your budget are our top priorities. However we are a time and material shop and sometimes we may need more time. Perhaps after stripping a car we find additional rust that will require more time, fairly often parts do not fit as expected, other jobs which, sometimes a job that should take one hour takes three when every bolt is rusted stuck. And honestly, sometimes things simply take longer than expected. This is part of the business of restoring a decades old piece of complicated machinery and happens to every shop. If we think we are going to go over budget, we try to let the client know before we get to that point. We will provide you with a supplemental estimate of the additional time and parts required and let you make the decision on how to proceed.
The best way to deal Regular communication is the best way to deal with all of the unexpected variables of restoring a classic car. Also, feel free to stop by and visit your vehicle any time throughout the project.
We invoice on a weekly basis. An invoice will include a list of all of the hours worked and parts, materials and subcontracted services that were performed within the last week, since you received your last invoice. An invoice does not simply list out items that we did with a price next to them. Rather an invoice shows how many hours we worked on your project during the last week, and the work that was done during that time. For example, an invoice may say that we did 4 hours of bodywork on your drivers door during this time. This does not mean that the bodywork on that door was a completed item. The next weeks invoice may include 1 hour of bodywork for the drivers door.
We will email you an invoice or if you request we can use the postal service to send invoices. Payments are due upon receipt. You can pay through the emailed invoice portal, you can call us and pay over the phone with a credit card, or you can pay by mailing us a check. We prefer receiving payment through a check.
10. Project Completion
Upon completing all requested work we test drive the vehicle and we inspect each system that we worked on. When we are satisfied that the vehicle is ready to leave, we will contact you and request final payment and schedule a time to have the vehicle picked up. Based on the date of pick up, we will clean and/or detail the vehicle a day before it is to be picked up.