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This page is for you to use, we’ve been doing this for a long time and want to share, and at the same time streamline the process. We’re hoping to answer some common questions potential Clients have prior to their projects, thereby making the most of our Initial Meeting. At a point, we’ll provide you with a "Client login”, where you’ll be able to access even more knowledge on this site, giving you additional insight on everything from safety, to what you need to tell your insurance company prior to starting your project. Enjoy and come back often to explore, learn, and improve with us.



what our clients think

  • “Nucleus Construction added courtyards to our front and back yards as well as a complete kitchen and bath remodel that included new flooring throughout. With a party scheduled, Nucleus was able to meet our tight timetable. We found this company to be very creative, frequently offering several alternatives and always fair pricing. Their workers were friendly and good to work with. Overall, our experience with Ray Fay and the Nucleus team was delightful.”

    - Allen C, Van Tuyl Group

  • “Ray completed a fantastic remodel of our master suite and we are so pleased with the way it turned out. Nucleus Construction is definitely our go-to whenever we need a contractor. Ray’s commitment to serving his clients really stands out. “

    - Bill P, Phoenix Police Department

  • “Ray and his team are a highly professional and trustworthy company. We have used them multiple times, including for the renovation of our kitchen and the redesign of our front and back landscaping. They are a full service firm – from creation and design to following through in making it exactly as it was planned. Ray and his team are a courteous and hardworking group of craftsman who really care about their work, which absolutely translates in their projects. I highly recommend them for any job”

    - Justin and Anne R.

  • “I have always enjoyed working with Ray because he is a man of his word and a hard worker. He produces quality work and can be trusted to get the job done as promised. You can count on Ray and his team to pay attention to detail and do things correctly. They do not cut corners.”

    - Cody C, Architectual Designer at Cody Designs

Getting Started

residential architects arizona

Where do we start?

Let’s start out with an email or phone call, then we’ll meet to review the details and formulate a game plan. This will give you a better idea of how the process works. As our client, you’ll receive your own personal login password, giving you access to documents and information to help you better understand the process.

Can you help me decide what to do?

Sure! Here’s how we can help:

  • We can clearly assess your project ideas, your preferences and personality, finances, environment, and other factors to map out a path that works for your situation.
  • We use our experience and knowledge to maximize your budget.
  • Depending on the situation, a fee may be required for this service

What’s the next step?

  • At our first meeting, we’ll provide you wit a Project Timeline Sheet (PTS)
  • The PTS outlines the project’s progression and keeps us all on the same page.

What can I expect at our first meeting?

  • We’ll sit down, get to know each other, and start the process.
  • Have the basics of your idea and we can help expand upon it. We’ve done this many times and you can rest assured that we will work together to develop a plan that will satisfy all parties.
  • Bring pictures of spaces, fixtures and styles that appeal to you.
  • Plan to be present and involved! The outcome of our meetings will affect one of your biggest investments. In every meeting, we ask for the following:
    • No phones
    • Full attendance - all decision-making parties must to be present at each meeting
    • No distractions

Can I use Nucleus’ designs without employing your services?

Our designs belong to us exclusively, as many hours go into them, and most documents are printed with our name. If you’re interested in purchasing our designs, let us know ahead of time. We’ll most likely understand the situation, and give you options.

Please note that the project owner may be charged if our designs are used without consent.

Do I need to get my own architect?

No. And here’s why:

  • We may decide to design your space ourselves or bring in one of the many architects we trust and with whom we have longstanding work relationships.
  • A bad architect may have their own agenda that doesn’t consider the needs of the owner. This can cost money and create false hopes.
  • We carefully consider all factors to create your space and can determine who it’s best to bring in on your project.

How can I be assured that Nucleus understands what I want?

We’ve done this… a lot! And we utilize many tools to ensure this:

  • Pictures
  • 2D drawings to lay things out
  • 3D drawings to bring your design to life

We value transparency. Our open discussion (having all parties present at every meeting) will give us a thorough understanding of what everyone wants. We preach “staying on the same page” for the duration of the project. No one likes surprises when it comes to costs.

What do I need to do as an owner?

  • In the beginning, there’s very little you need to do. Our extremely detailed contract spells out the responsibilities of all parties involved.
  • At the conclusion of our first meeting, we’ll have a plan and hit the ground running.
  • Once you’re officially on board with Nucleus, your client login will afford access to many more details and resources.


timeframe for luxury home building

How long will it take?

The short answer is… it depends - on your needs and, of course, the amount of work. Unlike reality TV, a large project isn’t likely to be done in a week. After the scope of work is determined, there are three basic factors that affect a project or task:

  • Quality
  • Cost
  • Time

Based on the scope of work and client needs, we work to strike a balance that suits the project and client. Basically, if a month-long project must be done in a week, we can do it, but the quality, cost (or a combination of both) will be affected. No worries, though. With us on your team, we can make things happen pretty quickly.

What if I want to start immediately?

No problem! we can plug you in fast, get the ball rolling, and move at a rapid pace, if that’s what you desire.

Can you have the project done in time for my event?

Within reason, yes. We love to make things happen and would enjoy the opportunity. Plus, we find a challenge to be motivating!

Can work be completed while I’m out of town?

Yes! We prefer this method and makes for a great surprise.


luxury home building cost scottsdale

How much will it cost?

There are many factors in play, here. A few things to keep in mind:

  • Each project must be individually assessed
  • Time is a factor. This is real life, not HGTV, so things take time to complete
  • You get what you pay for. Were not the cheapest and we don't want to be. We are, however, the best VALUE! Many contractors quote a low price, but by the time the job is done, you’ll wind up paying more than if you used Nucleus Construction!
  • We’ve worked with many clients who are pleasantly surprised by the value we bring and the money they ultimately save by having an honest, realistic, and thorough quote up front.
  • We won’t let you waste money on design, materials, or sub-contractors that won’t work for your project.

How do I determine my budget?

This is where our extremely thorough first meeting comes in.

  • With our extensive experience, we are equipped to help you estimate your budgetary needs.
  • Clients need to be realistic with expectations, but we have the resources to work with a broad range of price points.
  • In partnership with the client, we may decide with the client that less can be done, but we won’t sacrifice quality. You’ll be pleased with the results.

What if I’m afraid to share what my budget is?

If we’ve learned anything, we’ve figured out it’s much easier to work off a budget from the beginning. It’s one of the ways we keep clients happy and comfortable. Without a budget, we may go down a road that is a financial impossibility for the client and we’ve got to go back to the beginning. It’s important to foster mutual trust from the beginning, as it’s must easier to ADD to the plan than remove from it!

How do Nucleus’ rates compare to other contractors?

  • No two bids are the same
  • It’s important to compare apples to apples: quality, materials, and timeline must all be taken into account.
  • Details, details… what may seem like a small change can significantly alter the cost.
  • Safety: we won’t compromise safety for price, though many contractors will.
  • Finishes: Our finishes aren’t one size fits all and many other contractors don’t understand this. We believe that the level of finishes should reflect the owner, property, and location. If this isn't considered, your investment may be in vain.

Can you give me a fixed price for the project?

Yes. Here’s how:

  • After meeting with you and discussing your desires and budgetary requirements, we provide a total price for the project.
  • Because we’ve done this for a long time, we are very accurate at pricing out a project.
  • You’re in control. Our detailed contract allows the owner to make changes along the way. There are some notable exceptions:
    • Our client may increase allowances within the project.
    • Items may be added to the original design at the client’s request.
    • During the construction process, we may find unforeseen problems with the property (faulty plumbing, wiring not up to code, foundation issues, etc.) Though These are minimized because of our background and our thorough inspection of the property prior to the start of the Project.

Will you provide an estimate only?

Yes, we can, but please keep in mind:

  • The client must notify us beforehand.
    Estimating is an expensive process for us to complete, and we do the work with the expectation that we will be the contractor of record on the project.
    We may charge for estimates if they are used only for information to be given to other contractors.
    • We respect our clients Time and Money and expect the same in return.

During The Project

luxury home construction in arizona

Do I have to be home during the construction?

  • No. Trust that Nucleus will take good care of your investment.
  • We actually prefer to work on projects where the owner isn't there, as it tends to save us time and money. Plus we love to surprise our clients!

Is it going to be dirty?

Construction is a dirty business, but…

  • We do our best to confine the dust to the work area.
  • We take extra steps to keep things clean during the process.
  • We offer final cleaning services at the conclusion of the project to make the transition easier.

I have asthma, allergies, or another condition; Can you help?

Managing health conditions is becoming very common issue for our clients. We have recommendations to help things go smoothly and keep things cleaner. We are able to take extra precautions to diminish effects on the health of our clients, their families and co-workers. If necessary, we can bring in air purifying equipment during construction.

Can I trust the Nucleus team in my space?

While we don’t claim perfection, we take your security and comfort very seriously. Your trust is our priority.

  • We understand that we’re in your space.
  • We pre-screen people who work for us.
  • In most cases, We have worked with our subcontractors for many years and know them well.
  • Please check out our testimonials. We’ve worked for all kinds of people and have many satisfied customers who invite us back to work on additional projects and recommend us to their relatives and business associates.
  • Note for Ray- I would and do trust my people and Subcontractors with my family. I take this very seriously.




Value Engineering?

Value engineering began at General Electric Co. during World War II. Because of the war, there were shortages of skilled labor, raw materials, and component parts. Lawrence Miles, Jerry Leftow, and Harry Erlicher at GE looked for acceptable substitutes. They noticed that these substitutions often reduced costs, improved product, or both. What started out as an accident of necessity was turned into a systematic process. They called their technique “value analysis.”

We live and breath these concepts, because they’re, Real, Direct, and Sustainable. It’s how we deliver thebiggest bang for your buck

Apples to Apples:

No two projects are alike The same can be said for estimates.
This is why it’s very hard to compare our bid to those from other contractors.
Our estimates are very thorough. The same cannot be said for most other General Contactors. Others get their foot in the door by being vague and survive by staying vague. With Nucleus construction, our detailed clarity is your advantage.

Completing Contractor:

A contractor who is called upon to finish a project previously started by another contractor or homeowner.

Various reasons exists for hiring a new contractor to complete a project:

  • Behind schedule
  • Cost
  • Personality Conflicts
  • Current contractor becomes overwhelmed by the project

This happens more times than you might think, so it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. What’s important is to keep the ball rolling and not waste additional time so please contact us ASAP.

Faux Painting:

Faux painting or faux finishing are terms used to describe decorative paint finishes that replicate the appearance of materials such as marble, wood or stone.

Venetian Plaster:

Venetian plaster is a wall and ceiling finish consisting of plaster mixed with marble dust, applied with a spatula or trowel in thin, multiple layers, which are then burnished to create a smooth surface with the illusion of depth and texture.


new home builders in north phoenix

Paint Grade:

  • A painted on finish often used in closets.
  • A less expensive painted on finish for wood that covers its grain. It’s often used in pantries, closets, storage rooms, and other parts of the house.
  • A finish used on interior doors in place of staining.

Stain Grade:

  • A finished most often used on doors, cabinets and other wood products.
  • Often, the grain of the wood can be seen through the finish.
  • Generally considered an upgraded finish.

Flat Paint Sheens:

  • Flat or Matte paints, are non-reflective
  • Conceal surface blemishes better
  • Deflect attention from surfaces
  • Great choice for ceilings or other surfaces you want to downplay.

Eggshell Paint Sheens:

  • Just off flat, many times this sheen will give that flat appearance
  • Many times washable for durability

Satin & Low-lustre Paint Sheens:

  • Slightly higher sheen than eggshell finishes
  • Paints in this category are warmer
  • Greater appearance of depth than flat paints
  • Resist stains better than flat paints.

Semi-Gloss Paint Sheens:

  • Provides the pop for certain areas to stand out
  • Used on doors and windows many times due to its ability to be washed

Gloss Paint Sheens:

  • Rarely used in large areas, we reserve this sheen for details that must be noticed
  • Many times this sheen provides built in protection to wear and tear
  • These brighten a space, yet be careful of possible glare issues


electrical panel

What is LED?

LED stand for Light-Emitting Diode. It is a two-lead semiconductor light source. LEDs have many advantages over incandescent light sources, including lower energy consumption, longer lifetime, improved physical robustness, smaller size, and faster switching.

Can I reduce the brightness of my LED bulbs more?

Currently, LED bulbs don’t dim as low as an incandescent bulb without the integration of an automation system.

Do I need a special Dimmer for LED bulbs?

Yes, Every LED bulb requires a special dimmer to avoid safety hazards. Dimmers are clearly marked to avoid this and will allow an LED bulb to be dimmed like a standard incandescent bulb. You may hear an audible noise if the incorrect dimmer is used and blow bulbs.


hard water deposits

Hard Water Deposits:

The white stuff that accumulates on your faucet which often removes the finish on fixtures. Hard water deposits are made up of calcium and other minerals.


This term is used to identify the location of a shower head on the ceiling of a shower.

The Industry

bare electrical wire running up the wall

An example of what we won't do, because it could be dangerous (like this photo to the right):

  • Electric main panel over a gas meter
  • A bare electrical outlet hanging from the bottom of the main electrical panel.
  • A water line under the main electrical panel that's next to the Gas meter.
  • Bare electrical wire running up the wall.
  • Obstructions in front of gas meter

People with skin in the game

One word… Important. When we accept and take on a project, we have a lot on the line and are motivated by countless things to get the job done and done right. This is why we most often interview our clients more than they interview us. After all, we’re going to be forging a friendship that lasts a lifetime. We take this very seriously and want to be sure both parties hold up their side of the deal. We will do everything we can to keep the client happy, content, and feeling comfortable with their decision to entrust us with one of the largest investments of their lives. We’re honored to have worked with each one of our clients, and we now call them friends.

Realtors - The good and bad.

Lets face it: Not all realtors are created equal. We’ve worked with over 400 different realtors over the last 20 years and, unfortunately, there are very few good ones. Being a realtor used to really mean something. A realtor was someone you could count on and trust to be there. The field has been watered down to a point where a potential client really needs to be careful who they hire. To be honest; Most are vultures, out to grab cash with the least amount of liability possible. They have refined their contracts to a point where they have virtually no skin in the game. Having skin in the game is important. That’s something we’ve learned from family a long time ago.

Home inspectors

Inspectors are great for exactly what they do and no more. They can draw attention to certain things about a property, but for the most part have little knowledge of how many household systems work. This is why we preach to our clients looking for a home or office to contact us to do a walkthrough during the inspection period after the inspector provides his/her report. We can provide in-depth assessment and point you in the right direction. At the same time, we can go over the planned improvements and discuss options, provide rough estimates, investment strategies, and other tools that give our clients the advantage. Let us help you make the right decision at the right time.


The construction industry is littered with bad contractors who take advantage of property owners in new ways each and every day. We know. We’ve fallen victim to this many times as business owners, commercial property owners, landlords, and homeowners. These contractors give the industry a bad name, creating barriers for good contractors wanting to start a new relationship with a possible client. We strive to conduct ourselves in a way that benefits not only the client, but the industry as a whole.

Bad Clients:

The flip side to a bad contractor… the population is filled with people trying to get something for nothing and to take advantage of whomever they can. We’ve run into our fair share and feel this website enables us to weed out those individuals who may not operate in the most honest, respectful way. Hopefully, with the help of this site, we can attract and better serve the good folks out there -- the people we truly want to work with.


So many people in this industry, and beyond, lack this quality. To us, loyalty means operating honestly and face-to-face and sticking it out until the end.

Endorsed companies and individuals

our approved business partners
  • These are individuals and companies we enjoy working with, who stand behind their craft, and who conduct themselves in a professional manner. The people and companies we trust and understand our way of business.
  • Being on our list of preferred providers is a position that is earned. Just because a person or company is on this list, doesn’t mean they automatically will stay on the list, so please check back often for who made “The List.”
  • According to craft

Home and Business Services:

  • Carpet Cleaning- Westcott Carpet and Tile- (623) 606-8948
  • Appliance Repair- 4 A/C, LLC- (602) 795-4405
  • Wedding Invitations / Paper products- Woo Paperie and Press- (818) 760-0621

Realtors and Title Companies:

  • Realtor- Rodney Cody (Central Phx)- (602) 570-2689
  • Realtor- Mike Crawford (North Phoenix, Cave Creek, New River)- (602) 488-4900
  • Title Company- Magnus Title- (Debbie)- (480) 682-0200


  • Website dedicated to the modern lifestyle-
  • Bin There Dump That- (480) 999-1399

Dining guide for clients new to the area

dining guide

Central Phoenix

6335 North 16th St.
Sit downstairs in the “cellar,” if possible, for a cozy experience.

Dick’s Hideaway
6008 North 16th Street
No sign visible from the street. Located next to Luci’s Natural Market, you’ll spot a wooden door with greenery growing around. Service concludes at 1pm.

6335 North 16th Street
Ideal for late dining. The above three are owned by the same owners and have a similar menu.

Capital Grille
2502 E. Camelback Rd. (Biltmore Fashion Park)
Lunch or Dinner. Great for steaks!

5700 E. Mcdonald Dr. (Sanctuary Resort grounds)
Perfect for a romantic date night. Amazing food and beautiful views of the valley/city. Request window seating when making your reservation.

Merc Bar(across from Biltmore Fashion Square
lower level of AMC)
2525 E. Camelback Road
A private atmosphere for an evening bottle of wine, paired with a cheese boar.

Postino’s Wine Bar
5144 N. Central Ave.
Delicious food and quality wine that’s a steal! Monday and Tuesday nights from 8pm to close – order a board of bruschetta and a bottle of wine for $20. Try it for brunch on the weekend, too.

TMI – The Main Ingredient
2337 N. 7th St,
Jalapeno artichoke dip and their sandwiches are highlights! Pair with a glass of wine or a locally brewed beer.

Sun Up Brewery
322 E. Camelback Rd.
Root beer on tap and Kobe beef burgers. Yum!

Frank and Albert’s
2400 East Missouri Avenue, located in Biltmore Resort.

The Roosevelt Tavern
816 N. 3rd St.
Cute, small house made into a hip microbrew/wine bar.

Coup des Tartes
4626 N. 16th St.
BYOB, which we love! Juicy steaks and French-inspired choices. Weekend brunch.

Phoenix City Grille
5816 N 16th St.
Jack Daniels bread pudding is wonderful!

Tuck Shop
2245 N. 12th St.
Serves dinner only. Fun to get the small plates and sample a variety of things.

7677 N. 16th Street, located at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort
Family style. Western-themed, in an old 40’s house. Call ahead for reservations, especially in winter time.

Pointe in Tyme
11111 N. 7th Street, located at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort
Sweeping views and romantic setting. Make a reservation!

Seasons 52
Biltmore Fashion Park
Neat concept. Menu is ever changing with the season and nothing on the menu is over 475 calories.

St. Francis
111 E. Camelback Rd.
Stylishly renovated old house turned restaurant. Fun to sit up at the bar and get a “peek” at the kitchen commotion. Lunch/Dinner, as well as brunch on Sundays.

Southern Rail
300 West Camelback

The Yard
5632 North 7th Street
Fun, laid back atmosphere with casual dining choices.

East Valley

7167 East Rancho Vista Dr.
There is no set menu. Instead, the concept is “improvisational cooking.” When you are seated you fill out a checklist of sorts stating any allergies or extreme dislikes, then turn to the chef for an exciting and surprising dinner.

6560 North Scottsdale Road
Fun fusion or Asian and Mexican flavors. Offers brunch, lunch and dinner as well as a late night snacking menu.

Fogo De Chao
6300 North Scottsdale Road, located within the Lincoln Village Shopping Center
Great for Sunday brunch or lunch/dinner throughout the week.

Blanco Tacos + Tequila
6166 North Scottsdale Road
Tacos and margaritas with a great patio.

Citizen Public House
7111 East 5th Avenue
Try the short ribs!

Steak 44
5101 North 44th Street
Steak house that provides an intimate atmosphere.

5103 North 44th Street
Watermelon lemonade is tasty.

The Stockyards
5009 E Washington Street
The prime rib never disappoints.

3213 E Camelback Road
A fan favorite in our house. Make a reservation, as it is a well known best spot.

The Stand
3538 East Indian School
Locally raised, hormone-free beef burgers! Try the dulce de leche hand spun milkshake.

Beckett’s Table
3717 E. Indian School Road
Unique food pairings and seasonal menu due to local farm support.

Café Boa
398 South Mill
Italian eats that change daily and a great choice of wines.

Quiessence at the Farm
6106 South 32nd Street
Very intimate, great for a date night as it is adults only. The tasting menu is quite a fun treat.

1201 North Galvin Parkway – located just outside of the Botanical Gardens
The doughnuts dessert is wonderful.

West Valley

Arrowhead Grille
8280 West Union Hills
Fantastic steaks and a great wedge salad This spot is a hidden gem.

11051 North Black Canyon Highway
Nice seafood selection in the heart of the valley.

5350 East Marriott Drive, inside the JW Marriott Desert Ridge
Great food and an even better chocolate soufflé.

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