I've heard I should plan on adding a "contingency" amount to the budget for my remodeling project - how much should I add?
It is really smart to have some contingency money ready on a remodeling project. Sometimes people spend it because of an unforeseen repair - like termite damage or wood rot inside the shower walls. Sometimes they will spend it on upgraded plumbing fixtures, or that gorgeous granite. They just can't resist. Some don't spend it at all, and just put it back in the bank when the project is done. In any case, it's a smart move. Here are some general rules of the road: on projects under $50,000. add 15%. On projects over $50,000. add 10%. If you don't spend it, that's great. If you really need it, though, your stress level will be much lower because you prepared for the possibility.
How can I minimize the spread of dust in my home during the work?
Professional contractors will put up clear plastic walls around the construction area to contain most of the dust and mess in the construction area. Daily clean-ups and cleaning the job site also helps minimize the cost and the tracking of dirt, drywall mud, etc. to areas where it should not present.
How much will my project cost?
We have both a designer and an interior decorator on staff to help you with the overall look of your new project. Our designer, who is always involved in projects where we are moving walls around, uses a sophisticated drawing program. Our interior decorator can speed you up on making your selections for plumbing fixtures, stone, tile, paint, etc. You will be confident that it will all work together and be beautiful. She will help you pick out your selections by going to a showroom or just catalog shopping with you. Your responses to our questions will help narrow the choices and our vast experience with products will help make the optimum selections in price and quality.
Will there be a big mess?
We take-to-heart this "invasion of your home" and your privacy. We respect your property by: laying down clean tarps as needed, taking down pictures, etc. that could fall off the wall, installing a ventilation fan when there is a window, clean the work space and traffic areas daily, dust and vacuum nearby spaces, and do a professional cleaning thoroughly the space on the final day of construction.
What kind of communication strategies are in place during the remodeling?
You're entitled to get a weekly schedule so that you know who the remodelers are that you can expect to come to your home to perform work. Typically, this schedule cannot be accurately given beyond one week because the nature of remodeling is fluid. This means that the remodeler's scheduling of various subcontractors, who have schedules of their own, or are working for other builders to perform work on your project. Not everyone can operate exactly as scheduled. For example, a plumber may be delayed for a couple of days dealing with a plumbing emergency on another job. It is important, however, that the project manager communicates any of these delays as soon as he becomes aware of them, so that you know the situation. Our goal is to answer your questions before you have to ask them. Unlike many remodelers, we have a full time office manager who is answering the phone, in person, all day, every weekday. This means that even if you can't get a hold of your project manager temporarily, you can always get your message to us by calling the office. You will find everyone who comes into your home to be NEAT, friendly and helpful in answering any of your questions.
What are the current popular features being installed in new bathrooms?
Tubs are being removed and replaced with luxurious curb less showers, personal hand-held showers, body sprays, deep soaking tubs, safety grab bars, glass block windows and seats in showers.
What kind of warranty do you provide?
Our warranty is attached to every remodeling contract we sign. It is good for a period of one year after completion of the project. It covers labor and materials during that period. The only exception is that manufacturer warranties on fixtures and appliances supersede our warranty. If you furnished a new oven for your kitchen, and it stopped working before the end of the appliance warranty period, you would contact the manufacturer for repairs, for obvious reasons. We often may come out after the warranty period has expired to take care of things, because we know it further enhances the high level of trust our customers have in us. They will talk about us at the next cocktail party, and say good things.
Are you insured?
Absolutely, yes. We provide you with a certificate of General Liability insurance with every project. We have $1 million in coverage. A certificate is sent to you by our insurance company - it does not come from our office.
Are applicable permits paid by you?
Yes. In most cases we submit your project for a General Contractor's Building Permit. Our mechanical subcontractors, such as licensed electricians, plumbers and air-conditioning mechanics, pull their own permits under our general contractor permit. A general contractor cannot for example pull an electrical permit or a plumbing permit. Instead, our mechanical subcontractors pull their own permits, using our city-assigned project number. This is what I mean by "under" my general contractor permit.
Do you take credit cards?
Yes, we do, with a $20,000 limit per charge. Our customers use these for change orders and draw requests.