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Local Articles in 54230

Should I tip my service provider?

Dear Angie: What is the procedure for tipping a repair person? If you tip them, how much?

Home and garden shows

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remodeling family room
Remodeling - General

Dear Angie: We’re planning a bathroom remodel. How important is it to have a building permit? – Michael S., Oakton, Virginia

While it can seem like an unnecessary expense, an egress window with dimensions that meet local building codes should be added. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Dale R. of Detroit)
Remodeling - General, Builders - Homes, Windows - Egress, Lead Testing & Removal

Before you start your home improvement project, learn common mistakes to avoid a disaster.

new roof and portico soffit
Roofing, Remodeling - General

Five reasons why homeowners expect home remodeling contractors to show up on time.

updated kitchen with new cabinets and lighting
Remodeling - General, Remodeling - Kitchen & Bathroom

Angie's List surveyed more than 1,000 service providers to find out what their customers are willing to spend on home improvement projects. Here are the results.

Inspiration & Ideas

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granite countertop and backsplash
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kitchen remodel

Angie's Answers

?
Todd said it best.

An itemized list / cost breakdown, more often than not is used against the contractor when it is shared with other builders who will then beat it.

Good contractors use good people, and good people cost more.  Just the cost of having the appropriate insurance / bond can be the difference between winning a job or losing it ot a 'lower bid'.

It is the rule of three; there is Good, Cheap and Fast.  You can have any two:  Good and Cheap, won't be Fast; Good and Fast, won't be Cheap;  Cheap and Fast, won't be Good!

When comparing bids, it isn't the cheapest or the 'nicest' person you should select.   You should understand why there is a large price difference (it shows there are gaps in your design program or what you have asked for specifically, which means there may be arguments later).  If most of the bids are in line, and one is way high or way low,  you want to know why before dismissing or selecting them.

A price-only decision almost always costs more in the long run. 

Good luck!
?

No.  Heck no.  Here's a good example.  We very recently needed to find someone to install about 500 square feet of exotic wood flooring (we already have the materials).  We contacted about 12-15 top-rated Angieslist contractors.  Out of the few who did get back to us, we got 5 quotes, 2 of them were literally just over the phone.  They "didn't feel it would be necessary to even see the space". 

 

Here were the bids: 

$4000 (sight unseen), $2800 (sight unseen), $2500, $1500, $1450

 

We didn't "share our budget for this".  Why would we?  We asked them to bid the job.  That's it.  All of them should be well-qualified and they are all highly rated.  We were interested in how THEY value their time/resources - for an apples/apples job. 

 

Do you still think that you should tell them about your budget?  Your choice.  From my standpoint it isn't their business.  I'm asking them to bid on a project.  Invariably I'll get some very high bids, medium bids and a few more reasonable ones - ALL from "highly rated contractors". 

?

Herlonginc's answer stated that it is not the contractor's job to pay for materials and labor to do the job. I say baloney - a reputable, established contractor has the funds (or a business operations line of credit) to "carry" the job between interim or partial payments, each of which should be keyed to completion of distinct easily measured mileposts in the job, and for a homeowner I would say should be in not more than 20% increments for jobs exceeding a week or so. For shorter jobs, then an initial payment, 50% completion, and completion would be normal. His cost of carry funds is part of his cost of doing business, and is figured as part of his overhead.Bear in mind when he is buying materials and paying labor, his materials he typically pays for on a 10-30 day invoice, and his labor typically a week or two after they work, so he is not really "fronting" that much money if you are giving him weekly or biweekly interim payments, on a typical residential job.

If he does not have the funds to buy materials (excepting possibly deposit on special-order or luxury items, which still typically are 10-30 day invoiceable to him) and hire personnel then he is a fly-by-night operation, and he should not be bidding that size job. You should never (other than MAYBE an earnest deposit of not more than the LESSER of 10% or $5000) let the payments get ahead of the approved/inspected work progress - typically payment should be 10-20% BEHIND the progress, with at least 10% retained at the effective end of work until final inspections and completion of the final "punchlist".

That promotes rapid continuation of the work, discourages the all-too common nightmare of contractors taking on more work than they can handle so they leave your job for weeks or months to go work on someone else's job (frequently to start that someone else's new job so he can get the job), and does not leave you out a tremendous amount of cash if he does not finish and you have to hire another contractor to finish the job. Remember, if you have to hire a new contractor to finish the job, he will charge you a lot more than the original bid to finish someone else's unfinished mess.

This may seem cynical, but having started in the construction business about 50 years ago and seeing the shenanigans that a lot of contractors pull you cannot be too safe. You have to remember contractors are like any other people - I would say maybe 10% are outright crooks, another 25% or so will pull a fast one or overcharge if the opportunity presents itself, maybe 30% will do the work but not any better than they are forced to, about 25% are good conscientious reputable workmen, and the last 10% or so are really spectacular - conscientious, fair, and efficient craftsmen. This top 35% are the only ones you should have bidding in the first place. Therefore, only get bids from long-term reputable firms (so you shake out the marginal short-timers with less experience and also generally less ability to finish the job on budget and schedule), only those that have good RECENT references, and preferably with excellent word-of-mouth recommendation from people you know and trust. That way, you are starting right off with the cream of the crop, so hopefully whichever one bids low should be a good choice.

NEVER start with bids, then check the references of the low bidder - why even consider a vendor or contractor who you do not have faith in from the start ? Get references and short-list you possibles BEFORE you ask for bids.

Low bids - that is another matter - commonly the low bidder is NOT who you want, especially if he is significantly lower than several others, which might mean he is desperate for work, made a math error, or did not correctly figure the entire scope of work. You want a reasonable bid with someone you connect with and trust - that is worth a lot more in the success of the job than the absolute lowest bid.

 

?
For this type of job, you need plans and specs from an Architectural/Engineering firm before thinking about contractors - and to get a building permit. Ben's method would work and done incrementally could cost well over $100,000 plus as he says, but this not really the most economic way to approach this big a job. A House Mover or Foundation Underpinning specialty company can usually slide your house onto a whole new foundation, or jack it up on steel beams and hold it there while a basement is dug underneath it, without any intermediate piers. The jacking/move cost would probably be on the order of $30-40,000, and a new basement probably about $40-50,000 - rough ballpark, though I have been involved in some 1000-1500SF single story jobs that went for under $70,000 total. I have been involved in a fair number of these type jobs - and the way the numbers come out, if there is room on the property to move the house, it is almost always nearly as cheap or cheaper to build an equivalent square footage (basement plus ground level) addition rather than add a basement under the house, and that way your new footage is half above ground so worth more on resale, plus you do not lose use of the house for a month or two. Second cheapest is usually sliding house to a new foundation, if property is large enough to do this - though house is totally cut off from utilities for a week to three. Most expensive, and usually only done in tight city environments or with full 2 story or higher houses, is adding the foundation in place, though your utility interruptions should be on the order of hours at a time rather than days or weeks. Talk to an architect - I think you will quickly lean towards the addition option rather than adding a basement - it is just too expensive to deepen foundations in most cases, plus you WILL get cracking in the house and possible water and sewer pipe problems in a move/underpinning job, which is not the case with an addition. This become more likely the case since you want to add 8 feet off the back of the home anyway - so why not just enlarge the addition and do it all that way - MUCH simpler, and MUCH less disruption of your life, and you get much higher resale return on your investment.

All Remodeling Contractors in 54230, WI

Companies below are listed in alphabetical order. To view top rated service providers along with reviews and ratings, Join Angie's List Now!

5 Star Handyman, LLC

1221 Bellevue St - Ste 111
Green Bay

ACTION ELECTRIC

3061 W Elberg Ave
Appleton

ADK Construction LLC

N5672 Kathryn Dr
Plymouth

Affordable Contracting Services

7510 Sunburst Ln
Neenah

Al Benzschawel Plumbing

1759 S Broadway
De Pere

Al Borchardt & Son

N 1886 Junction Ln
Berlin

Alliance Construction & Design

1030 Orlando Drive
De Pere

Apex Heating and Air Conditioning

2789 Allied Street
Green Bay

Aquire Restoration, Inc.

2721 Oregon Street
Oshkosh

architectural renovators

167 Main Street
Menasha

Area Waterproofing LLC

1334 E Main St
Omro

Artizan Renaissance Remodeling

W2616 Golf Course Dr
Mount Calvary

BADGER SEAMLESS GUTTERS

2429 W CHEROKEE DR
Appleton

Badger State Restoration

P.O. Box 275
Plymouth

Badgerland Restoration & Remodeling

701 Industrial Dr
Waupaca

Bartlett Builders LLC

N6619 McHugh Rd
Hilbert

Bartmann Bros. Construction

3021 W. Prospect Avenue Suite 9
Appleton

Bath Renewal

1740 Riverside Dr
Suamico

Bay Area Plastering/Remodeling

W302 Crook Rd
De Pere

Bits and Blades Sharpening service

1248 E. Layton Ave.
Appleton

Bob Berres Builder

102 E. Brooklyn St.

Borgwardt Construction LLC

N1329 Silver Creek Cascade Rd
Adell

Boyd's Construction Inc

125 Lincoln St
Pulaski

Brooks Bathroom & Kitchen Tile

104 Smith St.
Plymouth

Brueser Construction

P.O. Box 7303
Appleton

Buckshot General Contracting

433 South Arch St
Janesville

Budget Handyman Solutions, LLC

1154 Abrams street
Green Bay

Bushman Construction LLC

412 Lowell Place
Neenah

C & K Services Inc of Newburg

6677 Carmody Ct
Newburg

Cahaba Scapes

2130 11th avenue north

Click Cabinets

1615 Ludtington St

Color Your Carpet

9733 Elaine Rd.

Conger Construction, Inc.

W7902 Forest Ave Rd
Fond Du Lac

Creative Renovations LLC

N8559 Town Hall RD
Black Creek

CRS CONTRACTING LLC

2000 SCHOOL RD
Greenleaf

CustommadeCo.

7261 Commerce Plaza Dr
Neenah

Dave Scheelk Construction

1558 Krause Rd
Sobieski

DirectBuy of Indianapolis

8450 Westfield Blvd

DJ construction

922 hunt Ave
Neenah

Electric City Builders

224 Shady Ridge Ct
Wrightstown

EXTERIOR DESIGNS LLC

1016 Grosse Rd
Little Suamico

Exterior Solutions LLC.

1445 Spence st
Green Bay

Exterior Touch Inc.

12610 Waverly RD.

FloorQuest

62 N Rolling Meadows Dr
Fond Du Lac

G & K Roofing & Remodeling Inc

4663 Baxter Rd
Cottage Grove

GARY J BASTEN CONSTRUCTION CO

209 Cliffview Drive
Green Bay

GE Contracting LLC

520 E 14th Street
Kaukauna

Gerhardt Remus Plastering

3415 N Durkee St
Appleton

Green Bay Area Builders

1172 Ashwaubenon Street
Green Bay

GreenFoot Designs, LLC

2803 S. Packerland Ste.15

H.J. Martin and Son

320 S Military Ave
Green Bay

HANDI-RAMP INC.

510 North AVE

Hands On Enterprises LLC

621 Liberty St
Ripon

HARLAN HOME IMPROVEMENTS

223 GRUENWALD AVE
Neenah

HENKEL'S WOODWORKING

1053 MANITOWOC RD
Menasha

Homes By Patrick,LLC

1511 Maple Hills Dr
Green Bay

JACK SCHINGEN CONSTRUCTION

136 GUINDON BLVD.
Fond Du Lac

Jeff Molitor Construction

906 Bolles St
Eau Claire

Jeff's Water Conditioning Inc

N1918 Municipal Dr
Greenville

JERRYS HOUSEHOLD PLUMBING

1081 ERNST DR
Green Bay

JMW CONSTRUCTION

1224 E. Glendale Ave.
Appleton

Kaminski Design Build

1655 Ninth Street
Green Bay

Kellan Home & Window LLC

18 Wagon Wheel Drive
Appleton

Kelly McCarthy Builders Inc

1175 Southfiled Dr
Menasha

KITCHENS II DESIGN STUDIO

2350 W PERSHING ST
Appleton

Kowalske Roofing

1320 Columbia St
Oshkosh

KS Pool Tech, LLC

7504 Lower Rd
Sobieski

Kwaterski Construction

PO Box 11357
Green Bay

Laura's Designs

405 East Mission Street

LVK Construction, LLC

1425 Cardinal Ln

Mad River Woodworks

P.O.B. 1067, 189 Taylor Way

Mazur Construction

1049 Dousman St.

MI-MAR BUILDERS INC

P O Box 12557
Green Bay

Michael J Till Associates

915 Michigan St
Sturgeon Bay

Mike's Custom Woodshop

3951 Agatha Christie
De Pere

Motto & Sons Construction

5176 Fairview Rd
Larsen

Mr. Bid

2878 orchard lake road

Mr. Handyman of the Fox Cities

3962 N. Richmond Street
Appleton

NEW COVENANT CONTRACTING

396 Riverdale Dr
Oneida

Newcastle Construction

1785 Grant St, #12

Overhead Solutions Inc

5472 Brown Rd
Little Suamico

Packerland Glass Products

2042 Holmgren Way
Green Bay

Paragon Builders, LLC

403 Brent street
Hatley

Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling

1320 Gillingham Rd
Neenah

PEKARSKE HOME BUILDERS INC

10890 CEDAR VALLEY LN
Reedsville

Pennington' s Services

410 First St.
Neenah

Pete & Sons Construction Services

1915 Pink Dogwood Way
Green Bay

PORTSIDE BUILDERS

980 AMERICAN DR
Neenah

Pro Carpenter Services, LLC

1635 N. Nicholas St.
Appleton

Property Restoration Services LLC

411 E Crossing Meadows Ln
Appleton

Quarrystone Solid Surface

4750 County Rd A
Oshkosh

Re-Bath of Central Wisconsin

230 N Koeller St.
Oshkosh

Recoveron Restoration Services

2045 Bellevue Street
Green Bay

Reetz Builders LLC

2701 N Oneida St
Appleton

Remodeling Second Opinion

106 W Sunnybrook Dr

Renewco LLC

1888 Westline Rd
Green Bay

RestorU

1005 W American Dr
Neenah

Rolyn Companies, Inc.

5706 Frederick Ave

Schaefer Builders LLC

957 Elm St
Lomira

Schmitz Construction

4138 County Rd PP
De Pere

Schuh-Less Flooring and Remodeling

110 West Northland Ave
Appleton

Seidl's Services

3775 Humboldt Rd
Green Bay

SERVICE TEAM OF PROFESSIONALS

1280 Washington St
Wrightstown

SERVPRO of East / West Brown County

1425 CORNELL RD
Green Bay

Shefchiks' Energy Services

2785 Manitowoc Road
Green Bay

Smith Construction & Remodeling

2160 Lakeside Pl
Green Bay

Sound Solutions & Video L.L.C.

N582 COUNTY RD W
Fremont

Stendahl Exteriors

2131 West Washington Street
West Bend

Strong Arm Construction

296 Amory St.
Fond Du Lac

Sullivan's Cleaning & Restoration

3065 Commodity Ln
Green Bay

Sun Roofing

4538 N French Rd
Appleton

Superior Exteriors & Interiors LLC

558 Eisenhower Dr
Kimberly

T G's Home Improvements

13668 Velp Ave
Suamico

The Door Doctors, LLC

1229 Stillmeadow Lane
Menasha

The Gardner Co

2691 Hwy V
Sun Prairie

Timbercrest Construction, LLC

1779 Garnet Ct
Menasha

TRADEMARK BUILDERS

2800 Altair St
Green Bay

Treeo's Tree Service

691 S Green Bay Rd
Neenah

TW Carpentry Inc.

220 Moraine Drive
Elkhart Lake

Untouchable Exteriors & Construction LLC

2909 Green Hill Ct Unit J
Oshkosh

Van's Lumber & Custom Builders

7358 State Hwy 42
Egg Harbor

VILLA HOME INTERIORS

1996 COMMERCIAL WAY
Green Bay

Warmzone

12637 S 265 W Suite 100

WDB Building LLC

902 W N Water St
New London

Wilco Cabinet Makers

1844 Sal St
Green Bay

Xact Restoration & Remodeling

2909 Green Hill Court
Oshkosh

YOURR ELECTRIC

N928 CTY TK T
Dale

Zrinsky Construction

N6649 Brandon Rd
Ripon

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