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"The overall experience working with Bill and his crew on this project could not have been better. I will use him in the future for similar projects and would recommend" him to anyone for projects, large and small, as he takes pride in doing things right.

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Contractors say homeowners with this trait are the most satisfied with home improvement projects.

Signing a contract (Photo by Katie Jacewicz)
Remodeling - Basements, Remodeling - General, Remodeling - Modular & Mobile Home

Don't get burned by failing to read the fine print of a home remodeling contract. Check out these things every remodeling contract should contain.

Angie's List
Drywall, Fencing, Fencing & Driveway Gates, Painting - Exterior, Painting - Interior, Plumbing, Remodeling - Basements, Remodeling - General, Remodeling - Kitchen & Bathroom, Remodeling - Modular & Mobile Home, Roofing

Houston roofing complaint | Contractor claims leaks are coming from plumbing, not roof.

Angie's List
Remodeling - Basements, Remodeling - General, Remodeling - Modular & Mobile Home, Roofing
Homeowner claims property manager hired to oversee roofing work, drywall repair and electrical upgrades allowed contractors to do unsatisfactory and incomplete work.

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.
?
The answer depends on your contract.  If you do not have a written contract, you need to begin documenting everything.  Begin by using a calendar and marking the days the contractor started, worked, you had to speak to him/her about the work, etc.

Next photograph the work you feel is sub-par.  If work has been corrected, photograph it now to have a record of its condition.  If you have any "original" or "before work began" pictures get those together, too.

If you do have written contract, see what it says about warranties, complaints, failure to finish / comply, etc.  Holding the money may end up with the contractor taking YOU to court for the funds - you cannot just hold the money.  You need to document in writing what is wrong, what you expect to happen (be specific) and when it should happen by.  A good contract will explain if and how money can be held, how the arbitration or complaint is filed, etc.

You should also invite another contractor to come in and bid the work to finish the job.  They can confirm the quality of the work and give you a price to fix / finish the job.  This gives you justification for holding the funds and an option to finish the job.

If the contractor is not willing to fix the work or listen to direction, do not allow them back in the house.  A judge will ask you why you let them continue to do work if you found it unacceptable.  Take back the key or access to the building - you can also attempt holding any materials or tools as collateral if the cost of repair is higher than the amount owed.  Again, document what you are holding, its estimated value (google or ebay search), etc.

Finally, in writing you should fire the contractor and state the exact reason(s).  Document everything; if it is done in person after they leave make notes of what was said, agreed upon and disputed.  If you are satisfied that what you have paid is fair compensation for the work done, make sure this is noted in the letter firing the contractor.  If you feel money is owed, you will need to file a small claim in your local court.  Include the documentation you made, notes, letters, etc. when you file your claim so the judge will have a copy of everything.  Don't forget to contact the BBB.

Do not wait for the court date; go ahead and hire the other contractor and have the work completed.  Bring this invoice to court with you (file it before the court date if you can).  Bring photos of the finished work (again, file it with the court before the date if possible).  You must show what good quality work looks like vs the poor quality work.

Otherwise it will be a your word against the contractor and you will most likely lose, (the contract is a promise to pay for work) or even if you "win" you will most likely split the difference between the argued amount of money.  Also be prepared for the contractor to file a small court claim against you.  Same process as above, except now you will respond to the summons with a copy of your stuff to defend your reason for holding funds instead of asking for money back.

Good luck!
?
You should always get a set of print and pull a permit when remodeling you home. It is a good thing that you want to be involved in your project. I do have some reservation about the electrical work. There is a lot at risk with doing the work yourself. If the house burns down you will never get the insurance money, unless your a certified electrician. Now of days 90% of home fires are blamed on electrical problems because the insurance company is to lazy and cheap to investigate the true problem. Also find out if the city you live in will allow you to perform the work. Make sure you coordinate your subs to have the proper time and space to perform their job. You don't want people working on top of each other. If you order all you materials make sure everything is there before you start your project. Have your subs check for proper and full items to be installed. Make sure every sub has a working set of prints. Make sure you have all the demo done before your subs show up to work. Schedule your plumber first, do any final framing or electrical work while you wait for inspection. Electrical inspection next followed by framing, insulation, and wallboard. All subs must get a final inspection on the job before you (the GC) can call in your final inspection.

Modular And Mobile Home Remodelers in Austin

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

3W Construction & Remodeling

PO Box 1558
Bastrop

A PLUS MOBILE HOME SALES

4855 S Interstate 35
Georgetown

A-Z Remodel

5707 Breezewood Dr
Austin

Aardvark Home & Yard

4301 W Wm Cannon Dr Ste B150297
Austin

ABSOLUTE SERVICE

PO BOX 140493
Austin

AC Cornerstone Bld LLC

150 Arabian Ave N
Liberty Hill

Affordable Construction

13308 Ring Dr.
Manor

Air Pro, Inc

PO BOX 17576
Austin

Alcantara Service

17646 Loch Linnhe Loop
Pflugerville

All About Design, Inc.

8600 Hwy 71 W.
Austin

All Home Construction

16713 Rocky Ridge Rd
Austin

All Pro Improvement & Services

18509 Blue Pond Dr
Pflugerville

Alsop Plumbing Inc

4105 E Stan Schlueter Loop
Killeen

Ambrose Construction

13355 N Hwy 183
Austin

Americas 1st Choice

1851 County Road 137
Hutto

ATX Dream Team, LLC

1502 W 5th
Austin

ATX Handyman

744 West William Cannon Dr
Austin

ATX Plumbing Company

9730 Anderson Village Drive
Austin

ATX Remodeling Pros

11411 Research Blvd
Austin

Austin Handy Men

16501 Pearce

Austin Homes by Jones

5616 Toscana Ave
Austin

Austin's Home Renovation

14512 menifee st
Austin

Austins Best G C

Austin Tx
Austin

Blue Ridge Construction

12907 Lamplight Village Ave
Austin

Bradford Green Construction

10001 S. 1st
Austin

C&J Home Improvements

P.O. Box 1841
Buda

C&K Roofing

11521 Silmarillion Tr.
Austin

Cain Construction & Carpentry

15019 Big Falls Dr
Leander

Caldwell County Construction

802 S Church St
Lockhart

Capital City Maintenance & Waterproofing

401 East Applegate Dr
Austin

Capitol Renovations

4500 Williams Dr
Georgetown

Cedar Park Handyman

1525 Cypress Creek Rd
Cedar Park

Cotham Construction Services & Roofing

201 S Lakeline Blvd
Cedar Park

Cougar Construction LLC.

3049 FM 1185
Lockhart

CR 7 Flooring

7720 Arbor Ridge Ct
Austin

Cummings Construction

106 Avalanche Avenue
Georgetown

Cummings Construction

2624 Butterfly Dr.
Temple

Daddy's Home Fixin'

Homewood Cir.
Round Rock

Darrell McGuire Remodeling

1306 Greenlawn Blvd
Round Rock

Discerning Carpentry

3111 Parker Lane
Austin

Double T Construction, Inc.

3728 Pointer St.
Belton

DPR Services

200 Alyson Lane
Hutto

DreamScape Design

8760-A Research Blvd
Austin

DYKES CONSTRUCTION

P.O. Box 639
Marble Falls

Erickson Homes & Additions

9901 Brodie Ln ste 160 PMB 225
Austin

Falkin Services Unlimited

2727 Lyons Rd.
Austin

First Choice Framing

705 Garden Path
Round Rock

Full Circle Remodeling

7312 E. Ben White #12
Austin

GB Construction

204 Apache Pass
Hutto

GUTHRIE ROOFING

2705 VALLARTA LN
Austin

Hammer'n Handyman

Dripping Springs

Handyman Dan

1005 Hyde Park Dr
Round Rock

Haskell Concrete, LLC

125 E. Cottonwood Dr.
Marble Falls

HH Construction

PO BOX 752
Manchaca

Hill's Services Company

3305 Reta Cove
Round Rock

HIRE PROS

3913 Todd Ln
Austin

Historic Builders

PO Box 2236
Fredericksburg

Home Improvement and Repair

PO Box 17301
Austin

House of Floors

307 FM 1209
Bastrop

Hunter Services

1313 Mockingbird
Leander

Infinite Exteriors Construction Company LLC

7301 RR 620 North Suite 155-162
Austin

Interior Results

PO Box 1565
San Marcos

J.A. Zamora Construction

3301 Winding Shore Lane
Pflugerville

James Thornell and associates

3419 Westminster Ave.
Dallas

JBK Electric, LLC.

5847 Fergus
Kyle

Jesse's Home Improvement

1254 Austin Hwy
San Antonio

JHIRE CONSTRUCTION

900 Broken Feather Trail
Pflugerville

Jose Handyman Services

7722 Ashmole Lane
Houston

Jose Vergara Construction

6205 Turtle Dove Dr
Austin

JP Kessie

1040 W Nelson Ave
Aransas Pass

Jr's Construction Company

2319 Greenfield Pkwy
Austin

jw construction

10052 janet loop

KDL Construction

1205 Challenger
Austin

Ken's Handyman Service

212 Hwy 21 E
Bastrop

KENV, Inc. Ken Vaughn, General Contractor

10912 Preston Trails Dr
Austin

Kraft Werks

109 Highland Horizon
Austin

L&S Remodel

136 Howard Ln.
Bastrop

LA Handyman Services

3393 Lauren dr
Belton

Lake Travis Repair

20919 Mockingbird Ln.
Spicewood

LDR Home Improvers

360 Whispering Hollow Drive
Kyle

Leander Construction

25602 Fireplace Ct
Leander

LESSMANN'S HOME SERVICE

1805 CITATION DR
Del Valle

Leyva's Construction

640 Birmendorf Dr.
San Marcos

Lively Creations

240 Pine Valley Dr
Paige

Loviolette Enterprises

120 Faldyn St
Bastrop

M2 Renovation

4303 S. First st.
Austin

Marsdel Remodeling

3907 Aero Drive
Georgetown

Masonry Plus LLC

702 Packsaddle Pass
Kyle

Matt's Remodeling

2637 Alcott Ln
Austin

McAdoo & Sons

21509 Cheery Hollow Dr
Leander

Mel.Bri L.L.C.

9305 Granada Hills Dr.
Austin

More Than A Carpenter

1313 Crete Ln.
Pflugerville

Mosley Design Build

2911 E 16th St
Austin

Newcom Contracting

1700 Harmon Hills
Dripping Springs

Off Duty Firefighters Home and Haul

321 Cliffwood
Georgetown

Ortiz Handyman Services

2313 Rockridge Dr.
Austin

Outer Spaces Design & Build

19134 Boca Del Mar
San Antonio

Paris Remodeling

3000 N Lakeline blvd
Leander

Pegasus General Contractors, Inc.

Post Office Box 29042
Austin

Perfection Everytime Paint Company

PO BOX 131
Liberty Hill

Perilous Times Restoration

11495 Toepperwein Rd
Live Oak

Persona Construction

145 San Jacinto
Bastrop

Phillips Construction LLC

2301 First View
Leander

Plastx USA

21 Dixon Avenue

RANSERVE INC

225 S. Commons Ford Road
Austin

Reclaimed Space

443 S. Bastrop Hwy
Austin

Red Head Rehabs

12004 Hatteras St

Remodel Me

1009 W Slaughter lane
Austin

Remodeling Boutique

3402 Lakeside Dr
Austin

remodeling experts

10707 mcangus rd

Renaissance Contracting, LLC

13492 Research Blvd.
Austin

RENDON PAINTING

3302 S. 5th St.
Austin

Reyes & Son Construction LLC

300 E Garrett Run
Austin

Rincon's Custom Carpentry

7710 Meadowview Dr.
Houston

RKK Services

214 Gainer Dr
Hutto

RLK Contracting

3413 Amalfi Cove
Austin

Rockin' D Services

164 Wood Farm Rd
Huntsville

Smith Painting Inc. & Remodeling

121 N. Winecup Trail
Cedar Park

SpawGlass Contractors

1111 Smith Rd
Austin

Stevco Plastering & Construction

180 Red Robin rd
Red Rock

StoneCoat

4401 westgrove Drive
Addison

Straight Arrow Solutions

830 Ramos St
Austin

Superior Handyman Services

1304 Leander Dr.
Leander

Tex-Built

Po Box 909
Hutto

Texas Discount Siding& Windows

1708 Canterbury St
Austin

Texas Green Builders, Inc.

11300 Mayo St
Austin

Texas Pro Painters and Remodelers

1633 Royal Crest Drive
Austin

The Express Handymen

PO Box 1522
Pflugerville

Timber Construction LLC

191 Cardinal Dr
New Braunfels

Trusted Restore

12407 N MOPAC
Austin

Tyko Inc

10601 Manchaca Rd
Austin

VC BUILDERS LLC

16801 Fagerquist Rd
Del Valle

Walker Construction

12207 Deane Dr
Manchaca

Walker Contracting

200 Hillview Cir.
Dripping Springs

Wild Hare Construction & Remodeling

4705-A Crawford Rd.
Spicewood

Will does it ALL

4508 Elwood rd
Austin

Woodall Design

2618 Glen Field Drive
Cedar Park

Xstream ATX

7703 Brodie Ln
Austin

your construction

2601 s. Pleasant valley rd apt 812

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