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Local Articles in Chicago

home remodel in process with drywall, studs and wiring exposed
Remodeling - Basements, Remodeling - General, Remodeling - Modular & Mobile Home

Don't sign a remodeling contract until you and the home improvement contractor agree on every term.

kids playing and mother doing laundry in remodeled basement
Remodeling - Basements, Remodeling - General, Remodeling - Modular & Mobile Home

Need more space? Basement remodeling is a cost-effective alternative to building an addition.

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

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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 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". 

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.

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.


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.
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!

Modular And Mobile Home Remodelers in Chicago

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

A&J handyman services

2032 s ingleside


9112 Basswood Dr
Tinley Park

A.R. Construction

1802 N. Karlov

AB Builders Services Inc

509 bristol ln

Absolute Renovation Incorporated

6901 Olyimpic Dr.

ABY Construction

1N250 Bloomingdale Rd
Carol Stream

ACA Roofing & Construction Inc

3433 N Pontiac Ave

Accurate Painting & Remodeling

PO Box 410271

Alliance Builder Services

5854 Rust New Port

AllPro Construction & Roofing

9950 Lawrence Ave
Schiller Park

Alpha 1 Pro

559 N. Marion St Ste. 138
Oak Park

AMD Remodeling And Painting

1924 73 Road Court
Elmwood Park

American Home Improvers, Inc.

10 East Main St
East Dundee


24643 john adams dr.

Amulet Construction Co.

P.O. Box 1635

Ancient Construction

10415 Penny Ct S

Apex Construction Company, Inc.

29w165 Bolles Ave
West Chicago

Aq construction inc

16853 W 143rd St

Arete Renovators Inc

4550 N Malden St Apt 1W

ARI General Contractors

131 Normandy Dr.

Artisons Painting and Remodeling

4143 Eberly Avenue

AS Painting and Decorating

1921 W Lake St

BA Services

Evergreen Park

Bayer Builders

4356 Prescott Avenue

Bella Construction & Remodeling LLC

332 S Michigan Ave

Best carpentry Hardwood Floor

3121 N 77th Ave
Elmwood Park

Big City Construction

1925 W. Hubbard St.

Bladel and Sons Home Maintenance

P.O. Box 5210
Glendale Heights

Blue Print Construction

5471 S. Park Blvd

Borter Z, Inc

9950 Lawrence Ave Ste 204
Schiller Park

Bridgeview Construction

7146 thomas ave

Brighterside Contracting Group Inc

101 David Dr

Bryan's Drywall

141 W Porter Ave

Bts Construction INC

535 w 37th st

Built 2 Perfection

726 Graham Rd
North Aurora

BV Handyman Services

271 Oakwood Drive
Wood Dale

C&S Painting & Remodeling

1950 N. 19 Ave.
Melrose Park

Chicago Dortmund Construction

2325 n niva
Elmwood Park

Chicago Marble Granite

1419 W. Bray Ct
Arlington Heights


PO Box 1637


450 Sheridan Rd

Clyde's Home Improvements Inc

16142 Pamela Ct
Oak Forest

Cobblestone Properties, Inc.

PO Box 373

Cobra Complete Construction Corp.

8305 s 78th ave
Oak Lawn



Contreras Contractors

Melrose Park, Illinois 60160
Melrose Park


Highland Park

CSW Designs

425 Highland Rd

Cunningham Builders

869 Magnolia Cir

Custom Sprayz


D G R Construction, INC

Country Club Hills

Dave's Construction & Concrete

9501 Sumac Rd
Des Plaines

Dave's Contracting & Cleaning Inc

All over Illinios

DC Electric

23520 82nd Pl

Decks Plus

6015 s merrimac

Dell Design & Construction

15756 W. Woodbine Cir
Vernon Hills

Derkson Home Remodeling

1390 Mulberry Lane
Crystal Lake

Des Plains Construction

9461 bay colony dr
Des Plaines

Design A Deck Inc

254 Ian Ave
New Lenox

Design Studio K & B

8224 Central Ave
Morton Grove

Diemy Construction

2238 W Cermak Rd


9509 Gulfstream Rd

DMD Restoration & Remodeling

828 Davis St


P.O. Box 39
Oak Forest

Doudys Co LLC

PO Box 338
Prospect Heights

Dupage Contractors

5 S 765 Timberlane Dr


West Chicago

EA Precision Builders Inc

423 Wimbleton Trail

EDO, Inc.

1504 S Prospect Ave
Park Ridge



Executive Construction and Remodeling

100 Forest Pl Unit P 34

Fast Interiors

N0.2,S.V.Koil Street, Sekar Nagar, Ashok Nagar

Final Cut Painting and Construction

2407 Essington Rd

First Professional Construction

975 E. Red Oak St.

Flood Specialists, Inc.

471 N 3rd Ave
Des Plaines

Flynns Contracting LLC

6315 N Neenah Ave

FOC Construction

McVicker Ave
Morton Grove

Fraczek Renovations

1002 west Colfax St.

Fricano Construction Company

10364 Front Ave
Franklin Park


1132 ROSE RD
Lake Zurich

Georgia & Company Construction Inc

875 N Michigan Ave

Green House Effect LLC

1660 Lake Eleanor Dr




Glen Ellyn

Handy Jack Solutions

1463 Linden Road

Handyman Plus Construction

4424 Wilson Ave
Downers Grove

Hearth Ltd

7760 W Devon Ave

Hickory Hills Construction

8820 s 79th st
Hickory Hills

Home Dimensions

4450 Kirchoff Rd
Rolling Meadows


308 E South St

Huss Construction Inc.

8139 Ogden Ave #6

Hyde Park Interiors

5730 S. Blackstone Ave


2940 W Lake St

Inter Home Remodeling

6555 W Roscoe St

J H Contracting

Forest Park

JC Builders Inc.

7408 Strong st.

Jeck's Remodeling Experts

8150 N Clifton Ave

JN Remodeling and Painting Service Inc.

111 Kensington Dr.

Johannes Builders

106 Calendar Street
La Grange

Johnco Builders Inc

5302 Hayes Rd

Johns Electric Troubleshooting

5643 N. St. Louis Ave.

K&E Handy Worx


K&P Snowplowing and Construction Inc

8725 w 96 th st
Palos Hills


2632 W Superior St

Kobez Co.

1813 Vivian Way Ct.

Konrad Custom Homes INC

2400 West Johnsburg Road

KRA Carpentry & Construction, Inc.

405 N Lincoln St

L B Construction

8833 La Crosse Ave

L&S maintenance

12149s eggelston

Landmark Renovations

1234 Center St
Downers Grove

LAW Ventures Ltd

1759 W 18th St

Leahy Construction

618 Hannah Ave.
Forest Park

Lelyn Services

PO Box 166

Lincolnshire Construction

22 lancaster ln

M.F. Services

5513 N. Octavia

m2 Creative Management Solutions

333 W Hubbard ST

Master Works Construction LLC

1405 Ashley Road
Hoffman Estates Il

Mazzei Homes & Renovations, Inc.

5351 N. Pittsburgh Ave.

MC Associates & Developments

2621 W. Greenwood Avenue

MCA Construction

10517 Windsor Dr

Mike Schaap Builders

12969 Greenly St

mns illinois homes


Modena General Contractors

6767 N Milwaukee Ave

Mordini General Contracting

571 Hunter Ln
Lake Forest

Mr & G Construction & Remodeling

8119 W Charmaine Rd
Harwood Heights

Nationwide Electrical Const & Maint

10842 S Michigan Ave

Neal Construction

2417 W Cortland st

Netos Drywall

1315 Ironwood Ct

New City Remodeling

4848 N Sheridan Rd

New Floor Coverings Inc.

639 South LaGrange Road, Suite 214

New Homes Inc.

27 Essex Lane

North Brook Construction

322 chipilii dr




1433 W. Leyland Ave

Orren Pickell Building Group

550 Frontage Rd

Pinnacle Property Maintenance

939 W. North Av

Plaza Construction

15524 S lorel ave
Oak Forest

PLS Remodeling

5623 Tennessee
Clarendon Hills

Power Works

3538 w ainslie st

Pro Construction Solution Inc

4157 N Pittsburgh Ave

Property Symphony, LLC

10348 S Artesian Ave

Pyramid Construction

15026 Myrtle Ave

Quality Work Propery Management

608 Hickok
University Park

R.A. James Construction Inc

6735 W Stanley Ave



Rainbow International Restoration

7848 Keeler Ave.

Ramos Handyman Services

2537 N. Luna Ave.

Ray's Construction Co.

7921 S Dobson


22234 Harper Ave
Chicago Heights

Real Construction

PO Box 74720

Red Head Rehabs

12004 Hatteras St

Remi Painters, Inc.

1088 Gold Finch Lane

Richards Fisher Inc

153 N Cuyler Ave
Oak Park

RK Renovation

5901 W Addison St

RKZ Construction

1890 Clairmont Rd.
Hoffman Estates


1954 First St.
Highland Park

Rowe Renovations

4719 N. Lawndale Ave. 2S

RR&C Services Inc

312 N Prairie Ln
Lake Zurich

Schiller Contracting, Inc.

7514 W Diversey Ave
Elmwood Park

ServiceMaster DSI - Chicago

4714 W Walton St

ServiceMaster DSI – Alsip

5130 125th Pl

ServiceMaster DSI – Downers Grove

2400 Wisconsin Ave
Downers Grove

Singh builders

28w425 kenwood ave
West Chicago

Skik Enterprises, Inc

14509 S. Hill Crest Rd
Homer Glen

Spannan Home Improvements Inc

39220 N. Cedar Crest Dr.
Lake Villa

Speedpro Imaging of Chicago

2130 W. Fulton St.

SRT Management Inc

PO Box 160

Starke Industry

3598 Stoutsburg Road

Stash Construction


T. J. Concrete

138 S. Wilmett

taty construction

1000 N Milwaukee Ave Ste 303

TDK Remodeling and Home Services

21 W 151 Coronet Rd

Tier 1 Inc

10948 S Moody Ave
Chicago Ridge

Tinley Park Construction

17268 S 71 st ct
Tinley Park

Tm Image Construction Inc

7321 Summit Rd

Top Drawer Carpentry LLC

300 Willow St

Top Electric

4545 oakly

Top Quality Woodworking and Rehab

1934 North Kimball

Toro Builders Corp.

5412 W. Roosevelt

Troy Construction

5936 N. Caldwell Ave.

True Customs Inc

31w495 Spaulding Rd

True Remodeling Inc.

9753 Southwest Highway
Oak Lawn

TV Stone Corp

1928 Indianapolis Blvd

U.S.Enterprises, Inc.

6252 S. Knox Avenue


P.O. Box 390793

United Remodeling Corp

3516 N. Narragansett Ave.

UpKeepers Inc

219 55th St
Clarendon Hills

Upraisin Inc

2417 w. Warren Blvd

WNUK Construction

1617 W roosevelt Rd

Your Chicagoland Remodeling

12822 Carriage Ln


6850 W. Montrose Ave.
Harwood Heights

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