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If you’re debating on whether to finish your basement yourself or hire a contractor, read what our experts had to say. Your life could depend on it.

Basement Remodeling

Get use out of every square inch of your house and add value to your home by finishing your basement space. Remodeling your basement can add a family room, in-home theater, kid's play area or a guest suites for the in-laws.

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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.

 

?
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!

Basement Remodeling Contractors in Las Vegas

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

A Grumblenot Solution

404 Longtree Ave

A Handy Matty

721 W Azure Ave North
North Las Vegas

A To Z Improvements Inc

2470 Chandler Ave
Las Vegas

Action Enterprises

5012 Arville street
Las Vegas

Adams & Associates

8328 Harbor Shores Ct
Las Vegas

AGG Enterprise

Las Vegas

All American Repair Services, Inc

5606 S. EASTERN AVE
Las Vegas

Always On Electric LLC

6028 Crystal Cascade St
Las Vegas

Anthony Hylton-Realtor®

121 East Warm Springs
Las Vegas

Balinski Company

10219 Gilespie Street
Las Vegas

Black Development Group Inc.

360 Dawson Jacob
Reno

Blue Tree Enterprises

651 N. Pueblo Blvd
Henderson

Bob's Handyman

3900 El Cedral Ave.
Las Vegas

BPS - General Contractor

7560 Rancho Destino Road
Las Vegas

C A Builders

P. O. Box 27056
Las Vegas

Cavcrow Construction

6219 Black Mane Way
North Las Vegas

Clark County Builders LLC

59 Toggle St
Henderson

Clark County Handyman

631 N. Stephanie Street
Henderson

Coastal International Inc.

5475 Wynn Rd Ste 400
Las Vegas

CONSTRUCTION BY MIRAGE

1964 SYCAMORE TRL
Las Vegas

Creative Interior Solutions - Henderson

2530 Saint Rose Pkwy
Henderson

Cyber Bridge Marine, Inc.

209 S. Stephanie St
Henderson

CyBr Construction, Inc

4350 S. Arville St., Ste 38
Las Vegas

Cynthia's

Las Vegas

Day and Night Handyman

6128 Maverick Street
Las Vegas

Designing JOI, LLC

1930 Village Center Cir #3-225
Las Vegas

DREW Carpentry and Construction

7150 schuster st
Las Vegas

EAGLE INNOVATORS LLC

6149 S. Rainbow
Las Vegas

Energypros.com

5275 S. Arville St.
Las Vegas

EQUITY Builders

4608 Heidi Circle
Las Vegas

F & F Enterprises

35 Zircon Circle

FNS Electric LLC

5032 N Valadez St
Las Vegas

Focus Construction LLC

2680 Chandler Ave Ste 2
Las Vegas

Fosters Buildingllc@hotmail.com

1253 Corista Dr
Henderson

Freddie Ramon

1025 S. 1st Street #170
Las Vegas

get it done handyman

3637 Australian Cloud Dr
Las Vegas

Grant Design Group

8022 S Rainbow Blvd
Las Vegas

GreenTree Construction Inc

54-40 Little Neck Pkwy

HACIENDA BUILDERS INC

685 Fogg St
Las Vegas

Handyman Connection

115 Maple St
Henderson

Handyman Housecalls

5310 Portavilla Court
Las Vegas

Haner Construction

5201 Patricia Avenue
Las Vegas

Iceman Electric, LLC.

5859 Aimless St.
Henderson

integrity Maintenance

3566 south Pecos road

john the carpenter

6337 pageant street
North Las Vegas

Krahenbuhl Collins

3808 Octagon
N Las Vegas

L'ARISTOCRATE RESIDENTIAL CONCIERGE

668 OAKMONT AVE
Las Vegas

Las Vegas Handyman LLC

10713 Noble Mesa Ave
Las Vegas

Level Line Builders

PO Box 90411
Henderson

Luxe Industries

2370 Corporate Circle
Henderson

LV Plumbing Inc

500 N Rainbow Blvd
Las Vegas

Master Set

831 Manse Rd
Pahrump

MERLIN CONTRACTING & DEVELOPING

6408 ARVILLE ST
Las Vegas

Mirage Building Maintenance & Flood Restoration

1964 Sycamore Trl Ste 4
Las Vegas

Modern Elements Development, LLC

5419 Rottweiler Ct
Las Vegas

Mold Eliminators

1964 SycamoreTr
Las Vegas

MRC Builders

4544 W Russell Rd Ste A
Las Vegas

Paisano Contracting

1600 Calebs Path Extension

Plastx USA

21 Dixon Avenue

Pownco Construction

5000 El Parque Ave.
Las Vegas

Primaris Construction

3315 E Russell Rd
Las Vegas

Pure Construction Inc.

8342 Sunset Horizon St
Las Vegas

R&R Home Improvement

10483 Beckaville
Las Vegas

Red Head Rehabs

12004 Hatteras St

Reliabuilt Construction Co.

5840 West Craig Road
Las Vegas

Remodeling Contractor Las Vegas

3960 Howard Hughes Parkway
Las Vegas

S & O Electric

720 Horse Stable Ave
North Las Vegas

Southwestern Custom Construction

1210 Wigwam Parkway
Henderson

Suburban Design & Const. Group LLC

3777 Silbert Lane
Las Vegas

SUNDANCE ENTERPRISES

8760 SCHUSTER ST
Las Vegas

Terra Vision Construction LLC

PO Box 750425
Las Vegas

Thor Mechanical

10412 Coyote Cub Ave.
Las Vegas

Tiburon Construction

7854 West Sahara Ave. #100
Las Vegas

Top Knotch Property Sevices

8301 W. Charleston blvd. #2025

Traveling Massage Therapist

Autumn Fire Ct
Las Vegas

Two And A Half Handymen

2204 Isabelle Ave
Las Vegas

Unicon

1421 East Sunset Rd
Las Vegas

Ward Construction Group

3651 Lindell Road
Las Vegas

Warmzone

12637 S 265 W Suite 100

Whitebear Home Repair

3657 E Colton Ave
Las Vegas

Y-Not Fix-it & Sons LLC

609 Fifth Street
Boulder City

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