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Local Articles in Modesto

Sunrooms and patios

Porches and sunrooms can add space and character to any home. From helping to create a unique look to the many benefits that they offer to the homeowner, these structures have the ability to add visual appeal and extra living space to any home when properly constructed.

covered deck
Decks & Porches, Remodeling - Sunrooms & Patio Enclosures

Trying to decide between a patio or deck? Here's what you need to know.

beautiful kitchen remodel wood floor
Remodeling - General, Remodeling - Kitchen & Bathroom, Remodeling - Basements, Remodeling - Sunrooms & Patio Enclosures

Dear Angie: We’re planning a remodeling project. What paperwork, such as proof of insurance or certifications, should I request? – Brent M., Chicago Heights, Illinois

Angie's List
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Contractors say homeowners with this trait are the most satisfied with home improvement projects.

Service providers say it’s important to clarify who the decision-makers are early in the process. (Photo by Brandon Smith)
Remodeling - General, Remodeling - Kitchen & Bathroom, Remodeling - Sunrooms & Patio Enclosures, Windows

Angie's List members say some companies decline their business when they learn only one spouse will be present for an estimate. Is it sexism or practicality?

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!

Patio And Sunroom Builders in Modesto

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

100 PERCENT CONCRETE inc.

149 Darcy Pkwy
Lathrop

3Day Remodel

1169 S Main, Unit #253
Manteca

A+ Home Improvement Inc.

840 Latimer Ave
Modesto

AARON RICHARDSON CONSTRUCTION

3701 coye oak dr.
Modesto

Abba Builders & Construction

517 Stein Way
Waterford

Arnold's Kitchen and Baths

779 Orkney Ave
Santa Clara

AW Construction

3525 E. Forest Lake Rd
Acampo

Be As You Are Handyman Service

2057 Palladin St
Ceres

BEL CONSTRUCTION

3917 Chatsworth Cir
Stockton

Bier Construction

18824 Sugar Pine Dr.
Twain Harte

BLGC INC

3932 Mesrob Ct

BOB LEONARD & ASSOC

1325 EL PINAL DR
Stockton

Build 2 Fit

1133 Woodland Dr.
Turlock

C&J Marvin Enterprise

495 S. Goldenstate
Turlock

Cal Comfort Insulating Windows Inc

1050 Kansas Ave
Modesto

CNR Construction Co

4669 Winding River Cir
Stockton

D-Best Tile

784 Elm Ave
Gustine

Daniel Snedegar Handyman Unlimited

4637 E Service-Road
Ceres

DELTA BAY CONSTRUCTION & ROOFING INC.

9155 Connie Avenue
Stockton

Don Eddings Enterprises

3149 Bramham Ct
Modesto

Donald Mount Construction

PO Box 4279
Manteca

DOROTHY'S TILE & STONE

925 CARVER RD
Modesto

ETK construction

1602 Sandalwood Dr.
Modesto

Generation Builders

P.O. Box 23
Riverbank

GOLDRUSH CONSTRUCTION

713 CASTLE ST
Modesto

Gregory Skelton Construction

7328 Oakcreek Dr
Stockton

Handyman Construction

4235 Oak Bay Drive
Salida

Home Repair Tech

824 Twin Oaks Drive
Tracy

home svcs

Fremont

House 2 Home

1542 water st.

Hulls' Millwork Inc

P. O. Box 574
Manteca

J S Construction

P.O. Box
Modesto

Jaureguy's Paint and Decorating

436 E. Main St
Turlock

JEREMY SKELTON CONSTRUCTION

7507 ANDREA AVE
Stockton

JET of Texas

P.O. Box 561329

Jim Crone Construction

3960 Michelle Lynn Ct.
Turlock

jimmy hendricks construction

5425 nanette drive
Modesto

LINGLEY ENTERPRISES

4218 Technology Dr
Modesto

Lingley Enterprises

P.O. Box 430
Modesto

loy construction

p.o. box 693321
Stockton

Magnolia Outdoor Living

3522 Ashford-Dunwoody Rd.

Mariposa HVAC Maintenance

1609 Bryn Mawr Way
Modesto

McCain Construction

P. O. Box 577231
Modesto

MGB Building and Construction

Eisenhower Dr
Riverbank

Monark Construcyion

236 San Juan Dr

Northstar Property Services

1614 Courtyard Drive
Manteca

Patio Designers

545 Jefferson Blvd Ste 17
West Sacramento

Plastx USA

21 Dixon Avenue

Premier Restoration

Po box 579940

Quality Built Pergolas

801 Carpenters Crossing, Suite 8

Quinly Builders Inc

2079 Goldeneye Way
Manteca

RANCO

PO Box 1305
Lathrop

Red Head Rehabs

12004 Hatteras St
Valley Village

RETRACTABLEAWNINGS.COM INC.

16300 NW 48 Avenue

Richard Hicks Construction

PO Box 4984
Modesto

Runyan & Runyan Construction

PO Box 1626
Turlock

SC Construction

1518 9th St
Modesto

Schaefer Construction

8829 Davis Rd Suite 3
Stockton

SPECIALIZED TILE & STONE Co.

p.o. box 579302
Modesto

Stockton Ace Hardware

3201 W Benjamin Holt Dr
Stockton

SUNSATIONAL SUNROOM

1825 MAPLEGROVE LN
Tracy

Sunsational Sunroom

1825 Maplegrove Ln
Tracy

Sunsational Sunroom

1825 Maple Grove Ln
Tracy

Talkradiobuilder

PO Box 493803
Redding

The Floor Stores

548 Bliss Ave
Pittsburg

Titan Fence, Inc.

517 7th Street
Modesto

V-Builders

PO Box 231
Salida

Warmzone

12637 S 265 W Suite 100

WINDOW WORLD

PO Box 41957
Sacramento

WW Construction

3129 Yukon Dr
Modesto

ZACK'S HANDYMAN & CONSTRUCTION

560 Corello St
Turlock

Zenith Construction

30939 Lone Tree Rd
Oakdale

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