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Local Articles in Raleigh

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". 

?

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.
?
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 Raleigh

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

1-linaresrenovation

638 Maple Ave
Cary

2-brother renovation

220 dogwood st
Cary

3G construction

Burlington

7 Star General Contracting LLC

4805 Christian Chapel Church Rd
New Hill

AAA HOME REPAIR INC

1122 MOORES POND RD
Youngsville

Aabsolute Construction LLC

1942 Sterling Hill Dr.
Fuquay Varina

Abels Painting

13 kelly pine ct

Abode Interiors Inc

1415 Infinity Ln
Raleigh

Acts Construction Inc.

P.O. Box 942
Holly Springs

Better Home Remodelers, LLC

609 Chapwith Rd.
Garner

Bill's Handyman Service

41 Christys Way
Roxboro

Branley Electrical Service Inc

1824 Chandler St
Elon

Brant Custom Homes

4645 E 900 S

Bryton Homes LLC

248 magnolia drive

BUILTRIGHT SERVICES

10 Wellington Court
Franklinton

Capital City Restoration

Po box 238
Rolesville

Capricorn Construction 1

1525 Chesterfield Lake Road
Angier

Caton Construction

6004 Hope Lane
Fuquay Varina

CB Pugh Enterprises

814 Postell St
Raleigh

Ceramic Solutions

7321 Trevorwood Drive
Willow Spring

Charles Smith Construction

PO Box 19702
Raleigh

Cole Restoration Services

81 River Forest Drive
Pittsboro

Compendium Contracting LLC

246 Charles Riddle Rd.
Sanford

conners construction

1028 Wintu Ct
Raleigh

Coopers Home Renovations and Repair

4405 Laurel Hills Rd
Raleigh

Corners Cleaning Solutions

Post Office Box 9536
Fayetteville

Country Boy Builder

3100 Edgetone Dr
Raleigh

Country Boy Builders

3100 Edgetone Dr
Raleigh

Creed & Sons Construction

420 Shaver Ln
Jackson Springs

Custom Rock Designs

612 Proctor St
Zebulon

David Price Construction, LLC

2701 Ashland St
Raleigh

David's Construction

4916 Coral Ridge Court
Raleigh

DD Painting Home Renovation

3021 Holston ln
Raleigh

ddwade, inc.

6040 A Six Forks Rd.
Raleigh

Distinguished Renovations LLC

122 Windward Ct
Cary

Divine Designs, Inc.

Snow Crest trl
Chapel Hill

DOUGLAS CONTRACTING

2405 Andor Pl
Raleigh

Drurys Hobbies and Construction

13002 Eagle Ridge Drive
Zebulon

DU-WELL CONSTRUCTION

6209 CASTLEBROOK DR
Raleigh

Dunrite Home Maintenance

3674 Manns Chapel Rd
Chapel Hill

Earl On Call A Handy Man Company

556 Brintle Rd
Reidsville

EAS Professional Painting

5213-107 Wynslow Park Drive
Raleigh

Ed Donahue Builders LLC

200 Watkins Farm Rd
Rolesville

Electric Expression

5209 saddle ct
Raleigh

Elegant Remodeling

2419 ATLANTIC AVE
Raleigh

Elite Construction

Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill

Exceptional Living Solutions LLC

1125 Corporation Parkway
Raleigh

F. A. Ray

PO Box 3761
Cary

F.J. DaSalle Associates

419 North Herritage
Kinston

Faison Plumbing Plus

2555 Capital Dr
Creedmoor

First Choice Home Service

5448 Apex Peakway #211
Apex

Fix-R-Uppers

8721 Mansfield Dr
Raleigh

Four of a kind Home Improvment

1613 Cool Springs Rd
Sanford

Full House Home Improvements

30 Cole circle
Franklinton

Glasgow Ventures, LLC

5118 Kemmont Rd
Durham

GOG UNLIMITED,LLC

PO BOX 11164
Durham

Grade-A-Structures

5808 old nc 10
Durham

H.R.S

P.O Box 1203
Durham

HAMMERLINKS INTERNATIONAL LLC

PO BOX 373
Morrisville

Home Improvement

BOX 30211
Raleigh

Home Maintenance & Repair

200 Sunray Dr
Clayton

Home Renovations

6229 Turnipseed Rd
Wendell

HomePro Builders Inc

7300 Deertrack Dr
Raleigh

Iotta Services

671 Old Johnson Road
Wendell

Jack of All Trades By George

3301 Jones Sasuage Rd.
Garner

JACS NC, LLC.

4724 Hargrove Road
Raleigh

JLM Handyman Services

PO Box 671
Cary

JP Custom Carpentry LLC.

3103 Eton Rd
Raleigh

Just Josh Odd Jobs and Designs

7509 Idolbrook Ln
Raleigh

Kearney's Construction

10 Vamoco Drive
Franklinton

Keltic Pride Services

5001 Lynn Gar
Raleigh

Knightdale Plumbing

7701 Knightdale Blvd
Knightdale

L. D. Branch Electric

216 Canton Dr
Durham

last call home improvements

269 Pothole Ln.
Sanford

log homes and more

2853 greenbrook dr
Wendell

LW Parrish Mobile Home Contractors

3909 Kildaire Farm Rd
Apex

M & M PAINTING AND REMODELING CONT

1124 CREEK DR
Williamston

Marmac Construction Inc.

1201 Miracle Drive,
Wake Forest

Mastercraft Construction & Realty, Inc.

817 New Bern Ave Ste 1
Raleigh

Matt Baldwin Homes

693 Hawthorne Pl.
Creedmoor

Mike Fusco Builder

1201 S. Crescent Drive
Smithfield

Mike McCann Construction

120 Country Estates MHP
Apex

NC CLEAN LLC

1408 Gavin st
Raleigh

Norwood Electric

PO Box 1222
Henderson

Olmstead Homesteads, Inc.

2205 Dungiven Ct
Garner

PAHL'S CONSTRUCTION

WAKE COUNTY
Raleigh

Phil's home services

3311 Coachmans Way
Durham

Pinter Construction & Development

11709 Appaloosa Run E
Raleigh

Planet K Construction, LLC

2809 NC Hwy 55
Durham

Plastx USA

21 Dixon Avenue

Precision Builders

342 Tirzah Dr.
Lillington

Professional Renovation Services

1124 Sandel Lane
Raleigh

PULLEN CONSTRUCTION COMPANY

910 Williams Rd.
Raleigh

Quality Renovations

9817 Burnette Pl
Raleigh

Raleigh Odd Jobs Inc.

1103 Heritage Manor Dr
Raleigh

Red Head Rehabs

12004 Hatteras St

Renovatia

1125 Corporation Pkwy
Raleigh

REPAIR N ALL HOME SERVICES

2010 Evans Rd
Franklinton

Restoration Now of North Carolina, Inc.

2113 Sandy Plains Road
Wake Forest

Richardson Contracting

968 N First St
Mebane

Riddle Residential Construction

246 Charles Riddle Rd.
Sanford

Romero Construction INC

910 E. Ellerbee st.
Durham

Rosa's Painting

501 CRESTVIEW DR
Durham

RTP Electrical Services LLC

2402 Reichard Street
Durham

Sullivan Builder

Fuquay Varina

Sullivan Builder

Fuquay Varina

Superior Home Repairs

7113 Cedric Dr
Raleigh

Superior Home Repairs

7113 Cedric Dr
Raleigh

SYNERGY BUILDING CO

PO Box 68
Chapel Hill

TARHEEL RESTORATION INC

3417 Pea Ridge Rd.
New Hill

Thayer Custom Homes & Remodeling

5125 Waterchase Ct
Raleigh

The Surrell Group: LLC

3222 Ode Turner Rd
Hillsborough

Tieman Contracting

119 Willowcroft Ct
Garner

Tirpack & Associates, Inc.

3115 Hope Valley Rd
Durham

Triangle Construction, LLC.

PO Box 238
Holly Springs

triangle restoration

9302 ten ten road
Raleigh

Trigleth Plumbing Co

295 Hidden Bay Dr
Swansboro

Two Blessed Construction Co.

59 Danna St
Angier

Uzzell Masonry Stone Service

PO Box 1314
Wendell

Vuncannon Contracting LLC

477 Avery Spence Rd
Fuquay Varina

Wilson Construction

5535 Pearces Rd
Zebulon

WOOD PEACE CONSTRUCTION

PO BOX 415
Butner

Woody's Renovations and Maintenance Inc.

136 White Oak Dr
Youngsville

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