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A
"I purchased the gift card via a special link emailed to me by angieslist.com . I used the giftcard several months later on a patio glass table that was on clearance" for about $23 and so with the gift card applied plus taxes my final cost was about $5 cash for a very nice glass patio table. I couldn't beat that. It was almost like getting it for free.

-Lisa M.

A
"I emailed and called several times to get a price quote and delivery time for lumber I needed for a porch remodel. I was told they are very busy, basically mocked" because I did not know exacts on material (homeowner not a contractor) and I was told I would be given a return call more than once and never was called. My contractor called and he too was told they would get back to me with a quote and dates. Nothing!! I would never recommend them.

-MARIE D.

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Local Articles in Saint Paul

fresh deck stain worth home improvement cost
Hardware & Home Improvement Stores

Opting for the least-expensive paint, gutters or other items may cost you more in the long run.

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Hardware & Home Improvement Stores

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Architects & Building Design, Billiard Table Repair, Billiard Table Sales, Builders - Homes, Carpentry - Unfinished, Carpentry - Woodworking, Closets, Entertainment/Parties, Epoxy Flooring, Handymen, Hardware & Home Improvement Stores, Interior Design & Decorating, Remodeling - Basements, Remodeling - General, Stereo & Home Theater Systems, TV Sales, TV Service - Cable, TV Service - Satellite

Consider your home's layout to decide if an existing space can be converted into a game room or if you'll need to add on.

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Car-sharing programs can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by taking more cars off the road and reducing traffic congestion.

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!

Hardware Store reviews in Saint Paul

A

Rating
The store is clean despite an inventory that invites dust and grime. Most items are accessible to shoppers; staff will help if you need assistance reaching an item. I was able to purchase a ducted range hood in near-new condition (no grease or scratches) for $15 and a piece of
Saint Paul Hardware Stores Provider Name Locked
Fir casing for $5. Staining brand-new casing alone would have cost at least $5 in wood and stain; this was already done, matched what was in the house, and required only ripping to fit. :-) This is the place to find unusual items like glass drawer pulls, corner toilets, stained-glass windows from older houses (and
Saint Paul Hardware Stores Provider Name Locked
), and odd construction materials (like a barn cupola or bamboo poles which could be used for fencing or as a room divider or garden accent). The good stuff seems to move fairly quickly, but you may need just the piece that's there.
- STEVEN D.
B

Rating
Overall the experience was ok. We worked with
Saint Paul Hardware Stores Provider Name Locked
on the design and picking out the right cabinets and countertops. He was great, easy to work with, patient, lots of great ideas and suggestions. He really made the extra effort. The first issue we had was with the detailed measurements-the person who came in was in the house for five minutes to say that everything we had would work. I found about four things he overlooked and required changing after the order was placed. The cabinets are then shipped directly to the customer, so they went in our garage. We notified Lowe's that they were there and it took a week to get the inspection scheduled. When we tried to set the install date, we could not get a call back-when we finally did three weeks later, they said they did not know we had the cabinets(which they already inspected). After the installation date was set, the rest went smoothly-the installation of both the cabinets and countertops. Although there was the scheduling issues, we are still satisfied overall, and working with them, was much better than our experiences with their competition.
- ANDY D.
A

Rating
This young man is the epitome of customer service. I have been to the store looking for other things, and he always cheerfully takes the time and makes the greatest effort to solve your problem - no matter how small it is!
- SUSIE K.
A

Rating
We ordered a new queen size mattress and a split box spring (same price as a regular box spring) which are not available in the stores. Turnaround time was about two weeks from order to delivery. We scheduled a delivery date and the delivery guys arrived on time and delivered the mattress to our upstairs bedroom despite the very tight fit going up the stairs.
- DANIEL S.
B

Rating
Staff at service area desk in department provided advice on the appropriate materials to purchase for do-it-yourself concrete repairs. They were experienced and explained the differences between the different brands and types of concrete repair projects. I purchased the materials they recommended and did the concrete patching within a couple of weeks and was very satisfied with the results.
- CAROL S.
C

Rating
I had trouble getting help and advice. I stood at the counter while two guys chatted with each other and they both ignored me. I finally had to hunt down a supervisor to get someone to help me. They just showed me where the mortar was, but didn't have any suggestions/advice on what would be best to use when I asked for advice. (They said "anything will do.") I later found out I would could have used a different type of mortar that would have matched my stoop better.
- SUSIE K.
A

Rating
This is one of those great little neighborhood stores that is high on service, if not a huge store. They don't have the inventory of big box stores, but they are extremely attentive. They'll go out of their way to advise you and try to help you find something, or will offer to order something for you. When you really need advice on how to go about something or what to buy they really try hard. So even if they're not cheaper than the big chains, they give you more than your money's worth in service.
- SUSIE K.
A

Rating
The service at
Saint Paul Hardware Stores Provider Name Locked
is really the selling point here. The paint quality is always very good
Saint Paul Hardware Stores Provider Name Locked
paint, but it is the service that keeps me coming back. The sales staff really know what they are talking about. They will not only make sure you have the right paint, but they will follow you over to make sure you have the right rollers for each type of paint. The right primer and everything is guaranteed when you work with these true professionals (not part time students). Highly recommended.
- KERN N.

Hardware Stores in Saint Paul

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

The Home Depot - Fridley

5650 Main St NE
Minneapolis

The Tile Shop

14000 Carlson Pkwy
Minneapolis

THEISEN BUILDING SUPPLIES

10375 COUNTY ROAD
Kimball

THOMES BROS

414 W MAIN ST
Arlington

Tilford Contracting

6530 Balsam LN N
Maple Grove

TIM'S SMALL ENGINE SVC

115 5TH AVE NW
Lonsdale

To the T Consruction

4335 Pheasant Ridge Dr.
Blaine

TRANSFORMATIONAL TOOLS

348 PRIOR AVE N
Saint Paul

TRI-CITY READY MIX

5950 COUNTY ROAD
Saint Cloud

TRI-COUNTY LUMBER

17383 COUNTY ROAD 75 NW
Clearwater

TRIED & TRUE TOOLS INC

7550 University Ave NE
Fridley

TRUE VALUE HARDWARE

527 MAIN ST
Henderson

TRUE VALUE HARDWARE

115 ASHLAND ST N
Cambridge

TRUE VALUE HARDWARE

129 BRIDGE AVE W
Delano

TRUE VALUE HARDWARE

2250 COMMERCE BLVD
Mound

TRUSTWORTHY HARDWARE

203 VALLEY GREEN SQ
Le Sueur

TWIN CITY NAIL SUPPLY

858 UNIVERSITY AVE W
Saint Paul

UFC FARM SUPPLY

801 State Highway 284
Waconia

UNDERGROUND TOOLS SUPPLY

6680 HODGSON RD
Circle Pines

UNITED BUILDING CTR

2915 ROOSEVELT RD
Saint Cloud

UNITED BUILDING CTR

128 8TH AVE NW
Faribault

UNITED BUILDING CTR

1101 SPIRAL BLVD
Hastings

UNITED BUILDING CTR

412 3RD ST E
Hastings

UNITED BUILDING CTR

9130 202ND ST W
Lakeville

UNITED BUILDING CTR

1650 WASHINGTON AVE S
Stillwater

UNITED BUILDING CTR

170 BROADWAY AVE S
Cokato

UNITED BUILDING CTR

135 MONROE ST SE
Hutchinson

UNITED BUILDING CTR

26229 FREMONT DR
Zimmerman

UNITED PRODUCTS CORP

200 SYCAMORE ST W
Saint Paul

UNITED STRUCTURAL COMPONENTS

13661 BALSAM LN N
Dayton

URBAN'S ISANTI HARDWARE HANK

403 W DUAL BLVD
Isanti

US DIAMOND

530 CLEVELAND AVE N
Saint Paul

USA HARDWARE

6960 MADISON AVE W
Minneapolis

VALLEY ENTERPRISES INC

1600 Florida Ave N
Minneapolis

VALLEY HARDWOOD FLOORING

1114 FIG ST NE
Lonsdale

VALLEY LAWN & SPORT INC

16345 KENYON AVE
Lakeville

VICKERMAN CONSTRUCTION INC

2526 24TH AVE S
Minneapolis

VITAL NUTRITIONANCE

8441 WAYZATA BLVD
Minneapolis

WALLBOARD INC

207 DUNDAS RD
Monticello

WATERTOWN DO IT BEST HARDWARE

300 LEWIS AVE S
Watertown

WATERWORKS

60 Backus Ave

WBL Home Improvement

4550 Evergreen Dr

WEDGE LUMBER

PO Box 96
Mantorville

WELNA ACE HARDWARE II

2201 E FRANKLIN AVE
Minneapolis

WENNER DO IT BEST HARDWARE

319 MAIN ST
Cold Spring

WENNER'S DO IT BEST HARDWARE

65 MAIN ST E
Richmond

WGLC COMMERCIAL EQUIPMENT

PO Box 359
Long Lake

WHIRLTRONICS INC

208 CENTENNIAL DR
Buffalo

White Bear Rentals & Sales

3865 HWY 61
Saint Paul

WILSON HARDWARE

1015 1/2 10th St E
Glencoe

WINROC DRYWALL SUPPLIES

10720 MANKATO ST NE
Minneapolis

WINSTED HARDWARE

161 MAIN AVE W
Winsted

WIRTHCO ENGINEERING INC

7449 CAHILL RD
Minneapolis

WOODMASTER LUMBER CO

11327 W RIVER RD
Champlin

WOODY'S TRUE VALUE HARDWARE

4188 LANCASTER LN N
Minneapolis

WRIGHT LUMBER & MILLWORK INC

901 CENTRAL AVE
Buffalo

WYOMING ACE HARDWARE

26583 FOREST BLVD
Wyoming

YOUNGBLOOD LUMBER

1335 CENTRAL AVE NE
Minneapolis

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