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Local Articles in Oakland

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.

Angie's List
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 List
Remodeling - Basements, Remodeling - General, Remodeling - Modular & Mobile Home, Roofing
Homeowner claims property manager hired to oversee roofing work, drywall repair and electrical upgrades allowed contractors to do unsatisfactory and incomplete work.

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 Oakland, CA

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

A2Z Construction Co

714 Falling Star Dr

Aaron Plumbing

Po Box 2657

Accelerated Building Contractors

P.O. Box 15453
San Luis Obispo


6114 La Salle Ave.

AGF Construction

15385 Warwick Rd
San Jose

Alcor Electric, Inc.

712 Fountainhead Ct
San Ramon

All Custom Woodworks

280 Sally Ride Dr.

Allworld Construction, Inc.

530 Chesterfield Dr

AMC Builders

Excelsior San Francisco

AMC Builders, Inc.

2318 62nd Avenue

America's Dream HomeWorks

4181 Power Inn Rd

Ammirato Construction Inc.

3022 Neal Avenue
San Jose

Amparo Del Rio Design

902 Peninsula Ave.
San Mateo

Apex Remodeling, Inc.

38 Quail Ct.
Walnut Creek


San Ramon


San Francisco

Avila's Construction

310 S Jackson Ave
San Jose

AZ Granite Shop

1608 Cross Way
San Jose

B A Morrison

2544 Castro Valley Blvd
Castro Valley

B Side Construction

1940 Union St

B. Birmingham Inc. General Contractor

70 Hernandez Ave
San Francisco

BaMa Architecture

El Sobrante

Barron Builders

1715 Bay St.

BAS Quality Construction

Bay Area

Bates Builders

384 61st St

Bay Area Drafting Co.

727 Industrial Road, Suite 105
San Carlos

Bay Easy Construction

21297 Locust Street

BB&B Builders Inc.

44 Indian Rock ct.
San Anselmo

Benjamin D. Construction Co.

PO BOX 635


220 Mar Vista

Bier Construction

18824 Sugar Pine Dr.
Twain Harte


PO BOX 66796
Scotts Valley

Bradley Construction

PO Box 620276
Redwood City

Brickhouse Construction, Inc.

2964 Hillsdale Dr.
Pleasant Hill

Brophy Construction

5465 Blackbird Dr.

California Construction and Renovations

10656 Industrial Ave, Suite 100

Canyon Construction

925 Country Club Dr

CAPS Home Renovations

785 Oak Grove rd suite E2 #253


105 Price Ln
Pleasant Hill

Carson Electric

4564 Bucknall Rd
San Jose

CDL Construction

732 Gettysburg Way

Central Bay Roofing & Restoration

1814 Clement Ave

Century Residential inc.

2464 El Camino Real
Santa Clara


San Francisco

Code Key Locks

24hr Mobile Locksmith
San Leandro

Contra Costa Construction

5165 Alhambra Valley Rd.

Cordova Construction

915 Almaden Avenue,
San Jose

Cornerstone Pest Control, Inc.

16870 Joleen Way #15

Curt's Construction Company

45581 Industrial Pl #6

Custom Carpentry

111 Cleaveland Rd
Pleasant Hill

Custom Woodworking

7425 Tehan Ct

Deluxe Remodeling

9 N 33rd Street
San Jose

Designs Unlimited

50 South Linden Avenue, Ste 6

Detail Construction

117 South Street

Diana's Toolbag

35815 Augustine Pl

Dickson - Reegan Construction

150 El Camino
Walnut Creek

Doughty Construction

PO Box 1075

DSDW Construction

30139 Industrial Pkwy SW



Eco Friendly Energy Company

1102 S Abel St

Eiamia Construction

40429 Paseo Padre Parkway

Elkabetz inc.

560 Winchester Blvd.
San Jose

ESD Stone & Tile

Po box 361165

Everlast Construction

1941 Oak Park Blvd
Pleasant Hill

F Hernandez Construction

313 Pine Avenue
South San Francisco

Finish Line Remodel

4176 Parker Hill Road
Santa Rosa

Floors R Us Construction

2324 Lafayette St
Santa Clara

forgette design + construction

1601 Julia St

Gabe Construction

118 Diablo Ct.
Pleasant Hill

Geiler Plumbing

12 Columbine Ct

Generation Builders

P.O. Box 23

GMJ Construction Inc.

2582 Amethyst Drive
Santa Clara

Green Builders

215 Commercial Street

Green Element Construction & Design

1315 Primrose Drive
San Leandro

Greenberg Construction Inc

Rheem Dr.

Griffin and Sons Construction, Inc.

P.O. Box 620864

Guideline Builders

333 Hegenberger Road #315

GVS Construction Company

530 Showers Drive # 7-285
Mountain View

Hames Construction, Inc

PO Box
Los Gatos

Handy Construction Team Inc.

PO Box 812
South San Francisco

Hayasa Flooring Design, Inc

550 15th st
San Francisco

Hill & Company Property Management

1700 Jackson St
San Francisco

HJC Construction

5522 Alaska Dr

Home Depot

1700 W Hillsdale Blvd.
San Mateo

Home Healing Renovations

702 Harrison Street

Home Remodeling Solutions

1647 Keller Ave
San Lorenzo

Howe Construction Tiger

20342 Wisteria St Apt 2
Castro Valley

Imperial Kitchen and Bath, Inc.

122 South Linden
San Fransisco


793 Broadway

Jan Van Tassell Builder

2737 Forest Ave.

Jazzy Joel Productions

921 Transport way

JMC General Construction

1017 El Camino Real
Redwood City

Jonathan Ofa Buliders

502 Sacramento St
East Palo Alto

KRB Construction

707 Continental Circle




7 Joost Ave
San Francisco

M Benshoof Construction

P O Box 1374

M&M Construction & Home Design

1647 Willow Pass Rd


4416 Coliseum Way


6114 La Salle Ave

maintainance services

1271 eucalyptus drive

Majestic Builders

750 Carlita Cir
Rohnert Park

Mark G. Foti Building & Design, Inc.

4255 Jefferson Avenue
Redwood City

Martin Gallagher Construction

1558 Mizzen Lane
Half Moon Bay

MB Development

Castro Valley

michael maguire co

942 mckinley ave.

Mr. Drain Plumbing

4231 Business Center Dr

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Alameda

2532 Santa Clara Ave # 319

Mr. Drain Plumbing Of Belmont

2033 Ralston Ave Suite # 127

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Berkeley

2930 Shattuck Ave Suite

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Brisbane

235 Westlake Center
Daly City

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Burlingame

1325 Howard Ave

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Campbell

1821 South Bascom Ave

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Capitola

1840 41st Ave

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Castro Valley

3056 Castro Valley Blvd
Castro Valley

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Cupertino

20660 Stevens Creek

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Daly City

1618 Sullivan Ave
Daly City

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Dublin

4101 Dublin Blvd

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Foster City

1098 Foster City Blvd
San Mateo

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Fremont

2974 Delta Fair Boulevard # 106

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Gilroy

353 East 10th St Suite

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Livermore

2150 Portola Ave

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Los Altos

2310 W Homestead Rd
Los Altos

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Los Gatos

15559 Union Ave
Los Gatos

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Millbrae

423 Broadway

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Milpitas

1765 Landess Ave

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Monte Sereno

15466 Los Gatos Blvd
Los Gatos

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Morgan Hill

15650 Vineyard Blvd
Morgan Hill

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Oakland

4200 Park Blvd

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Orinda

120 Village Square

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Pacifica

446 Old County Rd

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Palo Alto

3790 El Camino Real
Palo Alto

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Pleasanton

5424 Sunol Blvd

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Portola Valley

3130 Alpine Rd
Portola Valley

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Redwood City

274 Redwood Shores Pkwy
Redwood City

Mr. Drain Plumbing of San Bruno

851 Cherry Ave Ste 27
San Bruno

Mr. Drain Plumbing of San Francisco

1459 18th Street
San Francisco

Mr. Drain Plumbing of San Leandro

14410 Washington Ave
San Leandro

Mr. Drain Plumbing of San Lorenzo

15934 Hesperian Blvd
San Lorenzo

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Santa Clara

1556 Halford Ave
Santa Clara

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Santa Cruz

849 Almar Ave
Santa Cruz

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Saratoga

14510 Big Basin Way

Mr. Drain Plumbing of South San Francisco

101 Hickey Blvd
South San Francisco

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Sunnyvale

370 Altair Way

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Union City

4400 Horner St
Union City

Mr. Drain Plumbing of Watsonville

1961 Main St

Mr. Rescue Plumbing and Drain Cleaning

32108 Alvarado Blvd Suite
Union City

MRV Construction

310 Meadow Ln
San Jose

Nationwide Secure inc.

3215 Calhoun Ct

Nicely Done

1800 Sir Francis Drake Blvd


San Francisco

North Point Building & Design

1981 Porter Circle

NorthBay Construction

631A Fredrick street
San Francisco

NRM Renovations, Inc.

PO Box 21608


1141 Marina Village Parkway,

Old Orchard Construction

PO Box 8235
San Jose

On The Beam Remodeling

1335 Brewster Ct
El Cerrito

On Time Construction

207 N 5th St
San Jose

One Stop Plastering Inc.

309 Paloma
San Rafael

Orman & Associates

31 Hightree Ct.


55 Santa Clara Ave 230C

Pace Builders, Inc.

1420 Cornell Ave.

Pacific Contracting

5430 Colusa Avenue


514 Ruby Street
Redwood City

Payal Desai

San Francisco

Perry Co. Design and Consruction

2679 S. Vasco Road

Pick Your Seat

1673 Novato Blvd Apt 1

Prestige Builders

1145 2nd St


San Francisco



R & R Handyman Service

212 Dale Dr.
San Jose

RC Construction and Windows

811 San Jose Ave.
San Francisco

Red Head Rehabs

12004 Hatteras St
Valley Village

Red Home Realty & Construction

25444 University Ct

Remodeling Contractor San Jose

2570 N. First Street
San Jose


PO Box 505

Repair Wizards

20 E. Main St.
Los Gatos

Reverse Mortgage Group a branch of AmericanPacific

3478 Buskirk Ave #1025
Pleasant Hill

Richmond Associates

430 N. 15th Street
San Jose


San Jose

Roving RV Tech

PO Box 3027

RPM Contractors

2510 Carlmont Dr.

S & I Construction, Inc.

287 17th Street


349 POPLAR AVE. #5
Redwood City

Sam Of All Trades

331 Countyview Drive
Mill Valley

Shaz Construction & Design

PO Box 1083

Silicon Valley Home Repair

444 N 14th St
San Jose

Silicon Valley Remodeling

477 University Ave
Los Gatos

Skillful Means Construction

432 50th St

Sky Renovation

5632 Van Nuys Blvd
Van Nuys

Smart Remodeling and Design Inc

1501 19th Ave
San Francisco

SOD Builders Inc

800 West El Camino Real
Mountain View

Solid Build Construction Inc

956 San Pablo Ave


5077 Rahlves Drive
Castro Valley


182 Howard St
San Francisco

Sultan Construction

2226 McGee Ave

Team Euro Design & Construction

38 Miller Ave. #120
Mill Valley

TerraVenti Construction Inc

468 North Camden Dr
Beverly Hills

Tile Plus, Inc.

1832 Stone Avenue
San Jose

Tim Lawlor Construction

418 N Buchanan Circle

Top Design Inc

16134 Hart St
Van Nuys

Total Construction Co

1707 Gyger Ct

Treeium, Inc

5352 Laurel Canyon Blvd.
Valley Village


3785 Thousand Oaks Dr
San Jose

V&V Electric

2621 Pringle Dr

Vacaville Electric

1011 Mason St

Valley Plumbing Home Center, Inc

272 Rose Ave

Vasona Construction

4120 Business Center Dr

Walker Homes

PO Box 248
Mountain View


Gamay Dr.

Wickman Development And Construction

319 Rutledge Street
San Francisco

You Name It Construction

5176 La Corte Bonita

Zimmerman And Associates

100 Gate 6 Road

Zumwalt & Associates Inc

3301 Sunrise Blvd
Rancho Cordova

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