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Local Articles in Mount Airy

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 Mount Airy, MD

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

A & J Home Remodeling

3212 South 13th Rd

A&D Remodeling LLC

15403 Bounds Avenue
Laurel

A-Z Design

13347 Burkitts rd

ABC Design and Build Inc

6715 Blacklick Rd

abikat costruction llc

3011 st johns ln
Ellicott City

Active Home Renewal

1409 Broadwood Dr
Rockville

ADG Contractor

3120 Collie Lane

AJ Ross Service

5406 Riverdale Rd
Riverdale

All Trades Remodeling LLC

12 N Summit Ave
Gaithersburg

AMERICAN CONSTRUCTION SERVICES

10602 Guilford Road
Jessup

American Home Specialists

13221 Mockingbird ln
Bowie

AMERICAN RENOVATIONS & REMODELING LLC

3555 Secluded Spring Dr.
Mt. Airy

Anderson Services

222 old dominion drive

archi-TEXTUAL, PLLC

3421 1/2 M St NW

Archiquest Inc

5412 Woodway Dr

Arco Painting & Remodeling LLC

14405 Innsbruck Court
Silver Spring

ARJ Group, Inc.

412 H St NE

B&W Painting Company

329 Prince George Street
Laurel

B.I.A. CONTRACTORS LLC

3206 ANNANDALE RD

Barbera Contractors llc

26310 Johnson Dr
Damascus

BART CONSTRUCTION

1936 BEAVER LN

Beltway Contracting Group,LLC

6303 Hollins Dr
Bethesda

Betty List

2703 MEMORIAL STREET

Billings Construction Inc

14725 Baltimore Ave

Brad4Cad LLC

5657 Utrecht Rd
Baltimore

C M Wright Construction Inc

20406 Shore Harbour Dr
Germantown

C-CON Inc

7646 Fullerton Rd

CA Services

19515 Fredrick Rd.
Germantown

Cardinal Contractors

18078 Purvis DR unit A

CARRLEE CONSTRUCTION INC

14729 DOGWOOD PARK LN

Colonial Sash and Door

260 Interstate Circle
Frederick

Congressional Contracting Inc

1865 mooney drive
Gaithersburg

Cook Construction Contracting

8552 Dakota Dr
Gaithersburg

Copeland Construction

19828 Chesley Knoll Drive

Czecher Construction, Inc.

4196 Merchant plaza

Dana F. Duvall Contracting

12601 Moxley Crest Drive
Mount Airy

Darnell Construction

8201 Plum Crk Dr
Gaithersburg

Dertzbaugh Construction

7313 Grove Rd
Frederick

DF contractors co.

5209 Aldershot Dr
Lanham

Dillon Construction

7530 Perry Ln
Lusby

DirectBuy of Indianapolis

8450 Westfield Blvd

Divine Designs, Inc.

Snow Crest trl

Dorcus Construction Co Inc

11228 Putman Rd
Thurmont

DUTCHMAN BROTHERS

737 PARKERS CREEK RD.
Deale

Edge Energy

6854 Distribution Dr
Beltsville

Elite Builders

5591 Rowser Drive

Elite Development

4401 Connecticut Ave NW

F&D Home Improvement

2404 phillips dr

Faith Contracting, LLC

10452 Lonesome Road

Feature Construction LLC

3831 S. George Mason Dr.

FEATURE DESIGN INC

6361 VERDE CT

FIRE WORKS CLEANING

12210 CONWAY RD
Beltsville

FIRST CLASS HOME IMPROVEMENT LLC

3837 Sugarloaf Pkwy
Frederick

Floor Center

370 garrisonville rd

Frenchporte LLC

4015 Oliver St
Chevy Chase

GeoContractorsInc.

15064 Sawgrass Place

Glickman Design Build

14516 Pebblewood Dr
N. Potomac

Goddard Remodeling, LLC

4141 N. Henderson Rd.

Good Start Construction

3209 Bradford Street

GPE Home Center

45720 Woodland Rd

Graham Restoration LLC

11271 James Madison Hwy

GreenRock Construction

6521 Arlington Blvd.

H2Pro Restorations

243 Mine Bank Rd

HAS Construction LLC

3421 14th Street NW

Hawkstorm Rescue Electric

6001 63rd Ave
Riverdale

HCC Remodeling

7371 Atlas Walk Way

HDL Contracting

Rockville

Henry's Housework Inc

13433 Tilford Ct
Germantown

Herbert Construction, LLC

810 Copley Ln
Silver Spring

HILL BROTHERS CONSTRUCTION CO

3101 DAWSON AVE
Silver Spring

HOA Renovations

12808 Madeley Ct

Home Contractors Plus

8402 Quill Point Dr
Bowie

House to Home LLC

19805 Sedgwick Way
Poolesville

HPC Maintenance, LLC

4100 whiting ct

HT Home Remodeling Inc

2024 Kings House Rd
Silver Spring

J.R Remodeling Inc

1485 Eden Drive
Frederick

JAV General Service LLC

7609 Claire Court
Laurel

JM CONTRACTOR SERVICES LLC

1613 Amherst rd
Hyattsvlle

Juan Osegueda

14419 Meridian Dr

K & B RESTORATIONS

6108 OLD BOHN RD
Mount Airy

K & M Contracting Inc

1120 International Pkwy

Kass Remodeling

15209 Frederick Rd
Rockville

KPS Enterprises Inc

7019 Spaniel Rd

L&V Drywall LLC

5810 Post Corners Trail

Laura's Designs

405 East Mission Street

Limitless Design & Build, LLC.

12587 Fair Lakes Cir #263

M & G Contractor

10409 Ashcroft Way

Maki Remodeling

21224 Dorsey Spring Rd.
Germantown

MARLON CONSTRUCTION LLC

9112 ELAINE CT
Laurel

Martinez Irrigation

12138 Central Ave
Bowie

Master Building Contracting LLC

312 S Whiting St Ste. N23

MATNEY CONSTRUCTION SVC

4311 Ridge Rd
Mount Airy

McCoy Construction LLC.

6480 Running Brook Rd

MCS Construction Inc.

13620 Georgia Ave
Silver Spring

MDV Remodeling

5550 Friendship Blvd
Chevy Chase

Mercer Carpet One Floor & Home

26 W Main St
Westminster

Metropolitan Renovations, LLC

713 Boundary Ave
Silver Spring

Mountain Contracting LLC

1002 Merridale Blvd
Mount Airy

MP Construction & Excavation, LLC

104 West Ridgeville Blvd

Murrows Repair and Remodel

12116 Derriford Ct

M² BUILDING AND DESIGN

7407 ALBERMARLE DR

Nesmith Design Group

2701 12th Street, NE

Neville Interiors LLC.

3523 Napier St
Silver Spring

New Edition Remodeling, LLC.

2137 Espey Court
Crofton

New Era Construction LLC

22582 Forest Run Drive

Nutters Painting & Services

Remington & All Surrounding Areas

Palmas Construction LLC

4942 Beech Street
Shady Side

Power Wash Pros LLC

12587 Fair Lakes Cir

ProCraft Construction

2201 Spencerville Rd
Spencerville

R. A. Krop Contractors, Inc.

12201 Timber Run Ct
Monrovia

RC 4 Construction, Inc

5504 Peppercorn Drive

Redline Projects LLC

2314 Kansas Ave
Silver Spring

Remodel America Inc

6301 Heritage Landing Ct

Revere Construction

25101 Peach Tree Rd
Clarksburg

Richards' Homes, LLC

452 Orchard St

Safa Interiors dba Carpet Queen and floors

4810 St Barnabas Rd
Marlow Heights

SERVICE ALL INC

5731 TUXEDO RD
Hyattsville

Sharpe Construction

10606 Sawdust Circle
Rockville

ShawnAshti Custom Contracting

4101 72nd Ave
Hyattsville

Shenski Construction

36856 Dannys LN
Chaptico

Singh Construction

206 Back River Neck Rd
Essex

Skyline Remodeling LLC

314 Wardensville Grade

SMITHGROUPBUILDERS,LLC

5464 Annapolis Rd
Bladensburg

SNG ENGINEERING INC

344 MAIN ST
Gaithersburg

Stefan Home Service

5901 Sheraton Cir.

Stonestreet Contracting

5518 N Annapolis Dr
Mount Airy

STRAIGHT UP CUSTOM HOMES

2425 FLAG MARSH RD
Mount Airy

Sustainable Design Group

22923 Wildcat Rd
Gaithersburg

Tectonica LLC

11223 Ashley Drive
North Bethesda

The Honey Do Man

1845 Bowmans Mill Rd

TML Construction

6132 Newport Terrace
Fredrick

Van-Q construction, LLC

17822 Buehler Rd
Olney

Villanuevas Landscaping

3507 Rolling Hills Ave

WERNER RENOVATIONS

4585 MACARTHURBLVD NW APT 301

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