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Local Articles in Bay City
Planning a basement remodel? How to trim your budget and areas where you can splurge.
What amenities are homeowners adding to basements? Seated bars, home theaters, and in-law suites to start.
Renovation can turn a little used basement into a multipurpose hot spot in the home.
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.
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".
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.
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.
Basement Remodeling reviews in Bay City
10’ x 11’ room plus a very large closet. My friend and I (two, inexperienced 31yo
females) laid the flooring in about 7-8 hours when my husband was out of town. This
amount of time included using a jigsaw for the length-cuts (this took a while;
we used a miter for the short cuts). The battery for the jigsaw was
consistently dying. We eventually gave up on the battery
and made a trip to Home Depot, charged the new batteries, and had a lunch
break. Without all those obstacles, it would have been a much faster process
(especially if you have a table saw or circular saw). This entire project was
easy – so easy.
They are more than we could even imagine – we do not have any scratches on
them after 8 months. We have been careful, but have had accidents! For example,
I recently decided to add quarter-round to our
baseboards’ backs were covered in glue and I had to hammer very hard. There
were several times the hammer slipped onto the floor with force! We have
absolutely no dents. I would not suggest taking a hammer to the floor, but
every accident has been without consequence.
I have also dripped paint on our brand new floors. Wet, it wiped right up.
Later, I found a few drops that I was able to scratch up with my fingernail. None
of this paint got in the cracks – so for that I was lucky; I feel that would be
more tricky. None of my statements are suggesting that you should not remain
cautious with your floors, just confirming how well they stand up to the life
in our household.
If it even needs mentioning, I would and do recommend
friends and family. The ease of the website, the customer-service, and the product
are undeniably a superior package for this kind of project.
We were just really disappointed in the overall quality of work. We expected the finished product to look professional and well done. But it was obvious that they were more interested in finishing quickly than they were in quality. Consistent missed cuts in wood, mismeasurements, seams that don't match up, and lots and lots of nail filler/putty to fill the gaps. Polyurethane applied to doors and trim was slathered on with drip
Our punch list was a mile long. We just couldn't believe that you would call that 'done'. He did come back and fix a lot of things on our list, but even then it was obvious that we were just going to have to settle on that level of quality. It was just never going to look as professional as our first floor (Veridian home).
contract review with Pat
West Main Street, Freehold, NJ with a closing date of October 1, 2014; at which
point he promised the house would be completed six weeks from the date that he
secured the funding to complete it. As he
was unable to provide a list of finishes, I provided him with a listing of each
item to be used in the house inclusive of their manufacturer identification
numbers. As we chose the option of a fully renovated house, I felt it was
necessary to provide this listing so that there were not any questions as to
what we were expecting and also to insure that Pat
work and finances it would take to complete the transaction. On August 13, 2014 attorney review was
finally concluded, as the process was delayed due to Pat
in securing funding. Despite our best efforts we did not get a progress report
on the house until September 11, 2014 at which point he stated that he was
still working on securing funding and needed an executed contract to do so. He
began work on the house October 6, 2014, six days after our original close date.
As we had only contracted our temporary
living arrangements until our expected close date, we had no alternative option
than to move to a hotel room with our son and two dogs for the expected few
more weeks until for closing. We were promised that work would be completed,
and our closing would happen before December 24, 2014. As construction
progressed, it became apparent that Pat
contracted list of finishes that was provided and agreed upon, instead
replacing them for items that were more cost effective for him. Construction was moving very slowly and we
repeatedly requested a schedule. In mid-November, as again no work was being
done, we stated that we would be cancelling the contract unless Pat
signed an extension of the contract to his closing date of choice, and provided
us with a detailed schedule. This was
done, and it was agreed that the house with renovations, was to be completed the
week of January 18, 2015 with a closing by the end of January. On December 22,
a prequalification and credit approval letter had already been provided to
him. As an appraisal is necessary to
obtain a mortgage commitment letter, we ordered one for early January, although
we felt uncomfortable doing so as the house was nowhere near completion. On
January 16, 2015 the appraisal was returned at $300,000, $75,000 under
contract. There are numerous things that
were not completed that effected the appraisal.
The finished basement of 990sqft was not added at the Tax Assessors
Office and Pat
mentioned before, the proper finishes were not installed. These items would
have changed the appraisal enough so that we could close on the house, but Pat
house for sale on the open
appraisal. It was devastating as we had been waiting a total of six months for
this house, at great expense to us. On
February 17, 2015 the appraisal was reviewed and increased to $325,000. At that
used our contract to finish the house to his liking for his family member, inexcusable
and morally wrong behavior. We spent $29,200, all wasted waiting for something
hope he never gets a
protected from unsavory people like Pat
Basement Remodeling Companies in Bay City, MI
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