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Remodeling Contractors to Avoid

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F
"My house was to be a total remodel. I had a duplex that was built in the 50s. It needed extra upgrades, so I shared ideas on how to save on some of the costs by" turning it into a 5br with a wet bar in my lower unit. I pulled the electrical and plumbing permits so he could use his own plumber and electrician. All to cut costs as long as the work passed the city inspection. I was unable to be here to keep my eye on the job. When my insurance company said the house had to be done, it was not done. All of my sinks leak, only the kitchen sink and toilets drain right.the wet bar is completely missing. Three of my windows were covered over without me agreeing to it. My medicine cabinets that the bathrooms had are only mirrors. There are no bars in the two downstairs closets. There is no safety rail to get downstairs. He didn't treat the wood areas that had mold because the mold is coming through the Sheetrock. They left all kinds of garbage in the garage and yard. They also left a hole in my garage wall to use their heater. And the kitchen window above the sink is less than half the size of the original window I had there. There are still holes in the side of my house. Chase did not communicate with me very well. He just walked off without finishing his job after he was paid by State Farm. I would not recommend this company. I just want to be comfortable in my home. But it is not very inhabitable at this time. Oh and he blocked off my large pantry. Tools and overhead lights went missing from my garage, and when they put up the Sheetrock to took away all my power plugs for my garage door openers.

-Lynn C.

A
"I did a lot of searching on the web and hunting down referrals before we chose to meet with 3 construction companies. We chose AGA with the intent to test them," and if they passed continue forward with the bathroom remodels... and they did. They did an A+ job. They had great communication with us for the planning phase and during the construction phase and the quality surpassed our expectations. I feel like the hard work I put in to find the right contractor paid off after seeing the result of the remodel.

-Judith K.

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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.

Remodeling reviews in Bethlehem

B

Rating
The contractor was very clear with the pricing structure up front. His team arrived within an hour of the agreed upon time window. They were respectful of my home and property. I was overbilled, initially. This was clarified with an email (thankfully, the receipt was itemized), but it was unsettling.
- Everett L.
F

Rating
I have contacted this contractor 3 times for 2 different projects just to get a quote. They have promised to call back and one time they set up a date, but they never followed up or showed up. I guess they are too busy for new business.

- Gerald T.
A

Rating
Bethlehem Remodeling Contractors Provider Name Locked
visited our home to survey the required work. He was very knowledgeable, and made good suggestions on how to coordinate his job in the midst of a roof replacement.
Bethlehem Remodeling Contractors Provider Name Locked
, Operations Manager, managed the on-site work, and did an outstanding job, especially handling unexpected situations. He reviewed each stage of the work, and was never satisfied until everything was accomplish to my satisfaction. The job foreman,
Bethlehem Remodeling Contractors Provider Name Locked
, was a super guy, who worked tirelessly to get the details done right. I highly recommend these guys for any type of construction and repair work.
- Michael F.
F

Rating
I contacted
Bethlehem Remodeling Contractors Provider Name Locked
Ford from am ad on Craigslist. He calls himself
Bethlehem Remodeling Contractors Provider Name Locked
. He returned my call later that Friday
Bethlehem Remodeling Contractors Provider Name Locked
25th 2015. We made an appointment to do bid for Saturday
Bethlehem Remodeling Contractors Provider Name Locked
26 2015 at 11am. He came to our home, we toured the home to see what we wanted done. He was very friendly and spoke with hubby and I for over 4 hours, you would have thought we all were old friends. He even divulged that he and his wife smoked marijana on a regular bases, which I don't hold against him. He wrote down a quote, we accepted it and asked when he could start, he said Monday
Bethlehem Remodeling Contractors Provider Name Locked
27th 2015 between 9:30-10:00am. We offered him the job and he accepted. He told me to go to Home Depot and buy samples of paint colors we like, paint 3x3 sections on the walls to see how the colors will look on our walls. My sister and I did this, going back and forth to the store, painting walls at home and by 9:30 pm decided on the colors. That Monday, hubby and I were up and waiting for him to arrive. Time past, I sent him a text, no response. I text and called later that day, no response. I text Tuesday, no response. But, I did notice he was constantly putting post on Craigslist advertising his services and I text him again asking him if you don't want the job, just say so because not responding to us at all and not showing up is just bad business. He still hasn't responded and today is Wednesday. I'm writing this review because I don't want anyone else to have an experience like this with him. He comes off nice and friendly but don't be fooled like we were.
- Rosalyn N.
A

Rating
The work proceeded without incident and in a timely fashion. These guys are real pros. Honest as well: the final bill came in $500 less than initially estimated because the job was less involved than originally expected.
- charles H.
F

Rating
Bethlehem Remodeling Contractors Provider Name Locked
seemed very nice, courteous, and professional. He promised to give us his estimate in four days. When we didn't hear from him, we sent a text asking if there was a delay. He replied that his estimate would arrive that evening. Three more days passed without hearing. We sent another text and didn't hear back.
We were so sure he was THE one that we lost a week waiting for a bid that was promised, but never came.

- Victoria D.
A

Rating
Working with Lowe's Contracting Inc was great. From the time I got a quote to the time the job was complete,
Bethlehem Remodeling Contractors Provider Name Locked
and his workers were easy to work with and they did their job excellently.
Bethlehem Remodeling Contractors Provider Name Locked
was upfront about all the costs associated with the job, in my case a new roof. He also explained the process and answered all my questions in a timely manner. I was very impressed with how hard the crew worked on the roof and the job was done right and backed by their warranty. I was on a tight budget but didn't want to sacrifice quality, so after looking as 6 reputable roofing/construction companies, I felt very confident moving forward with Lowe's Contracting because of their competitive pricing, quality product, and
Bethlehem Remodeling Contractors Provider Name Locked
was enjoyable to work with. I would definitely recommend Lowe's to others and already have.
- Stephen D.
A

Rating
Bethlehem Remodeling Contractors Provider Name Locked
and his crew are incredibly professional and are meticulous in their work. They arrived early every morning, and left the house cleaner than they found it. The replacement windows were installed not only beautifully, but astonishingly quickly. They cut in for the new installation windows and did a wonderful job there, too. ...More /> We were very impressed with
Bethlehem Remodeling Contractors Provider Name Locked
and will not hesitate to use them again - in fact, we asked him to add on a bit of work and replace some siding that had been damaged by woodpeckers.
- Mary Beth S.

Remodeling Contractors in Bethlehem, NH

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

A Cut Above the Rest

84 Gage Rd.
Wilton

A J Wood Construction Inc

337 Haverhill Rd
Chester

A. Bennett Contracting

89 Shirley Hill Rd
Manchester

Accessible Solutions

349 N. Main St.

Artistic Exteriors

PO Box 333
Brookline

bd Design/Build LLC

PO box 84
Waterville Valley

Be Fair Builders

31 Ten Mile Brook Road
Bristol

Beechwood Builders Inc

ROUTE 101 BOX 172 UNIT 25
Bedford

Bethal Builders LLC

184 Varney Rd
Center Barnstead

birdhouse remodeling

55 corliss hill rd

BOLLAND CONSTRUCTION

82 BERKLEY ST
Bethlehem

Brad Wood Construction LLC

121 Old Lake Shore Rd
Gilford

Brouillette Building & Remodeling LLC

1512 COLUMBIA CIR
Merrimack

Cahaba Scapes

2130 11th avenue north

CarpentryByAllen

160 Thompson Farm Ln
Plymouth

Carriers Carpentry

26 shirley Way
Mirror Lake

Cillo Brothers Construction

14 Rustic Ln
New Boston

Cinderella Painting & Maintenance Inc

VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR DISCOUNTS & SPECIAL OFFERS
Nashua

Clean Cut Construction

477 Pine River Rd
Effingham

Clear Choice Home Improvements

8025 South Willow St
Manchester

CM Construction

12 Montana Dr.
Sandown

COAST CLOSETS

PO Box 163
Greenland

Coastal Custom Wine Cellars

2405 Orchard Crest Blvd

Color Your Carpet

9733 Elaine Rd.

CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT

3 MacIntosh Lane

Delmon Contracting

63 Range Rd. Suite 202
Windham

DirectBuy of Indianapolis

8450 Westfield Blvd

Dream Works Remodeling

5 Coolidge Way
Raymond

DreamMakeovers

89 Danbury Woods Rd
Danbury

East Branch Builders

72 Pollard Rd
Lincoln

Elite Door of New England

165 S. Barnstead Rd.
Center Barnstead

Exterior Touch Inc.

12610 Waverly RD.

G H Winn Builders

238 Foster Hill Rd.
Littleton

Gadbois Roofing

20 Meadowview Dr
Holderness

Gagnon Carpentry/Contracting

581 ColePlain Rd
Lisbon

Gallagher Construction LLC

369 Morrill St
Gilford

George LaBonte Contractor

16 Summer St.
Tilton

Gpconstruction

Tallant Rd
Merrimack

Gregory J Home Design Center

520 Amherst St
Nashua

Grey Ghost Construction

7 Lasala Road
Hillsborough

Hadden Fine Carpentry LLC

26 Neal Lane
Barrington

Hallmark Home Improvement Inc.

1182 Penacook RD
Contoocook

HANDI-RAMP INC.

510 North AVE

Indian Ledge Services

563 Knox Mountain Road
Sanbornton

Iverson Properties LLC.

24 Old Manchester St
Raymond

J Lance LLC

468 Old Connecticut Path

james horne carpentry

40 tuckermtn rd
Meredith

James Oreilly Group Ltd

129 Main St
Alton

JIM FRENCH HOME IMPROVEMENT

68 WHIPPLE AVE
Laconia

Longo Builders NH

PO Box 1015
Center Ossipee

M.B. Fogg Construction

180 Stone Road
Gilmanton

Mad River Woodworks

P.O.B. 1067, 189 Taylor Way

Marois Design

38 Putnam Rd

MHF Building and Remodeling

48 Meadow Ln
Campton

Mike White Remodeling

124 Bog Road
Concord

Montshire Painting LLC

56 Partridge Lane
Canaan

Mr. Bid

2878 orchard lake road

munn foofing & remolding

rt 16
Center Conway

MVP Home Improvements

60 Rockingham Road
Windham

My Homes Helper

PO Box 350
Bristol

NATURAL STONE PLUS

10 CARTER ST

Naysa

1 Mifflin Place

New England Exteriors

59 5th Avenue Ext

Northeast Water Wells Inc

50 River St
Jaffrey

Novak Construction

99 River Rd
Greenville

Ogden Construction

60 Thompson St
Ashland

Old House Works

842 Washington St

On-Time Construction

46 Union Street
Whitefield

Paul Jeffrey LLC

160 brook street
Manchester

Persson Construction LLC

313 Lee Hook rd.

Picket Fence Property Services

162 Ten Mile Brook Road
Bristol

Precision Applications

P.O. Box 1837
Plymouth

Prep Contractors LLC

208 Daniel Webster Hwy
Plymouth

Probuilt Custom Homes,LLC /DBA Meredith Bay Homes

18 Daniel Webster Highway
Meredith

Protech Home Services

29 Columbia Cir
Merrimack

Prudential Remodeling

1 Westview Terr
Pelham

R.Blake Construction

PO Box 1454
Conway

R.I. State Restoration

117 Gleaner Chapel Rd

Raymond W. Savary

14 Carter Rd
Merrimack

Remodeling Second Opinion

106 W Sunnybrook Dr

Rolyn Companies, Inc.

5706 Frederick Ave

Rousseau Building Services Inc

58 Leach Hill Rd
Goffstown

Simply Green Cleaning Etc

149 Jug Hill Rd
Milton Mills

SLATE ROOF & HOME REPAIR

PO Box 153
Keene

Steve Melbourne Design

20 Foxglove Rd
Gilford

STIRLING/BROWN ARCHITECTS

1 MOUNT VERNON ST

Sub Zero Insulation LLC

23 Demers St
Berlin

Sumex Design

394 Central Ave
Dover

The Home Beautiful Flooring America

141 Daniel Webster Highway
Belmont

The Kevin Roy Building Company

257 Portsmouth Ave.
Stratham

The Logan Boys LLC

472 South Rd.
Contoocook

Thomas Buckingham HouseWright, LLC

95 Blackwater Rd.
Concord

TPM Construction

20 Wheeler Avenue
Salem

Trademark Custom Homes L.L.C.

PO Box 152
Center Harbor

W.Rick Construction

85 Munson road

Warmzone

12637 S 265 W Suite 100

Westward Renovation

344 Brookside Drive
New London

WHITNEY'S INC

115 MAIN ST
Franconia

Wichland Woods

64 High St.
Keene

WINNI CONSTRUCTION INC

108 LITTLEFIELD RD
Danbury

Wood Wrights Incorporated

243 Amesbury Rd
Exeter

Woodland Carpentry

348 john smith hill rd
Bridgewater

Xtreme Woodworks

21 River Lane / PO Box 89
Freedom

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