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Local Articles in Manahawkin
Stop worrying about a loved one's safety; home modifications help elderly homeowners age in place.
Before starting a remodeling project, get to know the pitfalls homeowners face — and how to avoid them.
Here are some of our favorite tips from highly rated service professionals over the past 20 years.
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".
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.
Remodeling reviews in Manahawkin
hired for the energy efficiency work. They were all really friendly, nice
people who performed high quality, exceptional work. In fact, the best thing we
can say about working with B+L is that they created a kitchen design exactly
how we envisioned, and they did it with a sustainability ethic that was extremely
important to us.
They were not the cheapest bid we received and we knew that when we started. But we had a
big project and we needed it to be done well. B+L were upfront with the costs,
organized and accurate with the budget, and extremely helpful when it came to
securing financing. What tipped the balance was that of the contractors we
interviewed, only B+L really listed to us and helped design the kitchen we wanted. Others tried to cram their
design ideas down our throats, and weren’t willing to really be creative about
with our small space.
Quality: 5 stars
Timeliness of completion of work for my house:
with a crew of 6-7. Crew leader:
· ...More /> December 2010 - 1.5 days for roofing an entire
2500 square foot 1.5 story house. Crew leader:
January 2011 - 3 days for new sheetrock and
painting living room wall that suffered mold buildup from previous leaking
roof. Note: spackling needs time to dry overnight properly before painting.
Crew leader: another
May 2014 - 1 week for gutters due to unexpected
complications> Crew leader: Noberto
crews work extremely fast, methodically, professionally, and clean up well.
Likes to kid around with the home owner with the intent with of establishing a
long term friendship. If you are the type who easily gets offended with someone
who is not politically correct and has a dry sense of humor you may not like
eager to do good work.
Customer does not pay anything until the job is complete and customer is
completely satisfied. Generally prefers a verbal contract and what is written is
not highly detailed. With most contractors before
for a detailed contract because of their dishonesty. With
only necessary to be basically clear what I want. He has the experience and
character to get it done correctly. It
you do find something that one of his crews did not do correctly then simply
and nicely call it to his attention without panicking and he will gladly make
sure it is corrected to your satisfaction
in a timely manner (no long drawn out delays).
The only time I panicked was during the gutter install when
two of Noberto’s crew during his absence did not seal the end-caps properly and
align the downspouts properly. When I showed Noberto the evidence he cheerfully
corrected the issues himself. I’ve come to realize I
booked up solid with other customers.
The only negative:
amount of grief and better discounts. My experience with Plygem, even their
high end windows, is of poor quality in protection from the elements. Note:
they were installed by a previous contractor. When I ordered replacement casement
sashes I had to return the first set due to poor packaging and scarring. On the
replacement set a year after install, the flaps that protect from the rain began
to tear off easily when opening the window. Note: Plygem took over M&W
Note: even a good quality window will not last long if
poorly installed whereas a poorer quality window will last longer if installed
properly and homeowner follows manufacturer’s instructions for proper
Advice: When it
comes to windows and siding it is best to budget/ set aside in advance at least
$35K for a 2600 square foot house. Reason is the manufacturers of siding change
their thickness on a regular basis and window manufacturers also do not
maintain backwards compatibility when it comes to dimensions. Twenty year old windows
and siding cannot be replaced piecemeal which my wife and I have learned the
frequently frustrating and expensive way over the last 20 years.
My recommendations for:
Siding - LP Smartside
Be careful even with installers who have been certified in
installing certain product lines. Certification
does not necessarily mean they will actually execute a proper install. My
regret is that
realized we needed a major overhaul done at once. The contractor who was
certified and who had a five star rating on
Home Advisor who installed the LP Smartside and Marvins was a nightmare.
After three months of nightmares, we
checked the website for his ratings and they were no longer on the website. We
had to force them to get the work done properly after showing them over 500
photos and documenting thoroughly things poorly done and destroyed. They backed
out of painting our house when they realized to total cost of repairs would
exceed $30K in which case a building permit is needed in
our previous trauma and our house looks beautiful again.
he is not tied up with other major contracts.
If you need piecemeal work done then it is likely you will
need to hunt for a handyman who has good recommendations from people you have
met face to face and not ratings on some website.
A ratings website is a good start to narrow down your
choices but ideally should be followed up with your own personal contacts face
to face, phone calls, emails, etc with people whose judgment you already trust.
Review is copy/pasted from Ms
Reasons why I will recommend him: 1. His license is valid & active!!! (this was the tie breaker when we were stuck between him and another contractor with a $200 difference in price) 2. He was very true to his word & very professional. (He was the only one we didn't have to call and remind about getting the quote. Others took as long as 2 weeks after 2 calls to get the quote. One we still haven't heard back from.) 3. Great reasonable prices 4. He was punctual! When you have an 8month old and want to try to plan the days around the construction it helps when you are punctual. 5. Clean & neat. He used a cloth on our floors & a shop vac when he was done each day! 6. I love how it turned out! The doors & base boards need some touch up paint from being installed, but we expected that and have no problem taking care of that. Exhaust fan is great!
It all turned out wonderful! We plan to use him again for other projects as they come along.
Remodeling Contractors in Manahawkin, NJ
Little Egg Harbor Twp
West Long Branch
Egg Harbor Township
Point Pleasant Beach
Shop Local Remodeling Services in Manahawkin, NJ
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