When Melissa Jo Glover walked into the Victorian house on Salt Lake City’s near southeast side in the summer of 2014, she saw the home’s pitfalls — but was lured by its potential.
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This part of Don's answer follows my thoughts exactly:
"You want to deal with a professional person that is selling you a bath that was not working as a cashier a few months ago."
Do you go to the gracery store and ask for someone to cook your steak? Of course not. So why would you go to a building supply store and ask for someone to remodel your bathroom? Rarely will you see a legitimate contractor take jobs from a retailer. Why? Because they don't pay much. Speed is the most important thing to them, along with getting it done cheap so they can maximize profit. About 10 years ago I worked on a few contracted structures (sheds, garages, etc.) from Home Depot. They contracted to another company who then contracted people to build them. At that time they paid a flat $250 for a contractor to pick up the supplies, build the structure on site, paint it, and use their own tools. By the time the cost of a helper, fuel, tools, etc. was factored in there was nothing left for the contractor. Anyway, the point I'm making is that the guy who will eventually show up to do the work will be so far down the line that everyone else has already taken the profits (Home Depot, ReBath, possibly someone else, and finally the guy working) that he probably isn't going to care what kind of job he does for you, quality or not. He likely won't have much experience due to a high turnover rate and any experience he does have will probably be limited to his teachings at that job. He probably can't answer any building code questions or identify other hazards once things are taken apart and he certainly won't do anything he doesn't have to while it is apart.
Another problem I've heard of repeatedly is that if (when) there is a problem there is always someone else you need to speak to. You might have to talk to 4 or 5 different people before you can even get to someone that can address the problem. Now multiply that due to having (at least) two separate companies involoved. "You need to call ReBath." "No, you need to call Home Depot."
You hire a general contractor for a reason. We learn, understand, and keep up on building codes. We are the one point of contact for all questions and issues on a project. There is no manager in some other store, state, etc. to call. You contract a GC and deal directly with that GC, or a site supervisor in some cases. There isn't a huge chain of command to get through to reach the main decision maker for the business. In a bathroom remodel you need someone who can do the plumbing, repair and/or move any electrical, install tile/flooring, drywall and paint, trim carpentry, and someone to coordinate all of that. Sometimes you can find a qualified contractor to do all of those things and sometimes he will sub-contract out certain components (especially due to licensing laws) but you will always have that one definitive person to go to for any questions or issues. A salesman in a store doesn't visit your home throughout the project to check on the status. Even if he did, he likely wouldn't now what he is looking at. The same goes for a retail manager.
Hire someone who specializes in taking care of your home. Hire based on reputation & knowledge/experience. You are right that not every customer can be happy so an occassional bad review can be found on just about any business. Read the reviews, not the grades (they are always biased). Look to see if the contractor attempted to rectify the problem, not ignore it. Lastly, unless you want cheap, sloppy work and a whole heap of other troubles, don't hire based on a low price.
Our companie's policy is to prime the area with any bonding primer. This will seal the hairspray in and not let it affect the next coat of paint. It would also be a good idea to lightly sand the area first.
Our recommendation for primer would be Zinsser's BIN Spray (red can) and can be bought at most paint stores or home improvement stores. Other than that, any thing that specifically says "bonding" for a primer should be adequate enough.
Todd's Home Services
Beyond those basic rights under the law, your expectations of a contractor during, on and after the completion of a job should be explicitly outlined in the estimate and contract. Although it can be a pain in the butt, ALWAYS read the estimate and/or contract before sign it! I cannot stress this enough - frequently the cause of someone's negative experiences with a contractor can be traced back to too few details in the contract.
We've covered contracts, and what you should expect to see in them, here: http://www.angieslist.com/contractor/signing-a-contract.htm
Remodeling reviews in East Troy
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When I said I'd like the floor trim replaced as part of the hardwood flooring installation (not in original estimate), they trimmed out the floor AND around the windows. They went above and beyond by using a concrete leveler on the bathroom floor to ensure that the tile would stay down. When he noticed a leaking pipe in the basement, he replaced that section of pipe for a very fair labor charge. When I needed the kitchen closed off during construction so curious cats would not get into places they shouldn't, he sheetrocked off the kitchen until everything was closed up -- so it was almost like a "Property Brothers"
It meant a lot to me that I could give
I've recommended this company to three people already, all of whom say they'll call him when they're ready to remodel. Most of what I have yet to do in my house is "Honey Do"-type work, aside from a new front walk and replacing the rest of the trim work. But if he has time to do this, you bet I'll hire him again. Highly, highly recommended!!
There is a saying that contractors come in one of three varieties: they’re either competent, they’re crooks, or they they could do good work, but because they are so overbooked (I assume), they do work in a counter productive order, make some poor decisions and end up doing sloppy work. Their work is functional, but aesthetically defective, which made me feel like I had paid retail prices for outlet quality goods.
-The office is easy to deal with and very responsive and communicative.
-The guys on the crew were sweet as pie and I felt super safe with them in my house.
-F&F would do anything I asked them to with reasonable change order additions to the original quote.
-F&F fixed some small mistakes with no complaint (window sills re-built to my specifications, cheap thermostat replaced with the high end one quoted for).
-Gave me a very small discount when I complained of some issues.
-Took a lot of effort to schedule a quote and start work—six months total.
-I felt like I had to seriously oversee their work every night and push them to do things thoroughly and properly.
-They damaged their own work and my house.
-Sloppy plumbing, carpentry and finish work.
-Did not provide an adequate discount for their errors.
CONS in detail:
-When a major structural issue was discovered, F&F’s solution was quick and cheap—cut 3” into a joist on a 5’ span and just seal up a major rift to the outside. They discouraged me from contacting a structural engineer, however when I did anyway, F&F followed the engineer’s directives and allowed the engineer to check their work. Even so, I had to keep pushing for more investigation of the issue and for more fixes (which I readily paid for) as F&F went along. I did not feel confident that their instinct was to do the work well, I felt it was to do it fast. To give them the benefit of the doubt, they might have wanted to save me money and time, but I insisted over and over that money was no object, signed every change order, and paid immediately, so the time and money issue seemed to be theirs.
-F&F said their crew is super clean and careful, but my walls and doorways were pretty destroyed; gouges, chips, scratches, and dents to every surface the workmen were near. They told me that they would
-After installing the tiles very well, the next day their carpenters chipped the bullnose
-The second issue with the chipped tiles was F&F’s solution: to just paint the chips. I paid for a NEW bathroom and bought NEW materials to be installed. Very frustrating to not get the full value of what you have paid for.
-F&F used my garden as a dumping ground. I found trash in my yard and grout poured all over my plants and herbs. All F&F did was yell at the individual who they thought did it. I didn’t complain so that some poor workman would get yelled at; I complained so that the issue would get fixed and so that I would be compensated for the damage. Very disappointing and upsetting.
-The plumbing was installed off-center. There is no way to fix this now. I will just have to always live with a tub spout that is off-center of the tub drain. When I pointed this out,
-The sliding glass doors were installed in a standard manner—centered on the tub ledge. However, my particular tub ledge slopes on the inside and the flat part is on the outer
-Their idea of “paint ready” will mean a day of patching, sanding and caulking for me. In no way is what they left me with “paint ready.” Some of the molding doesn’t match up at the cuts with nails that missed and jut out of the molding and into the wall. There are broken caulk lines and major caulk gaps. Sloppy.
-After F&F reinstalled my toilet, it began constantly running—something it had never done.
-When I broke down all the mistakes F&F had made and the damage to my house, I had to argue for a discount. What they offered didn’t nearly cover the cost of how much it would take to re-do the improper work or to fix the damage caused.
-To F&F's credit though, I think that if I had demanded it, they would have taken down the doors, moved them to the proper spot, replaced all the tiles with drill holes and the chipped tiles and come back and sanded and caulked. But there comes a point when a homeowner is tired of their house being under construction and the fixes seem like they could potentially cause more damage than the original issue. I had to weigh these considerations and just decided to live with the work as-is even though it was painful. Over time I'm sure I'll appreciate the good parts of the bathroom and learn to live with the imperfections...
I stalled for a long time before finally making the decision to remodel, because I had heard so many horror stories about terrible contractors and the ensuing lawsuits, etc.
I lucked out - I found the best contractor out there.
The quality of the job his team did was outstanding - from interior design to selection of materials to wood work to tile work etc. The finished product - my two new bathrooms - are the BEST features of my condo. Neighbors and friends come and ask me for his information after they see my remodeled bathrooms.
I will hire
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