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Local Articles in Washington
Have you always wanted to design your dream kitchen? A professional kitchen designer can help you to visualize and plan the perfect cooking space for your home.
Haven’t built your dream house yet? Whether you simply need some inspiration or need to hit the lottery, these high-end remodels can help you start planning.
Confused about whether you should tip a contractor or service professional? Angie Hicks says you're not alone and explains what tipping practices are customary.
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 Washington
4 weeks would have landed the completion date on 7/11. Given the (six weeks from start date).
As of 9/29, upon completion, it has been 15 weeks.
• Design / Execution Issues
o Corner cabinet between sink and
o Ceiling fan was not installed in the middle of the kitchen, resulting in one of the cabinets hitting the blades if opened
o Contractor installing the backsplash decided on his own to finish it in one day rather than two, resulting in such severe spacing and installation issues that he had to return to come in and fix it
o Cabinets installed had splash
o One cabinet panel had an arrow marked on it which would not come off, requiring an entirely new panel put on over top of it
? We notified project manager on 7/23. New panel was not ordered until 8/18
o Cracked lazy
o Hinges for washer/dryer were installed on the side where you are not able to open up the soap tray to use the washer. We notified project manager of this on 8/18. Finally fixed over a month later on 9/29.
o Filler panel to left of pantry was cut poorly. Contractor’s solution was just fill the hole with black caulk
o Leak under faucet
• Issues with showing up
o Canceled 6/17 with notification on the day of that they will not be coming
o Canceled 6/23 with notification on the day of that they will not be coming
o Confirmed that contractor will show up for repairs on 7/30 post 12pm.
• Project Management issues
o Cabinet knobs received (ordered?) rather than pulls
? 7/23 this was noticed, replacements were then promised almost a week later
? 7/23 we offered to stay home from work to get them installed sooner
? Three days later, project manager responds that he has had heard nothing on the pulls, so then simply just pushes schedule back on this.
o 9/6 – the next day that everything was supposed to be completed: a list of 7 items.
? 1 item, moving the hinges on washer / dryer cabinets, did not even have the correct parts (new panels) delivered on 9/6. Project manager was not aware of delay because he did not confirm they were actually delivered, but instead blamed Kitchen Craft not notifying him.
? Contractor said that he would need an electrician to look at the under-cabinet lighting. He told us this on 9/6, meaning there is no way that this would be completed that day
? As a result, 2 of the final 7 items had zero
o Next “final” day of project – 9/27
? Washer/dryer panels were brought by contractor, but he did not have them drilled properly for installation. As a result, another reschedule to 9/29 between 9 and 12pm
? Contractor was about to leave the apartment when we had to notify him that the two
? Upon these being screwed in, there appears to be two holes where the contractor went into a cabinet, took out two screws, and used them to attach the
? In addition, two screws were left in the sink following this job
? Contractor was about to leave the apartment when we reminded him twice that we needed the Zep cleaner. Per project manager’s e-mail, the contractor was to “take care” of the touch-ups. He simply brought them up and then left.
o Project manager attempted to collect on the third payment before completion of the renovation on 9/9. Per the invoice signed by project manager and us, amounts due were “1/3 deposit at signing, 1/3 on start date, and 1/3 on completion”
o Next “final” day of project – 9/29
? Contractor notified that we need to leave the apartment at 12pm to get back to work. He showed up at 12pm.
? Project manager did not relay information to contractor that hinge needed to be moved so that the washer detergent drawer could open. As a result, the panel was put on in the exact same place, having the exact same issue.
? To fix this, the contractor then had to come back between 5:30 and 7pm on 9/29 to move hinge.
We’ve already attempted to point out flaws and issues with the contractor and get them resolved, so scheduling another “fix” with them is frankly off the table. Some things were fixed, like the ceiling fan being relocated. Most others were very poorly addressed, such as black caulk filling bad cuts in under-cabinet trim and panels, screws taken from cabinets to attach under cabinet lighting, and the contractor to leave without attaching the under cabinet lighting to the cabinet at all.
Let us be clear: We are not interested in having them come into our home again to resolve the issue, as they have proven that they have stopped putting any care into the work that they do here. In addition, based on a wealth of past evidence, any other “fix” days would be so poorly planned that the completion or resolution of these issues could last into the winter.
Throughout this entire renovation process, we have had to have someone at the apartment every weekday that they were to show up, whether they did or not. After 15 weeks of this, our schedules simply did not permit us to continue to constantly push everything aside for this renovation.
We undertook this project based on the fact that our initial introduction to the company was through an Angie’s List Big Deal for a kitchen design, and assumed that the project would be completed in a manner consistent with a company that’s not only listed on Angie’s list but promoted as well.
As the job progressed, there were a few add-ons (ductwork for the tankless hot water heater, rerouting a gas line in the kitchen) but all were reasonable.
I had a roofing and siding company also do work at the same time that
In summary, I highly recommend
Not to be overlooked,
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