Cabinet costs can quickly eat up bulk of your budget
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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 Washington DC
When we were first getting our quotes, quality products. We choose only a few upgrades in the cabinet features, which brought the total up $350 over the initial estimate. Even with these changes, the total price was still lower than the other two estimates we received, one of which included less work (not moving basement door).
We chose to get new cabinetry, new countertops, a new farmhouse sink, a new backsplash. We also moved the location of the refrigerator and to relocate the door to the basement from the kitchen to another wall in the living room. The whole project took just over two weeks. The results look awesome, a whole new kitchen!
Throughout the process, the workmen were very respectful and cleaned up after themselves. We were very impressed with the quality and professional job they did. They asked from my input when they were unclear, and fixed issues I identified.
Armagan was also very responsive to my concerns (which typically were simply based on my inexperience with the construction process). Because we have such an old house, I was concerned that something was going to come up in the process that put us behind or would cost us more. However, if any such problems occurred, they were taken care of and the project was on budget.
Great overall experience, and the work is awesome! Highly recommend.
He does not actively monitor his programs and charged exorbitant fees for items. For example he charged me 200 dollars for a 50 dollar mirror, upon noticing this, charges were then taken off.
Model home look prides themselves in providing accurate estimates, and this is far from the truth. He quoted me a price and ended up charging me a different price.
I hand to constantly push to make sure all the items were done.
I called them and they never responded..., I guess that’s because, in trust I paid them what I owed them before they finished the Job.
Please stay clear!!!! I don't recommend them!
JW came out for an estimate and gave me pretty cool 3D kitchen design. There was a decent amount of back and forth communication via texts/phone calls/emails on the 3D kitchen and bathroom design (i.e. type and color of cabinets, size of cabinets, overall layout, etc.). Always within hours (if not minutes) JW was quick to respond. The estimate was extremely professional, easy to read, and broken down nicely into line-item buckets.
The project started and finished on time and on budget. There were a few minor hiccups along the way, but nothing extremely major. Even with the minor hiccups,
If I had to do it all over again I would:
1. Spend more time picking out granite colors. (I went to the granite yard with JW and
2. Investigate different cabinet options. (Once again, happy with what I have, but I am not totally convinced this is the quality of cabinet I was looking for).
3. I should have asked to have painting be included in the project. (The renovation project is "complete", but I still have to clean-up the walls and paint them. It would have been nice if I had included this piece in the project).
4. Spend more time reviewing the kitchen layout options. (I am thinking back on it now that it may have been better to have the kitchen in an "L" shape with a small bar/counter area.)
Like I mentioned previously, overall I was very pleased with the work this company provided. I really got the feeling that
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