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Contractors say homeowners with this trait are the most satisfied with home improvement projects.
Planning a basement remodel? One highly rated provider shares tips for where to trim your budget during the remodeling process and where you can splurge.
Don't get burned by failing to read the fine print of a home remodeling contract. Check out these things every remodeling contract should contain.
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.
Another good arguement for disclosing your budget to your contractor is to save you both some time and aggrevation. You may have a $10,000 budget and want $30,000 worth of work. Wouldn't you like to know your desires aren't possible before you get your hopes up or spend money on design fees for plans you can't afford? Likewise, the contractor doesn't want to put in the hours of calculating the estimate only to find out it was all for nothing or that he has to refigure for a much lower cost after pricing what you specified.
Be fair and honest with your contractor if you expect the same respect in return. You'll get a lot more out of it with the right contractor.
Todd's Home Services
San Antonio, TX
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.
Basement Remodeling reviews in Washington
with us and was expertly done. The recessed lighting and other electrical work was well
planned and executed.
The construction model for the kitchen was carried into the adjacent laundry/utility room (lighting, flooring, etc.) and a pocket door that had been partially installed between the two areas was completed and serves as a visual and sound
The top landing for the spiral staircase is impressive, blending into the wood floor at that level, and some minor flaws in the initial (partial) installation of the staircase by another contractor were well managed.
Smaller, but equally professional work was done in the installation of a new bedroom ceiling fan, completion of shelving in 2 rooms, and needed work on the ceiling and crown molding in the bathroom.
An assessment of the overall electrical service needs for the total project determined the need for a much higher-capacity service box, which was installed.
All around, the work was thorough and done as if it were their own house.
Overall, I have nothing but great things to say. His prices are reasonable. His work is great. He listens and shows up and gives perfect advice. For instance, I had a few contractors bid on a kitchen job in my new house.
I would absolutely work with ”
The project itself was a complete remodel of the basement in our 100 year old row house.
The PHS team turned our completely unfinished cave in a wonderful living space. This work included:
- Framing out a great room, two closets (one under the stairs), an unfinished storage space and a bathroom. - Repair of cracks and craters in the concrete floor. - New stairs with a white risers and dark finished treads. - Moving of gas lines so they did not pass through the finished space. - Some repair on the existing duct work, as well as incorporation of duct system into the basement design. - Soffits around the hanging duct work and plumbing lines running along the ceiling. - Pointing up of a brick wall to prepare for priming and paining. - Construction of a custom built-in shelving unit built to our specifications. - new electric and recessed lighting throughout. - Drywall, trim, new doors, painting and carpet installation. - New tile floors in the laundry area and bathroom. - Installation of new tub, vanity, shower tile, toilet and all bathroom fixtures. From start to finish the PHS team was great with all aspects of the project. There was never a time where i couldn't contact either
communicator. alone, a whole house renovation. He worked with me, my Assistant and my Design Consultant - and never seemed frustrated (by working with a committee of 3 women)!
While the project was estimated to take 60 days, I was prepared for it to go 90 days.
At one point, we asked for 'a break' to get a week off from the working, working, working. And PHS was great about
it. Ultimately, the
to be 'good to go' - PHS didn't make excuses - they met the deadline we needed them to meet.
PHS was there every day from early to late to get the job done. When District Inspectors didn't show or showed at the wrong time, the crew worked extra long hours to 'catch up' on the schedule. (We didn't know that work must cease until certain things 'passed inspection' - the crew just did workarounds and other smaller tasks and used the time very wisely.) This company's employees have a 'work ethic' rarely found in young, skilled workers nowadays. Polite, friendly, quiet, even tempered - just everything you'd want in folks who spend 5 months at your house every day.
Friends using other contractors, who have done far less (one bathroom remodel), were left for weeks with things unfinished,
job site abandoned for long periods with no explanation and endless excuses and even worse attitudes. So when
I heard their stories, I had even more reasons to be happy with my choice.
Every request/question/concern was responded to with full disclosure. PHS is the most professional and transparent
business I've ever dealt with. The truth - good or bad - is their standard.
And we lived in the house through the whole thing! Only as the project was winding down did
didn't usually have owners living in the house for a project as extensive as ours. While noise and dust are part of remodeling - the PHS crew was diligent about hanging plastic around work areas to limit the dust outside the work area and EVERY DAY before they left the jobsite, one or more of the crew would vacuum, clean up as best they could and put tools and supplies in neat
piles so we could 'live in the space'.
Sure issues arose - we had 'people' in our house every week day (and some Saturdays) for 5 months. But the issues were addressed when we asked for a review meeting and changes were made as needed to accommodate our comfort level.
My sister, who has remodeled extensively over the years, - was so impressed with PHS, that she gave me high
such a great contractor my first time out!
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