Indianapolis experts share their tips on home remodeling
Before hiring contractors to give your palace a facelift, check out tips from these highly rated Indianapolis-area remodeling experts.
What type of remodeling work do you do?
Jared Kennard: We specialize in basement finishing, kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling and exterior projects.
Brian Oltmanns: We perform full-service residential remodeling, including room additions, kitchen renovations, custom cabinetry, bathroom renovations, custom showers, finished basements, complete home renovations and most phases of residential work.
Tom Phelps: I’m a licensed general contractor, so we can take care of almost anything your home needs, from small repairs to whole house renovations/additions.
Do you do the work yourself, do you have a crew or do you hire subcontractors?
Kennard: We have more than 40 employees, including an experienced sales staff, an interior designer, multiple project managers and 25-plus skilled tradesmen. We complete 99 percent of our work with our own tradesmen. In some instances, we rely on subcontractors.
Oltmanns: We self-perform demolition, minor framing and drywall work, cabinetry and trim work, tile installation, insulation and painting. It’s more efficient for us to hire licensed partners for phases such as major framing and drywall, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, roofing, siding and flooring.
Phelps: The only things we subcontract are plumbing and electrical issues, which should always be performed by licensed professionals. I still work in the field every day. Our crew consists of myself, my two oldest sons and my foreman.
How does your payment schedule work? How much should customers expect to pay upfront?
Kennard: We only require a small design deposit at contract signing, which is credited to the first invoice. For larger projects, we provide a payment schedule. Final payment is collected after the project is complete and the customer is satisfied.
Oltmanns: On larger projects, we normally won’t ask for more than a 30 percent down payment. On smaller projects, it’s common to ask for up to 50 percent down.
Phelps: On a large job, we may arrange a payment schedule weekly, with balance due upon completion. We never ask for money in advance of a job starting. Smaller jobs are usually paid upon completion.
What should homeowners look for when selecting a remodeler?
Kennard: Ask for references for projects similar to your own or in your area that you can see in person.
Oltmanns: Look for remodelers willing to prove they’re licensed, bonded and have valid insurance coverage.
Phelps: Be careful when choosing a contractor. Choose licensed, bonded and insured contractors only.
Who we spoke to
Jared Kennard, director of sales and marketing
Central Construction Group
Brian Oltmanns, owner
Phelps & Sons Construction
Tom Phelps, owner