St. Louis-area contractors offer advice before your kitchen remodel
Before hiring contractors to give your palace a facelift, check out tips from these highly rated St. Louis area remodeling experts.
When interviewing remodelers, what sort of credentials should homeowners look for?
Zach Hunt: Look at pictures of previous jobs and talk to referrals from previous remodeling jobs. In my experience, I’ve had better individuals who have had on-the-job training and real-life experience than those who have just gotten certain licensing.
Dan Weber: Find out if they’re insured and carry workers’ compensation. You don’t want to have potential liability should someone get hurt on the job. I’d also shy away from anyone hesitant to pull permits.
Mike Bocklage: Know someone is insured — if someone doesn’t have workers’ compensation and gets hurt on the job when they’re in your house, they may try to sue you.
Is there a best or worst time to schedule a remodeling project?
Hunt: It depends on the scope of the project. Spring or early summer is perfect for remodels because when you’re tearing out windows you’re not in the dead of summer or winter with the extreme temperatures.
Weber: Interior work can be scheduled year-round, but I wouldn’t suggest a major remodel right before a holiday. Some things are out of a contractor’s control, such as availability of products like cabinets, granite or tile.
Bocklage: An exterior project like an addition is tougher in winter and early spring. For an interior project, like a basement, there is no bad time. There’s not really a better or worse time for those.
When it comes to upfront payments, how much should customers hold back until completion?
Hunt: It’s rare that I require any payment upfront, though it depends on size and scope of the job. If I have an upfront payment, it’s usually 30 percent of the estimated total cost. Depending on the size, I may bill out during the project.
Weber: Our terms are typically, on kitchens, basements and bathrooms, one-third in advance, one-third after the drywall has been completed and the remaining third after the final inspection.
Bocklage: We do payments in thirds, but will require more upfront for projects like bathrooms and kitchens to get the materials there. For a basement, though, it would be one-third upfront, one-third after drywall is done and one-third after the project is completed.
What’s an average starting price for remodeling projects you work on?
Hunt: The base starting price is probably in the $5,000 range, and projects go up from there typically.
Weber: A small bathroom remodel could be anywhere from $2,500 to $20,000. I’d estimate a minimum of $8,000 for a kitchen or a basement.
Bocklage: You’re realistically not going to do any additions for under $25,000 — it’ll start there and go up.
Who we spoke to
Tekton Construction Group
Zach Hunt, owner
Dan Weber General Construction
Dan Weber, owner
Mike Bocklage, owner