Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I received a quote from another contractor that was a lot lower, why is that?
There are several reasons that a competing bid may be lower:
1. They don’t know what the project will really cost.
It is very common for contractors will give you a low initial bid, start the work, and then let you know that the job will cost more than they thought before they’re finished. When everything is said and done, you end up with a poorly done job while paying just as much as you would have for the company with the higher initial bid.
We don’t think that model is fair to our clients. Instead, we offer “Fixed-bid” agreements on our projects. We do a lot of preparation and planning up front to know exactly what needs to be done before starting any work. We present our plan to you with a fixed price for the entire job. If anything outside of that scope of work comes up during the job, we stop work and make sure you’re aware of it before moving forward. You'll never be hit with surprise charges at the end of the project if you choose to work with us.
2. They’re using lower quality materials.
Many contractors try to cheap out on materials and end up delivering a really poorly done project that can be a danger to your home. We recently redid a 12 year old roof where shingles were stapled down instead of nailed. Not only is that entirely against industry standards, it is a danger to your home - When your roof leaks, improperly finished work isn’t covered by a manufacturer’s warranty.
3. They might not have proper insurance or worker’s comp.
If they don’t have the proper coverage and something goes wrong, you will end up on the hook for any damages. You heard that right - if a guy gets in an accident and your contractor isn’t insured, you’re legally responsible to pay for any medical bills.
If you’re considering working with another contractor, view our page here for a list of things to ask them to make sure you and your home will be protected.
4. They use less reliable or low quality subcontractors.
Many general contractors will hire the cheapest subcontractors they can find, who then comes to your home or business and does a terrible job. Saving that money up front is great, until you end up stuck with a remodel you hate or pay for a second company to correct shoddy work.
Going with the cheaper guys sounds great, until years down the road they’re out of business when you need them to correct their work or do your next project. There are too many fly-by-night contractors in our industry that take advantage of homeowners. Before you start working with any contractor, view our list of questions to ask here to make sure your guys are pros.
5. They hire less skilled or less professional carpenters and staff.
No one wants creepy guys in their home, or to worry if all of their things will still be there when they come home at the end of the day. Unsurprisingly, that’s just what ends up happening when a general contractor isn’t careful with their hiring process. They may charge less because they have sub-par employees that they don’t need to pay well. That leaves you in a tough spot when the work is slow, done incorrectly, or makes you feel uncomfortable in your own home.
Before we hire a new employee they go through an extensive multi step vetting process to make sure that they can be trusted in your home. We’re very thorough and selective when choosing people to represent us. Every one of our employees is extremely professional and will not only do a great job on your next project, they will also be enjoyable and safe to have in your home.
Q. Why don’t you charge an hourly rate for your workers?
We used to do this and have seen it fail for both the client and us too many times.
This model comes with many risks to you. The typical pitfall is neither the contractor or you is able to keep up with all the costs and both get “surprised” at the end of the job. And we’re not talking about a birthday surprise. In the worst scenario, contractors using this model are not motivated to complete the job quickly or efficiently, because they’re getting paid for any extra hours their employees and subcontractors spend on the job.
Providing a fixed-price contract puts the burden on us to do our homework ahead of time and gives you certainty in what you are getting.
Q. My last contractor gave me a low estimate and then sprung a bunch of hidden fees on me when the job was half finished. Am I going to have to deal with surprises down the line?
Never. Because our contracts are fixed-price, we give you one all-inclusive price for your job. If any major surprises come up, we stop work and communicate with you immediately with plans to correct the issue. We then request signed permission to proceed.
We promise never to hit you with unexpected charges at the end of a project. We will never do any work on your home that you do not sign off on.
If the project ends up costing more than our contract states, we pay for the overage ourselves. You read that correctly. We stand by our word.
Q. What if costs change in between receiving a quote and starting the project?
In our industry the cost of material goes up every year. Because we quote with a fixed bid for the entire project, you’re protected from the risk of surprise charges. We honor all of our quotes for 90 days. If more than 90 days have passed between pre-construction designing and the signing of a construction agreement, we may need to review job costs before proceeding.
Q: Do I need construction plans?
For most projects, yes. In order to know what we are providing and what you are getting we need a shared map. Plans along with materials selections, a detailed project scope, and a schedule are the road map.
Q: Who should I get plans from and what do they cost?
We happily provide all of the above in our pre-construction services. Typically, these services represent 3%-4% of the total project cost.
Q. What if I have plans from my own architect already?
We love working with architects. If you already have construction plans drawn up, we can work with your architect off their existing plan. We charge a 1% to 2% fee for our pre-construction services when plans are provided. We also walk through the entire project, value engineering to align your budget with where it is being spent most effectively.
Q. Do you do home repairs?
At this time, we do not offer home repairs unless it is in response to our prior projects for existing clients.
Q. When should I start planning my project?
Most remodels benefit from 90 days of planning in advance of the work. We’ve found that this gives enough time for thorough planning and for clients to be fully informed and have confidence that they’re getting what they wanted.
If you don’t see an answer to your question here, give us a call and we will be happy to answer your question.