Does it shock you that a gut renovations contractor from Brooklyn can completely guarantee a speedy and efficient gut remodel or does it sound like more just empty promises? I understand, I’m a consumer too just like you and I have to deal with companies over-promising and under-delivering also. Well, I believe there is a better way to do things and I run Picasso Expert Renovations differently.
We train everyone in our company to be dedicated to total customer satisfaction and as a result our employees display an exceptional level of pride in their work and will respect you and your home during your renovation.
Do you feel that businesses today are programming consumers to accept compromise as a fact of life? You wouldn’t be alone if you felt that way.Maybe you re starting to realize how many times in the day you are asked to compromise?
According to Consumer Reports – The biggest mistake consumers make is “being seduced by the price alone.” Would you hire the cheapest surgeon in town to operate on you or a member of your family? There is a saying, “Some of the most expensive work you will ever pay for is cheap work.” Consider that your home is your biggest investment, and you should always think long-term when it comes to doing remodeling and also consider the effects saving a few dollars now will have over 3, 5 or 10 years of living there. “Some contractors use low quotes to win the job, then jack up the price later”, says New York Assistant Attorney General Nick Garin.
Your most important tool in evaluating the cost of a project is the value of what you are getting for your money. Low prices are usually a trade off for cutting corners in materials, workmanship or warranty. Remember that most average paint jobs, tile installations or other aspects of the project can look good when completed, the true test is how will they hold up over the next 18 months, 5 years, 10 years? Did the painter use a proper primer or just paint over things ensuring in a year the paint will begin to peel? Did the tile setter install the proper under-layments or just tile over the problem, ensuring the grout will begin cracking next year? These differences are usually the difference between a lower and a higher estimate.
Insist on a written contract. The contract should be dated and include your name and address, as well as the contractor’s name, address, phone number. It should also contain a detailed description of the project, (the scope of work) including plans, materials, sometimes model numbers, quantities, colors, and the approximate starting and completion dates. It also should outline how changes in work orders will be handled and the notice required for cancellation.
Finally, specify a payment schedule. The contract should allow you to schedule your payments at different stages tied to completions of specific aspects of the project. Have a final payment due upon completion and your satisfaction.
Avoid contractors that require large down payments. A small deposit to schedule the work is fine, 10% is standard. If a company needs a large down payment this can be a warning sign that all is not right. Stable companies don’t need their customers down payments to pay for materials or worse to pay for company overhead. Other warning signs, being asked to write a check to the contractor personally instead of to the company, or being asked to pay cash.
This is one of the most forgotten questions for customers. You wouldn’t buy a new car without a warranty would you? Ask about the warranty and ask if it is in writing. Never accept a verbal warranty of “If something breaks, don’t worry, I’ll fix it.” a verbal warranty will be worth the paper it is written on. Always insist on a warranty in writing. The warranty should clearly spell out what is covered and what is not and how long the warranty is good for. A one year warranty is the minimum you should expect, two years is better.
A good contractor will be happy to provide you with dozens of written references. When speaking to the contractor’s customers, ask such questions as:
Ask the contractor for the address of his or her business location and business telephone number, and verify them. A contractor who operates a business out of the back of a pickup truck with a cellular telephone may be difficult to find to complete a job or fix something that has gone wrong after the last bill is paid.
Sounds silly doesn’t it, but not really. If you don’t know what you want, you might not like what you get. Also, if you change your mind and change the job halfway through, the contract – the price will change also (Hint: it won’t get cheaper). Know as clearly what you want done as possible. You don’t have to know the details of each and every facet of what you want done but you do need to have a good idea of the broad things you want. Changes midway will keep increasing the price, especially if completed sections of the project have to be redone.
Anyone who works on your house should provide you with a lien waiver that waives their claim to future payments for the project. For example, a general contractor will provide waivers for all the workers and for the businesses that supplied labor for the job. You don’t want to pay the final remodeling bill, yet leave yourself liable for payments to a subcontractor or a lumber yard.
I can’t stress how important this information can be to you, ask questions such as how do they perform their work, what time do they start, how will you protect my carpets, how will the trash and debris be handled, do you work straight through a project? The answers to these questions will give you a clear picture of what type of contractor you are dealing with.
|The time for a contractor to experiment or get on the job training is not on your project! For example, the more experience a contractor has with the work involved in your project the smoother, less delays and possibly cheaper you can expect your project to be executed. Ask the contractor how many times he has completed gut renovations such as yours. What issues does he believe he may run into during your project? What procedures does he have in place to eliminate problems that might surface during the completion of your project?|
|Every journey has a starting point, and this is where ours will begin with us. You can show us the spaces to be remodeled and describe to us what you have in mind. We will bring along some examples of our work we have completed for other clients, we will go over our references, license and insurance and get to know each other a bit.|
During the initial meeting we will be asking a lot of questions and also do a lot of listening. Suggestions, options and alternatives based on listening to your unique projects goals and challenges will be given. These suggestions will be based upon your budget considerations, your key objectives and trying to find the best solutions that maximizes not only your return on investment but will maximize your enjoyment and use of the finished project.
|Depending on the complexity of the project we may need to schedule this as a follow-up meeting due to some research or gathering of material costs and information required to complete an accurate budget. On smaller and less complex projects we are able to present you with a solution and budget at the same time as the initial meeting. |
A complete solution will be presented for your approval in the form of what is called the “Scope of Work”. These documents list in writing exactly what will be done, what products and what materials will be used and associated costs. Also, just as important, these documents explain what we will supply and be responsible for and in some case what you might supply and be responsible for. We try to be as detailed as you like so there is no confusion and you can be completely comfortable, knowing there will be no surprises. A budget, a timeline for completion of your project and a tentative starting date will all be discussed during this time.
|Once we have an acceptable solution and budget established an agreement can be signed and a deposit will be collected. You will be provided with the tools needed to make your selections of materials and/or products going into your project. This may include product tear sheets, website addresses and names and addresses of showrooms to visit. For example for tile selections we provide you with a “Tile Schedule” which lists every piece of tile and the quantities required for your project, it also includes our grout selection kit to take with your to the tile showroom and any other items you might find useful in helping you make the selection process easy and hassle free.|
|Before we start your project we will be organizing and gathering all products, materials and permits that will be required. Our objective is to have absolutely everything in order before construction begins, so that once it does, everything proceeds smoothly and without delays. We don’t mind taking a little extra time to ensure we get it right the first time. We spend a lot of time pre-planning your project before it ever even starts. Making sure everything is in place before we begin ensures your project runs smoothly, on time and on budget.|
We begin your project! For example, demolition takes place, out with the old and in with the new. Your space begins to transform from the ugly duckling to the beautiful swan. We have high standards, and believe in aiming high and always trying to exceed your expectations. Each day begins on time and you won’t find us jumping back and forth every few days between your job and someone else’s, once we start your project we want to be there until it is done. Not only will you see real progress, but this helps minimizes the time you are forced to live in a dusty construction site. Since I am on your job everyday when you have questions you simply talk directly to me, nothing gets lost in translation.
|We finish your project! Everything has been installed and checked to make sure it is working properly. We do a final cleaning of the area, removing dust and dirt and leave your space ready to use. Now is the time you will do your final walk-through and inspection. When you are completely satisfied the project is complete.|
|In conclusion, our final meeting, the only thing left to do is thank you for using our services and fill out your warranty and collect your final payment.|