Frequently Asked Questions About Remodeling
Here are some of the questions that we receive most often from our customers. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, or simply want to speak with us, don’t hesitate to contact us.
How Can I Know Ahead Of Time If A Remodeler Is A Good Fit?
Sometimes it’s hard to tell. The true con artists are easy to pick out. What’s harder to detect are the contractors who are basically decent but might be experiencing financial difficulties, or might be overbooked, or might have bid your job too low and have to cut corners to make up for it.
Because spotting a “troublesome” remodeler is difficult, at best, we’ve developed and published the “Contractors Standards Guide.” This guide book will help you judge a remodeler in terms of their financial stability, reputations, professionalism, and workmanship. Use this as a guide to help you make a decision and you can check any remodeler against this guide…EVEN US.
If a contractor cannot meet or exceed these standards, then you should not use them.
Don’t All Remodelers Deliver What You Want?
Many of them will. But here’s the problem: Many remodelers are (understandably) anxious to get your business. They also know that most customers want more than they can afford, and because of lack of familiarity with the process, they will underestimate how much the job is going to cost.
So, to avoid losing a customer on the front end by quoting a large price, they find ways to cut the price down to what they feel is a more affordable level. This almost always leads to disappointment either in terms of customers who THINK they are getting one thing (what they want), but are actually getting much less, or, customers who give up on what they really want so they can get a low price simply because that’s what the remodeler told them to do.
Our approach is completely different: We respect you as an individual who can consider information and make an intelligent choice. We’ll find out what you want, help you understand the associated costs, and work with you come up with a plan that will ultimately work within your budget. We almost always find that a happy compromise can be made UP FRONT, with no surprises and no disappointment.
What Is The “Design Consultation” Session And How Is It Different From What Other Remodelers Are Doing?
Standard business practice is that remodelers are going to ask you questions about your project. The difference has to do with the approach of the questions. The most important difference is what the remodeler does with the answers. Most remodelers simply take a “guesstimate” and quote you a price. Often times this means the remodeler steers you to what they consider to be an “affordable” version of your dream. Or, in the worst case scenario, they will actually attempt to steer you toward what they are good at doing and not what you want.
Our consultation process is designed to find out exactly what it is that you want. We’ll ask you a detailed litany of questions—the entire process takes close to 90 minutes. When we’re finished, we’ll know exactly what you want AND exactly what you can afford.
What makes Lovette Construction unique is the extra step that we take. We will call in structural engineers / architects, master carpenters and a designer and then develop a feasibility report. It makes no sense whatsoever to quote a price on a remodel that is structurally impossible. When we are done you will know exactly what you can do, how much it will cost, and how long it will take.
Do not settle or compromise on a remodel that does not meet your expectations.
What Is The Difference In “Design-Build” Vs. Just Plain Remodeling?
Design-build is an industry term that means that we use an actual designer to create the plan for the job as opposed to the remodeler sketching it out or designing it himself. You should avoid any company that doesn’t use a designer—the skillset of designing and the skill-set of a builder, while related, are also markedly different.
In fact, it takes a designer, a master carpenter, and a structural engineer / architect to sit down and go over your project to make sure it will all “work.” A designer knows form and function while a builder knows cost and feasibility. An engineer / architect knows stress loads, load bearing capabilities, and structural integrity. You want to make sure that the plans are being drawn by somebody with an eye for style, detail, and “whole-room-flow,” while you need a builder to keep the designer on budget and within feasibility. Finally, you need an architect / engineer to make sure that your house will not fall down around you.
What Should I Do With Your Contractor Standards Guide?
Look over it, get to know it a bit, and MAKE SURE that any contractor you deal with, even us, can comply with ALL OF THE STANDARDS shown in it. Remember, even if the majority of remodelers are great, it only takes that ONE proverbial bad apple to ruin your experience, waste your money, and ruin your remodel. It only takes a few minutes to educate and protect yourself.