A practical Guide to surviving your remodeling project
Before the Job Starts ...
Once you have agreed to the details of your project, you will receive a copy of yoru signed contract. At this point the following will then take place.
If you are financing the project yourself, you will be required to put down a deposit of 5% to 40% of the total cost as set forth in your signed contract. The balance will be broken into payments as stipulated. If you need financing, we are prepared to assist you. Loan applications take several weeks to process, even though credit approval may take only a few days.
MEASURING THE JOB
After you have signed the contract, you should expect our engineer and/or designer to visit your home and verify all the measurements, to inspect conditions and to reaffirm the work to be done.
REVIEW OF PLANS
After the drawings are complete, you will need to review them for any final changes or corrections. After you have signed the plans, any design or drawing changes may be charged as extra work.
Obtaining permits is difficult in every city. Two-story projects can be complex and may require additional time to process. Your drawing will need to be sent to your city's building department and checked extensively. Expect one to three week's for a building permit. Some areas have a local homeowner's association to assist in approving any form of construction work. If you are located in these areas, allow extra time for this procedure.
A preconstruction walk-through is a crucial step for Home Base, Inc. and for you. At the Walk-through, your salesperson and your assigned supervisor will meet with you in your home. During this transition period, your salesperson "hands over" the job to the supervisor. Every item on your specification sheet, blueprints and contract will be reviewed. It is important for you, the homeowner, to express any concerns or questions you may have regarding your project. This is the best time for us to address those concerns.
A major reason for having a walk-through is to prevent any "unwritten promises". It is not uncommon for some homeowners, before they chose Home Base, Inc. to rememember items promised to them by other remodeling contractors. Please make sure that everything you expect to get from us is in writing. It should be noticed on the specification sheet, blueprints and signed contract (all three). Any work not included in writing on your specification sheet, blue prints or signed contract will be considered extra work for which you may be charged.
PREPARING FOR THE WORK ...
If you will be living on the premises during your remodeling job, you should be prepared for the inconviences that may occur. By taking the following steps, you will help avoid most of the frustrations and conflicts tha could arise:
REMODELING SURVIVAL STEP #1
Protect and cover furniture and carpets in the work area. We will make every effort to avoid damage to your property, but anything left in the work area may be at risk.
REMODELING SURVIVAL STEP #2
Remove all pictures, artwork, mirrors and drapes from the work area before work begins. Dust is an inevitable by-product of remodeling. It is far easier to take your belongings out of the area beforehand that it is to clean and dust everything later.
Jewelry, cash, coin collections and other valuables should be put in a safekeeping away from the work area. It is possible that in the disruption of remodeling a valuable item may be misplaced. If you remove everything valuable from the area, there is not risk.
Be sure to remove all plants and other large objects that may block work areas and access routes.
Please secure your pets. We know that dogs and cats are curious by nature, but we do not want any accidents or confrontations.
Arrange with our superintendent to allow crews access to the work between 8:00am and 5:00pm., Monday thru Friday (and weekends by mutual consent).
Our workers and subcontractors are not allowed to use your personal tools, such as hand tools, electrical tools, ladders, hoses, wheelbarrows, etc., without your permission.
Although we carry our own insurance to cover your job, we advise you to check your homeowner's insurance policy for adequate coverage against risks during construction.
DIFFICULTIES OWNERS HAVE EXPERIENCED
Most homeowners have never been through a remodeling project and do not really know what to expect. Be warned, remodeling is a messy, disruptive process, and it may not seem worth the aggravation until the job is completed. However, there is hope! When you finally see just how good your "new home" looks, you will most likely forget the inconviences.
Good Communication is the key to a happy working relationship. Here, in no special order, are responses to some of the most common questions we hear.
Will we be without water or power?
- There is no reason your utilities should be interrupted for more then a few minutes at a time.
It seems that your workers redid some of their work in the bathroom. Has this caused delay?
- Sometimes after a portion of work is completed, we are not satisfied. This may be due to a mistake or because we believe there may be a better way to do the work. We are just as anxious to avoid this situation as you are. When this happends, we make every effort to complete the work to your satisfaction and still finish the job as quickly as possible
Your superintendent was not at my job when all the construction was being done. Is this a common practice?
- We could have a full-time superintendent on every job, though the added cost would make your job far more expensive. We employ top-of-the-line people to do your work, including our superintendents who look after more that one project at a time. Although we cannot watch every worker every moment, our employees pride themselves on doing their job responsibly and well.
Lumber and supplies were delivered and piled on our driveway and now we cannot get into our garage. Do the supplies have to go on our driveway?
- Most, if not all, cities have ordinances that prohibit leaving any materials on the sidewalk, boulevard or curbside. Therefore we have supplies unloaded on your driveway, unless you instruct us to put them on your lawn. We will put supplies on your lawn, but piles of heavy lumber may kill the grass underneath, and we will not be responsible for any damage to your lawn, landscaping or irrigation system.
Why not hire more workers so you can finish quicker?
- Economics dictate that we keep our crews to a size that will most efficiently do the job. Six team members could probably remodel your bathroom in half the time it would take two, but they spend a lot of time tripping over each other. If we used six teams, labor cost would tripple; and we would have to pass that on to you. Instead, by careful planning, we can reduce our labor costs and pass the savings on to you. We try to schedule and balance jobs so there are no unproductive hours.
How long will our bathroom or kitchen be out of service?
- We will give you several days advanced warning if you will be unable to use your bathroom or kitchen. You will have plenty of time to make alternative arrangements.
What if our new aluminum siding does not match the old?
- As with aluminum siding, new colors often do not match old colors, even if the manufacturer and color coding is the same. The reason is simple. The old color has been exposed to sunlight and heat for several years and has oxidized or weathered, and therefore changed in color or shade. The new siding, however, will probably "catch up" and match the existing siding after a period of time.
Your work failed to pass an inspection. Is this because of poor workmanship?
- Rarely. Inspectors often use their own discretion in interepting codes. One inspector may pass a certain phase of work, only to have another cite it at a later date. In any event, we do not question the inspectors, we simply comply as requested.
Will you have to use our lawn for storage?
We need an accessible area for the storage of raw materials and debris. If a driveway is unavailable, we are forced to use the lawn. Concentrated traffic by our crews may also contribute to wear and tear on your lawn. We will do our best to minimize any damage, but you may need to budget for lawn refurbishing once the project is completed.
FROM THE CONTRACTORS POINT OF VIEW
Just like the homeowner, contractors have concerns as well.
A contract binds the homeowner, and contractor together. Though remodeling can be trying, cooperation from everyone is of the upmost importance. Here are some concerns that make a contractor's job more difficult. If we can avoid these situations, your job is sure to go much smoother.
Profane and threatening language.
- If you are upset and angry over something, right or wrong, directing unbecoming language to the superintendent, crew members or office personnel will not help to resolve the problem. It will, however, create hard feelings.
Our personnel and subcontractors are instructed to treat all customers with respect; to do otherwise is cause for dismissal. We ask that you treat our workers with the same respect.
Calling the office.
- It is our policy to call you if there are problems or delays. Beyond that, please trust us to take whatever action is necessary to complete your job as quickly as possible.
- Sometimes there are delays beyond our control. Occasionally, we will be held up by lenders, permit agencies, suppliers or any one of the hundred causes. These are complicated jobs. Your demands to speed up the work to make up for these events are often impossible to satisfy. Occasionally we will underestimate a completion date and need your cooperation to reschedule. Remember, completition dates are a target rather than a promise.
If you want something included at no cost.
- Every item on your contract has a cost attached to it. The cost of the items included, among other things, is the basis for arriving at the contract price. If you want something added or altered, there will be an additional charge.
- Make your progress payments promptly. Our ability to provide material and labor for your job depends on it.
- We are obligated, under the terms and conditions of the contract, to do the job for our customers only. We will not tolerate interfence by outsiders and not required to account to anyone except those who signed the contract.
Dealing direct with our workers and trades.
- Occasionally customers make deals with our workers and tradespeople to do extra work on the side. Our workers are prohibited from accepting these offers. They will be dismissed if they do. In addition, unforeseen problems may arise for you. If you contract individual workers, you will be treated as a general contractor under the law and will be legally responsible for all the associated obligations imposed on a general contractor.
FOR SATISFACTION IN A DISPUTE...
At Home Base, Inc. Your Satisfaction with our work is of the utmost importance. Sometimes concerns arise during the remodeling process, and need to be addressed. Listed below are some simple guidelines for satisfaction in a dispute.
If you feel you have a valid claim for a deficiency, how should you go about getting it corrected? Begin by discussing the problems with your superintendent. this will initate immediate corrective action. If this does not prove satisfactory, contact our general manager who will give your matter immediate attention.
Do you believe that something in the contract was not delivered? Check your contract and the plans to see if what you expected was actually included in writing , on the plans or in the contract, you were not charged for the item.
Home Base, Inc. has over 30 years experience in construction & remodeling and we have thousands of satisfied customers. You expect us to do a fine job. We plan to supply you with a worry-free course of construction that includes that highest quality workmanship, the best materials and on-time completition. Again, thank you for choosing Home Base, Inc. We are proud of our reputation and confident that you will be pleased with your remodeling experience.