When comparing bids, it isn’t the cheapest or the “nicest” person you should select. You should understand why there are wide price differences. It could be there is a gap in your design that is interpreted differently by each contractor or what you have asked for, which means there may be arguments later. If most of the bids are in line, and one is way high or way low, you’ll want to know why before dismissing or selecting them.
For example, if you’ve asked for hardwood flooring, the applications vary with selected hardwoods (nail in, click together, or glue) and the cost for install will differ. Are all bids for the same application? How about your cabinets? Are they custom built, off the shelf from the big box store, standard factory ordered? Are the boxes made of solid wood, melamine, particle board? Do they come with standard drawer glides or soft close?
A highly detailed scope of work is important because this is how you know what you are truly buying. What products are being used? HOW are those products being installed? Protect yourself and do your due diligence before eliminating bids only by pricing. On a major remodel, there are typically a few rounds of revisions before a final decision is made. With thousands of dollars at risk, why would you not examine all the details in comparison? There are a lot of contractors who have very basic proposals for a couple reasons: either they want some ambiguity so they have reasonable doubt should something go wrong, or it can be a tactic with low pricing to get their foot in the door knowing they can upcharge additional costs later.
Remember when you’re reviewing multiple bids are you really comparing apples to apples or apples to oranges? The difference can mean a great remodeling experience or a frustrating one.
While creating a strict budget is helpful, homeowners should also have an emergency fund prepared if the remodeling job goes over budget. It is common for remodeling jobs to go over schedule and rack up some additional costs, so having extra cash stored away can help homeowners get out of this jam. Contingency funds are for these unexpected items that present themselves during the course of the project.
The guideline is to set aside between five to twenty percent of the quoted estimate for contingencies. The actual percentage depends upon the complexity of the project and the age of the house. Although a contractor may have vast knowledge of the construction process he does not have X-ray vision to know what’s behind existing walls and floors. Often times there are situations that complicate construction contained within these areas that cannot possibly be known about until the area is opened.
Therefore, it’s advisable to thoroughly ‘live thru’ the plans in a patient and comprehensive manner, so that when one is confronted with the real world reality, it’s no surprise.
Your contractor is required by law to provide the Information Notice About Construction Liens when presenting the initial bid for projects estimated for over $2000. Typically upon ordering materials some vendors will send out a Notice of a Right to Lien document. This notice does NOT mean your home has a lien on it. It’s only a notice that if they are not paid they can apply a lien on your home. Unless your contractor is a crook and does not pay the owed amount, it’s merely a precaution by vendors who have a substantial amount of money invested.
In Oregon, construction liens generally need to be recorded within 75 days from the date the project was substantially completed, or 75 days from the date that the lien claimant stopped providing labor, material, equipment, or services, whichever happened first. If these potential lien holders have not been paid 75 days after a job has been completed than your contractor is not operating his business ethically. To enforce a lien, the lien holder must file a lawsuit in a proper court within 120 days of the date the lien was filed.
Contractors who have accounts set up with vendors will have specific terms and dates each month that require balances to be paid. If you’re concerned about your contractor’s track record call the vendor who has sent you a notice and ask them if your contractor has been delinquent. Chances are if your contractor submitted the Notice To Lien Document with his bid he’s a legitimate and responsible contractor, only in rare cases do these liens actually happen.
One of the initial steps to any project is obtaining the proper permits and is often factored into the timeline for job completion. Since unlicensed contractors can’t pull permits for home improvement projects, this greatly calls attention to the importance of hiring a licensed contractor.
Many consumers are not aware of the full costs associated with contractors not pulling permits. Here are the primary repercussions to the homeowner when permits aren’t pulled on time or at all
Hard to sell – the house likely won’t pass inspection should they try to sell it.
Insurance issues – homeowner insurance policy modifications or changing companies often require a Certificate of Occupancy. If the certificate doesn’t show structural changes that have been made, the insurance company can decline coverage because it’s not code compliant.
Safety considerations – especially when work is completed that could represent potential fire hazards.
Double the costs – any permits pulled after work has already been completed includes a fine that doubles what would have been the initial costs of pulling a permit before work was done.
Homeowner accountability – permits pulled after work is completed is the responsibility of the homeowner. It requires the inspection of visible modifications and changes not visible, which need to be detailed by the contractor or a hired structural engineer.
Since we’re a full service remodeling company, we typically do not offer small handyman or repair services.
Yes. The service fee is $250 for the first on site visit by us for constructional potential, design consultation, followed up with a rough estimate of costs on your desired list of remodeling projects. This fee will be credited back to you if you contract the remodeling work with Revive upon purchase of the property and a confirmed estimate.