What do we mean by "giving our remodeling clients the insight they deserve?"
After a few decades of remodeling homes and buildings, our experience has led to many insights. You can read a bit more below about how those insights developed. The most important point here first is that you are not just hiring us for our labor or our tools, but for the remodeling expertise that comes with decades of experience.
Next, knowing the basics of remodeling is important for earning a contractor's license, but after getting the license is when the most important learning begins! Over time and through direct observation, we discover patterns of cause and effect. For instance, we eventually learn the consequences of "only following standard protocol" when a particular remodeling situation actually deserves a higher standard of quality.
Construction crews who only build new construction may never see the results of their building practices across years and decades. As remodelers, we get to regularly see the consequences of high quality construction methods (as well as lower quality building practices).
Even if an experienced contractor had tried to explain certain issues back when we first started in the remodeling field, it still makes a big difference to repeatedly see the long-term results of high quality work compared to low quality work. In some cases, there are issues that are very simple to show a home owner and explain quickly. However, if you have worked in the same professional field for a few decades, haven't you learned more in a few decades of doing full-time work than you learned in all of your training prior to actually doing the work? If you do give a quick explanation to a new trainee to instruct them in your expert perspective, that still may only "skim the surface" of the value of the insights that come from decades of real-world experience.
Partnering with remodeling experts vs. just hiring cheap laborers
When you pay many thousands of dollars for a remodeling service, wouldn't you value the full partnership of an experienced remodeler? Partnership means that we are not just working for you, but working with you. Are you aware that the simple reality is that some other
remodeling contractors may be more interested in getting paid than in earning your highest recommendation?
If you wanted the cheapest remodel possible, you might be able to find an unlicensed contractor who even has some expertise and a few nice used tools. Maybe you could obtain all the permits and handle all the complications that can arise if the city inspector finds anything that concerns them. Or, if you were an expert at remodeling and just needed some laborers to do some work for you, you could budget less money and just hire some hard-working people to follow your direction.
But we offer a different service. We offer you our expertise and our partnership so that we can help you define your general vision and then execute it while handling all of the small details that will need to be addressed during a large project. You will be proud of your remodeled home when it is done, rather than just relieved to be done with the stress of remodeling.
And, yes, it is possible for there to be some stressful moments, whether in a $5,000 remodel or a $50,000 remodel. Better than for us to tell you about why you will be grateful in the end that you hired us, would you like to hear the voice of an actual client telling you why they recommend that you hire us?
Note the client who gave this testimonial mentions that he had hired many other contractors for a variety of jobs within the last decade. He mentioned our outstanding accountability, our professionalism, and our flexibility (as well as how we "made it so easy for him to make a decision"). To listen to a few minutes of his testimonial on a 6 month remodeling project in Orlando that involved extensive remodeling to 1500 square feet of his existing home plus adding another 1000 square feet of new construction, click here: remodeling, renovations, and additions in Orlando.
In short, we expect to earn every dollar that you will pay us (or that your home insurance company will pay us). We also expect to earn your highest recommendation.
When you hire a remodeling company, do you just want someone to provide some skilled labor or do you also want the value of our decades of experience? The next sections feature one of the simplest (but potentially frustrating) issues that home owners face when getting estimate from inexperienced remodelers: their inability to consistently provide accurate estimates of the total costs and duration of the renovations.
The classic example: inaccurate estimates of remodeling costs and completion dates
For instance, most people value getting an accurate estimate (from the beginning) that includes the full amount of time and money that you will need to devote to your remodel. You may know that, in general, remodelers are famous for under-estimating the budget and duration of a remodel. There are two main reasons for that:
First, some may simply be attempting to deceive home owners with attractive numbers in order to get hired. (By the way, we know of many cases of intentional under-bidding.)
So, for people who are only interested in the cheapest remodeler that they can find, we recommend that you reconsider (and make value a priority over cost). You don't want to anxiously spend so little now that you end up spending much more later to redo (or undo) inferior renovations, right? Remodeling is an investment in the long-term value of one of your most valuable assets: your home!
In fact, if your budget is tight, maybe it would help you to begin your remodeling project by
financing with a low-rate loan in the FHA 203k program or through another government-subsidized financing option. Some lending programs have no payments required until 18 months from the renovation or remodeling, plus the home improvements can instantly cut your home insurance rates by 50%.
Second, another reason that so many contractors underestimate the time and money that a remodeling project will require is that there are a lot of sincere contractors that just do not have enough real-world experience to be able to give an accurate estimate of the costs and duration of your remodeling project. They are making "educated guesses." That is not exactly dishonest (like intentional deception), but it is also not the accuracy that so many home owners value.
One of the biggest sources of stress for a home-owner in regard to a remodeling project is realizing that the renovations will cost much more than hoped and need to be discontinued unfinished. You want to avoid spending thousands of dollars to not even finish the renovations.
It simplifies everything to start with a realistic estimate of cost and time. If you are not comfortable with the size of the investment, but would like to work with our remodeling contractor, let us and know and then we can help you review your financing options. If the remodeling project really does not fit your budget, then that would be a good thing to know before you put 50% down and start spending lots of money on it, right?
Finally, we do not expect that 100% of the estimates and bids that we give will result in us getting hired, so if you are at all concerned about "having to say no," then relax because we are interested in giving you the opportunity to be well informed about the renovations of interest to you (and to find out if you are comfortable enough with hiring us that you will say "yes"). Millions of people every day do other things besides hire us for a remodel. We sincerely appreciate the opportunity to earn your business. If you hire us for remodeling soon, great. If not soon, then maybe you will still eventually hire us for a remodeling service. To find out if we are the best match for you, contact our remodeling supervisor now.
What do experienced remodelers know that new ones don't?
Keep in mind that this is just one simple example. So far, we are talking only about the typical inaccuracy of inexperienced remodelers in their estimates of costs and time. We are not even addressing the issue yet of the most common errors in the actual work performed by inexperienced remodelers.
So, to give a precise estimate of how long a custom project will take, that requires plenty of real-world experience with jobs just like yours, right? Inexperienced contractors can only speculate. They make "educated guesses." Plus, they tend to be biased by their anxiety to attract you to hiring them by providing numbers that they hope will be appealing to you.
As you probably know, the numbers they provide tend to be low... even as low as one half of a realistic number. In contrast, only experienced contractors can make reasonable projections based on having completed many past remodeling jobs like yours. They can speak from experience. Contractors who are brand new to the remodeling field obviously cannot speak from experience.
If you get a bunch of "educated guesses," they can vary quite a bit. If several experienced remodelers all give you an estimate, would it surprise you if all of them were very close to each other in total cost and total expected duration?
When getting bids, set aside the idea that the lowest numbers is the best estimate. The "best" estimate is the one that is most accurate or realistic. We recommend that you hire the remodeling contractor in which you have the most confidence that they will provide you a good value. We are also confident that we will be your favorite.
The expertise and partnership of a high-quality remodeling contractor will make the home improvement process much less stressful. Eventually, you are either going to pay for the job to be done well or else pay for the job to be redone. Of course there can be at least a slight difference in the labor charges of different remodeling companies, but if you value the insights and expertise of a contractor who partners with you, then be conservative by investing only in a very high quality process!
Respect the benefits of hiring the best remodeling contractor for you
As a quick example, here is an interview with a remodeling client about her satisfaction with her remodel (which was the building of a new garage / enclosure of an existing carport). The reason we share it here is not because of the specific renovation that she was having done, but because of what she said about her neighbor who had recently had her kitchen remodeled.
In the full audio testimonial, you will be able to hear to her clear delight about the quality of service provided to her. However, first, here is a short section about the risks of hiring the wrong remodeling company. It is a sad story she told about her neighbor:
You have to be careful. They're constantly telling us... seniors [senior citizens] to be worried about scammers.
The gal next door [who had recently invested 80 thousand dollars for the remodeling of her home], she came over here and said "does he do renovations in the house" [inside] and I said "yeah, I'm talking to him about a kitchen renovation." She said "I wish I had known about him..." cause she got cheated.. Oh, she just took a beating!
If reading that send shivers through you, then you might not want to listen to the actual audio recording. That client was quite emotional about the grief of her neighbor (as well as her own gratitude for the remodelers she used). You can listen to the short section above by clicking here:
link. To hear the entire 3 minute testimonial, click here:
audio. A transcript is included here:
transcript of remodeling testimonial.