Twenty-one Questions You should Ask to Choose the Right Contractor

Our recent blogs have focused on topics that will help you choose the right home remodeling professional for your renovation project.  We’ve covered misconceptions, project costs beyond labor, and what to look for when hiring your contractor.  In this blog, we give you the essential questions to ask so that you can confidently navigate choosing the right contractor for your remodeling project.

Choose the Right Contractor

Any reputable remodeling contractor should be able to answer all the following questions positively.  If they cannot, it would be wise to continue your search!

  1. Are you properly licensed on both the state and city level?
  2. Do you require all change orders to be in writing to eliminate any misunderstandings and unexpected cost overruns?
  3. Do you carry general liability insurance?
  4. Do you carry worker’s compensation insurance?
  5. Will you provide me with a written lien waiver at the end of the job?
  6. Are you a member of NARI or NAHB? Do you subscribe to their Code of Ethics?
  7. Are you certified as a CR, GCP, CKBR, CGR, or UDCP?
  8. Are you a member of the local Better Business Bureau?
  9. Will you pull any necessary permits?
  10. Do you offer a written warranty on all workmanship?
  11. Who will oversee my job? May I meet this person or persons?
  12. Have you been a party in any construction litigation?
  13. Will you provide me with references?
  14. What percentage of your business is repeat, or referral-based?
  15. How many projects like mine have you completed in the last year or two?
  16. How do you plan to reduce dust and protect the rest of my home from the effects of other work? (Good contractors erect dust barriers and use drop cloths and other protective material to protect your home.)
  17. How is daily and general clean-up handled?
  18. Will you provide means of communication that is checked daily for any questions or concerns you may have thought of after working hours?
  19. Will you provide me with a written contract that clearly spells out exactly what you will do, what your price includes and does not include, and specifies a guaranteed price, payment schedule, and completion date?
  20. Will a professional designer and/or architect design my job? (For projects that warrant this level of service.)
  21. Do you provide realistic renderings, sketches, and perspectives to allow me to clearly visualize my project early in the planning stages? (Again, for projects that warrant this level of service.)

We hope knowing what to ask will help you choose the right contractor who is a professional in remodeling and renovation projects.

FREE CONSUMER AWARENESS GUIDE

Learn more about how to choose the right home remodeling professional with our consumer awareness guide.  Our guide, “10 Things You Must Know Before Hiring a Remodeling Contractor” will help you know what to look for when finding the right contractor so that you can be completely satisfied with your remodeling project.  This booklet was written so that you will be empowered to make the best decision for your home improvement and remodel. You can have the experience you desire for your home improvement project with the right contractor for you by requesting this free e-Book here.

Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

Begin your project by calling us at (480) 895-3442 or emailing steve@trilitebuilders.com to discuss remodeling your home, kitchen, or bathroom.  We offer no-obligation in-home consultations. Our award-winning designers and craftsman are eager to work with you to help you love your home again!

 

9 Things to Look for in a Contractor

In this blog, we continue our series of how to choose the right home remodeling professional for your remodeling project, by tackling 9 things to look for in a contractor.  Knowing this information will help you feel more confident as you research the best remodeling contractor for your project.

  1. Accessibility

Your contractor must be easy to reach by phone and email and never make you feel like you are imposing on them by contacting him or her.

  1. Promptness

Does your contractor keep appointments? A contractor’s day can be busy; if they are running behind, they should have the courtesy to call to let you know. Little things count.

  1. Trustworthiness

Honesty and trust are of the utmost importance in any situation, especially when the person has total access to your home. Make sure you feel a high level of trust with your contractor and trust your instinct if you don’t. Not only are you trusting them to be in your home and around your family, but you’re also trusting them with, in many cases, a sizable amount of your money!

  1. Membership in NARI or NAHB

NARI stands for the National Association of the Remodeling Industry; NAHB stands for the National Association of Home Builders. To become a member, the contractor’s background and references are investigated. It’s always a good idea to hire a NARI or NAHB contractor. Membership reflects a contractor’s commitment to professionalism.

  1. Certifications

Both organizations offer industry certification and designations such as Certified Graduate Remodeler™ (CGR), Certified Remodeler™ (CR), Certified Kitchen and Bath Remodeler™ (CKBR) and Green Certified Professional™ (GCP) and Universal Design Certified Professional (UDCP). If a contractor has one or more of these designations, chances are high that you’re dealing with a very reputable professional that is committed to their career as a professional remodeling contractor.

Furthermore, to earn one of these designations a contractor must demonstrate certain levels of skill and knowledge in addition to successfully completing numerous courses on various topics related to the industry.

  1. Ability to design your project

Unless your project is simple, you will want to work with a contractor that will start with a design phase complete with a feasibility study to develop both the remodel and a budget that will work for you. Design/Build contractors will work with you to develop space planning and floor plans. They will lead you through the multitude of choices that must be made. Most importantly they will work with you to balance the choices with the ultimate budget for your project. This planning stage prior to moving forward with your remodel will ensure that all the details have been addressed and that the possibility of unexpected extra expenses will be minimized.

  1. Knowledge of Green Remodeling Technology

In today’s world of high energy prices and limited resources, it is critical that your contractor is up to date regarding incorporating eco-friendly green techniques and features into every project. The common misconception is that green remodeling will cost more. The reality is that extremes in anything will cost more, and a well-balanced plan will respect your budget.

A contractor that is focused on the green aspects of remodeling will be more conscious of not wasting materials, recycling the used appliances, fixtures, and reusable building materials. This will save money and give you a tax deduction for donating used materials to charitable organizations. By viewing your home as a system rather than an accumulation of parts, your contractor will commonly incorporate many choices and techniques into every project that will improve your home’s performance and not necessarily cost more than uneducated choices.

  1. High Percentage of Referrals or Repeat Clients

When a significant amount of a contractor’s business is derived from repeat or referred business, it is an indication that their clients are pleased and that they have an outstanding reputation. If your contractor has a long list of happy clients and has an outstanding reputation for doing quality work, chances are high that you will be satisfied as well.

  1. Will Your Home Be Protected?

Simply put, remodeling can be very dusty and dirty. If not adequately controlled, dust will get everywhere, especially if there is a lot of sanding or demolition. Make sure your contractor has plans to take the appropriate measures to control dust and protect your floor finishes.

FREE CONSUMER AWARENESS GUIDE

Learn more about how to choose the right home remodeling professional with our consumer awareness guide.  Our guide, “10 Things You Must Know Before Hiring a Remodeling Contractor” will help you know what to look for when finding the right contractor so that you can be completely satisfied with your remodeling project.  This booklet was written so that you will be empowered to make the best decision for your home improvement and remodel. You can have the experience you desire for your home improvement project with the right contractor for you by requesting this free e-Book here.

Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

Begin your project by calling us at (480) 895-3442 or emailing steve@trilitebuilders.com to discuss remodeling your home, kitchen, or bathroom.  We offer no-obligation in-home consultations. Our award-winning designers and craftsman are eager to work with you to help you love your home again!

There is More to a Project’s Cost Than Labor and Materials

From Our Choosing the Right Home Remodeling Professional (Series)

Our recent blogs have focused on topics that will help you choose the right home remodeling professional for your renovation project.  We’ve covered misconceptions and things to watch out for when hiring your contractor.  In this blog, we are talking about expectations of the cost of your project and how your contractor gets to his estimate.  Knowing this information, will help you feel more confident and create trust between you and your contractor.

Each project is different, however, there are always going to be costs that go beyond labor and materials.  Your contractor should break down an estimate and how they reach it, where possible. This adds an element of transparency that you want to see.

In addition to the actual labor, materials, and Sub Contractor prices there are many other expenses every successful contractor must figure into their price to survive.

Cost of Your Project

The following is a list of some of the key elements that make up overhead in every successfully managed remodeling company:

Telephone, cell phones
Office rent
Office supplies
Stationery and printing expenses
Website, hosting, and Internet
Worker’s Compensation & Liability insurance
Health insurance
Paid vacations, holidays
Staff meetings
Payroll expenses
Office administration and management
Time doing free estimates
Material price increases that may not be billable once a job is quoted
Estimating errors and omissions
Warranty repairs
Tools and equipment
Trucks, repairs & maintenance, fuel
Continuing education, training, and industry events
Computers and software
Business loans and interest
Accountant’s fees
Taxes
Production supervision and management
Advertising, marketing, and sales costs

This all adds up to a substantial amount of money. To cover his overhead, a contractor typically must add a percentage to the actual cost of labor and materials required to complete your project. Most professional contractors try to maintain a 7.5% – 20% profit when all is said and done. Without a profit, the contractor will eventually go out of business.

If you receive a price from a contractor that seems too high, they are very likely trying to pay for the very things that allow him to survive and provide a good, reliable service to you and a good environment for his employees.

Do beware of the contractor that tells you his prices are low because he keeps his overhead down. Chances are that could affect the quality of your project.

FREE CONSUMER AWARENESS GUIDE

Learn more about how to choose the right home remodeling professional with our consumer awareness guide.  Our guide, “10 Things You Must Know Before Hiring a Remodeling Contractor” will help you know what to look for when finding the right contractor so that you can be completely satisfied with your remodeling project.  This booklet was written so that you will be empowered to make the best decision for your home improvement and remodel. You can have the experience you desire for your home improvement project with the right contractor for you by requesting this free e-Book here.

Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

Begin your project by calling us at (480) 895-3442 or emailing Steve here to discuss remodeling your home, kitchen, or bathroom.  We offer no-obligation in-home consultations. Our award-winning designers and craftsman are eager to work with you to help you love your home again!

12 Things to Watch Out For When Remodeling

Spotting Scams and the Inexperienced with Home Remodeling Contractors

Every industry has its share of scams and con artists. The remodeling industry is no exception. However, spotting scams and the inexperienced with home remodeling contractors is relatively easy provided you know what to look for.

One clue is that we tend to get a gut feeling if someone is trying to pull one over on us. But what about when someone isn’t intentionally trying to scam us? There are honest contractors that are either inexperienced, incompetent, or both. They may mean well, but their lack of skill or knowledge or inability to be able to complete or manage your project correctly can be just as devastating as the work of a truly unscrupulous contractor.

In other words, it’s not always the bad guys you need to look out for. There is a big difference between being willing and being able.

Let’s look at some of the things to look out for.

  1. “High-Pressure” Sales Tactics

With the remodeling business becoming more and more competitive each year, many contractors resort to high-pressure tactics to get you to sign on the spot without your best interest in mind. You should never feel pressured into deciding about choosing your contractor. Walk away.

  1. Unusual Payment Terms

Beware of the contractor who asks that you pay for the entire job upfront or asks you to pay in cash. A professional contractor will present an equitable, mutually acceptable payment plan, usually based on the progress of your project.

  1. Unverifiable Credentials

If you can’t verify a contractor’s company, name, address, and phone number, it’s a sure bet that trouble lies ahead. Many of these fly-by-night contractors are called “pick-up truck” builders. These guys don’t have verifiable businesses and are mobile enough to pack up and leave your job without a trace. A verifiable address is a must.

  1. Hard to Reach

Anyone can miss a call, but if you find that your prospective contractor doesn’t consistently return your calls, beware. Any remodeling project will have things come up that require prompt communication between you and your contractor. You want your contractor to be available to you when you have concerns. It is critical that you feel that your contractor is easy to reach and open to communication.

  1. The “Price Reduction”

This scam occurs when you say no to or show a bit of reluctance to the initial offer and in response the salesperson offers a lower price for the exact same work. Substantial reductions in price without changes in the scope of work or specifications could signify that the contractor is trying to get a higher price for something that is worthless, to begin with, and is just trying to save the sale.  If you and the contractor negotiate different materials, methods, or circumstances that clearly have an impact on the cost, this would be fine. Otherwise, the price should be the price.

  1. No Contract or Proposal 

Insist on a thorough contract or proposal with a defined scope of work, clear specifications, and detailed terms. By doing this, you will substantially increase your chances of being satisfied. It is best not to take anything for granted.

In addition to the benefits that come from knowing what to expect, if a contractor takes the time necessary to compile a detailed document, there will be far fewer unforeseen issues and misunderstandings, which will result in less stress for you, and your project will move along much more smoothly. If there is ever a misunderstanding, chances are it can be easily cleared up by referencing this critical document.

  1. Incomplete Specifications or Unclear Terms

Pay attention to the “Scope of Work” and “Specifications” sections of the contract or proposal. This is the part of the proposal that defines exactly what work will be completed (the scope of work) and exactly what products or materials and which methods are going to be used (the specifications). Every project should have clearly written specifications. Not just vague generalities.

  1. Shoddy or Incomplete Workmanship

By far, this is the most widespread scam of all. To address the potential for shoddy workmanship, I recommend following up with references until you are 100% satisfied that your contractor will provide the level of workmanship you expect. Awards are another area that can validate a contractor’s commitment to quality workmanship. Simply do not take someone’s word for it.

In our company, we recommend (and sometimes require) that prospective clients contact our references, and if available visit one or more of our past projects so they can see firsthand examples of our work. You’ll have a much better sense of the quality of work you can expect.

  1. The Contractor Asks That You Get the Required Permits

Some contractors may ask that you get the required building permits. If well explained, this could be to your advantage in certain cities, due to the way they have set fees for construction permits.  Or, this could be a signal that he is either unlicensed, the work is outside the area in which he is licensed, or he is not able to get a permit due to improper or inadequate insurance coverage. The contractor may also not be in good standing with the building department.
In any case, a reputable contractor will discuss the permit process with you and typically obtain a permit, if your project requires one.  When a contractor obtains the required building permits, you are more likely to have things done according to the applicable building codes. Also, check your homeowner insurance policy to see if it requires that a permit be issued on any major remodeling project to be properly insured.
  1. The Schedule or Time Frame Seems Too Good to Be True

If the schedule you’re quoted seems too good to be true, it just might be! A contractor who knows his business will give you a realistic work schedule/timeline. Don’t be lured by the contractor who promises an overly optimistic completion date.

  1. The Contractor Doesn’t Warranty His Work

Believe it or not, in some states, there is no law that requires a remodeling contractor to warranty his work. However, warranties are essential to any remodeling project. A good contractor will comply with the standards set forth by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.

The National Association of Home Builders performance guidelines helps determine whether a contractor’s work requires corrective action in cases of dispute. Most professional contractors know about these guidelines and may refer to it in their warranty. They can provide you with a copy.  Remember this: Contractors committed to quality workmanship and client satisfaction warranty their work at least one year and many offer two years or more.

  1. The Contractor Appears Unkempt and Disorganized

A disorganized contractor means a disorganized project. Pay close attention to the details. Look for clues that the contractor has it together. You want your project to be organized – that starts and ends with your contractor.

FREE CONSUMER AWARENESS GUIDE

Learn about spotting scams and the inexperienced with home remodeling contractors with our consumer awareness guide.      Our guide, “10 Things You Must Know Before Hiring a Remodeling Contractor” will help you know what to look for when finding the right contractor so that you can be completely satisfied with your remodeling project.  This booklet was written so that you will be empowered to make the best decision for your home improvement and remodel. You can have the experience you desire for your home improvement project with the right contractor for you by requesting this free e-Book here.

Avoid Three Common Misconceptions When Hiring a Remodeling Contractor

Your home is one of your most valuable assets. Selecting the right contractor will be the single most important factor in determining whether you will be completely satisfied with the outcome of your remodeling project. Every contractor brings a different level of knowledge, commitment, and dedication to the table.  In this blog, we share how to avoid three common misconceptions when hiring a remodeling contractor. The more you can become intimately aware of the “ins and outs” of how the remodeling business works, acquire the necessary knowledge and tools, you will be empowered to find the right contractor for your project.

Avoid These Three Common Misconceptions

Misconception #1 – You should always get three bids

Not necessarily. This tactic is probably responsible for more dissatisfaction within the remodeling industry than any other single factor.

Why?

If your objective is to get a quality job at a fair price, simply comparing it to another estimate is often very misleading. There aren’t any standard prices or standard specifications for remodeling projects. Each quote or estimate you receive reflects what’s included in the actual job that a contractor is planning on completing for you. Asking contractors to price involved projects with preliminary information and then trying to scrutinize the details of the resulting bid will only lead to misjudgments. Every contractor will get better pricing on some things than others. Seeing an item on a proposal that looks high does not mean that everything on the form is overpriced. Seeing lower prices may mean that the contractor will run out of money prior to finishing your project or that the quality of your project will suffer.

Misconception #2 – Going with a low price saves you money!

Think about this for a minute. If you have solicited several bids and go with the contractor that has the lowest bid, you’ve just awarded your job to the guy that just figured out the CHEAPEST way to get your project done!

Is this what you really want?

One of the most common signs of trouble ahead is someone offering to do work for a low price. Like the age-old sayings go: “You get what you pay for!” and “You can’t get something for nothing!” Be extremely careful in choosing your contractor based upon the lowest price. But you may be thinking: “Well, if all things are equal, going with the lowest price is smart buying! Isn’t it?”

Absolutely, 100% yes! But things are almost NEVER, EVER equal in the remodeling business!

Even if you have the most complete set of professional drawings and a twenty-five-page written set of specifications describing every little detail, things can still be vastly different from one contractor to the next.

What is true, though, is the more detail the better. They are critical to helping establish expectations.

The bottom line: NEVER use price alone as the determining factor. Low-priced bids should be cautiously reviewed as it could indicate that the contractor may have left something out in his bid which could lead him to cut corners or have to divide his time working two remodeling projects at the same time so that he can remain afloat while finishing your project.

Many other things should be taken into consideration as well. Whenever you encounter a low-price offer, some questions should immediately come to mind. Questions like:

“Why is the price so low?” “What’s missing here?” and “Has the contractor figured enough into the cost to provide me with the level of service I expect?”

On the other hand, if you have found a contractor that you really feel good about, but their price is more than you can afford or you simply do not want to invest as much as has been quoted, just explain this to the contractor. A professional contractor will welcome the opportunity to help you redesign your project or make whatever changes are necessary in order to better fit your budget. If you are open to scaling back the project, re-examining your priorities, or making other changes, this approach can be very helpful.

Misconception #3 – If the Better Business Bureau doesn’t have any complaints against the contractor, they are probably a safe bet.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is always a good place to start when investigating, but it should not be the stopping point. Even if a contractor doesn’t have any BBB complaints, it does not necessarily mean that you’re working with a reputable professional. We encourage you to investigate the company further.

The BBB is not a governing agency and it does not keep a record of every contractor in town. Many contractors can operate for years doing poor work without ever being reported. Likewise, there may be several very reputable contractors that the BBB has no record of at all.

The best way to utilize the BBB is to check with them to see if the contractor you may be considering has had any complaints against them. If they do, you should consider it an indication that this contractor may not be a good choice. If there are no complaints against the contractor you are investigating, this may indicate a good reputation, however, we strongly encourage you to do research beyond the BBB.

FREE CONSUMER AWARENESS GUIDE

We’ve created a consumer awareness guide, “10 Things You Must Know Before Hiring a Remodeling Contractor” to help you know what to look for when finding the right contractor so that you can be completely satisfied with your remodeling project.  This booklet was written so that you will be empowered to make the best decision for your home improvement and remodel. You can have the experience you desire for your home improvement project with the right contractor for you by requesting this free e-Book here.

Motivating Factors to Renovate Your Home in 2021

Life is always evolving, and this past year, the Coronavirus Pandemic saw the entire world adjusting to new ways of doing life and experiencing their homes differently. The desire to remodel homes went beyond just making a dream into a reality but created a feeling of necessity.  While the pandemic certainly holds strong motivating factors to renovate your home in 2021, many of the motivating factors have stayed the same.

The Coronavirus Pandemic Effect.

Many people found that their living space was no longer meeting their needs. Last year homes became our schools, offices, gym, and recreational area. When we had to shelter at home, homeowners began seeing their homes differently. Home renovation saw a rise in adding pools, home gyms, and space. People are cooking and eating more at home making kitchens the center of family life. Thus, kitchen and bath remodels have become even more popular. Working from home created the need for office space or a “Zoom Room” so that we could get away from distractions. Students being educated at home or online needed learning rooms for the same reason. And even with the pandemic seeing the light at the end of a long tunnel, life has dramatically changed in how we live it.  Those home offices and expanded family nights are not going anywhere.

Home Equity and Increasing Market Value.

Homeowners are getting an extra incentive from the record high amount of home equity they now have as home prices continue to gain and demand for housing soars.  People also have saved money over this past year from not going out to restaurants, not eating out, not going on vacations, and they are putting that value back into their homes.

Your home is an important investment.  Making smart decisions about renovation can have a positive long-term effect on the home’s market value.  We can help you research your options and know what the best return on your investment will be.

Having Time to Remodel your Home.

Remodeling your home takes time and we seem to have more time as life has slowed down.  Many people are no longer waiting until retirement to remodel.  While a major remodel can require months of effort, from the design and selection phase to the on-site construction, the rewards are worth it.

Remodeling for a Changing Lifestyle.

While the Coronavirus Pandemic may have changed your lifestyle, there are still other common motivating factors to remodel.  Whether your family is growing, or you have become an empty nester, your home needs to adapt to your lifestyle.  As you grow older, capabilities change which means your home needs to have an accessible design. We can help you plan for that.  With home renovation, your lifestyle is also enhanced by creating the space you want in your kitchen or upgrading your bathroom. This can have profound results in your everyday routine.

Remodeling Due to Deterioration.

Stuff happens! Kitchens, bathrooms, and exteriors remain the most frequent renovation projects because replacing them eventually becomes a necessity. Making the repairs is also the best time to expand into a remodel since the experts are already on hand. This can include updating for style as well as functionality. It is also a good time to make your home more efficient and sustainable which also helps reduce overhead and maintenance costs while decreasing your home’s impact on the environment.

And,

Sometimes you just want to freshen things up. Whether it is changing the flooring, opening the floorplan, repurposing an existing room and its functionality, or finishing the basement, home renovation can change things enough to make you excited about loving your home again.

Award-Winning Home Remodeler in Greater Phoenix

If you’re feeling motivated to remodel your own home, Tri-Lite Builders is a smart place to start, as we’re an award-winning design-build remodeling firm. Explore your options by calling us at (480) 895-3442 or contact us here. We also invite you to follow Homework Remodels on Houzz.

Looking For an Award-Winning Team for Your Remodel?

Looking for an award-winning team for your remodel? We know trusting your home and your remodel to us is a huge decision! You deserve the best!  Homework Remodels use only the most qualified experts and are led by an award-winning team backed by many years of experience in the field.  When it comes to interior design and remodels in the valley, we collaborate with you to bring your vision to reality.  We bring unparalleled attention to detail, skill, and experience to your remodel.

We Bring Your Vision to Life

As expert designers, we enjoy helping you bring to life your vision and completely transform your bathroom into your own European-style spa or an outdated kitchen into an upscale and functional dream kitchen that matches your personal style. Whether you are remodeling a single room, or completely renovating the entire home, we make the process as effortless and seamless as possible.

We Guarantee Outstanding Results

Through meticulous attention to detail, we’ll design and remodel your space creating stunning results. We’ll take the time to collaborate with you about your lifestyle, tastes, and project goals so that you get the remodel that you want.

You Can Trust Our Expertise and Depend on Our Experience!

Homework Remodels specializes in premier, upscale home renovations in Phoenix and the Greater Phoenix Area. Our team members include Nationally Certified Kitchen and Bath Designers and Universal Design Certified Professionals who can plan a brand-new kitchen, bathroom, master suite, or addition for your house – down to the last detail. Then our NARI Certified Remodelers bring that design to life so you and your loved ones can enjoy the new space for years to come.  You can count on Homework Remodels to bring expertise, quality, efficiency, and exceptional craftsmanship to every project.

For exceptional home remodeling, turn to the innovative renovation experts at Homework Remodels!

  • Concept to Completion Renovation
  • Home Design Consulting
  • Home Remodeling
  • Complete Kitchen Remodels and Bathroom Remodeling
  • Universal Design Bathrooms for accessibility and beauty
  • Master Suite Upgrades and Renovations
  • Room Additions, Garages, and Casitas
  • Historic Home Renovation Specialists

Ready to get started? We offer free consultations safely in-home or virtually.  Give us a call!

Click these links to learn more about us and view our portfolio?

Sheila Lanier, CKBR UDCP

Sheila Lanier, CKBR UDCP

Steve Shinn, CR, CKBR, UDCP, GCP

Steve Shinn, CR, CKBR, UDCP, GCP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have a lot of initials behind our names which really just means that we bring to you a lot of experience and knowledge with us. We want to give you our BEST!

What Those Initials Mean

CR        Certified Remodeler

CKBR  Certified Kitchen and Bath Remodeler

UDCP  Universal Design Certified Professional

GCP     Green Certified Professional

 

 

 

How the Design/Build Concept Works

Renovating your home starts with your dreams and vision for your living space. Most likely, you’ve been envisioning your remodel for a long time and are ready to get started but are unsure of what that is all going to look like.  In this blog, we help you understand how the design/build concept works, our proven process, and what to expect along the way.

HOW THE DESIGN/BUILD CONCEPT WORKS

We have developed a proven process we go through with all our clients that spans from the initial design consultation through construction and then on to completion.
We start by asking several questions to get to know you and your style.  We listen carefully so we can weave our knowledge and creativity with your hopes and dreams to enhance your home.  Our principal objective is to guide you through every aspect of the remodel: from room layout/space plan to the most important detail of your remodel.
Each design phase has similar elements that we craft uniquely to you and the variables involved in your design concept. Your project may include creating hand-drawn renderings or computer-generated 3D views of your new kitchen, bathroom, or floorplan. Each rendering or 3-D view is drawn so that you can preview the feel of your new kitchen or bathroom before construction starts. Throughout project development, our professional designer is there to lead you through each step.

INITIAL CONSULTATION

The initial consultation usually occurs with a phone call where we will discuss your remodeling project.  We answer the questions you have about our process, construction, project management.  Then, we ask several questions, to get to know a little about you, your home and what you envision for your remodel.
Next, we schedule a no-obligation consultation safely in-home or virtually if preferred.  During this consultation we:
  • Explore your space
  • Define the initial Scope of Work
  • Learn more about your lifestyle and preferences
  • Answer the design questions you have
  • Discuss comparable budget ranges from similar projects
If you find we are a good fit: personality, design concept, and estimated budget, we begin our design and pre-construction phase.

DESIGN PHASE

The Design Phase will take our preliminary concepts and budget to the finished design and fixed budget with all selections made. This includes collaborating on all the details which include:
  • Floor plan options
  • Appliance Selection
  • Cabinet styles and color choices
  • Countertop material and slab selection
  • Tile selections including decorative accents for backsplashes, floors, or showers
  • Plumbing features including styles, finishes, and locations
  • Electrical features, lighting fixtures, and their placement
  • Coordinate color choices for all features and walls
Our goal is to create the space(s) that you will be proud of and your family and friends will enjoy.  At Design Phase completion, the plan is in place: every product is specified, each trade partner is on board, the drawings are ready, and the budget is set and approved by you.  Time to execute the plan.

BUILD PHASE

The Plan – our specification documents that itemize all product selections, the scope of the remodel work to complete, drawings of the particulars, and budget amounts – become part of the Construction Contract.  These documents encompass “The Plan” and serve as the guide for our production team.  They work together with our professional designer during the Design Phase to ensure that all construction requirements are met.
Throughout the Build Phase, our Project Manager is there to execute the details of the plan.  The Project Manager is your day-to-day hands-on leader of your remodel and point of contact. As with all the phases of your remodel, communication and collaboration continue until the project is complete.
For high-end home design, build, and remodeling that reflects your vision, our NARI Certified Designers will work hand in hand with you to create a space that not only adds value to your home but brings you joy! Call us at (480) 895-3442 if you would like to discuss your remodeling project with our award-winning designers and builders.
You can view our portfolio here.

WHAT IS NARI AND WHY CHOOSE A CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL?

We believe remodeling your home should be done right which is why we have invested in extensive NARI professional education and testing to become nationally certified professionals in multiple remodeling specialties. As a NARI Certified Remodeler, we have dedicated ourselves to continuing education.  This keeps us on top of the new finishes, business practices, and construction techniques, ensuring you a successful remodel.

National remodeling certifications ensure that you, the homeowners, are working with trained professionals that are focused on the highest quality remodeling services. As NARI certified professionals, we will guide you through the remodeling process making it worry-free with spectacular results when completed. First, here is more information on exactly what is NARI and what it means to you.

What is NARI?

The acronym NARI stands for the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. It is the only association solely dedicated to the remodeling industry. “NARI is an organization of high-quality remodeling professionals. Its members are committed to integrity, high-standards, professional education, ethics, and market recognition.” (www.nari.org)

How does NARI benefit me?

NARI can connect you, the homeowner, with a dedicated full-time local professional to ensure you have a positive remodeling experience. NARI certified remodelers will write contracts and warranties that comply with local, state, and federal laws. They always take appropriate action to ensure the health and safety of employees, trade contractors, and clients.

Does it really matter if my contractor is not a NARI certified professional?

Every member of NARI has agreed to conduct their business in accordance with the Standards of Practice for the Remodeling Industry. Also, every member has been actively involved with the remodeling industry for at least 2-5 years prior to earning a certificate. Without these certificates, how would you know if you were hiring a qualified remodeler? How can you measure a remodeler’s ethics, if they are not part of an organization that educates, monitors, and certifies its members? NARI has taken all the guesswork out of hiring a reliable and trustworthy professional contractor who is knowledgeable, informed, resourceful, and flexible.

What does that mean to me, the homeowner?

NARI members are pledged to observe high standards of honesty, integrity, and responsibility in the way they conduct business. They are experienced, trusted, qualified, ethical, and dependable business owners who will get your project done right. They obtain the proper permits, carry the required insurances, follow local codes, and design innovative solutions to renovate your home. By choosing a NARI certified professional, you are getting an expert in their field, a tried-and-true specialist who will turn your remodel into your dream home.

We have staff NARI certified as NARI Certified Remodeler, NARI Certified Kitchen and Bath Remodeler, NARI Universal Design Certified Professional, NARI Green Certified Professional. Learn more about our NARI certifications here.

Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

Your remodeling project should reflect your taste and lifestyle. Tri-lite Builders’ NARI Certified Designers will work hand in hand with you to create a space that not only adds value to your home, but also works within your space, taste, and budget. You can view our award-winning portfolio here.  Call us at (480) 895-3442 if you would like to discuss your remodeling project with our award-winning designers and builders.

 

Using Reclaimed Wood in Home Remodels

Using reclaimed wood in home remodels has been an on-trend design element for a few years now. It is an idea that appeals to a lot of people for reasons that extend beyond being solely conscious about the environment. One major benefit is the warmth it adds, as well as texture and character to the look of your home. It can instantly add an aged patina to a brand-new kitchen.

Reclaimed wood has a natural warmth to it that will add balance to an Industrial or Modern-style home.  Each piece of wood is unique with its’ inherent qualities and the natural weathering of the boards. Sliding barn doors, accent walls clad in wood, and ceiling beams are especially popular and it looks as though they will remain so for quite a while. Interior designers are seeing an increase in the number of clients requesting the addition of reclaimed wood into their new remodel. Here are a few things you should know about using reclaimed wood to make your newly remodeled space even more visually interesting.

Old but Not Unusable

The idea of using wood from an old building or shipping crate might lead to some worry about rot or insect damage. Reclaimed wood should always be thoroughly examined for those issues prior to use.  Not all reclaimed wood is equal in its properties.  Old-growth timber generally is denser than new wood harvested from younger trees. Therefore, it would be much better suited for a humid part of the home.  Teak, considered the most rot-resistant wood, is highly resistant to weather and moisture. Along with old-growth cypress, teak is an exceptional wood for use in the damp areas, such as a master bath.

Reclaimed wood may need refinishing and will require some amount of routine maintenance, but it can be well worth the extra effort and expense. One additional perk, by using reclaimed instead of new wood, you will not subject yourself and your family to the potentially dangerous off-gassing from a VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) which is found in new wood.

Other Notable Points

Even your own home can be a source of used wood if you are removing old cabinets or shelves. A big reason for the appeal of reclaimed wood is the fascinating details it contains. Odd knots, nail holes, and even the imperfections contribute to the character of the pieces. You may be lucky enough to find a rare species of reclaimed wood no longer being harvested. You will usually find reclaimed wood in different lengths and widths, but this is also considered a visual bonus.

Using reclaimed wood does come with a few challenges. Usually, it is best to have a professional deal with this material, even if you are an experienced do-it-yourselfer since many of the pieces are incredibly old, some more than a hundred years. Many pieces of old wood may contain nails or screws that must be removed before refinishing.

Using Reclaimed Wood

You can use reclaimed wood in any part of a home remodeling project that requires this material. Think about an interesting, one-of-a-kind table made from a vintage door. Sturdy and attractive shelves and cabinets can be constructed, as well. Repurposing wood to make your floors will significantly raise your costs, especially here in the southwest, where we have no 150-year-old barns to salvage!

If you have your heart set on the look of reclaimed wood floors, you have two options. You may want to consider using new wood, stain it to achieve the same look, and save yourself some money. The second option would be to use a porcelain plank tile flooring that resembles barn wood. Tile is more durable and less expensive. An accent wall of reclaimed wood would not be as expensive as doing all the flooring and would add a lot of visual interest and a sense of history to your home.

Where to Use Reclaimed Wood

In the kitchen, we would caution you to be careful with where you place wood in relation to wet areas. Using wood for a small butcher block counter is one thing, but having all your counters constructed of wood will be a maintenance challenge. These countertops would have to be refinished every few years, especially near the sink area. Spills would need to be wiped up immediately. This is definitely not a countertop material for everyone!

Some of our clients have asked about using reclaimed wood as their backsplash material. Again, we would caution you about the extra upkeep. It can be done; however, you would need to have the backsplash sealed multiple times with a lacquer type sealant. In a sleek industrial style kitchen, for instance, as a nice contrast, you may want to add open shelving made from reclaimed wood. Pairing reclaimed wood with other salvaged items like a vintage sink also adds drama and interest to your new space.

How about the Living Areas: Great Room, Bedroom, or Entry?

The Great Room is an excellent place to add an accent wall of reclaimed wood.  If you have a fireplace, a reclaimed wood mantle adds warmth and texture to the room. The master bedroom is a great place to add an accent wall of reclaimed wood, you may not even need to use a headboard.  In addition, an entry or a dining room is also a perfect place to add an accent wall of barn wood.

One other thing to be aware of when working with wood, it will swell and contract depending on the ambient temperature and the amount of humidity in the air. It is important to use a flexible silicone caulking for installation purposes.

 

Let Us Help You Love Your Home Again

As a home remodeler in the Greater Phoenix Area, we will help you do the homework to make the best decisions regarding your remodel.  If using reclaimed wood, we will make sure it goes in the right areas and make is visually stunning! Ready? Call us at (480)895-3442 to schedule your free 60-minute in-home or virtual consultation to get started! Our award-winning design team and craftsmen are ready to make your vision for your dream remodel a reality.

Check out our portfolio here!

 

 

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