Trying to get estimates for remodeling my basement

Discussion in 'General Home Improvement Discussion' started by SjS1987, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. Dec 11, 2009 #1

    SjS1987

    SjS1987

    SjS1987

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    How annoying is it to get Estimates for your house to get remodeled?? It's so time consuming. Is there anyone you can hire to do it for you? Is there an easy way?
     
  2. Dec 12, 2009 #2

    Speedbump

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    I guess someone should start an "Ask Gary" (like the Lawyer referral services) kind of service for remodels. It might catch on quick.
     
  3. Dec 14, 2009 #3

    cibula11

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    Hire a general contractor to make the calls necessary. Be sure you find a reputable one, as they will be hiring the contractors to come in and do the work. Most likely they'll go with who they normally do business with. That could either be good or bad.
     
  4. Dec 14, 2009 #4

    handyguys

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    There are some contractor review services such as homestars, angies list, service magic and others. They may be able to help you select a contractor.

    If you are going high end, an architect can often manage this for you as well.

    Bottom line is make sure you get apples to apples quotes. In other words, make sure they all are quoting on the exact same things.

    We did a series of podcasts on basement finishing. Mostly oriented to DIY but you may find some information useful.
    Basement Finishing Series

    Good luck
     
  5. Dec 15, 2009 #5

    majakdragon

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    I agree with hiring a General Contractor. You need to be really specific on what you want and expect. I always wondered about the companies I see online that refer contractors to home owners. Got my answer when I saw one of them refer one of my local roofers. This roofer does really shoddy work and all of his employees are "Independent contractors". They are required to carry their own insurance and pay their own taxes. Once he hires them, he has no idea if they continue to make their insurance payments.
     
  6. Dec 15, 2009 #6

    Speedbump

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    I agree, Angies list and others are there for the money, not the homeowner. Unless you pay, you don't get on the list. It's that simple.





    Better business bureau is another one. They used to drive me nuts trying to get me to become a member. It's not free!

    Angie.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2009
  7. Dec 15, 2009 #7

    majakdragon

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    Speedbump hit on another organization that gets way too much credit, and does little for the consumer. BBB, primarily, only monitors their "members". Not that this will actually help the homeowner.
     
  8. Dec 18, 2009 #8

    Brit_9

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    My friends husband told me to find a contractor on econtractorbids.com. Have you guys ever used it? I'm thinking of trying it... what can it hurt?
     
  9. Dec 18, 2009 #9

    SjS1987

    SjS1987

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    Thanks for the comments. I have been so busy with the holidays I haven't had time to really research these different sites. I'll let you all know which way I go!
     
  10. Dec 18, 2009 #10

    Speedbump

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    I always say that word of mouth is the best advertising. Ask your friends and neighbors who have done similar remodels. They can tell you whether a given contractor is good or bad. Both are out there, it's up to you to find the best one of the bunch.
     
  11. Dec 18, 2009 #11

    Mikeman

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    Remodel can mean adding electrical and and sinks and a toilet or it mean finishing the walls and ceiling and floor. Two very different situations in terms of complexity and permits needed.

    If you are just covering the walls you can get a drywall contractor to give a quote or for a drop ceiling a ceiling contractor but when you get into adding electrical and plumbing you need a remodel contractor who uses his or her own people and may sub out portions (like the sheetrocking).

    With any contractor I would want to talk to the home owners on the last two jobs they worked and find out about the quality of the work, how timely they were in getting the job done, and any problems with the materials used or the people on the job or cleaning up after themselves or in scheduling of the work. Often general contractor add on their 20% but do not actually supervise the workers on the job so you are not getting full value for your dollars.

    You will be dollars and grief ahead by taking time to talk to several contractors and letting them know what you find to end up with and how they would suggest getting their and the cost and time involved. There are always multiple approaches and talking to multiple contractors is the best way to determine what they are and then at least you will be making a more educated choice as to what to do and who to hire.

    I would not rush the project through but allow time to make alterations based on what is found on the job as it proceeds. Everyone hast their own opinion but for a remodel such as this I would hire a general contractor who will be responsible for everything and then spell out in the contract exactly what work will be done and what materials will be used.

    The very real risk is that often you have to pay a general a large amount before they will start the work and if they turn out to be incompetent you will find it virtually impossible to get any money back. If the general contractor does not pay the sub contractors you will be on the hook legally to pay them.

    There are lots of quality contractors that might have considered your job too small in the past but will now be happy to get any work to keep their people busy. So I would start with the top remodeling firms in your area. Often architects will recommend people that they have found to be honest and reliable and competent.
     
  12. Dec 19, 2009 #12

    Trim Plus

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    Hi,

    As one mentioned previously make sure people are quoting apple for apple. We as contractors know its hard to get a job when we quote one way and the guy that gets the job didn't bid with the same things we did.
    If your going to do the leg work yourself write up a guide line explaining exactly what you want and hand out the same thing to each bidding company. Once you have picked the contractor than you can sit down with them and go over the job with a fine tooth comb and get there input on the job in hand. Just remember you need to be able to trust them. Like a person said earlier word of mouth is the best. talk to friend and co-workers and get there opinion on people they used or know of.
    Remember using general contractors your paying there mark-up on top of there subs mark-up and so on. so doing it yourself can save you a lot of bucks, as long as you do your homework.

    Leo
    trimplus(dot)biz
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2009

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