Clear Creek Home Improvements FAQs
Home Remodeling in Fort Worth, Tarrant, Denton, Wise, Parker & Johnson Counties
Like most Builders and General Contractors, Clear Creek Home Improvements only provides a turnkey proposal. Our software, estimating methods, and pricing are all proprietary and unavailable to the public and our competition. Because we truly want to help our clients achieve their vision on budget we’ve listed the areas where every project can be compared and budgets can be impacted.
Everyone likes to compare bids including us. The comparison is in the actual work to be performed and the total cost not what each vendor pays for materials or pays their help. Focus on the scope of work to determine if you are seeing apples and oranges.
If a project is over budget the size may be the issue. Make is smaller.
Shop wisely for the finishes such as tile, plumbing and electrical fixtures.
Shopping sheet – a sheet listing each item in a project that our client must shop for personally comes with a budget. These are items that can greatly impact the overall cost of the project as well as being a place to save.
Specialty items – similar to finishes, items such as safe rooms, faux beams, faux painting and steam showers cost thousands and look great. Those may need to go till a later time
FAQ regarding client involvement
Clear Creek Home Improvements limits client involvement in regards to supplying materials and labor. Unless we have a client that works for a lumber company, chances are we get it cheaper. Beware of close out deals as those materials were passed over for a reason. Sub-par quality is something we don’t do.
Client labor – We have a certain way we like to do things (including demo) that don’t work well when our professionals aren’t the ones doing them so we don’t typically allow clients to get involved. Case-by-case if a client is a pro by occupation.
I want to remove the wall that separates my kitchen and living room to open it up, Can that be done?
Yes, absolutely … there are several things to consider when doing this type of remodel. Is the wall load bearing? How much electrical is running through the wall? What are you going to do about the flooring? If the wall is load bearing, do you want the beam exposed or recessed into the ceiling (which is more costly)? When you do a project like this, usually the ceilings on both sides will have to have the texture touched up and both ceilings repainted as well as the walls. There are a lot of factors to consider. We can walk you through that process.
Ask Questions! If you see something that doesn’t look right please don’t wait until the job is done to say something. Say it right then! Sometimes items could get accidently switched however the installer isn’t aware that he is installing the items in the wrong place for example, he is just installing. Please ask. There are no dumb questions. Another thing is to make it easy for the contractor to have access to your home. Give him a key if possible. Remember, there will be dust and messes. We are not able to dust every day; however, we will tidy up as we go. We will do a final cleanup.
First of all, with any remodeling project, there will be problems that arise. A good contractor will address problems quickly. He will come up with a solution, implement it, and the project will move forward. Be wary if a contractor keeps putting you off when you try to address problems.
Be realistic! You need ideas but you have to remember and think about your budget. Be rest assured if you think you can remodel your kitchen for say $12,000.00, it will probably cost $18,000.00. If for example you want to move plumbing where concrete would have to be cut out, that would be an expensive item. These types of items can add up very quickly. It’s a good idea to look at magazines, go to home improvement shows, and go to parade of homes to get ideas so you will have some sort of outline of what you want versus what you need. Remodeling is not cheap but it is definitely less than buying new.
Lots of factors enter into the time it takes to complete a project. The scope of the project has the most to do with time. A media room will not take as long adding a bonus room. When you do bathroom remodels and glass doors are involved then they cannot be ordered until the shower is done. Counter tops usually are not ordered until the cabinets are in. That takes a week to two weeks depending on the product. But rest assured, we will do our best to give you an accurate timeline and to keep you informed as things happen that could alter the finished time.
A change order is a written document signed by the home owner to make a change to the project. This document can be mailed, dropped off, or e-mailed to the company for consideration and changes. Any change order agreed upon that involves additional expense to construction will be paid in full by the Home Owner to the company before the change will be made. All change orders will include the cost of the service or product and a markup for profit and overhead. We try to avoid change orders if we can, but sometimes changes need to be made or added. Change orders are to protect you as well as the contractor.
I would say that free estimates are here to stay. I would also say that more and more contractors are getting away from free estimates on the larger projects because there is so much more time invested in putting together that kind of estimate. Our time is valuable. There is a lot that goes into a big project. Therefore, often times once the client is sure that they are going to move forward with the project then there may be a design fee involved.
Call the local National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) office, 817-753-6181, and ask for information. Or, call the GFWBA 817-284-3566 there are several companies on line like Angie’s list that rate contractors. I believe looking at their website will tell you a lot about a contractor … is it professionally done? When you find a good clean easy to get around website it most likely means that they pay attention to detail. This could be a reflection on how the jobs look. Do they have more than three testimonies on their website and are they current? Do they have lots of job pics or just a few?
Do you stand behind your work? Am I getting a good value? How long have you been doing this? Ask if they have references and referrals, pictures with close ups maybe a portfolio. How long will this take to complete from start to finish? Have you ever done a project like this before? How much insurance do you carry and what kind? What type of organizations does your company belong to?
Listen to your gut, that little voice inside that says something is wrong. I would ask the question, what kind of permits need to be pulled? If he says anything to the fact that permits are not needed that is the first red flag. My philosophy is calling the city and asking them… that means you as the home owner should call the city. They will tell you if you need them or not. You don’t want the city coming out in the middle of your project and shutting down the job because your contractor didn’t pull the required permits. Another red flag to look for is if the contractor is insured. Be sure and ask the contractor if he has a general liability policy and how much is it worth?
My proposals always have a scope of work on them. I don’t want anything left to chance if there is just a price for bathroom remodel scribbled on the back of a business card or piece of paper, be aware. Ask for proof of insurance and a copy of references.
Personally I would rather buy the material myself that way I know what I am getting and if I don’t get enough then it is my fault and I will deal with the consequences. If you get the material and you don’t get enough then we have a problem. I am going to charge you a trip charge to go and get more material. Or I might not be able to come back and finish for a week or so, because I have other jobs lined up. If you buy the material then you will be responsible for the warranty… so what I am saying is if you buy the materials to save money and don’t get enough then what have you saved?
That depends on a couple of things. If it is a referral and you are comfortable and he has met all of the above criteria one estimate is probably good. If it is not a referral then I would get three. Those three estimates need to be on the same scope of work so you can compare apples to apples.
I got three estimates and they are all different in price… by a lot, why is that
There could be several reasons for this:
- Scope of work is not the same
- Insurance verses no insurance
- Type of materials used
- Attention to detail
Good question and one that is not always asked. If it is a small remodel like bath that may take a couple weeks. They would probably use your extra bath or they would go to a store. Longer remodels require a portable potty. This gets serviced every week… We do this because we do not want to track in your house and dirty up your bathroom.