What should I look for in a remodeling contractor?
Outside of the obvious credentials, you need to find someone who you are comfortable with. Remodeling projects are very personal because they occur in your home, can last several weeks or months and the final product should reflect your tastes and requirements. Be confident that your contractor is a good match with your personality and understands what you want.
We've never renovated before. How can you help?
We strive to make the process as simple, easy and well explained as possible. We will lead you through the decision making process and keep you informed along the way. We handle all the ordering, scheduling, permitting, inspections, supervision and project management.
What will my project cost per square foot?
In most cases, because of the uniqueness of each remodeling project, it is difficult to give a fair price quote per square foot. Unlike new construction, there is the dismantling of existing structures and inherent issues that present themselves during the process. Furthermore, a large portion of the cost of construction is in finish items which can vary greatly with the desires and tastes of the homeowner.
What's this about contractor licensing?
Until 2008, there was no general contractor licensing in the state of Georgia and contractors were, for the most part, unregulated. Now residential and commercial general contractors must be licensed by the Secretary of State's office to operate and obtain building permits. The president of Furin Construction, Inc. holds a Residential Contractor's license.
I've heard that there are new requirement from the EPA regarding lead based paint, what do I need to know about that?
As of April 22, 2010, federal law requires that contractors performing renovation, repair and painting that disturb lead based paint in homes built before 1978 must be certified and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. The president of Furin Construction, Inc. has been certified for the new EPA Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting program. We will supply you with all the information you need, including the EPA's publication "Renovate Right" as required by law, so that you can make informed decisions on your specific project.
What steps do you take to help protect the environment?
Thankfully, the green consciousness of the country has evolved and forced the marketplace into providing environmental friendly products and supplies that are automatically supplied to us or available at our request. Everything from the adhesives we use to manufactured wood products to paints and cleaning supplies are provided in eco-safe form.
We have enormously reduced the amount of debris being hauled off in dumpsters to already burgeoning landfills. All cardboard, plastics and metal is sent for recycling. We often find new homes for "slightly used" appliances and fixtures that are removed during remodeling.
Although we are required to control silt run off and erosion with measures such as silt fencing and hay baling, we vigilantly check and repair these precautions throughout the project.
How do we select the materials, fixtures, cabinetry, countertops and everything else we need?
The array of options for these items can be daunting. We will help you through it by first giving you a list of items and finishes tailored to your project that need to be selected and the appropriate times to make those selections. We help you make the best choices and direct you to preferred vendors and suppliers who will deliver quality products, on time, that best suit your needs.
Do we sign a contract?
Yes, and any good contractor should have a contract that clearly lays out the terms of the agreement. We have two standard contracts, one for smaller jobs and one for larger projects.
Our contract spells out an agreement between us regarding payment, length of project, insurance coverages, warranty and the like. We also include a detailed scope of work specific to your project as well as general specifications we adhere to for all our work. If there are architectural plans associated for the work, the final constructin plans will also become part of the contract.
How are payments made and when?
A payment schedule is outlined in the contract. Each "draw" is based on the start of a particular milestone reached in the construction schedule (i.e. Start of Plumbing Rough, Start of Painting, etc.). The goal is for payments to be made in regular intervals throughout the project but are tied to work progress to ensure that things are moving ahead as planned.
Can we remain living in our house?
That depends on the scope of the project and your honest assessment of your tolerance to living without the area being renovated. Obviously, living without a kitchen for a couple of months is much more difficult then living with out a bath when you have two others.
There are some events that may require that you move out for a few days such as refinishing an entire house of hardwood floors. Any disruptions of that magnitude would be discussed and planned for well in advance.
I'm getting back estimates and there are big differences in pricing. Why is this?
There are several considerations that come into play. One, if you are getting back preliminary pricing for a project that is still a concept without plans and finish specifications, then the comparison may not be apples to apples. We supply a brief description of the scope of work as we interpret the job so you know what is included in our pricing.
Generally, pricing from different contractors, based on a set of plans and specifications, should be somewhat similar. One big factor in pricing from a contractor is how much overhead the company has. Obviously, the larger the operation, the larger the overhead. Conversely, the "man working out of his truck" has much lower overhead. Both operations have their place and can service larger or smaller projects efficiently respective to how they are set up.
Our overhead is kept relatively low by focusing on our core project range and being ultra-efficient. Like most legitimate general contractors, we have necessary business expenses such as insurance, equipment, transportation, office expenditures, etc.
How long will my project take?
We include a date for substantial completion in our contract. Substantial completion is the point at which the project is complete to the point it is fully useable for you and only minor touch up or "punch-out" items remain, if any. In committing to that date, we calculate how many days the job should take and any hold up days we anticipate; such as waiting for inspections.
What should I expect daily?
We typically work Monday through Friday from around 8:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. Occasionally, we may work on a Saturday with your permission on a case by case basis. There are some operations that require set up or dry time between activities which would mean our workers may come later in the day than the previous. We will always communicate when there are times when work times will be outside the norm.
Do I need a permit and inspections?
Many jobs require a permit based on scope and dollar value. We will determine if your job fits that criteria and obtain the permit and all necessary inspections as required.
Do I need to find an architect?
The size and scope of your project will determine what level of design you need. We work hand in hand with our own partnered architects and designers.
If you have your own design person or have someone you would like to work with, we welcome the opportunity to work with them.
Can I do the painting and save some money?
Or "my uncle is an electrician, can he do the electrical work?" In most cases, we strongly recommend you let us handle the entire project with our team. Our people are used to working together and do so more efficiently as a cohesive group. Work on any project requires a great deal of dedicated time, some of which can be stretched into many different phases of the project. Painting, for example, requires prep work and priming earlier on in the project with finish coats and final touch ups occuring much later. Our tradesmen are also armed with years of experience and specialized tools to turn out a much higher quality product than most able do it yourselfers.
On a more important note, we can not honor our warranty on work we did not do.Having outside tradespeople perform work on one of projects obfuscates the responsible party.