TRUE CONFESSIONS OF A REMODELING CONTRACTOR: MAKING A HOMEOWNER CRY
MAKING A HOMEOWNER CRY
This has been one of the toughest month’s for me as a home remodeling contractor.
Two of the potential clients that I visited with were brought to tears and another one was strong enough to hold back the tears but realized they threw away money.
WHAT WENT WRONG
The first of my heart breaking experiences happened in Palm Beach Gardens. A woman, had a leak, which unfortunately led to mold.
But… the people she hired to “fix it” removed anything and everything that they could, down to the metal studs that were part of her exterior walls.
There is no easy fix to put her home back together, especially because it is part of a quadruplex. The homeowners association won’t let her rip down what is remaining from the exterior walls and now they are in danger of collapsing, her insurance company is denying the claim, and the “friends” that helped her weren’t licensed.
WARNING: ALWAYS VERIFY THAT THE PEOPLE YOU HIRE TO WORK ON YOUR HOME ARE PROPERLY LICENSED – read more –
The only remedy she has is to hire a public adjuster to help her navigate the insurance company process and to hire a construction attorney to help her recoup her costs from the work that was done improperly. Until she gets the homeowners association to grant her permission to fix the exterior walls, she is in limbo.
The next of my heart breaking experiences happened in Wellington where work was done without a permit and the second contractor is no where to be found.
A homeowner needed work done on his home. The “contractor” who only could work weekends was caught doing work on the home without a permit. The Village of Wellington issued a stop work order, fined the homeowner, and had the electric meter pulled from the house as a safety precaution.
The homeowner, after paying fines, hired another contractor. But, this contractor is now missing in action. I advised the homeowner that I could not do any work on the home unless the permit was closed. Like the previous homeowner, this job will remain in limbo until the legal ramifications are solved.
The last my heart breaking experiences this week also happened in Wellington.
A homeowner wanted to remodel their kitchen and have an addition put on their home. They hired a draftsman to draw up the plans. The plans did not reflect what the homeowner wanted! The plans were what the designer wanted to draw.
As a design-build contractor I have seen this time and time again. Some draftsmen or architects don’t understand the big picture and don’t understand how things are tied together. The homeowner, throughout our meeting, kept saying “but that is what I wanted.”
It is very frustrating to me that homeowners waste money on plans that won’t work. It is not that every designer/draftsman does a poor job… but I have seen it way too many times that plans are not usable because they are incomplete, don’t meet the homeowner requirements, or they are drawn incorrectly.
I’D LIKE TO SCREAM FROM THE ROOF TOPS – HIRE A DESIGN-BUILD CONTRACTOR! IT GIVES YOU A CONTRACTOR THAT CAN NOT ONLY DRAW YOUR PLANS BUT ALSO BUILD THEM TO YOUR SPECIFICATIONS! – read more
BEFORE YOU CHOOSE TO DO A REMODEL
Think about how your change will effect the look of your home. Realize that the newer things may alter how the rest of your home looks. That doesn’t mean you don’t make changes. But… think about how your changes can affect your vision of your home.
If you are changing the floors, do you want to change the doors, their thresholds, the moldings? If you are adding additional cabinets, how are you going to tie the cabinets together? Will you need to resurface the old cabinets, change out all of the hardware, or replace everything?
Making all the cabinet pulls the same may not be so easy. How the new handles get installed may not cover old holes. The old hardware may not easily be removed.
When you do choose to remodel, look for someone with good listening skills who shares your vision for what your home should look like. Feel free to ask for references. Then, before you sign on the dotted line, check with your state to ensure your architect or custom builder is licensed in his or her field.
FOR ASSISTANCE IN PLANNING YOUR PROJECT
If you have questions about the design process or a project you are considering, contact your local design-build contractor, Leading Edge Homes. Inc. Want to see some of our work? Visit our website or view our online book.
For all of your new home, home remodeling and inspection needs, contact your local certified “roomologist”, Leading Edge Homes. Inc. at 561-795-2551.
Todd Perry, a State of Florida Certified Building Contractor and president of Leading Edge Homes, Inc., provided this information.