Being A Contractor

I hope everyone enjoyed their Independence Day Holiday. We enjoyed a few days off and got to catch up with friends and family. While coming back from the holiday we had a few appointments and it amazes me still how some people think they are a contractor. I wanted to share this blog with you. So lets begin.

While doing estimates in the Lutz and Land O Lakes, Florida area a few clients had called previous people for estimates. Some were we can start tomorrow. Some told my clients sure I can take that for you and then show up and the ladder does not reach the window. Come to find out these are just jobbers being recommended on social media. This actually makes me mad. We have companies out there that are completly legit and then the ones who operate sneaky.  Who is going to select a contractor that does not have correct references, license, insurances, and most of all proper tools. If saving a few dollars is one thing but is that jobber or handyman going to be there when stuff fails that they did. NO!  They will address it once, maybe then ignore you, run, hide, change their number or worst leave the state. Now you the consumer are stuck with a messed up job, out of money and hurt. a

The reason for this blog is 2 of our clients almost got scammed. We get it save some money but when you have a small bathroom remodel and the handyman or jobber says we can start tomorrow. I would run. This also concerned our client.

So, to all our followers and future clients make sure you ask the proper questions.

  1.  Do you have pictures and references of your work?
  2. How long in the trades?
  3. What is your schedule like?
  4. Do you have insurance and license and can you provide a copy?                            (this stops the handyman rip offs!)
  5. And lastly, what type of warranty do you provide?                                                          (by law 1 year. PHRR we provide 2 years)

So in closing do not get hoods-winked by people that think they are a contractor. Instead go with one that can properly answer the 5 basic questions to any client.

Remember, at Pasco Home Remodeling & Repair, we provide all types of home remodeling, repair, and renovation in the Zephyrhills, Holiday, Dade City and Wesley Chapel Florida areas all the time. For more info, contact us at 352-322-2700 or http://www.pascoremodel.com

Thank You.

Contract Planning

Ever wonder about the planning of what goes behind the construction project? Ever wonder why it takes so long at times to get special order items? Well this weeks blog hopefully will shed some light on these questions. So lets begin.

Lets say you want to do them small jobs before you have guests coming into town. Or you like to remodel that bathroom finally. So you have decided to call the local contractor but he is busy. Now you are like ugh. So from there you use a search engine and now you see hundreds of contractors and more search websites for contractors. Where to begin.

Look at the contractor’s websites and reviews. Some people will use Facebook. Some will use the Local Chamber of Commerce, or some will go just pick 3 that are local to them. So you call and let the contractor know the type of work you want done. Hopefully the 3 contractors you called will show up for the estimate. And you start by explaining to them the project at hand. For small jobs they could be a few hours to a couple of days. For the bathroom remodel a bit more. Either way you should get an estimate in about 3-4 days. Some take longer if there is special orders involved or multiple trades. But normally, no more then about 10 days.  Keep in mind you may not be the only client the contractor has proposals for.

So for the small jobs the contractor will prioritize of how they will do the work. If there are parts need to me ordered that will affect the start date. If there is outside work as well, weather needs to be considered. Then for the small jobs the work is started once the contractor has the materials. Sometimes the materials are delayed because the manufacture or supplier is out of stock. When this happens the process just took longer. Now the contractor is at will of the supplier, especially if it is a special order. So once the materials have arrived then the contractor will schedule with their client to perform the work.

But lets take the bathroom remodel. Sounds simple but you normally have 2 or 3 trades involved. If you are redoing a shower our client’s select and purchase the tile. And usually fixtures. Now the tile may take 14 days to get to the supplier. (oh boy) Then we have the plumber. The plumber needs to be notified about what they will be doing and want plenty of time. Again about 14 days. Then lets say the lighting needs to be changed, added or moved. The electrician comes to the project and again they probally like 14 day notice as well. So just from here the project may not start atleast 14 days out. But what if. Seriously the what if factor.

Now lets tell you how Pasco Home Remodeling & Repair will perform these tasks. The initial in home estimate is usually scheduled within 3 days from the initial call. Tad longer if near the weekend. Secondly, for small jobs our planning is simple. If there is materials that need special orders once we receive them a start date is then scheduled. This way we are only at your home once. The worst thing anybody wants is to have the contractor keep coming back. Also this will save you money and time too.

Now lets take the Bathroom Remodel. Normally, the clients want an estimate to see if its in their budget. Yes some contractors will be high and some low. Some may not do the job if it is under a certain amount do to their overhead.  So here is what we do that is tad different. We will figure the contract with the needed materials and trades. We work close with outher speciality trades as we have an understanding what their pricing is. (too a point) This will help the process. Once the estimate is approved from the client. We state. Get all the materials you are providing on site and then call us. Hey, this is your project. So pick the projects you are comfortable with, and not just the economical type. If its gonna take an extra week or so then so be it. Once you have all the materials on-site the contractor should make another visit to make sure all the materials will be proper for the job. (worst thing to happen is to be installing tile and not have another box because there is one box broken.)

Once this process is completed, then the contractor should schedule the other trades and begin the work. Now keep in mind unless the contractor has his own employees nothing is perfect. But normally the schedule should go from start to finish.  So as you can see from the day you start the I want to get stuff fixed around my home to completion it could take about 5 weeks of scheduling. But the wait will be worth the perfection of your new project.

For more information about these projects or others visit us at www.pascoremodel.com or call 352-437-5300. We glady perform projects in Land O Lakes, Holiday, Zephyrhills, and Lutz Florida all the time. We will be more then glad to visit your home anywhere to discuss the project you like to have done.

Thank You and Happy Easter to our followers!

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Drywall Finishing

Ever wonder why drywall compound takes longer to dry when other times it will dry quicker. This weeks blog is about finishing drywall to a paint-able finish. So, lets begin.

When drywall installers install drywall its important that the drywall is installed correctly. For example, you have finished edges from the factory that are beveled. You want the drywall to be perpendicular across the framing for more rigidness. And you want the drywall to be nailed or screwed every stud and every 12″ on the stud for ceiling joist. What you do not want is the drywall to be placed and not really tight as this will cause cracking in the compound and not adhere correctly.

When the finishers are applying the compound, they may use different types of drywall tape for the best application. For instance, if it is against the drywall that is existing, then you will have a cut edge and its best to use mesh drywall tape instead of paper tape. In the corners you will have papertape to cover the corner. There are other drywall finishing instruments as well depending upon the type of job but lets stick with these 2 for now. When finishing drywall its important that the edges meet up and are as flat as possible. In union school, I was taught, factory to factory and cut to cut edges. This usually applies to most applications. In remodeling most of the time.

Most of the times the drywall finisher will apply the tape and a good first coat to cover the tape. Most drywall finishing will need 2-3 coats depending upon the application. In some cases matching up to existing plaster for a small repair, it may need 4 to really feather it out. But when finishing drywall the real trick is applying just enough so the compound can dry evenly and at a normal rate. Some will leave heat on to help or place heaters in the rooms. Some have used De-humidifiers, some use an instant compound you mix on site. This is all great, but if the wall or ceiling temperatures are not at at least approximately 65-70 degrees then the drying times will be longer. I always recommend to keep the room at a comfortable range so that the drywall compound can dry smoothly. Adding extra heat or keeping the ac on can cause cracking and bubbling sometimes and will delay the process. And yes doing ceilings against the attic the compound may dry quicker due to the heat in the attic.

So in closing, the next drywall task you do whether its a small job or a complete remodel, make sure the room is comfy. Not too cold and not too hot. Make sure the finisher has experience in feathering joints. Ask them when they use a 6 inch knife compared to a 10 or 12 inch knife. And lastly, if you see big hunks of compound applied and its going to take a belt sander to finish stop them. The problems will arrise later on as the seasons change. Sometimes drywall joints will crack when the home is acclimated over time. To learn more,  go to www.pascoremodel.com  or call us at 352-322-2700. Thank You.

 

Contractor Financing

I wanted to share with you a brand new feature we have for clients. Sometimes we may be a bit short of cash and need repairs to our home. Or we maybe waiting on payday but need some minor maintenance done to our home. Or while in a contract, the budget may run over of unexpected costs. There are a lot of different ways that a home remodeling project can be financed. We at Pasco Home Remodeling & Repair take pride in offering services that not only are reputable, easy, convenient and cost effective for the consumer and for the contractor.

As of today we have partnered with PayPal for financing. Its easy to sign up. No waiting, no long lines at the bank and no interest for 6 months on projects over $99.00. We feel that this is a great benefit to our clients to assist in getting that project completed quickly. On our website, www.pascoremodel.com, there is a special window for terms and faq’s about this program thru PayPal. Or if you have any questions feel free to call us anytime at the office at 352-437-5300. Remember at #PascoRemodelin, we are the can do contractor.

 

Code Inspections

The blog is a few days early but wanted to share an experience about code inspections. The purpose of them and what could happen if you don’t get a permit.  So lets jump in.

When you are doing any type of major remodeling you should obtain a permit. A lot of municipalities will allow the home owners to be the general contractor or home owners can obtain a permit for like kitchen remodeling and other small renovations. Some municipalities will not allow home owners and unlicensed professionals to add new service for electrical, plumbing and or HVAC. So before starting the next remodeling project, check to see if you may need one with the local building department.

To start the local municipality will want permits for new fence, new air condition unit, siding, new windows, bathroom and kitchen remodeling. The reason behind this is because you may have multiple trades involved. For example, when Pasco Remodel, is contracted for a kitchen remodel you have us, probably an electrician and plumber. All aspects of this kitchen have to be fully operational for a final inspection. Think about it. Do you want the cabinets to be not level or the receptacles not energized properly when the contract is done.  Alot of people believe that once you obtain a permit, your taxes will go up due to improvements. This aspect isn’t true. Property taxes increase based on the area and improvements of the municipality. However, if you add an addition, yeah you added square footage to the home. So, you may have a slight increase based on the new square footage of the home compared to previous tax year.

Now, lets say you have the permit and are beginning the project. If its a contractor then they will have everything scheduled for this project. The other trades will have permits and additionally everything will be scheduled by the general or main contractor. This process is the easiest and runs smoothly. But, lets say the home owner is doing the work. OK, no biggy. But if the home owner does not schedule the contractors properly then the job can take months, instead of a few weeks. Also if the home owner is able to allow friends to help and they do not do the work properly and the inspections fail it is up to the home owner to correct the deficiencies performed by friends that are in the trades. This can become very expensive and time consuming. One reason is, the counter-top is waiting to template the counter-top then install it. They don’t want to wait manly because of any liabilities and also inventory.

So, now you may say, well we may need a bit of help to guide us. Home owners want to do the work as they take pride in the home. Contractors may be assigned a small part such as trim or tile installation and then they are completed that evolution. So whats the answer. Well this is how #PascoRemodel is different then other companies. First we can be a construction manager for the owner. Additonally, the owner is also a licensed home inspector in Florida and Maryland. Lastly, plans and review will want a blue print drawn. We can do that if we are the manager or consultant.

So in closing, we meet with home owners all the time that like to be part of the project. We will gladly assist in that phase. Or just be happy to install the trim and call it a day. So remember, before your next building project, consult with someone who is willing to work with you. A small fee for a consultant maybe better then having your place condemned if the work is not done properly.

For more information about this service, feel free to call us at 352-437-5300 or look us up on the web at: http://www.pascoremodel.com  We will gladly perform this type of service in Zephyrhills, Holiday, Hudson and Land O Lakes, Florida to name a few areas.

 

 

Differences Between Small Jobs & Handyman

I wanted to take this time to share the difference between what a contractor does when performing small jobs and the local handyman. There is a big difference. Now I am not taking anything away from people who perform odd or small jobs. They may have the experience or are retired. However, there are ones out there that are just not informed or trained properly. The blog this week will inform you the difference and what to ask when selecting someone to do a small job. So lets begin.

We get calls all the time to perform small jobs for clients. Just today we completed a variety of tasks for a property owner who is renting a small town home in Land O Lakes, Florida. The jobs were small and we itemized the billing so the owner knew what he was be billed for. At the end of the day, the renter stated that one bedroom door was not closing properly.  On the initial walk thru it was never mentioned about this. So in attempt to fix the door, we found that the door is a 32″ door and not a 30″ door which would had properly fit the frame. This is an example of a person not knowing the proper way to install doors. Also very un-professional for everybody.  We installed the new door and everything was fine. On something like this contract, the jobs were small and were done correctly. We made sure the renter was satisfied and if they had any questions. After our job is complete we warranty that contract for 2 years, not 1 year as required.  And yes  if there is issues, then we make sure its taken care of. Sometimes hardware fails. Sometimes humidity will play factors and we will have to plan the door down from winter to summer. No charge to the client.

Now lets talk about the local guy. Biggest question is to ask is the experience.. Like I said before, some are near retirement and just want some small jobs to keep busy. That is fine. But in the example above, would he had been able to install the door properly? Or would he cut about an inch off each side and try to make it fit. Another thing to ask people is license and insurance. And lastly, the local guy may not have a warranty. Will he come back if the caulk shrinks up on the tub? If the door swells will he plan it down that 1/16″ if need be?

So in closing, there are handyman that do small jobs but may not be properly experienced or reliable for that job. And there is contractors that do small jobs for clients and will stand by their work. So next time you are looking to hire someone, ask them. After all, the in home estimate is like a short interview. Both parties want to be a good fit for each other. We provide these type of services and others in Dade City, Wesley Chapel, Bayonet Point and Holiday Florida all the time. Feel free to call us at 352-437-5300 or look us up on the web; http://www.pascoremodel.com  Thank You.