What you Need to Know
Be aware of the unexpected
Some customers prefer to know all the technical details and “ins and outs” of their project, while others simply just want to get the job done, but let’s face it; nobody wants to pay for unexpected surprises. While we try to point out many unexpected conditions that may come up, there is always an element of risk, and contingencies should be made up for in the budget.
If you have an issue with water intrusion from defective flashing, piping, roofing, window or door seals, or other problems, this could result in mold or dry rot. For the most part, it is not a huge deal if it’s caught early enough. In some cases we employ companies to test for unsafe levels to determine whether the services of an abatement contractor will be necessary. Dry rot uncovered during a remodel can be expensive to fix, but the telltale signs are usually easy to spot during initial home inspections.
We usually find that when repairs or construction were carried out without permits, corners were cut significantly—and this often leads to structural issues. The problems might be with framing or foundations, and they could be considerable and hard to detect at first sight. Signs usually include settling of parts of the structure or cracking. At times, defects will be uncovered during a remodeling project and this may result in additional engineering fees, plan revisions fees, and other construction costs.
A quality job starts from the ground up. Often, the things you don’t see are the most important. On floors, the underlying structure has to be sound, flat, dry, and level. If you have cracked tiles on your existing floor, more likely than not, there is an issue with the slab. Putting new tile over the same sub-par surface is almost certainly going to result in the same problem down the line. There have been a lot of advances in crack isolation and repair over the last 10 years, and Shoreline Holdings has the answers and long-term solutions for all flooring problems.
Throughout your home, you have transitions from one surface or material to another. When you are remodeling, it’s important to know about the thicknesses and properties of any surface materials you are putting into your job. A good architect or contractor will ensure that you are aware of any transitions, as changing things after they are installed can be expensive.
Limitations of materials
It is important to understand the properties, variations, and limitations of any natural materials selected for your home. Natural materials are products of nature and variations in color, pattern, grain, texture and veining must be expected. You don’t want to notice at the end of your job that you don’t like part of the pattern in a piece of natural stone or the natural wood grain on your cabinet doors. Remember, selecting materials can be subjective, so it’s a good idea for you to view actual samples with your contractor before anything is decided on, purchased or installed.
Building department requirements or fees
It is almost impossible to keep up with every new code and regulation. Sometimes, you are required to make updates to existing systems when performing a certain amount of upgrading, and things can change at any time. Fees can vary a lot depending on the scope of work. Shoreline Holdings will ensure that you have a clear grasp of all the city or county requirements and fees.
We generally look at the possibility of encountering two types of change orders. The first would be where you, as the customer, decided to upgrade materials or change specifications mid-job. In these instances, there are probably going to be additional fees in line with initial costs. The second are unexpected items such as a faulty or unsafe electrical junction box behind the walls. Unless it’s a really tight budget, we usually build in a contingency that covers such items. If the unexpected condition would incur a significant cost (such as uncovering a bad mold situation), contractors should (and Shoreline Holdings LLC always does) discuss fully the scope of work and additional costs involved in undertaking any new work.
Protecting your home
There is so much more to being a professional contractor than simply getting the job done. When care is not taken to protect the existing surfaces, furniture, appliances, and systems, this can result in unexpected costs. One of the things we are extremely careful about is dust, making sure air conditioning units, furniture, and other surfaces are well insulated, wrapped, and otherwise protected while carrying out remodels or repairs. Sloppy work can cost you more money down the line. We treat each and every job as if it is our own personal investment and treat your home the way we would expect our own to be treated.
Hiring the wrong contractor
After 25 years working in construction, we’ve seen a lot. We can tell you from experience that it’s no fun fixing a job another company messed up. We hope that making you aware of some of the things you need to think about will at least help you make some educated decisions and find true, licensed and insured professionals to work with. A job you are not satisfied with will leave a bad taste in your mouth, but it may be much worse if the job is unsound and costs you dearly down the line.
Please contact us at 239-596-9009 for a project review.