FAQ

As consumers we have questions about what to expect from a company. Perhaps you will find an answer here. In the event your question has not been answered adequately, please follow up with an email and we will be happy to respond. We might even post your question here.

Q: How much do you think it will cost?

A: This depends on the scope of the project, selection of finishes and accessories. It’s not uncommon for builders to only guarantee the cost of a project for a specific period due to fluctuation in material and labor prices. The only way to truly determine the “investment” is to have a detailed estimate completed so you have a benchmark.

Q: How long will it take?

A: Again, this is entirely dependent upon the job itself and how many different trades are involved. To help the project go quickly make sure that, as the customer, you have reviewed all the necessary designs and product selections in detail and any changes that are made are done in writing.

Q: When can you start?

A: That is a question every builder loves to hear. As a builder, what determines the scheduling process is the customer’s urgency. Some customers plan far in advance for a project they’ve wanted to do for some time. In the case of disaster repair or habitability issues we can work very quickly.

Q: Is there anything I/we can do to help defray the cost?

A: Clearly, some customers are handier than others and truly have a knack for building related or home improvement projects. We can certainly discuss the feasibility, and work with you to achieve some “sweat equity” in your project.

Q: Do you do the work yourself?

A: There are some projects, and in most cases parts of projects, that Pape Contractors does “in-house”. We do utilize trade professionals with which we have a lengthy good working relationship. All workers speak English as a primary language and go through a rigorous evaluation.

Q: What is the difference between the construction terms of remodeling, renovation and up-fitting?

A: In general terms they are interchangeable. Remodeling is usually reserved for a job where the frame of the structure is maintained but the inside/outside are both changed. Renovation is related to larger scale changes and usually involves structural changes. Up-fitting is generally reserved for the commercial side of “renovation” because the construction takes place inside an existing building. So the work has to “fit” inside the existing walls and usually involves an “up” grade to the existing environment.

Q: What is the difference between the construction terms of Licensed General Contractor and a “builder”?

A: A Licensed General Contractor is a Builder, but not all Builders are Licensed General Contractors. A Licensed General Contractor in Maryland not only has to pass a rigorous 3 hour examination covering all aspects of the Building trade, but has to prove financial solvency, no criminal history, be bonded and insured, have letters written from industry professionals on their behalf, and be in good standing with the Licensing Board for General Contractors.

Bathroom Remodeling & Renovation

Q: What is the difference between bathroom renovation and bathroom remodeling?

A: Many people and contractors alike use these terms interchangeably. They are not the same for the simple fact that the two primary words remodel and renovate have a different meaning.

Q: Why are there so many horror stories about bathroom remodeling and renovations?

A: The main reason is that the bathroom is the room that people renovate or remodel most often. Secondly, they have to stand up to daily use, steam, water and mildew. But neither one of these is responsible for the nightmares many have experienced, heard about or watched on TV. This basically comes down to the fact that the renovation was done poorly. Quality workmanship is not optional.

Q: Without any previous experience, how can we tell the good contractors from those we should stay away from?

A: A good contractor provides quality input, when you meet to discuss your plans. The good ones will help you realize your dreams. The bad ones will merely take down your ideas, itemize the list, add prices and ask for your signature … and your cash. What you want is the contractor, who does a thorough inspection and demonstrates knowledge of what is needed and what the options are. Never assume that all Contractors know the latest building technologies, products and code requirements. You want the industry leader not the follower.

Q: What warning signs should you watch out for?

A: Don’t be seduced by the contractor who tries to convince you that all you need is a modest facelift. Though they may initially win your wallet, the cover up of underlying problems such as wet insulation, rotting drywall and code violating plumbing- will drain the bank before the job is done correctly. Reality check. If your house is over twenty years old, it needs more than a facelift. Take the time to have a thorough inspection of what you have and what is needed. The rule of thumb for bathrooms is: If tiles need replaced, you’ve got problems that need looking into.

Q: What sorts of industry developments are worth consideration?

A: Anything to do with moisture. Drywall, for example, is just a wick for moisture, so you’ll end up with unbelievable mold. Proper ventilation is not only the minimum building code – It is key to reducing moisture problems down the road. Find out what options are available today to properly ventilate your bathroom.

Q: So how much should a full bathroom renovation cost?

A: There are too many variables to make a definitive answer to this question. At the end of the day, you have to know what you can afford and how that matches with what needs to be done. The right contractor can help you make an informed decision. Take the time to meet with qualified Contractors and discuss ideas and options. A true Remodeling professional will always look for what is best for you and them. A True remodeling professional will provide you with real information to help educate you on design options and cost. A true remodeling professional will inform you, not sell you.

Q: What is the best advice for bathroom renovators to focus on?

A: From the outset you should be hyper-vigilant about quality. Start with your own planning and research. Seek out quality advice from expert sources. Don’t settle for a fly by night contractors. Make sure everything is in writing. Be prepared to be your own quality control specialist. If you can do this, you can guarantee that your bathroom renovation will be a dream. Sincerely,

Remodeling a home can eat up a lot of your time if you do not know the basics. It can cost you a fortune as well if you are not aware of the top tips on remodeling your home.

Here are some of the top questions on how to remodel your home:

Q: How long will it take to remodel my home?

The time it takes to remodel a home varies greatly on the scope of work. High-end projects demand great attention to detail, but the best remodelers have a streamlined process to ensure a project starts, progresses and finishes in a timely manner.

Q: How much will it cost to remodel my home?

A: The cost of remodeling projects depends on the scope of work. The first step to determining the cost is coming up with a budget and working with an experienced remodeler who will help fit the costs to your budget.

Q: Can I live in my house while it’s being remodeled?

A: Typically, you can continue to live in your home while it is being remodeled. It is a fairly simple process to section off the areas of your home that are under renovation. A quality remodeler will make sure the construction area is kept clean and does not interfere with your daily life.

Q: Should I check references for my remodeling project?

A: Talk to your remodeler, meet them and check references. A quick phone call now can save you many hours of trouble later.

Q: What warranty should my remodeler offer?

A: The remodeler should offer a solid warranty that protects you in case anything goes wrong with the remodeling project. A good remodeler will follow the warranty provided by the local Home Builders Association.

Q: Should I remodel my home when home values are down?

A: When construction is slow and home values are down, it is the best time to invest in remodeling your home. During these times, labor and materials prices are lower. Plus, the highest quality contractors who normally work exclusively on high-end new home construction are available for renovations.

Q: What type of insurance should my remodeler have?

A: It is important to make sure your remodeler has proper insurance for hiring them to take on any project.

Q: How can I make sure my remodeling project is finished on time and on budget?

A: It is critically important to make sure you remodeler can complete your remodeling project on time and on budget. Ask for past examples of projects that they completed. Check references to make sure those claims are true.

Q: What is the best way to find out if an addition will blend into my existing home?

A: When adding any addition to a home, it is of course very important to be sure that it blends well with the rest of the home. The first step is to speak with an experience remodeler who has added additions that complement the home.

10 Tips For A Smooth Home Remodel

  • 1 Establish effective two-way communication with the home remodeler. It’s essential to have good communication for a smooth home remodeling project. Does the remodeler listen? Does he or she answer questions clearly and candidly? Can you reach him when you need to? Does he return phone calls promptly? Does he let you know when problems arise and work with you on solving them?
  • 2 Make sure you are compatible with the contractor. You’ll spend a lot of time with your remodeler so it’s important to have a good rapport and trust in him or her.
  • 3 Set a clear and mutual understanding about the schedule. You and your home remodeler should agree on the schedule up front to avoid conflict and problems later in the project.
  • 4 Request a written proposal. Often, two people remember the same conversation differently. Get the proposal in writing and work with the remodeler to ensure it reflects your wishes.
  • 5 Get a clear and mutual understanding on miscellaneous details up front. There are a lot of little details that need to be settled before work starts. What times of day will they be working? How will he or she access the property? How will cleanup be handled? How will they protect your property?
  • 6 Remember to be flexible. Remodeling is an interruption of your normal life. Remember to be flexible during the project so that you can handle the unexpected and go with the flow.
  • 7 Discuss and agree on how change orders will be handled. With home remodeling there is always the chance you may want to change materials or other project details during the job. Before work starts, make sure you agree with your remodeler about how these changes will be handled. Also understand that changes could affect the schedule and the budget, so it’s important you have all changes in writing.
  • 8 Agree on a well-written contract that covers all the bases. The contract should include these elements: a timetable for the project, price and payment schedule, detailed specifications for all products and materials, insurance information, permit information, procedures for handling change orders, lien releases, provisions for conflict resolution, notice of your right under the Federal Trade Commission’s Cooling Off Rule (your right to cancel the contract within three days if it was signed someplace other than the remodeler’s place of business), and details on the important issues (such as access to your home, care of the home, cleanup and trash removal).
  • 9 Ask for a written lien waiver from the home remodeler upon completion of the work. If the remodeler hires subcontractors for portions of the work, then it is their responsibility to see the subcontractors compensated. In order to ensure this has been done and to protect yourself, ask for a written lien waiver when the work is finished. This document will verify everyone has been paid.
  • 10 Establish a project plan, covering all phases and dependencies in the work. Plan your big picture goals with the remodeler and discuss your needs. Hire a remodeler who will plan with you, listen to concerns and answer questions.