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Topic: Design build remodel

Alex Graham asked:

May 14, 2014
Jul 20, 2014

Go visit the neighbors or take them to breakfast or dinner.  Or, send them a letter.  Bring a note pad and take any notes regarding their concerns.  Explain that you take pride in your home and will be doing some remodelling. This only helps the neighborhood home values as well as theirs.

Alex Graham asked:

Jan 13, 2015

With a lump sum contract, all the risk is placed on your contractor. If you want assurance, a lump sump contract with a professional remodeler will give you a guaranteed price... but be sure you have a clear understanding of change orders and hidden condition clauses in the contract, as well as finding out if any allowances are realistic. Cost plus, you take on all the risk. Everything is billable, and the contractor has no risk for this. In return, you might be charged a lower markup. So if you are willing to take on some risk or if you have a highly evolving project, a cost plus contract might help you. You must have a clear discussion of maximum price and be prepared for price escalation, though. Any other question on the subject?

Alex Graham asked:

May 14, 2014

Michelle Slowe of NEWPRO PRO answered:

May 14, 2014

First off, congratulations on the new home! Here are some tips that I hope are helpful:

  • Be excited, communicative, and available throughout the process
  • Remind those working on your home to be as tidy and quiet as possible
  • Do not accept disruptive behavior 

PLUS Your excitement is contagious - many companies offer referral rewards - so if your neighbors catch your excitement and have the need for one of the services the company is providing - you can take advantage of those programs - earn points, dollars, rewards, etc. 

Establishing a friendly relationship with your neighbors is pivotal, so you are already half way there! Invite them over to see the progress and then the finished project!

All the best,

~Michelle Slowe


May 22, 2017
May 23, 2017

In regards to roofing, Owens Corning has a great checklist and you can find it at the link below! Here are just a few items to check though: 

-Accredidation and good standing with the BBB

-Additional Warranty and Workmanship Coverage

-Verify how long they have been in business

-Addequate Insurance (at least $1,000,000 in general liability insurance) 

-Code Compliance


-Quality Materials

May 22, 2017
Jun 7, 2017

In addition to the informaton that you already received, here is a Q&A I wrote back in 1998 that might help.

Question:I have some minor repairs that need to be done.Can I use an unlicensed handyman for them?

Answer: Not if the total aggregate price for all labor, material and all other items is less than $750.00.This maximum is for the total project even if it is only a part of a larger operation, whether undertaken by the same or a different Contractor.

Q:I’ve been told that if I need a building permit I must use a properly licensed Contractor.Is this true?

A:Yes, unless the work will be performed by employees of the owner or owner’s management agent as long as either; (a) there are4 units or less, or if 4 units or more (b)that the units are not offered for rent or sale within one year.

Q:Do my employees need to be licensed in order to do maintenance work at my complex?

A:No, but please note that the provisions of both questions #1 & #2 apply to employees, owners and owner’s agents.

Q:How do I know if a Contractor is licensed?

A: The handyman must use the word “unlicensed” or “not licensed” in any form of advertisement.

A licensed Contractor is required to place his license number(s) on all documents used by the licensee in the conduct of business regulated by the registrar.It is recommended to call the Registrar of Contractors to ensure that the license is current and up to date.

Q:How do I find out if a Contractor has any complaints against their license.

A:You can call the Registrar of Contractors office to obtain whether or not the licenses is current, who it is issued to, the license classification, how many unconfirmed, valid resolved, valid unresolved and invalid complaints have been filed within the last 2 years.This information can be received through their new automated system using a touch-tone phone.

Q: Are there different licenses for commercial and residential?

A:There are many different license classifications for both residential and commercial construction.It is not enough that a Contractor is licensed for either residential or commercial but that he has the correct classification as well.It is best to check with the Registrar’s office to ensure that the license covers the type of work.

Q:Should I not use a Contractor because he has a complaint against his license?

A:A complaint against a license even if it was valid should only be one criterion in determining whether or not to use a Contractor.Some companies do quite a high number of jobs and are bound to have a correspondingly higher number of complaints than a firm who does not.The percentage of complaints to completed jobs may show similar track records of companies with differing number of complaints.

For additional licensing information you may call Arizona Registrar of Contractors (602) 542-1525

Alex Graham asked:

Jan 13, 2015
Jan 14, 2015

Good answer by Abe. We prefer to use fixed contracts with our clients. We have clauses in our contracts for unforeseen itesm such as concealed structural damage or inadequacies. I fully agree a professional remodeler, that knows what they are doing, should be offering a fixed contract.

Alex Graham asked:

May 14, 2014
May 16, 2014

Hey Alex, 

One of the best ways to stay on good terms with your neighbors during a large construction project is to keep the job site as clean as possible at all times.  No one likes construction debris creating an eye sore in the neighborhood, especially when the debris enters someone elses yard who is not having any construction work done.  

Also, the crews need to be as polite and courteous as possible and aware of their surroundings. Cigarette smoking, loud music, cursing, are all things that really irritate home owners and shouldn't be acceptable on any professionally run job site.  

It is also important to let your neighbors know the work schedule so they can expect the delivery trucks and crews to help coordinate parking that is convenient for everyone.  

Communication and clear expectations are very important. Let your neighbors know what to expect, and when to expect it, so they are not caught off guard.

Hope this advice helps. Good luck with your home improvement project!

--Eric Consuegra, AROCON Roofing & Construction, LLC

Alex Graham asked:

May 14, 2014
May 19, 2014

This is a great question!

I think the most important aspect of staying in your neighbor's good graces is good communication. NEDC likes to have one of our team go around the neighborhood personally at the start of every project and hand out contact information for our company. We give our business card, a letter letting the neighborhood know about the project and how long we expect it to take, and a flyer about our company.

It helps both us and our client, because we get publicity and marketing out of letting your neighbors know (all of which are potential referrals), and you get increased awareness and good feelings about the amount of communication. Additionally, if your neighbors get complaints, they usually end up calling us rather than you. 

I'd suggest to the company completing your project that they at least mail out a flyer to your neighbors. Obviously not every company is going to be able to devote a person to come out and knock on doors like we do, but a flyer shouldn't be too hard to communicate.

If they are resistant to that idea, I'd suggest sending out a letter yourself, just informing them of your intent. That way, they feel acknowledged right off the bat, and there are clear lines of communication going forward. 

Good luck!

Feb 18, 2014
Feb 19, 2014

The most often recommended window covering for efficiency is a cellular shade.

Please note that as you keep more of the interior heat from reaching the interior window surface, the potential for condensation will go up with that reduction in heat exposure as a result of the window's lower surface temperature.

Feb 18, 2014
Mar 28, 2014


If replacing the window is an option, then Pella Designer Series windows are available with triple-pane glass and removable miniblinds or shades inside a glass hinged panel.  The blinds or shades don't get dirty and the extra glass panel makes the windows very energy-efficient.  However, the frame size of the fixed window or large awning would have to be 59 inches or less to be ordered with a blind or shade.  The maximun width on a casement would be 35 inches.  Maximum height would be 73 inch frame size on either.

If your window treatment turns out to be expensive, compare the cost to replacing the windows themselves.

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