John B. Venable Building and Remodeling


Q: How do I choose the right contractor?
A: This is the most important question and probably the hardest to give a definitive answer. Here are some helpful tips.
  1. Ask for and check the contractors references.
  2. Ask to see pictures of projects he/she has done.
  3. Check with the Better Business Bureau
  4. Ask for certificates of insurance
Q: How much will it cost?
A: Again, there are no definitive answers. The price for remodeling differs from new work because of the need for preparation . Therefore the pricing is in accordance to custom work rather than production work. This means that the price per sq. ft. is either higher, or non existent.
Q: How long is an estimate good for?
A: Thirty days is generally standard. However material prices are fluctuating rapidly right now (April 05) and few if any contractors are giving firm contract prices
Q: What is the process to add additional work?
A: Most contracts/work orders have a provision stating the contractor's policy. As a general rule, extra work needs to be submitted in writing and paid for in advance
Q: How are payments made for the job?
A: A down payment or deposit is required at the signing of the contract/work order. Additional payments will be specified in the contract/work order.
Q: How long will it take to complete the job?
A: This is dependant on the job. A 600 s.f. addition will obviously take longer than a bathroom remodel. However, as a rule of thumb, I generally allow 2 1/2 - 3 weeks for a complete bath remodel and about 2 1/2 - 3 months for the typical (300-400 s.f.) addition
Q: Is what I want to do feasible?
A: This can only be determined by looking at the job. I have extensive experience in design and analysis and will advise if you are on the right track and whether we should modify the plan to meet your needs and budget.
Q: Does the contractor have any suggestions?
A: Yes. I will listen closely and ask you, the customer, various questions in order to get an accurate idea of what your goals are in doing the project. I will then offer input and ideas that will hopefully help to make for a better design of your project.
Q: What are my (the customer) responsibilities?
A: This will be laid out more fully in the contract/work order. But here's a few things. Make room for the contractor to work. Make sure that you tell me personally of changes that you want to be made. Do not just tell the workmen. Direct communication is vitally important.
Q: What are the contractor's responsibilities?
A: Here's how I see it. First, I am responsible to do your project in a timely fashion, as close to budget as possible, and with the quality at or above your expectations. Secondly, I bear a major part of the responsibility in keeping the stress to a minimum. Doing the above is a big part of the stress relief. However such things as good customer service and a lack of impedance on your lifestyle will help in this matter as well.
Q: Are there any problems I should anticipate?
A: Yes. problems are a natural part of the home improvement process. However these problems should be easily addressed by the contractor. These include unforeseen problems that may interfere with design and cost.