Here is a statistic that gave us pause: fully 27% of Talmadge Construction’s 2013 income came fixing failed work done by others. In one instance, the sewer outflow of newly built home on the Summit was incorrectly connected to a footing drain, leading to a messy and expensive fix. Another client had a cast concrete stone waterproof deck that leaked; it was a $300,000 repair that all boiled down to no one paying attention to waterproofing detail the first time around. We even had a client who lost a gorgeous redwood and mahogany underground wine cellar due to extensive leaking and mold. The homeowner could not build the room twice, but it still cost $300,000 to tear everything out and fill in that space to preserve the integrity of the above-ground structure.

The architect Mies van der Rohe famously said, “God is in the details,” and this is how your remodeling project should be approached. Every detail, whether it’s how the flashing is tied in to where electric outlets are placed, deserves careful attention from your contractor. A remodel is an investment in your future, so when choosing that contractor you want to feel protected. Confident in their attention to detail. Assured they will do things right the first time and stand behind their work should something go wrong. How do you do that? Research. The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) has a list of questions on their website you should ask of potential contractors. Jeff Talmadge also recommends:

  • Visit the Contractor State Licensing Board to check on the state of their license.
  • Ask for references, and go look at the finished work. Pay special attention to how the details are handled where different materials intersect; for example, where a tile floor meets a cabinet.
  • Know if you will have an on-site supervisor or if the job will be run from an office.
  • Understand how your contractor facilitates communication between the various trades.

Quality and service come at a higher initial price, and low-ball bids are invariably the result of corner-cutting. Choose your contractor wisely, and you will save money down the road by avoiding expensive and invasive repairs in the future.

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