Do you give free estimates?
The short answer is "usually." We do charge a fee to provide an estimate if the work will be paid for by insurance. This fee is applied to the cost of the project if you choose us to do the work. This is necessary as we have found an increasing number of these projects that require several estimates be submitted to the insurance company are "phantom projects." That is, there really isn't any work. The home owner gets the check from the insurance company and pockets the money, either doing the work themselves or not doing the work at all.
Can you come out on a Saturday or Sunday?
We do sometimes work on weekends. However, there is a higher fee associated with working outside normal business hours. If you require this (e.g., you need work done to a place of business), please let us know and we will include it in the proposal we create for your project.
What is your hourly rate?
Since we rarely do work on a time and materials basis, we do not publish a labor rate. Before starting your project, we will provide a proposal that details what we will do and what the cost will be to you. Although this cost is not a guaranteed price because we can’t see inside walls, etc., it is nearly always the exact price you will pay. If you agree, we will both sign a contract for the project. The contract will require payment of a deposit when it is signed.
Can’t we skip getting permits/inspections?
The short answer is … not on my license. The longer answer is that there are many reasons why you want to get the appropriate permits and inspections. We are not one of the many “man and a truck”-style contractors. If you are looking to get the cheapest person to do your work, please save us both some time. We try our best to make sure that every project is done properly … and legally.
Why is it so difficult to get you on the phone?
Why can't you come to visit my project today?
I'm sorry if you must, sometimes, wait longer than you'd like to speak with one of us or get an appointment. Large contracting firms employ people just to answer the phone and others whose sole job is to go look at new work. We are the ones who will come to your home and get our hands dirty completing your project. We cannot always be available during those times. We try very hard to return all calls/e-mails as quickly as we can. If you do not get a return call from us, please call back. We have had situations where callers forgot to leave a phone number (and caller-id was blocked) or where the message left was of such poor audio quality that we couldn't understand the information left.
Can you break the cost down, listing labor and materials separately?
I'm afraid this is against our policy. We rarely work on a time and materials basis. Instead we prefer to create an all-inclusive proposal that lets you know how much it will cost to have your project completed. You would never ask your favorite restaurant to break down the cost of the meal on their menu in this way.
Can I supply the materials?
We, generally, prefer to supply all the materials for your project ourselves. We have encountered situations where some of the materials were not there when we showed up to do the work, the supplier talked the customer into purchasing something that required more labor to make work, some supplies were defective and needed to be replaced, etc. If we supply the materials, we are responsible to correct the situation. If you supply them, it becomes an issue when we try to recover our costs for a trip where nothing could be accomplished due to a materials mistake.
Can I help?
We have no issue with a client who wants to do some of the work themselves. However, the work that you want to do needs to occur at a natural breakpoint (best is either before we start our part of the project or after we’ve finished). If you have an interest in doing some of the work yourself we can discuss the specific situation.
I want to be my own General Contractor. Can you work with that?
It depends. We will not get building permits for projects that contain work that we are not responsible for (e.g., we will not pull the permits for your bath remodel where you are bringing in your own plumber, electrician, etc.). We will also not work on a project that requires permits but none have been gotten. Being a General Contractor is often more work than the DIY shows make it seem. If you want to pursue it, let us know and we can discuss your specific situation.
Our service area includes the following towns in Massachusetts - Acton, Andover, Ayer, Bedford, Billerica, Boxborough, Bradford, Burlington, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Dracut, Dunstable, Groton, Hanscom AFB, Harvard, Haverhill, Lawrence, Lexington, Littleton, Lowell, Lynnfield, Medford, Melrose, Merrimac, Methuen, Middleton, Nagog Woods, North Andover, North Billerica, North Chelmsford, North Reading, Nutting Lake, Pinehurst, Reading, Somerville, Stoneham, Tewksbury, Tyngsboro, Wakefield, West Boxford, West Medford, Westford, Wilmington, Winchester, and Woburn - and the following towns in New Hampshire - Nashua, North Salem, Pelham, Plaistow, Salem, West Windham, and Windham.