Renovation and Redesign
Making the Most of Your Kitchen
If you consider your kitchen the heart of your home, you need it to be perfectly planned for every aspect of your daily life! From quick meals to important family dinners, A-List Builders has helped countless numbers of homeowners plan their kitchen design to fit their unique needs. Get personalized service, free consultations, and moment to moment timelines that make your kitchen renovation simple and easy.
We Know What You Need
Some of the most popular kitchen renovation options include redesigned cabinetry, countertops, hardware, flooring, fixtures, and accessories. We’ve been doing kitchens for years, so our team knows where to get the best deals on colors, finishes, and styles to fit your vision. Whether you want a rustic kitchen full of wood and copper or a modern space with stainless steel countertops and avante garde lighting fixtures, we can make it happen!
A-List Builders Makes it Easy
Simple, Fun, and Straightforward
Many people think remodeling is a huge headache, but at A-List Builders, we try to minimize the hassle you have to deal with. We have an incredibly streamlined process that will take you from planning and design through to completion without the stress!
Whether you are searching for simple updates to modernize or freshen up your kitchen or a complete remodel to increase your kitchen’s efficiency and functionality, A-List Builders can provide you the latest in design, quality, and technology for your personalized kitchen remodeling. We are dedicated to ensuring your satisfaction by making sure that:
- All work is guaranteed by A-List Builders
- All essential kitchen products are backed by warranties
- Only licensed technicians execute the job
Work with A-List Builders
Contractors You Can Trust
We are a full-service kitchen remodeling company you can trust. With a broad range of expertise and services, our professional team will always take your own vision on your kitchen design and turn them into a fantastic reality. We always remodel or design having you in mind. We take time to listen to you and help you make the space you aspire in a price that you can afford.
Rethink your kitchen when you call us at 877-582-7770 for a consultation today!
Tips & Trends
Kitchen Remodeling Made Easy
Hiring a Contractor
Choosing the right contractor can make the difference between a successful home renovation project and a disaster. Here are some tips on hiring not just a contractor, but the right contractor.
1. Connect with your contractor
The right person for the job will be easy to talk to. Make sure you see eye to eye by hiring a contractor that understands your goals and has experience in the type of job you are looking for. Communication is key for all projects, so insist on regular contact by email, phone or text messages. Allow the work crew to manage their day-to-day work, but set up a weekly face-to-face update from the foreman.
2. Understand that price reflects quality
Ask your contractor for his or her recommendations on how the project should take place. In the long run, is it worth cutting corners for a temporary fix? The lowest bid is not always the best. Request a written description of the materials necessary for the job. A low bid may indicate that a contractor uses sub-par materials or is desperate for work. The more accurate bid is likely somewhere in the middle.
3. Know a contractor’s credentials
Abbreviations behind your contractor’s name can represent certifications from national trade organizations. These indicate that the company belongs to certain organizations that bind them to a strict code of ethics. Such memberships, titles and abbreviations include certified graduate remodeler (CGR), certified aging in place specialist (CAPS), local Building Industry Association membership (BIA) and National Association of Home Builders membership (NAHB). Also, insist on hiring a licensed, bonded and insured contractor. This is a must. Otherwise, as the property owner you are liable if a member of the work crew gets injured on the job.
4. Get your home improvement contract in writing
Your contract should include: detailed time frames, the total cost, payment arrangements, your contractor’s license number, project description, names of parties involved and how to handle additional costs if necessary. Be cautious; if you are not given a timeline for the job to be completed, this may indicate the contractor has several current jobs and may not complete your job in a timely manner. Keep track of all-important information as well by keeping job-related documents such as contracts, payments and receipts in one place. Record key contact information for everyone working on your project.
5. Be upfront about your home improvement budget
If necessary, break the project down into multiple phases. Although this may increase the total cost due to repetitious start-up expenses and inflation, it may also be a better option for you to spread out the cost over time. Homeowners can often save money by doing somel tasks on their own, such as cleaning and painting.
6. Educate yourself about home improvement requirements
Know what permits are required and what regulations need to be followed for your remodeling project. Your contractor or architect should be responsible for applying for and acquiring all necessary permits. Don’t be passive, however; ask for information. Know what’s going on behind the scenes. The cost of the job will increase if the contractor is surprised by outdated wiring or other concealed budget busters.
7. Be prepared for home renovation
Before a job begins, make sure your home is prepared. That includes having an area where workers can store their tools, and sealing the site’s entry point.
• Select your colors and finishes before the painter arrives to save time.
• Review sample materials to make sure you are happy with them.
• Don’t forget to make space for the crew. Allow them to keep their supplies and equipment on site. The more organized and accessible these items are, the faster they will be able to do their work.
Try to avoid any potential loss. Remove any valuables or easily damaged items from the work site.
• Prevent dust accumulation by sealing the entry point with plastic sheeting and blue painter’s tape.
• Finally, have a “go-to-guy.” Pick someone to be the key contact between the contractor and the family. This will help keep communication clean and clear to avoid confusion.
For more information go to https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0242-hiring-contractor
Contractor VS Handyman
There are numerous books and websites that tell you how easy it is to save thousands of dollars by being your own contractor. Most exaggerate the savings and minimize the time commitment required, the difficulties, and the risks. There are owner-builder success stories and owner-builder nightmares. Before going too far down this path, take a hard look at what is required to succeed at this and a clear-eyed view of the potential savings. Then decide if it’s worth it.
Why Hire a General Contractor?
Having read this far, you may already have a sense of why you might want to hire a general contractor. A general contractor can be a major asset. Here is why.
First, they know the codes. Hopefully you have hired someone who is recommended and has a good reputation. They will understand what permits need to be pulled and how to get code enforcement to approve the project. If you have never dealt with building codes and inspectors, this can be a major asset.
Second, they know the process to get the job done as efficiently as possible. They should understand which components need to be completed when and know how to schedule their sub-contractors accordingly.
Third, the liability is often transferred to the general contractor if someone gets hurt. Any general contractor worth his salt will have worker’s comp insurance and thus protect you if someone falls off the roof.
Fourth, they likely can get better prices on materials and labor. This is simply the nature of the business. They do more volume and already have good relationships with sub-contractors; thus, they get better prices and may actually save you money in the long run.
Finally, they can warranty their work. If something goes wrong in six months, most folks will come out and try to make it right. After all, they want more business from you, and good ones stand behind their work and reputation.
PROS & CONS OF BEING YOUR OWN CONTRACTOR
It’s possible to be your own contractor and save money, but you need to first evaluate if you have the time, and organizational and business skills, and technical knowledge to get the job done.
Pros of being your own contractor
- Can save 15% to 20% of construction costs (if all goes right)
- You maintain full control of the project and have a better chance of getting exactly what you want.
- If you hire good subcontractors, overall job quality will be good despite your inexperience.
- You have pride and satisfaction of building your own home.
Cons of being your own contractor
- Real savings are usually less than expected due to unanticipated expenses and cost overruns.
- The project will probably take more time and energy than you expect.
- The job will likely have more problems, due to your lack of experience.
- Quality of construction may suffer due to your lack of experience.
- You will be absorbing most of the risk for cost overruns, and for construction problems that occur during the job and after you move in. (In most cases, there will be no one to blame but yourself).
- Obtaining a construction loan may be difficult.
Pros of hiring a contractor
Time: A good general contractor will be able to give you a general timeline and an anticipated date of completion. The GC will also keep you on track for making timely selections. It is frustrating to learn you didn’t order the new windows early enough to arrive when the house is being framed. Delays are cumulative and will cause a ripple effect through your schedule.
Logistics: It’s part of a general contractor’s job description to coordinate all work done by subcontractors; check to see that the work is completed in compliance with local building codes; warranty the work and deal with any problems that develop during and after construction; and collect lien releases and process payments.
The Unexpected: Suppose your home is a historic property. An experienced general contractor will know how to handle the challenges that older wiring and plumbing systems as well as an aging structure and foundation may pose. Good GCs will not only know the safest, most cost-efficient way to work; they will also know who to call to get the job done.
Overhead and Profit: GCs need to make money, too, so you may expect that they will add between 15 and 20% (or more) to the cost of materials and labor. On the flip side, they can purchase materials and fixtures at wholesale or with a contractor’s or volume discount to which you may not have access.
Knowing when a permit is necessary can save you a tremendous amount of money and stress. Pulling permits for the necessary renovations is imminent for quite a few reasons. Most projects that require a permit, do so for a reason. As the saying goes, better safe than sorry! Accidents happen, permits are there to ensure none of these are construction related. Also, just because you slid under the radar now, doesn’t mean you will in the future. Unpermitted work will catch up with you one way or another.
Ignoring local approval requirements not only poses safety and legal problems but also can potentially derail an otherwise smooth sale, should you try to sell your home. When selling your home, you must disclose the permits, any unpermitted work can be subject to demolition.
Also, without pulling the proper permits, you can’t ensure you are getting quality work. We’ve seen and heard of numerous horror stories due to this. Without the necessary permits, you won’t know if your contractor did a good job until a few months down the line when the project falls apart. Don’t let that happen to you! This is easily avoidable, all you need to do is make sure you have the necessary permits!
So when is a permit necessary?
The IBC (International Building Code) is a uniform code that has been adopted throughout most of the United States.
A permit is always required for any addition or structural modification to your existing living space. A permit is required for electrical modifications, plumbing work, window modifications that enlarge openings and for mechanical system installations.
A permit is also required if you are modifying the roof line of your home. Sewer modifications, major demolitions and added fireplaces are other examples of work that typically requires a permit.
When is a permit unnecessary?
A permit usually isn’t required for interior cosmetic changes like new carpet, hardwood flooring, new paint, paneling and the installation of trim like crown molding, baseboard, and casing.
Depending on where you live, certain permits may be required. Always check your city requirements before proceeding with the project.
What permits may be necessary?
Exterior work such as adding a deck, cutting down trees and building new fences or retaining walls are all elements that may or may not require a permit depending on design, location and the extent of the work.
Exterior work on your home, like repairing siding and repainting, may or may not require a permit and can only be determined in context with the rules of your community.
Replacing light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, and appliances are all examples of work that historically did not require a permit but now may technically require one in some cases.