Frequently Asked Home Remodeling Questions
What is a general contractor?
A general contractor is the person responsible for providing all of the material, labor, equipment (such as engineering, vehicles, and tools) and services necessary for the construction of the project. A general contractor often hires specialized subcontractors to perform all or portions of the construction work.
What is “design build”?
Design build is the method of project delivery we use. It means that Home Sweet Home, solely as one entity, works under a single contract with the home/business owner to provide design and construction services. One entity, one contract, one unified flow of work from initial concept through completion. This means our clients have clear communication, efficiency and consistent information throughout the project. It is a completely turnkey process for the owner from idea to finished reality!
What is the difference in a remodeler and a renovator?
The words “renovate”, and “remodel” are often used interchangeably. A renovation refers to restoring something to a previous state, while a remodel refers to creating something new. For the modern conveniences needed in home and business life today, you are likely undergoing a remodeling project. However, we have deep experience working on historical, century or multi-century old properties, and can preserve their integrity.
When is the best time to remodel my home?
Home remodeling is performed on a year-round basis. The only seasonal affects we manage are:
-foundation concrete/masonry work would ideally be done when the earth is not frozen (January /February)
-removing the roof is beneficial to do the work when there is less rain and snow, which means summer and fall
-being without a place to cook during a kitchen remodel can mean scheduling at a time when homeowners can use their outdoor gas grill to cook their meals
Finally, serious weather conditions might slow work progress, but are manageable despite schedule setbacks.
FAQs about Home Sweet Home Remodeling
Where are you located and what areas do you serve?
Our home base is Norton, Ohio. We serve the entire northeast Ohio region, including Summit, Media, Wayne, Portage, Stark and parts of Geauga and Cuyahoga County. We have a very specific area we serve because we want to make sure we can manage your project with a high level of customer service and attention.
What, specifically, does Home Sweet Home do?
We listen to home and business owners about their needs and make it a reality. We do 3D design renderings of every project, secure all permits and blueprints, manage crews, and complete all construction. Some of our most frequent projects are:
-Historic home renovations
-New home construction
-Minimum property standard achievement
If I am interested in a new build, do you have home plans for me to choose from?
All of our new construction is completely custom. Your home should reflect your personality and lifestyle. Through a conversation with the homeowners, Home Sweet Home designs plans and renderings for any style: ranch, cape, colonial,… To help guide the process, we will use visual plans, photographs, and of course our lifelike renderings. While there are no templates to pick from, you will certainly know what you are getting – and it will meet all of your needs!
What are your business hours?
We are available Monday – Friday 8:00am – 6:00pm and Saturday from 8:00am – 1:00pm. If a consultation needs to take place outside of regular business hours we can make adjustments. Also, depending on the remodeling job, in-home work hours may vary.
Who will manage my project? Will they be available to answer my questions? Will they be on the job site regularly?
Ric Sir Louis will manage your project personally. He serves and the general contractor on all jobs, and accepts a modest number of projects (less than 5) at any time in order to ensure you get the level of attention and service you deserve. He will be available to answer any questions you have and will be onsite weekly if not more.
Can you tell me about who will be in my home?
All of our craftsmen are appropriately licensed and insured. We want to make sure that you are totally comfortable with our employees. Each and every craftsman we employ upholds our values of honesty, integrity, quality and courtesy. Additionally, no one is allowed to smoke on the job site or take care of personal business during work hours. With the advent of COVID-19 we have also applied additional precautionary standards of sanitization and distance.
Do I need an interior designer?
We want our clients to be happy being in their home or business. We leave the choices of colors, materials, and overall look up to you. Our team does include an interior designer and we can send her to meet clients for selections if the choose.
Who will take care of securing permits?
We are required; if a contractor asks a homeowner to do a “Homeowner Permit” it is because the contractor is dishonest.
Permit fee varies based on county jurisdiction.
Can you provide references?
Yes, we can! Visit our testimonials. You may also want to check third party reviews on websites such as Google, Houzz, Better Business Bureau and Facebook.
FAQs about budget
How do you estimate a project?
We have more than twenty years of experience and work with the best trade professionals around, so you can be confident we are giving you numbers based in reality and experience.
When you work with us, we start with a phone/video conference planning meeting to understand your project and answer all your questions. We will confirm if your budget aligns with the scope of work you’d like to do. It is not necessary for us to visit your property and submit an estimate (like a roofer or plumber might.)
Next, if you feel we are a good fit, we will begin our design build stages.
I need to stay within a budget for my project. Can Home Sweet Home work within that budget and help me maintain it?
Before accepting the project, we will have an open, honest conversation with you about if your remodeling dreams are aligned with your budget. We will tell you how to scale back, or warn you that you are going to exceed your stated budget. It’s very normal not to know what a realistic budget should be for your project. Let’s talk and we can help you get a better idea of the money you should set aside. You can also see our cost vs. value resource sheet.
Should I get more than one estimate before making a decision?
Leading publications and associations have published many articles on the topic of remodeling professionals. The key message is always consistent – work with a company who you are comfortable with. Judging service, craftsmanship and comfort are imperative. Our team will be in your home on a daily basis and doing a once-in-a-lifetime project. You need to completely trust the quality and service you are receiving. This is a feeling you don’t achieve when comparing a few estimate papers. Experience, credentials, and reputation matter.
What payment methods do you accept?
Home Sweet Home accepts cash, checks, home equity checks and money orders. We do not offer credit card payments because we believe it a disservice to our clients to have to pay additional service fees. Other payment types allows us to keep our prices direct without service charges. If you need help with financing or understanding bank options, we have worked with several and can help find the best option for your project.
Do you provide a service warranty?
Yes – we have a 1-year warranty on all of our labor. Your materials will be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. We only work with materials we trust.
FAQs about the design process
How do I know what I’m getting?
We utilize sophisticated, three-dimensional architectural software that produces detailed renderings. Quite honestly, more refined than any other company in Ohio. This allows you to “see” the finished project before we start. We often hear from clients that once a project is finished, they feel like they have already been in the room.
How can I prepare my home for the project?
It will depend upon the scope of work. You will be instructed as to what exact steps you need to take throughout the process. But, generally speaking, you’ll want to clear out the area being worked on of all your personal belongings that can be removed easily.
Can I live in my home during remodel?
That depends on the scope of the project and your comfort level. Some projects will require the family to live elsewhere temporarily (removing the top of a home, turning off plumbing, etc.) Even if you can live on-site during a remodel you will be inconvenienced – seeing dust/debris, workers going in and out, and hearing loud noises. You may be without bathroom or kitchen facilities and may need to make alternate arrangements for those necessities.
Can I leave my belongings in my home during the remodel?
We recommend that you remove everything possible – especially your most important possessions. We cover floors with either rosin paper and block off the areas surrounding the construction area with heavy gauge plastic sheets. We also cover furniture in the surrounding area to protect it as much as possible. Screens are placed over heating and cooling vents in homes with forced air heat. Still, fine dust will migrate to the farthest reaches of the home. Although we take extreme precautions to protect your belongings, dust flies!
How do you handle communication with us during our project?
When we visit you for the measurements after the job is awarded, we will give you a schedule we can be held accountable for. Our owner will communicate the status of your job regularly. Our goal is to answer your questions before you have to ask them.
I’ve heard stories of contractors leaving before the project was completed, will you stay until it’s completed?
We have never left a job unfinished! It is devastating for a homeowner! We have finished several unfinished jobs that were abandoned by others…you would be surprised at the company names! This is why consumer advocacy organizations remind you to hire someone you feel you can trust, rather than looking at the price tag alone. In the remodeling process you will have to get along and compromise. We know there is stress and anxiety and we do our best to keep the project on track and the homeowner informed.
Do you reuse or repurpose materials?
When possible, we will salvage quality materials to donate to businesses such as Habitat for Humanity. Sometimes in historical renovations we go to great lengths to reuse antique components.