Garage Conversions Require a General Contractor Virginia Homeowners Can Trust

Filed Under: Virginia Contractor    by: Steve Kayhill

general-contractor-virginiaMany homeowners use their garage exclusively for storage, never realizing the full potential of this space. Garage conversions transform the area into usable living space. Your home value surges with the creation of another bedroom, bathroom or playroom. When considering a garage conversion project it’s best to hire a general contractor Virginia homeowners can trust. Their experience and knowledge will drive this unique project to completion.

The Challenges of a Garage Conversion Renovation

Transforming your garage from its current state into safe and comfortable living space presents certain challenges. Many garages are not built to include the same standards of comfort that interior spaces include. A remodel project requires additions, repairs and replacements, all of which are best handled by a seasoned professional.

The garage door presents the first challenge. Once this component is removed, the empty space needs to be enclosed and insulated. Many times this is the ideal area for a window or exterior door, although that will depend on the design of your new living space.

The foundation of your garage may need work as well. Often the garage is built on a slab, which may or may not be sufficient to support all of the walls. Your general contractor will assess the foundation depth and soil condition in order to discover whether any initial repairs or additions are required.

Insulation and Damp Proofing

Wall construction in the garage is significantly different than the design and construction of walls around your home. Building standards ensure your house remains comfortable and energy efficient by specifying the amount and style of insulation used around your living space. The newly converted garage space often requires a second wall be erected, with thermal insulation between the existing and new wall.

Vapor barrier and other forms of damp proofing are added to either the new wall or the existing structure, based on your contractor’s preferred method. Hiring a general contractor Virginia homeowners can trust gives you assurance and confidence, knowing the conversion process will run smoothly and efficiently resulting in a warm, affordable home.

Can You DIY a Garage Conversion?

Converting raw, often underserviced garage space into cozy living quarters is difficult. Imagine the amount of research required just to figure out whether the foundation is adequate. Not to mention that additional insulation and moisture resistance is required and code specifies that a licensed electrician install any necessary wiring. A subfloor may need to be installed in order to bring the floor level up and provide a moisture barrier. Proper ventilation may also present an issue and renovations to the ceiling and roof could be required.

If you have extensive experience with a wide range of home improvement projects, tackling a garage conversion yourself may be possible. Otherwise it only makes sense to contact a local general contracting firm. Look for one that has experience with this type of project and arrange for a few different estimates to compare prices, experience and overall design.

Expand your living space without changing the footprint of your home through garage conversion. This type of project requires a general contractor Virginia homeowners can trust, with the expertise and skills to make your renovation dreams a reality.

Is It Dangerous to Hire the Cheapest General Contractor Virginia Has To Offer?

Filed Under: Virginia Contractor    by: Steve Kayhill

general_contractor_virginiaHome improvements are expensive. And large scale projects such as home additions and new builds can be difficult to handle and complicated to finance. Homeowners (and soon to be homeowners) need to cut costs where they can, but the temptation to hire cheap contractors can be dangerous. Each general contractor Virginia has to offer will have a slightly different take on your project, including varied prices, services and above all quality of workmanship. But how much of your satisfaction and investment are you risking by hiring a cheap general contractor?

Cost In Terms of the Overall Budget

When considering a new build or a home addition, the cost of a general contractor is somewhere between 5 to 15 percent of the overall budget. So when you come across a contractor that is 25 percent cheaper than the other quotes that amount may not be much when compared to the total cost. On the other hand, the more expensive your project is the more savings you are likely to pocket from a lower bid.

The best advice is to look at the numbers side by side, comparing overall costs. Consider the value of a knowledgeable and experienced general contracting firm and always hire a firm you can trust. When it comes to your home, paying an extra $5,000 or $10,000 to avoid headaches and warranty issues that arise from unqualified and sloppy generals just makes sense.

What Can You Expect From a Cheap General Contractor?

The most important thing to remember is that the original quotation from each general contracting firm may not be the price you pay. Each general contractor Virginia has to offer will quote based on a fixed price (which will need to change every time there is an alteration to the job), time and materials (where the total price is calculated at completion based on what was used and how many hours were worked) or a cost plus basis (similar to time and materials, except you pay the original costs of both materials and labor plus a fixed profit for the contractor).  Be sure to find out which type of contract the firm is offering you.

All three of those options can result in additional costs. The larger your project, the higher the chances are that the price will creep up. Very often the general contractors that come in with a low quote (commonly called low bids or low bidders) will have higher costs for extras or complicated ways to calculate the time and materials. Be skeptical when a bid seems too to be true.

Besides the inflated price, cheap general contracting bids often result in rushed jobs and poor quality. The old adage is true – you will indeed get what you pay for. Hiring a reputable general contractor may cost you more, but the work they will do and the skilled way they will manage your project is well worth it.

A general contractor Virginia homeowners have trusted will be able to supply references. Contact these past customers to get a feel for the value these firms offer. You are not likely to regret paying more for a good quality job. Whereas when you hire the cheapest bid, the danger of additional charges and poor workmanship loom large.

General Contractors in Virginia – The Best of the Best

Filed Under: Virginia Contractor    by: Steve Kayhill

basement_15_jpgWhen it comes to any facet of house labor, there’s no shortage of general contractors in Virginia out there looking for work. Some of them come with exorbitant costs, and some of them fit neatly into a budget-minded shopper’s expense account.

By following these simple tips, you can have the best of both worlds: high quality workmanship and a price that won’t send you to the poor house.

Make sure the affordable contractor you’re considering for hire hasn’t taken any shortcuts when it comes to getting insured. If something goes wrong, you want to know that he has the means to cover it. Ask to see his certificate of insurance before you let him begin work on your house.

You can save money by avoiding hiring a general contractor but then, when working with an independent contractor, you can end up with low quality work or someone who has abandoned the job halfway through. If the independent contractor hasn’t lived up to what they said they would do, you can end up spending more on a job than hiring a general contractor.

A general contractor agreement should be secured prior to any construction work that you want to be done. This way, questions that could arise during the construction can be clarified, thus lowering the likelihood of confusions and misunderstandings .If he can’t provide that, ask for a copy of his insurance policy so that you can add it to your files before work begins.

Something you should do before hiring any sort of company, including a general contractor, is check for complaints against them with the Better Business Bureau. If the complaints seem genuine and troubling, you might want to pass on that company or at least bring it up and see if they have any sort of defense for what they are being accused of.

Because house remodeling can be dangerous work and you don’t want any accidents happening on your property, it’s fully within your rights to ask what kinds of safety precautions your workmen will be taking. If they don’t seem to place much emphasis on safety, you might want to think about hiring someone else.

Hiring an affordable general contractor in Virginia is not difficult. Especially in this economy, workers of all types are offering customers great deals just to get some business in the door. Take advantage of these offers by getting some work done, but make sure you take precautions when you choose what company to go with.

Picking A General Contractor in Virginia For Solar Panel Installation

Filed Under: Virginia Contractor    by: Steve Kayhill

general-contractor-virginia-solar-panelWhen you’re looking to hire a general contractor in Virginia to get some new work done on your home, there are few projects more greener than solar panels. Consider the fact that the greatest energy source we have is shining above us, it’s free, and readily available and you have the most obvious reasons to turn to solar panels for supplementing your energy costs.

Anything a homeowner can do to reduce those energy costs can do a lot not only for their own budget but also for the world. We live in an age where we’re extremely reliant on fossil fuels and other natural resources to heat and power our homes. Installation of solar panels can help alleviate our reliance on the limited resources of the world.

You simply can’t get past the fact that the sun is the perfect renewable energy source to power your home. Read more…