Q: What kind of work do you focus on?
A: We are a full-service renovation/remodeling contractor focusing on all aspects of altering your existing home. Although we will gladly build your new home, our true passion lies in working with existing structures. We like jobs we can perform for clients who desire and appreciate the benefits of a professional building contractor as opposed to “Two Men in a Truck” handyman service. Our scope of work varies from whole-house remodels to master suite additions to complex structural reworking. We also perform a large number of kitchen and bathroom remodels.
Q: How much will my remodeling project cost?
A: The simple answer would be the right price for high-quality workmanship managed well. Basically meaning, it will be a bargain compared to poor-quality work mismanaged and corrected multiple times. Square-footage pricing for budgetary purposes has little value without discussions about the complexity and the level of finishes your project will require.
Q: What if we have an architect already?
A: Excellent! We always welcome the opportunity to expand our business relationships, and would be more than happy to work with your architect.
Q: What type of contracts do you utilize?
A: On small projects (roughly under $20,000) we have a short “Service Work” contract thoroughly itemizing the scope of work to be completed along with payment terms. For larger jobs we have a custom designed contract which goes into great detail outlining the drawings, scope of work, allowances, pay schedule, time-line, etc.
Q: What about change orders?
A: On fixed-price jobs, change orders occur as a result of one or two events. One is when the owner requests a change in the scope of work, and the other is when a latent defect is uncovered necessitating a remedy which requires additional work to be performed. At this point the customer is consulted and a change order is created with a clear scope of work and associated costs. It is then scheduled, signed, and added to the next scheduled invoice.
Q: Do you use subcontractors to perform some of the work?
A: We subcontract most of our specialized work such as plumbing, mechanical (air-conditioning), and electrical. This is standard in the industry, since these specialties require their own licenses and permitting. Where VE Builders differs from most of our competition is that we self-perform most of the other tasks on your project, which is where our skilled and dedicated in-house workforce benefits our clients.
Q: Can you help with design?
We can assist with design on several levels. We have strong working relationships with engineers and architects and work closely with them to assure that the client’s project will be completed to their desired specification while achieving a cost-effective and efficient product. We offer complete design build services, where we retain the architect and assume responsibility for both, the design and construction, this results in the ability to control project cost, quality and scheduling as well as allowing for a single point of contact.
Q: Do I need permits?
A: The short answer is yes. The long answer is below. VE Builders will not work without a permit when they are required by city, county or state agencies.
Building Permits are required to construct, enlarge, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy or occupant content of a building be it Commercial, Institutional, Religious, Single Family, Multi Family, or Mobile Home Placements. Permits are also required for Electrical, Plumbing, Mechanical and Gas work as per Florida 2004 Building Code and the 2005 NEC. While the building code may exempt certain work from building permit requirements, electrical, plumbing or mechanical work is not exempted. Examples of minor projects for which a permit is required include: Window replacement, re-roofing, kitchen/bathroom remodeling, woodstoves and other fuel burning heating appliances, water heaters and replacement of heating and cooling systems. It is recommended that you contact the Building Division to inquire about permits and code requirements before you proceed with any development or construction activity, even if a contractor or salesperson has told you that a permit is not required.
Q: How long does a kitchen remodeling project typically take from start to finish?
A: At the risk of sounding elusive, we really must say that “it depends.” The scope of the kitchen remodeling dictates how long the project will take. For example, if you are removing a wall or two to open up the kitchen, which is a very common trend now, the actual construction will obviously take a little bit longer. But, it is important to remember that removing or adding walls will generally require building department permits, which will also add to the project time.
Here’s a sample timeline, for illustration purposes only, of a kitchen remodeling project that does not include removing or adding walls:
a. Meet with a VE Builders sales rep to review your concept and get proposal – 1 week.
b. Meet at our office or your home; finalize the scope of the project and the terms of a Remodeling Agreement – 2 to 3 weeks.
c. Select all the materials for the project – 1 to 4 weeks.
d. Materials are ordered and delivered – 4 to 8 weeks.
e. Demolition and removal of old materials and appliances – 1 week.
f. Installation of new materials and appliances, flooring, plumbing and electrical work, painting – 3 to 4 weeks.
g. Finishing touches and cleanup – 1 to 2 weeks.
Q: How much does bathroom remodeling cost?
A: Cost depends on many factors: size of the room, quality of materials, etc. The national average for a master bath remodel is in the $15,000 to $20,000 range. If you are working within a set budget, it is best to share this information with your contractor. It will be much easier for them to make recommendations regarding materials and options. If you are planning a major remodel involving plumbing or electric renovations, or there are unknown conditions that will only be apparent after the demolition, it would be wise to allow for an additional 10 percent for changes or add-ons. VE Builders will make sure your bathroom remodel fits your budget!
Q: What if I suspect my home which was built before 1978 has lead paint. Do I need a special contractor to perform the work?
A: If your home is found to have lead based paint after testing, YES. EPA regulations now mandate that any contractor or maintenance staff, from plumbers to electricians to painters, who disturbs more than six square feet of lead paint, replaces windows or does any demolition while working in a pre-1978 home, school or day-care center, must now be Lead-Safe Certified and trained in lead-safe work practices. If not, you could face tens of thousands of dollars in fines. These regulations are now the standard of care for the industry and complying with them will reduce your chance of being involved in potentially expensive lawsuits. VE Builders is an EPA Certified Renovator NAT-F123486-1
Q: Why should I hire a licensed contractor instead of a handyman for my remodeling?
A: Licensed individuals are required to carry the appropriate insurance and workers’ compensation to ensure that you are not held liable if someone is hurt on the job. There is little recourse for consumers who are harmed by unlicensed individuals. Unlicensed contractors are not required to carry insurance. That makes you liable for any injuries they sustain on your premises. If they damage your property, they’ll have no way to compensate you. They may complete projects that are neither permitted nor compliant with local building codes. If that happens, you could be fined and ordered to remove or redo the work. To discourage homeowners and businesses from hiring an unlicensed, uninsured contractor there are serious financial consequences and legal repercussions. Work that’s performed to repair property damage must be completed by a licensed contractor or your homeowner’s policy won’t cover it. If the contractor is injured on your premises, you can be sued for damages. And under Florida Statutes, you could be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor and fined up to $5,000 for hiring a contractor without a license. VE Builders is a state certified building contractor CBC 1259820.