Q: What kind of work do you focus on?
A: We are a full-service renovation/remodeling contractor. We perform a lot of complete home flips. 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 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: We offer cost-plus contracts for all our large projects. You will see the subcontractors bids so you know what you are spending. We will give you written bids for items VE will complete when applicable.
Q: What about change orders?
A: With our program, there are no change orders. If a subcontractor has to add work not on the original bid, you will be notified and see their bill.
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 a 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 clean-up – 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.
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.