Frequently Asked Questions
Every time we engage a prospective client, they naturally have questions. Most of these questions are fairly common and our response is always the same. So in an effort help get some of these “frequently asked questions” answered quickly, we have listed them below.
Is your company insured and bonded? Will my project be in compliance with my city’s zoning & building laws?
Keselman Construction Group is insured and bonded with each city we work in. In addition, we collect liability insurance certificates from any subcontractors and vendors we use on our projects. We pull permits and have our work inspected by inspectors as required by different municipalities we work in.
We strongly caution our clients not to work with contractors that don’t pull permits for their work or ask a homeowner to pull a homeowner permit. Pulling permits, and going through inspections does require more time and cost more money, but it is there to ultimately protect the homeowner. The inspector’s job is to make sure that projects are done in a workmanlike manner following the most current codes, and safety procedures.
Do you offer design assistance or do I need to find one on my own?
If your project requires an architect and/or designer, we can connect you with a designer from our team, but we’ll gladly work with yours as well. In addition, because our designers are always current with the latest design trends, you can rest assured the design help we offer is coming from award-winning experts!
Does your company have a showroom to select different finishes for my project?
Yes, we do! Our showroom is designed to carry products that provide high quality, cater to various styles, and are value driven. We display kitchen cabinets, vanities, countertops, sinks, faucets, various flooring, tile, roofing, siding, windows and more. Our showroom is exclusively for the use of our construction and remodeling clients.
What do you mean when you call yourself a “custom” construction company?
We believe that each of our clients is an individual with their own taste, style and personality. We would like for them to be able to express themselves with their renovation project by being able to select their own finishes, rather than choosing finishes we have pre-selected.
It’s a common practice for a construction company to avoid buying finishes from different suppliers. This way the company saves time, it makes for easier deliveries, and less paperwork to deal with. So they only offer 1-3 different options, which results in many projects looking the same…the old cookie cutter approach.
Our company has established relationships with many local and online suppliers. We encourage our clients to take advantage of these relationships, which helps ensure a unique project every time.
In addition, each supplier has their own specialty such us plumbing, cabinets, flooring, electrical, countertops, etc., and may even offer more competitive pricing for each particular finish.
How does your process work with all the different finishes my project could involve?
We know there are nearly unlimited options for finish materials on the market, so we do not limit our clients’ to just two or three options. Instead, our estimate will include an allowance budget for all finish materials for your project. Once a contract is finalized to have us build your project, we will provide some recommended suppliers for each finish item to help point you in the right direction. If you choose to work with our designer for your finish selections (there is an additional hourly fee), you would meet in our showroom as well as our preferred vendors’ showrooms to view and select materials in a timely manner. In addition, we have a great working relationship with several online suppliers and retailers. Many of our vendors and supplier offer us discounts due to our purchase volume, allowing us to pass on some savings.
Once we order all of your selected finish materials, we will reconcile the allowance budget vs. actual material cost. If you spend less than budgeted, we will credit the difference towards your project balance. If the actual cost comes in higher than budgeted, you will owe the difference. In this way, we can offer all our clients the freedom to choose the products they desire, and account for their costs in a fair manner.
Is your company open to price negotiations?
We’ve all heard the marketing campaigns: “Buy one, Get one FREE”, “Holiday or Anniversary Sale”, “If you say yes now, we will give you 10% off,” and so on. We understand you are bombarded with different “deals” and “offers” from a number of renovation and remodeling companies. Even though it sounds enticing, most of the time these are just “price manipulation” marketing techniques. These companies increase the price of a particular service and then discount it to make you feel like you are “getting a deal”.
Keselman Construction Group chooses a different path to sales based on honor and mutual trust. We will give you our best price every single time no matter the neighborhood you live in or the size of your home. We believe this approach saves everyone precious time, and starts our relationship with you in the right way.
Do you offer free estimates, revisions and change orders?
Our company offers the first estimate plus one (1) revision or alteration free of charge as long as you own the property or you have an accepted offer to buy, and have been pre-qualified by your lender.
Any additional estimate revisions will cost $300 each (paid upfront) to help cover the time and resources involved with estimate revisions. If the revisions include additional work, and increase the total job cost, the $300 charge will be applied towards your approved revision.
On the projects already in progress, we offer the first 2 client requested change order estimates free of charge. Any additional client requested change orders will cost $300 each (paid upfront). If the change orders include additional work, and increase the total job cost, the $300 charge will be applied towards your approved change orders.
Is there a possibility my project could go over the initial, estimated price?
We do our best to listen to your needs and ask questions to understand your project before putting the proposal together. We rely on our vast experience and do our best to include many items that your renovation might involve. However, we are generally working with structures that were previously built by someone else. Additional/Extra work will incur additional costs, whether as a result of unforeseen circumstances or due to changes requested by the homeowner. Because remodeling is not an exact science, we recommend factoring a realistic percentage for contingencies into your budget to account for these type of situations.
Here’s a list of potential scenarios that may involve you spending more money on your construction/remodeling project:
– Change Order requests: The most likely culprit for a project going over budget is simply that our clients change their mind after a proposal has been signed. Some examples would be: more expensive finish material than budgeted, or unique (e.g. non-industry standard) requests. More specifically, this may include oversized tile installation, unusually laid flooring patterns, non-industry standard electrical systems, additional moldings and/or woodwork, wallpaper, additional paint color variations etc.
If you are unsure what falls outside of your estimated price, let us know. We are happy to discuss all of these details with you to make sure we are all on the same page.
– Surprise structural changes: Once the demolition is complete, you suddenly have a new vision for your home… one with an open floor plan or maybe the newly exposed, previously installed beams turn out to be too small. Situations like these do arise from time to time. The last thing we want is to ignore your newly changed vision or turn a blind eye to a potential structural problem with your home. These surprises and changes do generally increase your overall investment in your project.
– Bringing your home “up to code”: Building codes were originally designed to protect public health and safety, according to the National Association of Home Builders, but government agencies are now using codes to implement policies such as energy efficiency and sustainability. This slew of new building standards can mean hidden costs, especially for older homes.
– Improper building practices: once we expose the walls, it may reveal many mistakes and contractors who “cut corners.” Unfortunately, these are issues that can’t be seen until your project is underway. We pride ourselves on a job well done, and this sometimes means extra costs to fix pre-existing mistakes.
Should I get multiple estimates for my project?
We often hear it’s a good idea to get three (3) estimates for your construction/remodeling project, but it can really depend on the final product you are looking for, and the service level(s) you hope for during your project. It also depends on your decision-making process: are you strictly deciding on lowest price, are you more driven by high-end quality, or are you deciding by the value found in balancing budget with quality?
We believe it’s a good idea to get 2-3 estimates for a project that involves just one trade, such as roofing, windows and doors, carpet, etc. The process for this type of project is straightforward: find a company with good reviews that could install the product with the features you desire. For the most part, the installation practices are similar among most contractors. These estimates are easy to compare “apples to apples” with other companies.
The process for general construction/remodeling is very different from a single trade installation. With this type of project there are as many as 20 different trades involved, numerous material categories, designers and/or architects, etc. Even simple kitchen and bath remodeling can involve as many as nine (9) different trades, and more product selections than you might initially realize. The complexity of the project can be overwhelming and make comparing contractors much more confusing to most homeowners. Let us help to simplify things for you.
There are 3 different types of general contractors out there:
The “Low-Ball” Contractor: They might dazzle you with their low estimate, but it isn’t until after you make your down payment that you begin to realize they only use low-grade materials, their “finish materials” allowances are much smaller than needed, and they typically “cut corners” during installations to get through the project and still remain profitable. They rarely have the systems and manpower in place for quality project management and their communication is often lacking. They will rarely provide a warranty for their services. With this type of contractor, you will normally end up spending more money than estimated to upgrade to better materials. This type of contractor will often “nickel-and-dime” you after the job starts when you ask them to fix issues or do the job right. Ultimately, if you choose the “Low-Ball” contractor, you will end up paying well over the initial estimate, and the entire remodeling process leaves you feeling burnt-out.
The “Blank Check” Contractor: These contractors are driven strictly by high-end quality without much consideration for the cost of your project. They tend to avoid any discussion with you about potential savings, and can be difficult to work with when selecting finishes if their ideas don’t align with yours. Most of the time they are hired by the “high-end” clientele, and require an excessive amount of overhead cost to meet their client’s expectations.
The “Value-Driven” Contractor: The third type of contractors are driven by value and where Keselman Construction fits quite nicely! This is where quality, service, and cost are balanced to create value for you. Our goal is to provide great customer service, use quality materials, include realistic budgets for finish materials, implement practices meeting or exceeding industry standards, and we stand behind our work. We are consistently evaluating and adapting our business model to current trends in an effort to minimize our overhead costs. By using this approach, we have been the contractor of choice on over 2,000 projects since 2004. We believe in keeping our client’s interest at heart, and as a result, most of these jobs have come to us through personal referrals of our past clients.
We urge you to consider all of these points when reviewing estimates and choosing a contractor for your project. In doing so, you can avoid most home improvement pitfalls and get the most value for your investment in your home.
Why might Keselman Construction’s estimate be higher than some other contractors?
Our estimates are not necessarily more expensive. They’re simply more thorough.
Traditional remodeling and construction estimates describe your project in vague, broad strokes and then present one lump sum as your cost, leaving you to determine what is and is not included. Rather than leaving so much grey area in the estimate, we choose to be transparent with our clients from the very beginning of our relationship, and take a completely different approach.
We separate our estimates by trade category, providing a detailed scope of work for each trade along with realistic allowance amounts for finish materials that are based on historical data from our other projects. This presents the true cost of your project, and minimizes the amount of change orders you can expect during construction.
How can we be so detailed?
With experience! We’ve completed over 2500 remodeling and construction projects so we have a very good idea of what it takes to complete your project. This explains why our estimates will typically be so much longer than other contractors’.
If you choose to hire a contractor that provides a more generalized proposal, you’re taking on the risk of many unforeseen, added costs in the future. Without a detailed proposal, how are you to know exactly what is or is not included in the estimate? Our estimates minimize that risk since they are simply the sum total of the detailed scope of work you are requesting for us to perform. There are no hidden costs (excluding unforseen items) or questions about what is or is not included in the project, because we present you with a fully transparent estimate that maps out your project from start to finish. The total cost is completely controlled by you based on the project decisions that you make.
With all this in mind, comparing our proposal to others is not always a fair comparison to either party. We’re approaching your project at a granular level while most other contractors will present you with a 30,000-foot view. With the level of complexity involved in remodeling and construction projects, you can have the peace of mind knowing that in Keselman Construction Group, Inc you can partner with a company willing and able to work with you in a fair and transparent manner.
Does your company offer warranty for the work performed?
We all know construction and remodeling are different from a manufacturing process. Instead, your project is constructed “in the field” using different parts & materials from many different suppliers. Some installed and constructed elements may need adjustments. Therefore, it is critical for you to select a contractor that will stand behind his work.
The work we perform is covered with the standard Ohio Builders Association Warranty for 1-year on remodel & renovation work and 1-year for addition & new construction projects. There are also additional warranty coverages offered from the material manufacturers used for your project.
How far in advance should I plan for my construction/renovation project?
Construction or remodeling projects could potentially involve architectural drawings/layouts with revisions, engineer’s calculations, estimation process, zoning and building department approvals, and material selections. We recommend you have the initial consultation with your general contractor at least three (3) months prior to your desired start date.
Real Reviews, From Real Clients
We have a new home that we love thanks to the hard work of the Keselman Construction Group! Everyone we worked with at Keselman was friendly, knowledgable and always willing to go above and beyond.
- Rebecca F.
We used the Keselman Group for a bathroom remodel and their work was amazing! They were so great to work with and so skilled that we have added two more projects with them - bonus room and kitchen
- Darrah P.
Quote was accurate, team was incredibly hard working, reliable, capable, and friendly. We absolutely love our kitchen now, and are so happy with the work done by the keselman group!
- Brooke A.