Frequently Asked Questions
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?
Showrooms are nice and convenient but they add a significant amount to a company’s overhead expenses, and they require constant updating to keep current with the latest renovations trends. Keselman Construction Group is dedicated to keep our overhead low so we can pass on the savings to you.
A number of our select suppliers have conveniently located showrooms set up, and they encourage us to bring our clients in to see the materials we’ll be using in their homes. They offer our company great discounts due to our purchase volume.
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 different finishes, rather than just choosing from pre-selected finishes.
It’s typical practice for a construction company to avoid buying finishes from different suppliers. This way they save time, make 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 (“cookie cutter”).
Our company has a relationship with many local and online suppliers. We encourage our clients to utilize all of them. This approach ensures a unique project every time.
In addition, each supplier has their own specialty such us plumbing, cabinets, flooring, electrical, countertops, etc., and are able to offer better pricing for our clients for a particular finish.
How does your process work with all the different finishes my project could involve?
Our estimate will include an allowances budget for finishes for each particular category. Once the estimate is approved, we will create a Finished Materials Selections spreadsheet. The spreadsheet will include the room, the finishes to select, recommended supplier for each finish, and estimated budget for each selection.
Once you make the selections we will adjust the spreadsheet with budgeted vs. actual cost based on your choices. If you spend less than budgeted, we will credit the difference towards your invoice. If the actual cost comes in higher than budgeted, you will owe the difference.
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 our clients get bombarded with different “deals” and “offers” from a number of renovation 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 us and our clients precious time, and starts off the relationship with our clients right from the beginning.
Do you offer free estimates, revisions and change orders?
Our company offers the first estimate plus one revision/alternative 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( paid upfront) for each, 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 the approved revision.
On the projects in progress, we offer the first 2 client requested change order estimates free of charge. Any additional client requested change orders will cost $300 (paid upfront) for each. If the change orders include additional work, and increase the total job cost, the $300 charge will be applied towards the approved change orders.
Is there a possibility my project could go over the initial estimated price?
We do our best to listen to our clients 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 the 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/renovation project:
• Change Order requests: The biggest potential 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 the newly exposed beam we thought was sized properly turns out to be too small. These situations do come up. 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 homes built ages ago.
• Improper building practices: once we open up walls it may reveal many mistakes and “cut corners” from previous contractors. These are issues that can’t be seen until your project is underway. We pride ourselves on a job well done, and that 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 3 estimates for your construction/renovation project, but it can really depend on the final product you are looking for, and the service levels you hope for while the project is going on. 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 features you desire. For the most part, the installation practices are similar between various contractors. These estimates are easy to compare “apples to apples” with other companies.
The process for general construction/renovation 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, and the list goes on. Even simple kitchen and bath remodeling can involve as many as 9 different trades, and more product selection 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 pay your down payment that you start to realize they only use low-grade materials, their allowances for finish materials are much smaller than needed, and they typically “cut corners” during installations to get through the project and remain profitable. They rarely have the systems and man power in place for good job 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, clients that choose the “Low-Ball” contractor will end up paying well over the initial estimate, and the entire renovation process leaves them feeling “burnt-out”.
The “Blank Check” Contractor: These contractors are driven strictly by high-end quality without much consideration for the cost of a project. They tend to avoid any discussion with their client for potential savings, and can be difficult to work with when selecting finishes if their ideas don’t align with the client’s. Most of the time they are hired by the “high end” clientele, and carry 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. This is where Keselman Construction fits in. This is where quality, service, and cost are balanced to create value to our clients. Our goal is to provide great customer service, use quality materials, include realistic budgets for finish materials, implement practices that meet or exceed industry standard, and we stand behind our work. We are creative in adapting our business model to current trends, and try to minimize our overhead costs. By using this approach, we have been the contractor of choice on over 2000 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.
Please consider all of these points when reviewing estimates and choosing a contractor for your project. By doing so, you can avoid the pitfalls of home improvement and get the most value for your investment in your home.
How far in advance should I plan for my construction/renovation project?
Construction or renovation projects could potentially involve architectural drawings/layouts with revisions, engineer’s calculations, estimation process, zoning and building departments approvals, and material selections. We recommend to have the initial consultation with your general contractor at least 3 months prior to your desired start date.
Does your company offer warranty for the work performed?
We all know that construction and renovation are not like a manufacturing process, instead projects get constructed “in the field” using different parts from many different suppliers. Some parts installed and constructed might need an adjustment. Therefore, It is critical for you to select a contractor that will stand behind his work.
The work performed by our company is covered with the standard Ohio Builders Association Warranty for 1 year. A copy of our warranty will be sent to our client with an approved estimate. There are also additional warranty coverages offered from the material manufacturers used for your project.
What Our Clients Are Saying
“Keselman Construction Group literally rebuilt our house into our dream oasis. From the initial consultation, we gained so much trust in Zak and his company. We knew that we were in great hands! The craftsmanship and quality of work was terrific. Everyone was extremely professional and respectful.Maria L.
“This company is simply the best in all aspects. Honest, dependable, timely and the owners is an amazing person. All I know is if you want great and timely results this is the company to hire!”Benjamin M.
“We are very happy with the service, craftsmanship, and dedication to quality displayed by the Keselman Construction Group. Their courteous and conscientious crew did a great job, and we are very happy with the results.”Ephraim B.