Photo by Dean Riedel
Your house needs a change. Something isn’t right (or maybe, let’s face it, a lot of things aren’t right). Lately you find yourself sketching out ideas, ripping pages from magazines, imagining your new-and-improved space. It can’t be that tough, you think, to reconfigure the kitchen or remodel the bathroom, right?
“Remodeling might look easy on TV, but once you get started, you’ll find out just how many intricacies there really are in this industry,” says Jim Kuzzy of Plekkenpol Builders. “That’s not to say it can’t be done, but we’ve had to go in and bail out more projects than I can count when a homeowner starts something and gets stuck or their relationship with a contractor is on the rocks.”
Not only are professional remodelers trained to handle the intricacies of the industry, they have valuable relationships with reliable subcontractors—a huge benefit to hiring a pro vs. DIY. Interviewing different contractors for quotes, hiring several people for different jobs, and then managing them all can be exhausting.
According to Mary Maney, Crystal Kitchen Center associate kitchen and bath designer, ASID, if you’ve never done a major remodel before—like a kitchen—you probably wouldn’t know the order in which each subcontractor should be scheduled on site, nor how much time they’ll need to do their work.
A remodeling professional has the experience and the knowledge to help you envision the final outcome at the very beginning of the project so as to avoid unexpected expenses along the way.
“[If you try to remodel on your own], you must have a well thought-out plan right down to the last detail before the project begins, or you’ll find yourself making changes that will not only cost you more in the long run, but will also add time to the project,” says Andy Schrader, principal, Schrader & Co.
When it comes to remodeling, don’t just look at the bottom line. Look at the big picture.
“Is it less expensive to manage your own remodeling project? Let’s be honest, of course it is, if your time is truly free,” says Ed Roskowinski, owner/general manager of Vujovich Design Build. “A well-established professional remodeling company typically receives reduced rates on products and services that can off-set the added cost of having a professional construction manager facilitate your project.”
You want to make sure that the people who remodel your home are not only qualified, licensed, and properly insured, but experienced, knowledgeable, forward thinking, passionate, honest, hard working, and creative. In this section, we feature a handful of the area’s best remodelers who meet these requirements and more.