After 40 years in the home remodeling industry, Mike Brindisi has answered his share of questions from clients. As president of Brindisi Builders, a trusted name for residential and commercial construction projects, including kitchen and bath remodels, additions and historical renovations, Brindisi believes in educating his customers so there are no surprises in the course of their project. Suburban Family spoke with Brindisi about the most commonly asked questions he hears—questions he thinks you should ask any home remodeler you hire, even if it’s not him.
What is our schedule?
A schedule is more than just a start and end date. Having a schedule that outlines tasks and timing will give you a big-picture view of sequencing and deadlines for things such as tile and countertops. It will also give you a benchmark so that you know if things are slipping by a day or two. We will review a schedule that tells you what days and times workers will be on site.
Who will be here every day?
We use a lead carpenter system, where a staff member (sometimes called a foreman) is responsible for day-to-day work on site, and often swings a hammer as well. The director of operations (Steve) can help with questions about who will be responsible for opening and locking up, who will supervise sub- contractors on site and who to call on a daily basis with any questions.
How will you protect my property?
There are a number of dust-containment measures that can be taken, and talking about it ahead of time will provide you with a clear idea of how the construction area will be cordoned off from the rest of your home and how you'll be able to move through your house. Before work begins, it’s helpful to remove anything hung on walls or sitting on shelves in the work zone or adjacent rooms, since they can shake loose from persistent hammering.
How will you communicate with me?
As your contractor, we can specify the ways you like to communicate—daily emails, texts or maybe just phone calls. Make sure you understand how you would like to receive information.
Does anything about my project concern you?
There’s always something unknown about a project, or an area that is most likely to trigger an immediate change order. Odds are we already know what that is. Talking about it upfront and running some worst-case-scenario numbers or doing some early, selective demolition to get more information could be the best way to get a handle on what may be ahead.
What will happen if there is a change order?
Change orders can be easily handled in your construction contract. A common way to document change orders is in writing, where the change in scope of work and the price are noted and signed by the client and contractor.
How will you let me know I need to make a decision?
We will supply a list and deadlines to help keep you organized and ensure you are able to shop for materials and make decisions in time to meet our schedule.
When do I need to be available to meet?
Aside from weekly meetings, we usually schedule an electrical walk- through on the day the electrician sets boxes and can lights so that everyone can review their placement and function before wires are run. Another key day is when the tile-setter works on layout. There are a number of ways to set tile, and having an on-site meeting is the best way to make these decisions.
What kind of documentation will I receive when the project is done?
Some contracts call for items like copies of inspection reports. But there may be additional items you will find valuable: care for things such as countertops and tile and a well- marked electrical panel.
59 S. Maple St., Marlton
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 1 (March, 2017).
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