General Contracting vs Project Management

General Contracting vs Project Management

Remodeling or restoring your own home has become a popular choice with the rising costs of housing. It offers increased equity and ultimate control over a project. There are a couple of ways an individual can remodel or renovate their home: using a General Contractor or a Project Manager. What are the differences between these two options? To answer this question, we must look at what each offers.

General Contractors

General Contractors assume responsibility for the entire project. They handle the permitting process, completing work, and ordering materials. The owner simply secures the financing or pays the contractor at regular intervals. Stress levels are minimal since the owner is not involved in day-to-day operations. However, these services come at a price. It is common to see General Contractors charging up to 20% of the total cost of the project. If you have the financial means to pay or finance this fee, a General Contractor may be the right choice for you.
A General Contractor is responsible for providing all of the material, labor, equipment (such as engineering vehicles and tools) and services necessary for the construction of the project. The General Contractor hires specialized subcontractors to perform all or portions of the construction work. Responsibilities may include applying for building permits, securing the property, providing temporary utilities on site, managing personnel on site, disposing or recycling of construction waste, monitoring schedules and cash flows, and maintaining accurate records.

Project Managers

The second option involves hiring a Project Manager. This individual will have residential construction experience, and will be on site throughout the project. He or she will find subcontractors and schedule them, order materials, and oversee the entire process. They may or may not actually participate in the construction process, but rather manage a group of individuals. They charge less than a General Contractor, but may not have ultimate control the way a General Contractor would.

The Project Manager’s role is to plan, execute, and finalize projects according to the deadline while keeping within budget. This includes coordinating all team members as well as any third-party contractors in order to complete projects according to plan. The Project Manager is also responsible for defining the project’s objectives and overseeing quality control of the project.

So, which one is right for you? It usually comes down to which one you can afford. Hiring a qualified General Contractor is the easiest option, but also the most expensive. Or, you may want ultimate control over the project – so working with a General Contractor may cause tension. A Project Manager is a viable alternative, but they also charge fees for their services. If you have little time to manage a project, a General Contractor may fit your needs best.

An Easy and Stress-Free Remodeling Experience

At Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers, our 25+ years of experience enables us to find solutions that most newly formed construction companies cannot. We’re a secure, safe and reliable contractor with a reputation for excellent service! Here is what our customers have to say. And we offer free estimates on all home improvement and remodeling projects.

Find out how we can help with a free estimate!

Want to compare prices? No problem. Contact us for a no-cost estimate for your project.

Custom Home Projects

You want it? We design and build it. You enjoy it! Let us give you that workout room, home office, entertainment area or whatever you can dream up. Want a deck? We’ll design and build that for you too. It’s time to experience the home you always wanted and Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers can help.

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Bathroom Remodeling for Accessible Living

Bathroom Remodeling for Accessible Living

As more and more people choose to age at home, there is an increased demand for bathrooms for the disabled and those with limited mobility. At Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers, we have a few suggestions on bathroom remodeling for accessible living.

The Handicapped Bathroom – Before the Remodel

There are many things to consider when starting accessible bathroom remodels. One of the most important is the floor itself: is it strong enough to support the combined weight of a person and a wheelchair? Before starting your remodel, it’s best to have the floor checked for any strength issues. Another possible issue may be the plumbing; can a wheelchair turn around in the space provided with all fixtures in their current locations, or will you need to move the fixtures to accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, and canes? Bathroom remodeling for accessible living is more than simply installing a few grab bars outside the shower. Bathrooms for the disabled must be compliant according to the ADA’s most recent standards published in 2010. Our service personnel at Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers would be happy to help you ensure that your handicapped bathroom is compliant with all ADA guidelines.

The Floor

Now that you have had the subfloor tested for strength, it is time to look at the materials used on the floor itself. Here are some questions to ask: is the threshold into the bathroom low enough to prevent trips and to allow wheelchairs easy access into the room? What type of material is the floor made of? Is the shower floor a non-slip surface? As you look at the flooring, make careful note of any issues in relation to slips, trips, and non-access. All accessible bathroom remodels should include a survey of the floor.

The Doors

Most interior residential doors are only about 24” to 30″ wide. To accommodate a wheelchair, the door will have to be widened to 34-36”. One great option for the door itself is the pocket door option. No need to make adjustments in the room or hallway for a door that swings.

The Tub/Shower

When considering the tub/shower combo, generally the handicapped bathroom will have either separate tub/shower areas, or eliminate the tub completely in order to build a shower that will accommodate a wheelchair. This is also one of the places to be sure that the flooring is the same height with no threshold. Installing grab bars according to ADA guidelines, as well as single-hand faucets, will help to keep your special needs person safe. If they will be unable to shower by themselves, be sure the shower area is big enough for two people.

The Bathroom Sink and Mirror

You may really like the cabinet sink, but chances are it will not accommodate a wheelchair. You will need to replace that cabinet sink with either a pedestal sink or a wall-mounted sink. The sink fixtures can be single-faucet, automatic control, or foot pedal. Using the single-faucet allows the person to keep their other hand available for stability. The mirror will need to be re-installed at a lower height or replaced with an angle mirror.

The Toilet

ADA recommends that a toilet be 17-19” high. This makes it much easier for the disabled person to sit and rise from the toilet. Be sure to allow enough room around the toilet for grab bars so the person can easily move from wheelchair to toilet and back again. Another consideration to keep in mind is the placement of the toilet paper roll. A recessed toilet paper roll holder would work much better than a stand-alone holder sitting on the floor where it could easily tangle up a cane and cause someone to trip and fall.

Storage

Because of the need for a lot of floor space, as well as the possible need to accommodate someone confined to a wheelchair, storage space should be designed with these considerations in mind. Storage is best when built into the wall, such as recessed shelving in the shower for shampoo, soap, etc., and additional recessed storage near the sink for other hygiene items. You may also want to consider even more storage in another area of the room for items like towels, spare toilet paper, and medications.

There are many things to take into consideration when planning an ADA-compliant bathroom remodel. No matter if you choose to do it yourself or hire a professional like Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers, keep in mind that safety must be first and foremost in every aspect of the final product. We would be glad to help you with each and every phase of your remodeling project and help to ensure that your disabled or aging person’s transition to your home is a successful one, so give us a call today.

Posted in: Remodeling

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Ideas for Finishing Your Basement

Ideas for Finishing Your Basement

Thinking About Finishing Your Basement?

Creating the Room You Want Out of the Basement You Have

If you are looking to expand your living space without moving, finishing your basement is an excellent idea. To get your basement renovation started, you need to first evaluate your basement for its moisture levels, ceiling height and overall stability. Once you know what you are working with, you need to decide how you want to use the extra space: maybe a functional workshop, a cozy family rec-room, or a luxury entertainment room. Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers can you help you with the planning, installation and the finishing touches for all of your basement remodeling needs.

Evaluating Your Basement Moisture Levels, Height & Stability

Ceiling Height

Before putting time, money and effort into remodeling your basement, you need to first figure out your basement’s potential. First, measure the floor to ceiling height. Eight to nine feet of clearance is optimal for the best results.

Moisture Levels

Next you need to measure your basement’s moisture levels. Is the humidity below 60%? Even after a rainstorm in the hot summer months? If the walls or the floors have dark moisture spots, or if they feel damp to the touch, you might want to look into adding a moisture barrier. If your basement is just a little musty in general, a correctly sized dehumidifier can fix the problem easily.

Unexpected Flooding

Since your basement is the lowest point of your house, you should also consider a plan B to protect your basement flooring against any unexpected flooding. If you have a large source of water, such as a water heater, washing machine or boiler, check to see if they’re sitting in pans. Is there a wet room, such as a kitchen or bathroom, over your finished space that could potentially overflow? Installing a drain with a sump pump in a far corner of your basement and choosing appropriate flooring as a preventative measure can prevent potential problems.

Flat & Level Floor

Finally, check the overall level and stability of your basement floors. Does your floor have any cracks that would indicate shifting? What about high or low spots? The more effort you put in to making your basement floor flat, dry, and insulated, the nicer the finished flooring will turn out and the longer it will last.

Leveling the floor with cement-based floor leveling materials or laying a subfloor of 2X4s and plywood can correct most imperfections and create the stability necessary for tile or wood flooring. An even better solution are subfloor panels that have both insulation and a moisture barrier integrated in the system.

Choosing Your Flooring by Budget & Type of Space

Functional Basement Workspace

If you have low ceilings, high humidity levels and a cracked, uneven concrete floor, your best bet is to create a functional workspace in your basement. There are many waterproof flooring options that are cheap, easy to clean and easily replaceable in case of unforeseen problems.

Epoxy paint is a great choice. Costing around only 35$ per gallon, the paint will seal the concrete and make cleaning easy with a wet-vac. Another options is waterproof vinyl tile flooring that snaps together. This type of flooring is nice looking, soft underfoot, and can be removed and put back down if water gets underneath. Indoor/outdoor carpet is also affordable and replaceable if it gets damaged. Tile is ideal, however: just shop-vac and set up air movers in the event of flooding — nothing to replace.

Family Rec Room

If your basement has a little bit of headroom and is relatively dry, you might want to put a little more time and energy into creating a cozy, welcoming space. There are many inexpensive flooring options that will help create a comfortable and inviting ambiance. Carpet squares that can be laid over a subfloor will definitely be soft and warm underfoot. These squares can easily be changed out if they are damaged. Another good choice is engineered wood flooring. Unfortunately, it won’t survive a flood, but it can handle some humidity without bowing or discoloring like traditional hardwood flooring, making it a good choice for most basements. Finally, you might consider luxury vinyl flooring that can mimic wood, stone and marble to perfection for merely 4$ a square foot.

For a Fabulous Finished Basement…

It is time to call Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers. They have the experience and design flair you need to create the basement of your dreams. Whether you prefer modern or traditional styling, they can recommend the best materials for walls, trim and flooring that will withstand moisture and complement your furnishings, ensuring that your finished basement is beautiful and designed to last.

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9 Requirements of a Quality Tile Installer

9 Requirements of a Quality Tile Installer

A skilled tile installer – particularly a Certified Tile Installer (CTI) – will:

  1. Use the correct methods and materials for installing
    tile products.
  2. Use premium bonding materials.
  3. Carefully control site conditions.
  4. Ensure that the installation will be on a flat surface.
  5. Ensure that the installation surface is rigid.
  6. Know to use a crack isolation membrane when
    necessary.
  7. Pay attention to industry standards for minimum mortar
    coverage.
  8. Know to use movement accommodation joints for
    temperature and humidity variations.
  9. Plan for adequate curing time before exposing the
    installation to moisture, traffic, temperature changes or
    overlaying products.

Pay close attention to the above to ensure that your tile installation is a Quality Tile Installation.
You could waste time searching for a tile installer that meets these qualifications, or you could call Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers and rest assured that your project is in good hands!

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DIY vs. Professional: 3 Questions to Ask Before Any Project

DIY vs. Professional: 3 Questions to Ask Before Any Project

Changing out the leaky faucets in your master bathroom doesn’t look so hard. After a couple of hours watching tutorials on YouTube and a trip to the hardware store, you are feeling pretty confident about this do-it-yourself project. However, once you get started, you quickly realize that the faucets aren’t the only improvement needed in the bathroom—your plumbing looks pretty outdated, too. That’s a bit more than you planned for.

There is a big difference between sprucing up a room with a coat of paint and tearing down an entire wall, and that difference usually lies in skill, experience, knowledge, and training. How do you know if you can handle a project yourself or if you should hire a professional?

Some simple DIY projects that many people decide to take on themselves include:

  • Painting
  • Basic landscaping
  • Adding storage to a closet, laundry room, or mudroom
  • Installing new light fixtures
  • Resurfacing or painting cabinets

Other more complex projects that may require a professional include:

  • Tearing out carpet and installing floors
  • Tearing down walls
  • Exterior painting
  • Roof repair or replacement
  • Replacing heating, cooling, electrical, or plumbing systems
  • Installing new windows or doors

Even with this list as a basic guide, it can still be challenging to know if the next project on your list is perfect for your capable hands or better left to an experienced professional. Here are a few questions to ask to find the answer.

Do I have the confidence and knowledge to do this safely?

There is a first time for everything. Homeowners shouldn’t be afraid to try something new, but it’s important to understand what the project entails and how that lines up with your ability to carry out the project safely. Do your research. Read books, watch videos, and talk to professionals to see if you feel you can replace your kitchen counters on your own without causing any harm to yourself, those helping, and your kitchen. If you still have questions, bring in a contractor for a quote. Comparing the costs of a DIY or a professional job can help you make the right decision.

Do I have the time to commit to this project?

While you may have plenty of knowledge and experience, it’s equally important to know if you have the time. Will the bathroom sit there half painted for a month, or can you complete this project in a weekend? For the sanity of the rest of your household, it’s critical you know how long essential areas will be unavailable. If going the DIY route means water will need to be shut off or kitchen appliances unusable for an extended period of time, consider if hiring a professional will cut down on the time for those inconveniences.

Do I have the necessary equipment?

In the beginning, tackling a project yourself might seem like the less expensive option, but a lot of that depends on the tools and equipment you need to complete the job. If you have to purchase or rent tools, will that outweigh the costs you save by sidestepping a professional? If you do have to buy power tools, such as new drills, saws, sanders, routers, or impact drivers, do you know how to safely use them? Also, remember that equipment isn’t just about what you use—it’s also about what you wear. If you will be working with power tools or hazardous chemicals, you may need specific protective covering for your hands, eyes, and even lungs. These costs can quickly add up and often don’t make financial sense if you only plan on using these tools once.

Every DIY project is subjective to the person taking on the majority of the work. If you have the skills but lack the passion, there is a higher risk of the project going unfinished. If you are excited to take on a new project, you might burn out quickly if your skills aren’t up to the task. Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers can help you achieve your vision. For a free consultation contact us today. However, if you have even the basic skills, enthusiasm, and a commitment to safety, planning and completing a simple DIY home improvement project can be very rewarding.

 

Article by Danny Knight, Fix it Dads
Photo by Pixabay

 

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