Bruce: There is a photo circulating with Mr. Guy Ballard doing a little demolition in the kitchen. Most of these are before-and- afters. If you see this one, Guy’s in there busting up the tile in the kitchen the weekend before we actually got in there. He’s trying to take credit for it.
Business Growth Innovators Member: That’s good.
Bruce: The main part of the project was a room addition. We added a master bedroom and bath upstairs. They had a 1-story house; they now have a 2-story house. They also did a kitchen remodel, and some other remodeling as well. That’s a before-and-after of that.
There is one circulating that . . . again, this is a brief peek into the life of the Ballard’s. There is one of their sons and one of their dogs. The top photo is the ‘before’, and that is a photo from their entryway looking back into the kitchen. If you turn it, it’s basically the same photo where we opened up the wall. Now they have a huge opening between the living room and the kitchen.
On some of these photos, you can see what we did to protect the floor. We put indoor/outdoor carpeting in there, and then put plywood over the top of that to protect their existing hardwood floors. Those are the types of things that we do.
Laying down paper like most of the contractors do, doesn’t do squat if the guys drop a hammer. What do you think the chances are that the guys will drop a hammer at some point? That’s what we do to protect flooring when we need to. There’s another photo circulating of the frame stage, which I think is very, very cool, that shows the skeletal portion of the addition going in. It’s very, very cool.
Finally, there is one with the staircase. This was all their choice of staircase. It’s absolutely gorgeous what they’ve chosen. The ‘before’ is what used to be there, 2 closets. It’s a challenge, typically, to figure out where to put the stairs in an existing 1-story house that wasn’t planned to have a set of stairs, and stairs take up a lot of room. This is where it made the most sense to put the stairs. You can see, this is what was there, and then what is there now.
Take a look at those. I also have a set of their drawings, if you want to compare and contrast what you see on the photos to what was actually on the drawings.
The whole process; the Ballards’ did what I recommend everybody do; they got some competitive bids. I was not the first person they had in there. They had another contractor who had done multiple projects similar to theirs, in the neighborhood. Then had me come out and bid, basically, the same thing. I think I was somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,000 to $3,000 less than the other gentleman.
I’m very, very competitive in my pricing. I’ve worked with my subcontractors for decades, in a lot of cases, and I get fantastic pricing from them, not to mention the great service and great craftsmanship that I get from them.
Why hire a general contractor? Why not just do it yourself? We had over 16 different subcontractors work on his project; demolition crews, to roofers, to drywall contractors, stucco, finish carpentry, tile, plumbing; over 16 different contractors. That doesn’t happen by itself; it needs to be managed. In addition to that, every one of those subcontractors is licensed, insured, bonded, and carries workers compensation, so we’re absolutely minimizing the risk of any liability or issue that may arise, by doing that.
In addition to that, I’ve talked many, many times about how thorough we are with our drawings, and we want to get everything on the drawings exactly the way it’s going to be. The goal is to not have any changes, because changes create havoc sometimes. They almost always create delays and they almost always increase the budget. It’s not realistic to go through a project like that and not make changes along the way. As you’re going through it, you go, “Hey. You know what, why don’t we put some lighting there? Why don’t we add a TV in the bathroom?” for example, and that type of thing.
There were some things they pulled out; there were some extras, some credits. All-in-all, there were approximately 34 estimates for changes. That all takes time and effort, and has to be managed. There were ultimately approximately 29 changes; some of them major, some of them minor. All of that has to be managed; it doesn’t just happen. Many of the changes involved multiple trades. If they wanted to do a particular thing, it might involve 2 or 3 different trades.
It might involve the electrician, the drywall guy, the stucco guy, you name it. If you’re doing it yourself and subcontracting it, you can imagine it’s going to be very difficult to try to coordinate that; call the electrician and the various people and say, “Hey. I need you to come back and do this, but you have to wait for this guy.” It’s just going to be an absolute nightmare.
I think the project turned out fantastic. Unfortunately, the photos don’t show the color. There’s one of the . . . I forgot to mention . . .
Business Growth Innovators Member: Looks beautiful.
Bruce: . . . of the shower. There’s a photo of the shower and the sink. Awesome stuff. They chose all of this. I had no say in the decorative part of it, thankfully. They chose the fixtures. You don’t want me doing that; that’s more of an interior decorator- type of thing. The tile and the granite, it’s spectacular. The photo does not do it justice. I apologize to the Ballards for that. Apparently, I need to get a better printer and some skills.
Business Growth Innovators Member: And some skills.
Bruce: Do you?
Business Growth Innovators Member: You know . . .
Bruce: That’s fantastic. Everybody wants to know what things cost, right? What does this cost? What does that cost? I’m not going to divulge what the Ballards’ project cost, but your typical kitchen remodel, if that’s all you’re doing; you’re not doing something else with it, anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000. Can they be $100,000? Absolutely. I’ve done $80,000 kitchen remodels.
I did an $80,000 kitchen remodel, probably 8 or 9 years ago, that would probably be a $100,000 remodel today. It just depends upon what you’re doing. Bath remodels could be anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000. Can they be $40,000? Absolutely. It just depends upon how big it is and what you want to create in there.
Room additions are all over the map. Room additions; his project is absolutely typical of what we specialize in; it’s absolutely our niche: A room addition with a remodel going on at the same time. We have the designer in place to handle that extremely well. We have the structural engineering to handle that extremely well. The structural engineering on his project was rather difficult.
As far as we know, none of the other room additions in that neighborhood were turned the way his was turned. They all went the other direction because they were easier to do, structurally. That didn’t work for them. They needed a window upstairs, out of the bedroom, facing their view. The other way of doing things would not give them that. We worked with my engineer closely to figure out a way to make that work, and we were able to do that.
With that, I will open it up to any questions, comments, or complaints.
Business Growth Innovators Member: Do you do wood floors alone? Not a remodel, but wood floors, stairs, and all that stuff, or do you subcontract? What do you recommend?
Bruce: I can do that, but if it’s a single-trade, virtually every single time if it’s a single-trade; roofing, plumbing, we’ve got a plumber here who can handle that, we’ve got a flooring guy who can handle that.
Business Growth Innovators Member: Okay. I’m sorry now.
Bruce: No, it’s not . . . You’re a newbie. If you were to ask this 3 days from now, you’d be in big trouble with us.
Business Growth Innovators Member: Could you just give me a tip form for the flooring guy? I’m really sorry.
Bruce: No, it’s a great question. I will do all of those items in conjunction. I don’t know if it’s the case these days, but at one point, actually Mark Holmes may know this.
Business Growth Innovators Member: At one point, the law stipulated that as a general contractor you could not get involved in a single-trade, there had to be 3 or more trades involved. If I’m not mistaken, Home Depot challenged that so that they could do individual trades under their umbrella. Is that somewhat correct?
Bruce: Okay. I don’t know if it’s still that same way. I went from 3 minutes, to now I’m done?
Business Growth Innovators Member: Seems to be.
Bruce: You’ve probably had enough of me anyway. If you have any questions, comments . . . the complaints I refer to my complaint department. If you have any questions or comments please see me. Thank you.
C.R. BEINLICH & SONS CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION
Residential Remodeling Specialists