Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
2/15/24 10:59 a.m.

We're about to have some work done on our house. We have some water intrusion and will be having a room sealed off, the drywall removed, mold treatment done as needed, then drywall replaced and painted. 

The bathroom will be later. 

Any suggestions about choosing the company and questions we should ask would be appreciated.
 

We think we've decided who to hire, but feedback from the hive is always useful. 

lotusseven7 (Forum Supporter)
lotusseven7 (Forum Supporter) Dork
2/15/24 11:06 a.m.

Just make sure the mold remediation is done correctly. Once the offending damage is uncovered, make sure they get everything cut out and replaced. Oh and ventilate the area when doing the demo. 

pheller
pheller UltimaDork
2/15/24 11:34 a.m.

Get a permit. If your contractor insists that they want to get a permit, get proof of said permit. 

It's all about getting a good set of eyes on the work on done without the bias of client/contractor relationship. 

carbidetooth
carbidetooth New Reader
2/15/24 11:48 a.m.

Permit's not a bad idea, but some jurisdictions might not require it. Bear in mind building code has little to do with craftsmanship and more to do with safety. A pretty low hurdle in my book.

I'd want to talk to whoever will be in charge on the jobsite. Have them describe process, what and why and how it applies to your particular job. A good contractor should be willing to be transparent and informative throughtout the process. 

There's a whole new genre of contractor dealing with "disaster relief". Often a canned business or franchise that really is more about quick response than goodness. 

FWIW, I avoided insurance work for a lot of reasons, but one was it always appeared to be a compromise to me and client.

What sort of water intrusion?

VolvoHeretic
VolvoHeretic GRM+ Memberand Dork
2/15/24 11:49 a.m.

Can't help with hiring a contractor but afterwards, take a million photos and take them everyday to document what was done and when, just in case it ever goes to litigation. 

Antihero
Antihero GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
2/15/24 12:12 p.m.

Do not under any circumstances take the lowest bid. That bid is actually the highest bid 

 

I know it's easy to say when it's other people's money but ......it's only money. You don't want it done cheap, you want it done right. Doing it right once is by far the cheaper option too.

 

Source : currently cleaning up a job that the people took the lowest bid and I've had to fix everything. This is the 3rd I've done in a few years. End total is roughly 3 times the original bid, if it was me from the start it would have been about 1.5 times the original bid

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
2/15/24 12:16 p.m.
pheller said:

Get a permit. If your contractor insists that they want to get a permit, get proof of said permit. 

It's all about getting a good set of eyes on the work on done without the bias of client/contractor relationship. 

Disagree. 
 

There is a legal problem with this. If a homeowner pulls the permit, THEY are the ones legally responsible for the job. Including code compliance, liability, warranty, all subcontract trades.  If a homeowner pulls the permit, they are acting as the general contractor.  Unlicensed contractors frequently ask homeowners to pull the permit as a way to not be responsible for the job. 
 

So, if you are willing to be the general contractor and take the responsibility, go ahead and pull the permit. But understand that the guy you are working with is NOT the general contractor, he is a subcontractor to you.  Expect the price to reflect the difference.

There are lots of unlicensed contractors capable of doing good work.  Usually there is no problem.  But when there is a problem, it's a really big one.

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
2/15/24 12:17 p.m.

In reply to Antihero :

Couldn't agree more. 

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
2/15/24 12:19 p.m.

Ask where they buy their materials from. Call the supplier, and ask if their account is in good standing.

Most contractors that pay their bills also are reliable and do quality work.

 

Most importantly, ask for references, and contact them.

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
2/15/24 12:22 p.m.

Permits are still a good idea, regardless of who pulls them. The building inspector is generally your friend trying to make sure it's done right. (There are LOTS of exceptions, but it's still a good idea)

But they DO define who is in charge and responsible. 

Datsun240ZGuy
Datsun240ZGuy MegaDork
2/15/24 12:26 p.m.

In reply to SV reX :

I pulled my permit - my city realizes this situation and the contractor doing the work has to be registered ($100) and is responsible to call and work with the inspector.  My guy had to upload all insurance info along with the plumber and electrician. 

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand UberDork
2/15/24 12:27 p.m.

First... How was the leak fixed?

Curious because I had a wall last year that turned out to be full of mold.. located directly below a roof valley that evidently had leaked a long time ago. The wall was no longer wet but had a lot of hidden damage including termites. It ended up being a lot more work and money than I ever imagined. 

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
2/15/24 12:28 p.m.

In reply to Datsun240ZGuy :

The fine print you probably didn't read on that permit application still made you the responsible party. Your city is treating him like a subcontractor. 

Datsun240ZGuy
Datsun240ZGuy MegaDork
2/15/24 12:30 p.m.

In reply to SV reX :

I'll go check it out.  I'll get back to everyone.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
2/15/24 12:35 p.m.

References, references, references.  Call them and talk to them.  Ask them if they would hire the same contractor again.

We are currently having 2 bathrooms gut renovated, and extensive built-ins put in our master bedroom.  Finding and selecting the general contractor was an almost 2-year process.

We are using the lowest bidder.  They are about 20%-30% lower than the next higher group of bidders, and 50% lower than the highest bidder.  We found them via NextDoor, of all places.

But they gave us about 10 references, all of which were not only happy to talk to me, but in fact eager.  One guy even FaceTimed me so he could walk me through the final results of his project.  Of those 10, at least half of them had already hired this contractor multiple times, and the other half either planned to or wouldn't hesitate to if needed.

Also, our GC is a very responsive communicator. They were easy to get a hold of all through the bidding process, and have been during the work, too.  That's really important.

 

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
2/15/24 12:35 p.m.

In reply to Datsun240ZGuy :

Jurisdictions often have registration fees, local business licenses, etc that they expect subcontractors to pay, and they will always want to see the license of any licensed trade subcontractor working. 
 

But the guy who pulls the general permit is responsible for the overall job. 

pheller
pheller UltimaDork
2/15/24 1:00 p.m.
SV reX said:There is a legal problem with this. If a homeowner pulls the permit, THEY are the ones legally responsible for the job. Including code compliance, liability, warranty, all subcontract trades.  If a homeowner pulls the permit, they are acting as the general contractor.  Unlicensed contractors frequently ask homeowners to pull the permit as a way to not be responsible for the job. 

You mean, in the event something goes wrong, who do you sue? 

Yes, I suppose the contractor pulling their own permit does give you some legal recourse in the event they (or their subs) mess something up. 

But I suppose it also depends on how much money we're talking and whether it would be worth taking someone to court at all. It also depends on how much of the job you want to DIY, as some contractors will not allow their clients to DIY anything on their job. 

In the event a homeowners is pulling their own permit, they probably want to change the payment structure and schedule a bit so the now subcontractor doesn't bail with their money. 

When I had a deck built I pulled my own permit and had the inspector out multiple times to give us hints on how to build it right. My "subcontractor" learned something on that project (he hadn't been following code for years) - and I got a deck for 1/3rd the price of other quotes. This was mostly because I could've built the deck myself, and I can correct any mistakes that arise later. If I wasn't prepared to do that, I wouldn't have gone with the lowest bid, and I would've asked for the contractor to pull the permit. 

Disclaimer: my experiences with pulling my own permits are for jobs that were all under $3000 paid to a sub. Not say...building a $500k house or doing a $100k remodel. 

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
2/15/24 1:41 p.m.

In reply to pheller :

I can almost guarantee that the "subcontractor" you used was not licensed, and was unable to pull a permit.

So what is the actual advantage of pulling the permit yourself?  It doesn't gain you anything (and may create liability). If you just want to make sure one was pulled, call the building department and ask.  Permits are public record.

 

Yes. It is possible to save money.  You can save money by serving as your own general contractor. I don't think that helps the OP in trying to hire a contractor. 
 

For water mitigation, I would want licensed professionals (especially for the insurance company and future sales)

brandonsmash
brandonsmash GRM+ Memberand Reader
2/15/24 3:46 p.m.

In reply to SV reX :

Agree AND disagree wrt permits. Speaking as a licensed and bonded contractor, clients are often very surprised by the costs involved with permitting for a simple thing like a shade structure. In the City of Phoenix, for instance, it can very easily turn a 12k job into a 20k job. The city is going to take their permitting fees ($500-$1,000), they require engineering on every single shade structure ($2,500), they often want certificates of special inspection ($1,000), and the time it takes to navigate the system costs money. In addition, permitting times take between 6-18 months (not weeks, months). 

Will we (my company) do it? Absolutely. However, we've lost far more jobs than we've gained due to the realities of Phoenix permitting. 

You'll need to log in to post.

Our Preferred Partners
zPyfL2aisNywyoZXzenrqVBrTN1vh0Yh0yoAxKYUj6oLKoEdcDMinI3wDE8Uh7SG