General Contractor

General Contractor of Lake Tomahawk, Wisconsin

Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

  1. Do you charge for estimates?
  2. How many estimates should I get?
  3. Why do prices vary on different estimates?
  4. Do you provide a warranty for your work?
  5. Do you require a down payment before you start?
  6. What should the proposal submitted to me contain?
  7. What are some key questions to ask the contractor when they come to see me?
  8. How long will the project take to complete?
  9. I want my vacation home remodeled and I live far away. How do we handle that?
  10. What can I do when construction is taking place?
  11. Do we need to move out of our home while construction is taking place?
  12. What is a change order?

1.    Do you charge for estimates?

No, First we start with an over-the-phone conference to determine the requirements for the project. At that time we generally can provide you with a pretty close estimate of what your project might cost. Then we schedule a time to meet at the site and discuss details of the project. Some measurements are taken and then a written estimate is prepared and presented to the owner.

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2.    How many estimates should I get?

The majority of people would say get at least three estimates from contractors. This works well if you have no personal experience with the contractors you have selected. However, if a contractor is recommended by a friend and you have seen their work, one estimate may be all that is required. If you decide to get three estimates make sure they are about 10-15% within each other. If they are not, you should inquire as to why one would be so much higher or lower than the others. Make sure all the contractors have the same understanding of the job. Just remember to look closely, "buyer beware."

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3.    Why do prices vary on different estimates?

There are many different factors to take into consideration when pricing estimates. First make sure that the estimates have the same scope of work. The amount of service provided by the contractor has a big effect on the cost. If the contractor handles every detail of the project the price will probably be higher. If the contractor has all proper forms of insurance the price will be higher than a "pick-up contractor." Quality of work is another factor of the cost. The customer should not have to ask for things to be re-done. If you are still undecided call references provided by the contractor.

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4.    Do you provide a warranty for your work?

Yes. We provide a full warranty for all of our work. If you would like to see a printer friendly version of the Big Country Builders warranty, click here

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5.    Do you require a down payment before you start?

NO. Here is a word of warning to customers: Beware of any contractor who requires a LARGE down payment. This can mean that they have bad credit, little or no capital, or that they can not handle the job at hand. With no down payment required a trust between the customer and the contractor is made that the project will be completed on time and within budget. Big Country Builders does however require a payment as agreed upon with the customer, when materials are delivered and/or work commences.

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6.   What should the proposal submitted to me contain?

The proposal should contain detail. Everything from model numbers of the materials chosen to the job price should be included. A copy of the contractor's "proof of insurance" for Workers Compensation and liability should be included also. A list of references is available upon request.

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7.    What are some key questions to ask the contractor when they come to see me?

A few key questions to ask could be: "How long have you been in business?", "Have you ever done a project like this one, if so tell me about it?", "Do you have insurance?", "Who does the work; your employees, are portions of the project done by sub-contractors?" Ask as many questions as you would like until you find a contractor that can answer all of your questions to your satisfaction.

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8.    How long will the project take to complete?

It all depends on the type of construction taking place. Remodeling projects often take longer than new construction due to the factors that are involved, including; limited access to the work area, work areas that are already fully furnished, demolition of the current finishes, daily clean up, and delivery schedule of special ordered items. Major remodels, additions & adding 2nd floors could take from 5 months to a year.

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9.    I want my vacation home remodeled and I live far away. How do we handle that?

 In the Lakeland area, we at Big Country Builders work on many vacation homes, when the owners are not present much of the time. Communication is the key to any smooth running project. We stay in contact with you throughout the job.  We keep you informed and up to date.

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10.    What can I do when construction is taking place?

The most important thing you can do during construction is to ASK QUESTIONS. A contractor wants to know right away if things are not right. Remember that it is your money so feel free to ask anything you would like.

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11.    Do we need to move out of our home while construction is taking place?

Not usually, it all depends on how extensive the project is and which areas are being renovated. You may be able to relocate to another area in your home while work is taking place. Some minor inconveniences are to be expected, but we make every effort to keep a safe and comfortable atmosphere during the project at hand. However, if you should be adding a 2nd story to your home or performing a MAJOR renovation, you will need to.

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12.    What is a change order?

A change order is a written statement signed by the customer authorizing the contractor to do additional work which was not included in the original contract. The change order should be signed before the additional work is started, but often it is not in order to keep the project moving. The amount specified is due when the project is completed. A change order also may be written when a contractor comes across any unforeseen damage or problem.

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