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More Tips For Hiring A Remodeling Contractor

By David Pangione 

Pangione Developers Inc

Fall is approaching soon and many homeowners are preparing for a home improvement project. It would be wise to refer to an architect if your remodeling project requires structural adjustments or any type of extensive changes. Many times a well rounded remodeling contracting company can provide a full soup to nuts service. However, once fall arrives, you may feel that hiring a contractor may have been a bit easier than you thought, but is it?

Now would be the time to start calling some local reputable contractors but before you start with this approach, you will need to do some research that can make this process easier and more informative. A few of the most informative ways for collecting names of local builders is to simply start by asking your neighbors and or friends. If you know of any friends or neighbors that have completed a remodeling project similar to yours then that would be a great starting point. Another great place to start searching is on the internet. Start with a Google search with terms like “ NJ Home Additions” and “New Jersey Remodeling” or “NJ Add a Levels”. You can spend a lot of fulfilling time looking for a Bergen County Contractor that you feel will be a good fit for your company. Once you feel like you have a match, check their referrals.

If that is not enough to satisfy your curiosity and you simply need more information you could check with you local building department. As a builder in New Jersey, I have developed many relationships with the local inspectors. It is good to get to know these people so they understand your character as well as your craftsmanship. These inspectors gain first hand knowledge of your reputation and can provide insight for homeowners that are looking for a builder to hire.

Another great place to start is by contacting tradesmen such as electricians, plumbers, tiling as well as heating and air conditioning installers. These tradesmen make a living working for various home remodeling companies and would be able to provide some valuable insight. You can also call an architect, your lending institution or even a home designer. These professionals all have relationships with home builders and can provide you their insight only as they know it.

So now you have a few contractors in mind that you are leaning towards. What now!!!. One of the most important aspects of searching for a contractor is that you want to be able to get along with them. The company may have a solid reputation but you want to be able to work together or else the remodeling project may feel like it is never ending. Create a few questions regarding your project and throw a question or two in there to simply have a general conversation. You will know if they are a good fit for you and your company. Once you are leaning towards a favorite then check their license status in your state. If they have no license, immediately move on to the next candidate. Insurance and references would be the next items to look at so make sure you have all your bases covered.

 

One of the best ways to check on a contractor after you have narrowed down the process is to get a list of completed projects from your contractor of choice. Visit the sites and if possible, speak with that homeowner to determine if they were satisfied with the remodeling contractor. Once you have gone through these steps then you are ready to sign a contract with your selected contractor. One thing I like to do when we sign contracts is to sit down with my new customers and actually read the contract from start to finish, stopping along the way to explain any questions that they may have. A homeowner at this point is usually very excited and nervous at the same time that their home is about to be transformed. There are a lot of uncertainties for them since this is the first time they are encountering a home remodeling so they don’t know what to expect. If you are unsure about something in your contract, have your contractor stop and explain it to you before moving forward.

 

Lastly, make sure the contract consists of all the main components such as a warranty, listed materials as well as the payment arrangements. Another tip I can offer is something I like to present to all my customers. A “Project Stages Commitment” form. In writing we list all the stages of development that will occur from the day of the contract signing up until the last screw is turned. It even states in writing when the estimated finish date will be. Again, with most customers overwhelmed and a bit anxious to get going, this form provides a bit of comfort knowing how the job will unfold and when it will be finished. I recommend you have your contractor offer the same.

Pangione Developers Inc, a Full Service Design & Build Contractor specializes in Home Additions and Add Levels throughout New Jersey.

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Frequently Asked Questions – Pangione Developers Inc

Frequently Asked Questions
We have listed below, some of the most frequently asked questions along with answers.

 

If you have a question that is not answered here, or you want to talk to us about a renovation project you are thinking of, feel free to CONTACT US at (201) 774-3733 to discuss the details.

 

1) How Long Have You Been In Business?

 

Pangione Developers spawned from 3 generations of builders. Company president David Pangione, incorporated Pangione Developers Inc in 1999 specifically to provide the public with a company that specializes in Add- a – Levels, Additions and Complete Home Remodeling Packages at an affordable price.

 

2) Are you licensed and insured?

 

Yes, we are fully insured, Our NJ Home Improvement Contractors License is 13vh01043300.

 

3) Is there a supervisor present on the jobsite?

 

Yes, All of our specialized crews have an experienced professional who will oversee the work.

 

Questions pertaining to Add- A- Levels/ Additions

 

1)Do we have to move out?

 

Depending on the size of your family and the amount of 1st floor renovation each job is different. If it is a complete 1st floor renovation, yes … you would have to move out.

 

2) If allowed to stay in home during construction, what time do we have to vacate/ return?

 

In the early phases of an add- a- level, ( the 1st few days when the roof is removed and new construction begins), homeowners must vacate at 7:30 am and return around sunset. After actual structure is framed and built, homeowner can vacate as late as 8:15am and return by 4pm.

 

3) Do we get to choose our own siding and roofing colors?

 

Yes, Pangione Developers will supply you with roofing , siding and shutter samples approximately 2 weeks prior to needing them. You will then let us know your color choices

 

4) What items do I need to buy now?

 

Nothing. Depending on each particular job, believe it or not most finished items/ fixtures – cabinets are not needed until near the end of the project. Pangione Developers will instruct/ guide you throughout each phase as to what items will be needed and when we need it by. We usually give you 2 weeks to search around and order so there is plenty of time before we need the few critical items in the beginning. All the other items can be stored until needed at the end. Also Pangione Developers has custom fixture, tile and other miscellaneous forms that we fill out which pertain to the exact quantities and sizes of the items that you will need. Only those items marked urgent will be needed in the next couple of weeks, everything else, again wont be needed until the end. But we wont discourage you from going out early on and looking around to see what you like to get some early ideas.

 

5) Can we pick out our own fixtures and tile?

 

Yes, Pangione Developers does not purchase tile, fixtures, fixtures or cabinets. We fill our the custom forms for bath 1, bath 2 , laundry tile , foyer, etc. Each form is given to the homeowner. At that point they will go to their store of choice or a supply house that will offer our contractor discounts and then pick out the needed items.

 

6) Does Pangione Developers pay for the tile, fixtures or do we?

 

Pangione Developers provides allowances which are mentioned in great detail in their contract. The homeowners will go and purchase their items with allowances and towards the end of the contract they will receive a credit for the specified amounts specified for each item. In the end , you get exactly what you want and you get credited the amounts stated in the contract.

 

7) How long does the job take?

 

We specify in our “Job Stages form in each contract that raised levels take approximately 10-12 weeks and additions 10 – 12 weeks. Keep in mind we usually finish all jobs in 6-8 weeks, weather permitting. Also any job consisting of an addition, keep in mind that a foundation will need to be built and depending on the town, there are usually 3-4 inspections involved in building the foundation alone which pending the time of year and weather, this can increase the building time frame a bit.

 

8) Do we get a contract?

 

After all your questions have been answered, we will set up a contract signing. When we arrive at your residence, we will sit down and go over the contract from start to finish and read every word in between. After the contract signing, you will receive a contract package including your copy of the contract with all the necessary forms and samples nicely labeled and ready for the construction to begin. When its time to go to work, we don’t have to worry and you don’t have to woory because EVERYTHING is stated in our contacts.

 

9) Does Pangione Developers handle the permits.

 

Yes, we acquire all the necessary permits before we start any work. We also coordinate any utility markout readings required before any excavation is needed.

 

10) Do you handle varience meetings if needed?

 

Yes, at an extra fee, we will take all the necessary steps needed to set up and represent you at your varience meeting

 

10) Does Pangione Developers provide plans?

 

Yes, Included in our quote will be the plans and plan process unless you specifically provide us with your own plans. Usually within 1 week of the contract signing and in most cases the next day or 2, our architect will arrive on your site. He will have all the necessary information pertaining to your job. He will measure your home accordingly, then within 1 week you will be presented with your 1st review of the plans. In most cases this process is finalized within 1-2 weeks of receiving your 1st review. When decided that the plans are ready to be finished, the homeowner will sign off on our “Plan Release Form” in your contract package and we will then finalize the plans, then submit them to your local building department.

 

11) We already have plans, can you provide a price?

 

Yes, Pangione Developers has worked with many architects throughout Bergen County. We will have a representative pick up the plans from your residence and a price will be provided in most cases within 1 week from the pickup.

 

12) Do you provide rubbish removal?

 

Yes, we remove all our garbage. A container is always left onsite so their is never any build up of debris. We take great pride in keeping our sites clean and organized.

 

13) Do you provide a port o potty for your workers?

 

Yes, each job site has a portable bathroom for our construction team.

 

14) How soon after the permit is ready can you start the work?

 

Unless there have been extremely bad weather conditions prior, our contract states we start the work within 1 week of the permit being ready. In most cases we start within 2 days.

 

15) Can you provide us a contractor discount for bath and kitchen items?

 

Yes, We have several vendors that we work with that will provide you with a contractor discount.

 

16) Do you have references?

 

Yes, Pangione Developers has many satisfied customers you could contact. The most important factor we would like to stress is that we specialize in Home Additions and Add a Levels. We can provide references with many families that had the same exact type of project that you are planning to build which is very important. You can ask them the questions and get answers from these people since they had the same type of project as you. We have jobs you could drive by and look at all over Bergen County.

 

17) My house was tested for lead, can you recommend a company that can safely remove the material.

 

Yes, not to worry. Pangione Developers has been certified as a “Lead – Safe Certified firm from the EPA, certificate # NAT- 48239-1.

 

18) Can you test my house for lead?

 

Yes, each house that receives an add a level or addition will receive a lead test which will be mentioned and included in your contract.

 

19) My town requires a height survey included in the permit application. Is this something you can provide?

 

Yes, Pangione Developers has its own engineer that will survey what is needed to determine the required height of the new structure. This information will be provided to our architect and used to deterrmine final roof heights when using our plan and architect process.

 

20) My town requires a seepage pit for water runoff. Is this something you can provide?

 

Yes, we can install the necessary gallon pit and piping for your job at an added fee.

 

21) Has Pangione Developers received OSHA safety training?

 

Yes, we have successfully passed the “ Construction Safety and Health Training” course.

 

22) When removing our roof to build our new 2nd floor, how long is the top exposed to the outdoor elements?

Believe it or not, we usually remove the roof in a few hours and start building by lunchtime that same day. The new top floor and roof is usually framed within 3 days and your new roof shingle that you chose are installed within 3 days of initial roof removal. Each night your home is covered with a 60’x40’ tarp and secured below.

Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions. You can call (201)-774-3733 or email us at PangioneDev@aol.com.

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Bergen County Contractors