Tag Archives: bathroom remodeling

Why You Deserve a Home Remodel from Kopke

You’re ready and it’s time.  You’ve imagined relaxing in a spacious Jet tub and stepping out onto your heated tile floors.  You’ve imagined spice racks in the kitchen, and an organized pantry large enough to accommodate your Costco/Sams Club purchases.  Maybe an integrated beverage cooler separate from the refrigerator for an adult beverage and soft drinks!  You can picture your new space, have decided that now is the time, and the search has begun for the right remodeling company.

I’m sure you can imagine how great your home will look and feel after the remodel is complete, but it might be harder to imagine that the process will be free from headaches.  You’ve surely heard that the remodeling industry has a reputation for being nightmarish.  While taking on a large project inevitably has its challenges, we ask you to pass those headaches onto us.

At Kopke, we have 21 years and thousands of projects just like yours under our belts.  Let us manage your project, and we will roll out the red carpet. (Figuratively speaking of course, our tarps are cream in color.)  Remodeling your home should be more like a trip to the spa, not a trip to Cedar Point!  You are paying money to do something nice for yourself, don’t let the experience turn into daily worries and headaches.  It doesn’t have to be this way!

Through attention to all details, proper planning, re-measures, fluid communication, and the setting of realistic goals and timelines, we have the resources to provide a smooth-flowing, meticulously designed, planned, overseen and executed construction process.

At Kopke Remodeling & Design, we believe that remodeling your home should be an enjoyable experience!  You’ve saved up your hard-earned money and are ready to update your kitchen or bathroom, finish the basement, or add the addition or sunroom you’ve been dreaming about.

One of our many talents is designing spaces to suit individual needs, to make your life easier and more enjoyable. So why choose a company like Kopke Remodeling and Design? Because you deserve it!

Happy Customers Kathy and Tom Fuhrman in Shelby Township, with Kopke Designer Richard De Fauw

Plan for the Unexpected Before Beginning Your Remodeling Project

If the unexpected did not happen, there would be no insurance industry.  Remodeling is like anything else – something unexpected will alwayshappen, often incurring extra cost.  Examples of the unexpected are:

Perhaps the inspector will require an upgrade that was not in the original contract.  If the insulation rating in the walls goes up in July, and you got your permit in May, a field inspector may require you to make this change to meet current code.  Surprise!

Perhaps the previous homeowners did a remodel and left abandoned pipes or heat ducts in the walls or ceiling.  There is no way the contractor, architect or inspector would know this until the wall is opened.  Surprise!

Perhaps the eletrical circuits are hooked together poorly, requiring you to put the kitchen on its own circuit or reorganize the panel.  Or if you have added electrical circuits your panel may be full and need to be upgraded. Surprise!

Perhaps after you start a project, the contractor suddenly notices a hairline crack in an upstairs wall, and discovers that the homeowner had cut a main support beam downstairs to make room for a heating duct.  The Contractor will have to add a beam support and jack up the sag.  Surprise!

There is no way to avoid the unexpected.  But knowing that it will occur will reduce your stress and save you from unreasonable expectations.  Surprises should not be surprising!

At Kopke Remodeling & Design, we use our many years of experience working with different types of homes, to predict as many potential surprises as possible before they happen, and plan for them in advance.  We very rarely “upcharge” the customer for “unforeseen issues” after the contract is signed, which is one reason why our estimates may be higher than some of our competitors who are no strangers to this “tactic”.

How Often Should You Communicate with Your Contractor?

Home Remodeling Mistake #5 : Poor Communication with the Contractor

Some people are afraid to look “dumb” if they ask questions of the contractor, or if they don’t understand something.  This is self-defeating; no question is dumb.  Free and open communication with your contractor is essential for a good remodel experience.  A good contractor will welcome questions and be willing to address your concerns.  If you just want to understand how something works, most contractors will be glad to explain.  An informed homeowner is usually a happy homeowner, and the contractor wants you to be happy.

If you see a potential problem, don’t assume the contractor has seen it too.  It is possible someone has made a mistake.  Let the contractor know so he can fix it sooner rather than later.  The contractor will thank you for your attention.  Remember, the contractor  cannot be there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – and you wouldn’t want to pay him for that much time, anyway!

Having set times for talking to your contractor can help you communicate regularly.  Not knowing what is going on with your remodel can be a huge source of stress.  If you have done your homework and chosen a good contractor, you should be able to trust them to do their job.  But trust does not replace regular communication.  You must be communicating with your contractor, and this is most important at critical stages.

Even if everything is perfect and nothing needs to be done, you will feel good knowing that your project is proceeding smoothly and on schedule.

Why Can’t I See an Itemized Price Breakdown?

“How to Buy Remodeling” Blog Series – Part Two

Why Can’t I See an Itemized Price Breakdown?

“Can you give me an itemized price for this project: materials and labor for cabinets, countertops, flooring?  I want to make sure what is included in what I’m buying.”  We get that question a lot when we’re talking to clients.  And the answer is no.  The explanation is this: when you buy a project, like a kitchen remodeling or a bathroom remodeling, you’re buying a compilation of several tasks that are integrated together.  And together they make a package and the package is the price.  If you asked me “how much is the drywall?”, the drywall is going to be more expensive then if you asked “how much is the drywall with a bath remodel?”.  So line-iteming is just going to scare you about the individual prices, and it’s just not going to make any sense.  For example, the drywall in the bathroom might be $600, and you can say “okay I’ll take the drywall”.  Well if you only want the drywall, its $1,000.  So asking for an individual price, while it might seem logical, does not make sense when you are buying a package.  You’re getting 3 or 4 quotes and the total project price is what you’re looking for.

If you think about it in terms of buying a car, you never ask “how much is the axle?” or “how much is the steering wheel?” Imagine how much work it would take for them to figure that out.  In the pricing department before it gets to the sales department, sure, they have figured out the price of everything and they put it together into the car and they add overhead and they add profit.  And then they end up with a selling price that is on a sticker on the window.  That car costs $30,000.  Well where that $30,000 is allocated really doesn’t matter.  How much of its profit? How much is material? How much is labor?  Doesn’t really matter.  So the only reason anyone would ever want any useful report showing itemized materials, labors, overheads, markups, profits, would be for some other reason other than to buy the package.  You’re not buying just part of the package.

Now as a company selling remodeling projects, we’re glad to show you the breakdown, in general, of the cabinets, the countertops, the flooring, but we can’t give you material lists, and labor lists, as we are estimating these costs.  It hasn’t been sold yet; we don’t even know the costs.  Once the job is sold, we are going to purchase everything and find out what everything actually costs.  We can’t go through and figure that out to the dollar on every quote.  We only sell 4 out of 10 that we talk to, and we are talking to 30 or 40 people a week that want to know what their project costs.  So we take an estimate of what it has cost in the past, add some mark up for overhead, and some mark up for profit, and that’s our estimate to the customer.  So the kitchen is going to be, let’s say, $26,000.  We don’t even know how much is labor and material!  The company has provided to the salesperson a guideline to figure out what the price is going to be depending on certain factors. But to break it all down is just going to take hours and hours and there is no justification for the time it would take to do it.  It also doesn’t make sense why someone would need that broken down.  So, we don’t do it.

What is a Realistic Time Frame for Your Remodeling Project?

Is it too late to get your kitchen or bathroom remodeled in time for the holidays?  If you haven’t signed your contract already, probably.

Major home remodels take time, especially if you want them done right.

Here are some guidelines that are realistic:

Standard Bathroom (not gutted) with fixtures and tile replacement, etc. in same locations – 3 weeks

Add…. 2 weeks for custom shower doors – measured after tile
…………3 weeks for solid surface/granite/quartz countertops – templated
…………2 weeks if permits are involved – inspection delays
…………1 week if gut job – drywall, insulation
…………1 week if rearranging fixtures – plumber
…………1 week if adding framing for new shower, etc.
…………2 weeks if all decisions are not made prior to closing

Standard Kitchen with cabinet/counter replacement in same locations – 3 weeks

Add…..2 weeks if major electrical
…………1 week if soffits are being removed – re-route of hidden items
…………1 week if floor is getting done
…………3 weeks for solid surface/granite/quartz countertops – templated
…………1 week if tiling backsplash – can’t do until after solid surface
…………1 week if permits involved – inspection delays
…………1 week if removing walls, etc.
…………1 week if moving plumbing and/or rearranging the working triangle
…………2 weeks if all decisions are not made prior to closing

(Some of the times will run concurrently, but not all!)

Here at Kopke Remodeling & Design, we do mostly custom work and very little run-of-the-mill standard replacements.  Custom work is beautiful, but it takes extended time to get it done perfectly to our standards. By insuring that everything is meticulously measured, done correctly and in the right sequence, we are able to offer our Lifetime Workmanship Warranty on all of our work, and have since we opened our doors in 1993.

We also have a policy of not starting tear-out until all products have arrived in our warehouse.  This way, we eliminate the risk of leaving your house torn-up and kitchen or bathroom unusable for longer than it needs to be.  In our experience, starting a job sooner does not help it get finished any sooner.

Meet with a Kopke Remodeling representative to discuss a realistic time frame for your next kitchen or bathroom remodeling project – Call 586-777-6633 today!