Tag Archives: home improvement

The Benefits of Visiting Our Showroom

The majority of our potential clients will initiate their contact with us by sending an email or calling us on the phone, and requesting a free in-home consultation. While we in no way discourage this, I would humbly suggest that the better route to take would be to first stop by our Showroom. We are open from 8:30 to 5:30 Monday through Friday, and from 10:00 to 3:00 on Saturday, which should accommodate almost any schedule.

The reason I see it most beneficial to visit our Showroom before making an in-home consultation appointment is, by visiting, you will have the opportunity to meet with multiple members of our staff, from design, to pricing, to production. Even potentially the installers who will be working on your job, the bookkeeper who can answer any questions related to financing, and the marketing team who will gift you with a promotional item or two! We might be having an employee’s birthday party and invite you in for a slice of ice cream cake. You will have an inside view into our company culture instead of one stranger appearing on your doorstep.

Sometimes a walk-in client will be greeted by one of our designers, begin a discussion about their project, and come to a technical question that that individual is not an expert on. We can easily grab the nearby expert, and answer your question for you right there. Have a question about how long your project will take to start? Ask our production department, who know their schedules better than anyone. You can even meet the owner and shake his hand. I think you are beginning to get my point.

Additionally, we have thousands of product samples here that will inspire you. You will have a much better direction of which samples you would like brought out to your home during the in-home consultation. You can even borrow some to take home with you!

I would sincerely suggest visiting us here, developing a rapport with a design consultant, and then making an appointment for him/her to meet with you at your home to proceed further. By visiting us you will have a much clearer picture of whether or not our company is a good fit for you. Call 596-777-6633 to make an appointment to come visit, or walk-ins are always welcome!

Why Can’t My Remodeling Project Be Done Sooner?

On 90% of our jobs, the customer makes changes to the scope during the install. This causes major problems with timing of manpower, scheduling of subcontractors, and ordering of materials. Every time an additional cabinet piece is needed, it adds 4 weeks to the job. Every time 1 or more pieces of tile are needed, it adds 3 – 30 days to the job. Granite and quartz tops take 10 days to make and install (after the cabinets are set).

If customers could make up their mind early, and make no changes, the jobs would go fast and efficiently. But that isn’t reality. And that’s okay! We want the finished project to be exactly right, so we don’t mind taking extra time to order the accent tile piece that came to you in your dream last night.

Additionally, there are inspections that cause delays. Almost all municipalities have gone to part time inspectors, so there will be gaps in the work while we wait for the inspections to take place. For example, we may call for an electrical inspection on Tuesday, but not get it until Friday or Monday, depending on the inspector’s backlog and or vacations / training / government holidays, etc. Unfortunately, virtually none of the municipalities are interested in making it easier for contractors to speed things up for the homeowners.

So, if you want things to go fast, then no changes and no permits – BAM… DONE.

Why We Don’t Email Quotes or Leave Them in the Mailbox

About once a month we receive a call from someone asking us:

“Can you please stop by my home, give me a roof quote, and then leave it in the mailbox?”

The short answer is no.

The long answer is, yes, we’d love to work with you to develop an accurate quote for replacing your roof. But just looking at your current roof is not going to give us all the information we need to develop that quote. There are many different types of roofs! What about insulation, gutters, etc? We need to meet with the homeowner one-on-one to have these important discussions and show them all of their options.

For kitchens and bathroom quotes, we often times will gather sample boards around our showroom, and develop an on-screen presentation to show the client, all things that cannot be relayed adequately through email. Our preference is for the client to visit our showroom for the second meeting, where the proposal will be discussed.

Still, many clients request that we “just email the quote”. All you will be getting that way is some technical verbage, some drawings, and a price. You will either love it or hate it, and if it is not perfect, you might dismiss us as a company.

If you were here in the showroom, however, we could take everything you didn’t love, and make revisions right there! Price too high? We can show you alternate materials to help save money. Everything is right here. We understand when clients cannot make it to our showroom for different reasons, and we will gladly come back to you, bringing as many samples as we can, but emailing quotes just does not make sense 99% of the time. It is just too impersonal. We put so much time and effort into developing these quotes, we do not like to simply press “send” and shoot off a PDF to you, we want to show off all the details!

Of course there are always exceptions. Some of our customers live out of state, and others have unique needs that we gladly fulfill. I just wanted to express the reasons you should let us go over the quote with you, if you are able to. You will definitely find it beneficial, and our time and advice are always free!

How to Compare Multiple Bids the Smart Way

You’ve surely heard the phrase “Comparing Apples with Oranges”.

If you change your design every time you interview a contractor and ask them to bid, then comparing their bids will be a worthless exercise.  Each contractor will be bidding on a different thing.

Avoiding this problem is obvious: have a clear detailed plan and give the same set of prints to each contractor you ask to bid.

However, even if you give ten contractors the same plans, when you receive the bids you must look further than their bottom line price.  You should not always go for low bid, assuming you will save money; or high bid, assuming you’ll get the best quality; or middle bid, assuming you’ll get the best of both worlds.  Smart comparison means reviewing exactly what you will get for your money.

For example, if one contractor takes responsibility for mistakes, and has a built-in 5% allowance for unexpected costs, their bid will naturally be higher and still be a better value.

Or a contractor might be high bid because the other contractors left out portions of the remodel on the bid, relying on charging for change orders to finish the project.

Or a contractor might be the lowest bid not because they are basing it on cheaper materials or omitting parts of the project, but because they have an original and unique solution no one else has thought of.

The thing is to be smart when you compare.  A good idea is to choose your bidding contractors by reputation and involve them in the budget.  A good contractor can help you make the correct decisions that will allow you to stay within your budget.

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

Basement Finishing: How Much Does it Cost?

Are you thinking about remodeling your basement space, but aren’t sure how much it will cost, how much value it will add to your home, and whether or not this is the right choice for you?  If so, I am writing this article just for you!

In the real estate world, basements (even walk-out basements) are not techincally allowed to be factored into the square footage of your home.

In the home pictured here, this is the case, even though the basement could be considered an entirely separate, 3,000 square foot apartment.

Basement remodels at Kopke range from $30-75 per square foot.  Add up the square footage of your basement (ignore the realtors, we all know finished basements “count”), and do a quick multiplication to figure out the range.  For example, a 1,000 square foot basement could cost $30,000 to $75,000 to finish, depending on the materials and layout selected.

Down the hall (and not pictured) is a large bedroom, a pool table room, a home gym, an office, a utility closet, a tool room, and a full bathroom with shower and walk-in tub.  To the left behind this wall is a storage room fit for an excessive collector / holiday enthusiast.

And what did it cost to finish this basement? $135,000.  At 3,000 square feet, this remodel came out on top of the price spectrum, at $45 per square foot.  This is because all top-of-the-line products were used, and very few items from the wishlist were overlooked.

I know what you are thinking: “Why spend $135,000 on a remodel that won’t add any value to my home?!!!??” That is where the debate comes in.  How can you deny the value of all the amenities I listed above?  And how about all the new friends you will make when people find out about the incredible bar in your basement?

All joking aside, every remodel increases the value of your home.  Each in a different way, relative to the wants and needs of the prospective buyer.  For example, if the buyer is handicapped, the walk-in-tub will be a tremendous value, and if the buyer is a chef, the wood-fired pizza oven* would fire him/her up, and the bathtub could be an unsightly nuisance.

If you plan to live in your home for a long time, update it to fit your lifestyle.  If you plan to sell soon, avoid trendy or niche products, and go towards something more universal. And I would say to be mindful of “technicalities”, but don’t get bogged down by them; each person has their own criteria for what is valuable.

Currently, we are finishing a basement in St. Clair Shores that is 1,000 square feet, and the price is about $27,000.  This one is at the bottom of the price spectrum, at $27 per square foot.  To keep costs low, we are salvaging as much as we can from the old basement to be reused, selecting “standard” products instead of “custom” as much as possible, all while still maintaining the Kopke standard for Quality.

To get started on turning your underused basement into extra living space, give us a call.  We can develop a customized plan to fit your needs, wishes and dreams!  www.kopkehome.com (586) 777-6633

*Unfortunately, the wood-fired pizza oven was one item on the wishlist that had to be forfeited.