Resources

Remodel Planning Guide  |  About Plumbing  |  About Quartz  |  EPA Renovate Right  |  Contractor Selection Guide  |  HEPA Info


Under this page you will find a variety of resources we hope that you find helpful. There is information on codes and regulations, building supplies and materials, as well as information on our business practices, etc.. The current library is not as developed as we want it to be so don't be afraid to check in as we add new information. Please feel free to contact us if there is specific information that you would like to see or have suggestions on improvemts. We will do our best to update this regularly and have the most current information.

Remodel Planning Guide

Are you planning a remodel and don't know where to start. Homeowners generally don't get a lot of experience remodeling so here is a remodel planning guide to help you sort through all of the details. There are a lot of questions to be asked, and answered, through the planning process. It will make it a lot easier for you as a homeowner if you are prepared and know exactly what you want before you start contacting potential contractors. In this guide you will learn many things a homeowner needs to know when planning a remodel project. You should be prepared to answer all of theses questions at the beginning of your project.

What is your relationship to the project? Are you a homeowner seeking to hire a general contractor or are you and owner-builder? Many people aren't sure what a general contractor does for them. A general contractor is a person or firm engaged in managing projects from start to finish, with main responsibility for the construction, improvement, or renovation project under contract. A general contractor is the person or firm capable of performing more complex construction work as a contractor, generally involving multiple trades, with overall responsibility for the satisfactory completion of a project using its own forces to perform or supervise the work. A general contractor also hires any subcontractors and/or suppliers for a project. General contractors are excellent choices for larger, more complex projects, that involve multiple trades to complete such as a kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels, room additions, or outdoor remodel projects. Single trade projects such as floor ing installations, interior/exterior painting, re-roofing, etc., are often handled by owner-builders. Smaller projects (generally under $500) like gate or deck repairs, fan installations, lighting installations are most economically serviced by a local handyman or online service companies. Bassett Building and Construction is a full service general contracting firm engaged in high-end designer kitchen and luxury bathroom remodeling. We also specialize in high quality construction services, such as room additions and home extensions that can be seamlessly integrated into your existing home. We also provide superior outdoor hardscaping services, including patios, outdoor kitchens, pavers and concrete driveways.

If you are looking for a general contractor, how do you plan to find them? Are you looking for the best, most qualified, general contractor? One of the best sources for finding a general contractor is to ask a family member or friend who has used a general contractor. A lot of information can be gathered from their perspective either good or bad. If they had a bad experience homeowners should know what made it bad and can keep that in mind when searching for a general contractor. If they had a good experience find out what made it good for them and keep the good contractors name in mind when searching. During your search look only for licensed contractors. Contractors are required to be licensed in Nevada on projects greater than $1000 aggregate and on projects greater that $500 aggregate in California. Check the contractors license board to ensure the contractor's license is active and in good standing. Both the Nevada and California contractors license boards have additiona l information on liability and workers compensation insurance. Check out the contractors website to see the type of work they have done in the past. Look at the contractors online reviews and affiliations such as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) on National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). Bassett Building and Construction is licenced general contracting firm in Nevada ($1M bid limit) and California, carries general liability insurance and workers compensation insurance. Our expectation is that our potential clients are looking for licensed professionals and when quality is most important. We ask potential clients to compare us to other licensed professional contractors with general liability, workers compensation insurance, and pay required employer taxes. We have a "Contractor Selection Guide" available on the Resources page of our website which can be printed and used to compare the qualities of the each company.

Does your project require a blueprint or plans for the building department or other regulating agencies (sewer/water dept, fire dept, TRPA, GID, etc.)? Most medium to large projects like kitchen and bathroom remodels require a building permit. If a building permit is required for your project a blueprint or plan documents will likely be required along with your application. We encourage homeowners to contact their local building department for information on the requirements for their project. This is an often overlooked and avoided step in the remodel planning process. Homeowners are ultimately responsible for acquiring a permit for their project when it is required. The penalties can be quite expensive, generally leading to a stop of all work, intrusive property inspections, and doubling of permit fees. Bassett Building and Construction is a full service general contracting firm and can provide all of the necessary documents required for permitting as an added service to our customers.

Are you planning to work with an architect or interior designer? Some homeowners have a great sense of design an know exactly what they want and can communicate the information easily. Other homeowners want a design or construction professional to help guide them through the process. Architects and interior designers are excellent sources for providing ideas when planning medium to large scope or major projects. Architects and interior designers are highly trained and well educated individuals so don't expect their services to be inexpensive. A homeowner can anticipate design costs of $2500 to $4000 for a major kitchen remodel and $1500 to $3000 for a major bathroom remodel. If you are working with and architect or interior design firm ask them to help you establish a working budget for the project. Bassett Building and Construction is a full service general contracting firm and provides custom design services as an added service to our customers.

How much are you planning to spend on the entire project? Homeowners are often reluctant to share their budget information with potential contractors. It may be that homeowners feel disadvantaged if they disclose the amount of money they intend spending or that they won't get the best deal. The first thing to understand is that you must trust your contractor and have a good working relationship. Your contractor is your advocate and required to act in your best interest. The relationship between a homeowner and the contractor should be collaborative and not adversarial. If you don't trust a contractor to help you get what you want then you need to find another contractor. There are a lot of good contractors and you should select one that is a good fit for you and your family.

The first thing a homeowner should do is establish a budget regardless of the kind of project. Homeowners need to be honest with themselves on the amount they are willing to spend. Many homeowners start with making appointments for contractors to visit their home and discuss the project as a whole, getting ideas, searching for costs. This is the wrong approach for many reasons. The biggest reason is, a lot of homeowners abandon their project ideas and never get what they want because it is too expensive. Another reason is that the homeowner keeps searching and eventually selects a contractor that matches the homeowners price point and winds up with a low quality version of what they really wanted. Remodel cost vary widely depending on the quality. If you are shopping for a cookie cutter bathroom let your perspective contractor know from the onset. There is little to be gained from not disclosing that important information. The perspective contractor can help you tailor the scope of work for those thing that are most important to you. You can always ask the perspective contractor for examples of cost based on their experience. The best example is: don't shop for diamonds at the costume jeweler. Budget is the most important factor in planning any project. One of the first things we establish at Bassett Building and Construction is the clients total budget. Potential clients need to answer this basic questions honestly.
You can start with the absolute most you are willing to spend on the entire project including contingencies (unforseen extras) and work backwards from there. Let's say for example you are absolutely not willing to spend any more than $15K on your high quality bathroom remodel. The next thing you should consider having at least 10% to 20% contingency set aside for unexpected things on your project. The maximum amount is $15K, minus 20% for contingencies, equals $12K, making your final budget $12K with a $3K contingency. This is the very first step in the planning process. Now you can try it with your own amounts.

Line 1. Absolute most I am willing to spend on my high quality bathroom or kitchen remodel. $____________

Line 2. 10% to 20% contingency for unexpected extras. (Line 1 x .10 or .20)$____________

Line 3. Subtract Line 2 from Line 1.$ ____________

Line 4. Your budget is: (Line 3) $_______________ with contingency (Line 1)$______________

Are you considering a home improvement loan or other financing for this project? When a contractor asks you about financing they are actually asking you about your budget. Are you planning on financing for the project or do you have cash? This is another one of the 1st questions we ask from potential clients. If they don't know what their budget is we will ask a series of questions trying to understand so we can assist them best. Honestly, some projects are just to small and may be better suited for a handyman. Trying to make the project larger by up selling makes everyone feel uncomfortable so we don't do it. Your budget is the 1st thing you need to decide when planning a remodel project. Ask about competitive financing through a reputable construction lender.

Most homeowners have no idea what a remodel costs. All projects are different but we can tell you that bathroom remodeling costs can range from $12K to $25K and up, and kitchen remodeling costs can range from $20K to $75K and up, from simple to complex, depending on the entire scope of the work. You should develop some idea of what you want to spend for the entire project, from start to finish.
The scope of the work for every project is different. Once we have an understanding of your budget we will develop a scope of work. It is from this scope of work the we derive at a cost for your project. This cost is unique to you and your home. In all fairness to our clients we quote each job individually with thought and consideration. This is not a simple undertaking and usually takes several days, to a week, to compile all of the information. Unfortunately, we have many potential clients that come to us unprepared and unwilling to discus their project in detail. That is why we ask so many probative questions. We cannot be serious about your project if you are not.

The degree of demolition can vary wide depending on the age of your home. One thing that is required but not often considered is the Lead Renovation Repair and Paint (RRP) requirement established by the Federal RRP. Pre-1978 homeowners should pay special attention to this requirement. Lead is a toxic substance and your family should be protected from it. There is a Lead Safe brochure with a link to the Federal EPA's website. We are a registered RRP firm and have special training on working safely with lead based products in your home. You should also know that we use high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration systems to prevent contamination to your home (more on the website under HEPA) and general migration of dusts.

When will you get a contract? Once we establish the scope of work we prepare an email quote detailing all of the work to be preformed along with the costs for labor and materials. If you select us as your contractor and decide to move forward we will prepare a written and fully itemized contract for your review and approval. We never require a down payment and will provide you with a start and completion date.

If there is information that we did not cover in this planning guide or a specific question you would like to ask please feel free to call us at (775) 580-7852 Lake Tahoe, or (916) 992-1138 Sacramento, or email us with your questions at info@BassettBuilders.net.

It is our sincere hope that you found this planning guide helpful and will consider Bassett Building and Construction for you next remodel project.

Printable Remodel Planning Guide.pdf

COMING SOON! OUR COOKIE CUTTER BATHROOM REMODEL!
Many homeowners only want to freshen up their bathrooms and not spend a fortune on high end customization. We will feature a limited selection of: cabinet choice, vanity top and sink, vanity faucet, tub/shower valve assembly, tub/shower surround, tub/shower door option, linoleum vinyl floor, full paint option, exhaust fan option, and recessed can light option.

All About Plumbing

There are so... many brands with so... many models it is impossible to go to one location and see them all. We have created a growing list for you from many of the wonderful plumbing manufacturers. Although there are some brands that we use more frequently all the these manufactures have high quality products that you will be delighted to have in your home. Keep in mind that some of the more popular and recognizable manufacturers have extensive lines of product that range in cost and quality. No matter what brand you select, try to look for a product in above average quality. We suggest staying away from the homeowner/builder quality that you would normally find at the big box stores. The modest additional expense will be rewarded with a long lasting quality product. If you need help in making a selection please let us know.


All About Quartz

There are so... many brands with so... many looks and textures it is impossible to go to one location and see them all. We have created a list for you from many of the best known and regarded quartz manufacturers. All the these manufactures have high quality products that you will be a compliment to your kitchen or bathroom. From here we suggest you develop a short list of possible colors and manufacturers. Once you have the short list we can direct you to a location where our suppliers or fabricator has a showroom sample for you to see. Keep in mind that all quartz manufacturers have varying lines of product that range in cost and quality. When establishing your quartz budget keep in mind the per slab price so you can more easily compare materials cost. Also know that some manufacturers produce slabs in different size formats. The standard size format is generally 55" x 120" and the jumbo slab format is generally 63" x 128", however, not all slabs are available in both size formats. Some manufacturers make slabs in standard or jumbo, but not both. That will be important cost consideration if your choice only comes in a jumbo format and all you need is a small bathroom vanity top. The thickness of the slab is another consideration. Manufacturers generally make two thicknesses, 2cm (approx. 25/32") and 3cm (approx 1 3/16") but are not readily available in all areas of the country. The cost is retaliative to the slab thickness. The thicker the slab the more expensive it is. 2cm is the most common on the west coast but it is good to know what product you are getting. In any case, we will calculate the number of slabs needed for your project in our quote.

If you have a small project you might consider a remnant. Unfortunately, remnants are on an as available basis so plan on not being to picky, but there are some great deals that you might not otherwise get. Let us know if your project is small and may be a candidate for a remnant.

Edge profile, or the front leading edge of the counter, is the last thing to consider. There are a dozen or so edge profiles and we have attached a sheet for you to review. The standard profiles are the most frequently used and the most popular. The upgraded profiles are less popular and have an additional cost per foot.


*Pre-1978s homeowners, please ckick the following link to learn more about the EPA's Renovate Right program: EPA Renovate Right

Contractor Selection Guide - a comparison worksheet to help you in your contractor search
Contractor Selection Guide

HEPA - High-Efficiency Particulate Air