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How Do I Get Started?

  • Sketch out ideas, take pictures of places you have seen that look like what you want. Go through magazines or search the web and save images.
  • Find your home ownership documents, you’ll want to review your deed and subdivision deed restrictions, find your recent real estate tax receipt, a current survey which shows your home and improvements on your lot (property boundaries, corners, easements, the footprint of buildings on the lot, and legal description).
  • Keep a realistic budget in mind while looking for ideas.

Do I Need a Permit?

Each area is regulated by different offices (county or city). In most cases you will need a permit when changing or adding electric, plumbing and structual items. There are other things that require a permit as well. Not getting a permit can more than double not only the fees but the cost of the entire job.

Do I Need Plans?

If a permit is to be pulled you will need plans in most cases. It’s always wise to have a set of plans to help explain to the contractor what you want.

How Do You Know Which Contractor to Choose in the State of Florida?

To find a contractor in Lakeland, FL that you can trust, it’s best to ask friends and family members for their recommendations. If a friend recently decided to remodel her kitchen or build a deck in her backyard, find out who she worked with and what she thought of his services.

If no one is able to provide you with a recommendation, then take your time and do your own research. If you don’t know where to find contractor reviews, a great place to start is with websites such as Angie’s List and Yelp. These websites allow you to search for contractors who are located in your city. Then, you will be able to read through detailed customer reviews of different types of contractors, including remodeling contractors, electrical contractors, and other construction professionals in the community.

Use these reviews and recommendations to create a short list of names. Then, begin calling each of the contractors to learn more about their services. If you have a specific project in mind, talk to them about it to make sure they are qualified to do it. If you just want to do something as simple as install hardwood floors or paint your kitchen cabinets, any contractor should be able to handle these tasks. But, if you want to do something like build a garage or shed, talk to each contractor to see if they’ve done this type of work before.

Keep in mind you should never hire a contractor without a license or insurance. Before hiring a contractor, make sure you ask to see proof of contractor licensing and liability insurance.

What Are Contractor Fees?

When a contractor provides you with an estimate, it typically will include the cost of construction in addition to the cost of the contractor’s services. For these services, most contractors will charge customers a percentage of the total cost of construction. For example, if the cost of your remodel is $10,000 and the contractor company charges a 10% fee, you will have to pay $1,000 for the contractor’s services.

Are Contractor Bids or Estimates Negotiable?

It is up to the contractor to decide whether he is willing to negotiate with you. Most building contractors are willing to negotiate on the percentage that they charge for their services. But, it’s important to note that they won’t have much control over the cost of construction, so they cannot go below a certain number, or they will end up losing money on the project.

What Else Can you Tell Me About My Project?

  • Costs: Projects cost vary depending on material costs, availability and work schedules. If it’s a remodel job there can be hidden cost within the existing structure like rotten wood or poor wiring, etc. We will go over all possibilities when discussing your project with you.
  • Addition: Sometimes it’s not just the cost of what you want to change but what you need to change for the job to be done. Older homes may not have the electrical service capable for the upgrade you desire. Also once started you may decide to opt for nicer counter tops or move a wall. MCI will always help you get the product you want with minimal costs.
  • Duration: MCI tries to take in to consideration not only material availability but your schedule as well when estimating completion dates.

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