Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hiring A Contractor 

First and Foremost - Do Not Hire A Contractor Without Verifying They Have Insurance!

When looking to hire a contractor to repair or renovate your home no matter how small or large the project is, request a copy of the contractors Certificate of Insurance (COI). The COI will be prepared by the contractor's insurance agent. The COI typically includes: insurance agent contact information, contractors information, requesters name and/or address, the policies that are in effect, policy starting and ending dates, policy limits, and any named exclusions.  
Once you have the COI in hand, make sure the following policies are listed: General Liability, Workers Compensation and Automobile.  As an extra step, you should verify with the insurance agent that the policies are currently in effect and have not lapsed for non-payment.
Workers compensation insurance can cover medical expenses, lost wages and even rehabilitation facility costs for an employee if injured while working. As a homeowner, you would be liable if the contractor did not have the correct insurance protection and there was an incident during your project.


Second - Contractor Should Be Licensed

Request a copy of the contractors' state license(s). These should be a Construction Supervisor License (CSL) and a Home Improvement Contractor (HIC). Verifying that a contractor holds these licenses, will ensure you that they are who they say they are and more importantly that they are qualified to perform the work you are seeking to be done.  To look up the licenses on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts website, please click either of these links:  CSL or HIC.

Third - References

Request 3 references at a minimum! These should be past clients. Call the references and ask about the contractors work, employees, cleanliness during their project, was the project on time, were there any delays, and if so why.
Allain Construction enjoys and appreciates it when potential clients ask for this type of documentation, which is why we always have it available.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Home Remodeling ROI improves in 2013 in Boston

Home remodeling projects such as kitchens, room additions and finished basements are generating a better return on investment in the Boston area. In the most recent 2013 Cost vs Value Report from Remodeling Magazine the majority of the most popular projects had their best ROI rise since the recession began.
Many homeowners are not sure where to begin to figure out how much projects cost. It is sometimes uncomfortable for homeowners to discuss budgets and pricing in the beginning of a relationship with a contractor. This report empowers consumers with reliable and valuable information. This report shows the average cost of each project and the projected return on investment percentage base on estimated resale.
We have found in towns we work in like Wellesley, Sherborn, Lexington, and Newton Massachusetts these price ranges are sometimes in the ball park for similar projects. Of course the key word here is similar. At least a homeowner has a place to start that is independent of what a contractor or architect may estimate.
In our Design-Scope Develop-Build Process we often share this information with you to begin the discussion of the set aside target budget range to fund the project. Discussing this early on allows each party to know if there is a fit. Unfortunately too many homeowners hire designers and architects to draw beautiful projects that end up costing more than the homeowner wants to or can spend. When this happens thousands of dollars and valuable time are wasted. One way to avoid this is to work with one contractor who has adopted the Design-Scope Development-Build Process.

First choose the contractor you feel most comfortable with, check out the references, insurance and licensing, and verify that he can do a project similar to yours. The Design-Scope Development-Build Contractor will help you design and build a project that meets your needs and wants within your budget. He/she will accept single source accountibilty for the entire process. In this process the contractor works with the designer or architect in the beginning. Th contractor who knows what things cost keeps the designer in check so that they do not overdraw the project where it is over the set aside target budget range of the homeowner.  To learn more contact me.

Here is what our latest client Anne and Pete form Sherborn, Ma said about us:

"We hired Peter Allain to remodel our kitchen, family room and deck and we could not be happier with the outcome!
Peter’s talented team of workers were always prompt, clean, courteous and provided a high attention to detail. Peter is extremely reliable and responsive to all requests and questions. Just as important, the project was on time and on budget. We would enthusiastically recommend Allain construction for any home improvement project!" Ann & Pete. Sherborn, Ma.

Here is a list of the major projects measured in the report in the Mid-Range Category.
New England — Midrange
2013 National Averages
Job CostResale ValueCost RecoupedProjectJob CostResale ValueCost RecoupedChange vs. 2011-12
$49,719$32,27864.9%Attic Bedroom$47,919$34,91672.9%Change
$11,659$5,54747.6%Backup Power Generator$11,410$6,01452.7%Change
$63,919$33,87753.0%Basement Remodel$61,303$43,09570.3%Change
$38,781$18,25547.1%Bathroom Addition$37,501$20,56954.8%Change
$16,451$9,69758.9%Bathroom Remodel$15,782$10,29565.2%Change
$15,346$9,63462.8%Deck Addition (composite)$15,084$10,18467.5%Change
$9,825$6,65967.8%Deck Addition (wood)$9,327$7,21377.3%Change
$2,777$1,80865.1%Entry Door Replacement (fiberglass)$2,753$1,81365.9%Change
$1,153$98685.6%Entry Door Replacement (steel)$1,137$97485.6%Change
$82,569$48,48858.7%Family Room Addition$79,006$50,01363.3%Change
$50,385$29,57758.7%Garage Addition$48,806$31,09163.7%Change
$1,532$1,15375.3%Garage Door Replacement$1,496$1,13275.7%Change
$28,170$11,11339.4%Home Office Remodel$27,292$11,91143.6%Change
$55,522$35,41763.8%Major Kitchen Remodel$53,931$37,13968.9%Change
$106,278$62,85959.1%Master Suite Addition$101,873$64,39063.2%Change
$19,066$14,43075.7%Minor Kitchen Remodel$18,527$13,97775.4%Change
$19,850$12,25661.7%Roofing Replacement$18,488$11,63362.9%Change
$11,447$8,57974.9%Siding Replacement (vinyl)$11,192$8,15472.9%Change
$74,244$32,52143.8%Sunroom Addition$72,179$33,52946.5%Change
$156,044$98,46863.1%Two-Story Addition$152,470$99,67465.4%Change
$9,982$7,20872.2%Window Replacement (vinyl)$9,770$6,96171.2%Change
$10,962$7,87371.8%Window Replacement (wood)$10,708$7,85273.3%Change

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Allain Construction Wishes You A Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you and your family. Here we come 2013!

The team at Allain Construction, Inc wants to thank our wonderful customers, employees, sub contractors, vendor suppliers and associates for making 2012 a great year.

The economy and demand for kitchens, additions and remodeling has picked up and we are starting off 2013 with a good backlog of work thanks to our customers. We are now speaking to customers about projects for March.

We look forward to seeing or hearing from you soon.


Peter Allain

Monday, December 3, 2012

Design and Build an In-Law Suite Addition or Renovation for Loved Ones

Design Build contractors are seeing a trend where consumers are considering In-Law Suites or whole house renovations for their aging loved ones. It is estimated that over 10,000 baby boomers are retiring every day. Our nation is experiencing a large increase of elderly who are becoming dependent on varying degrees of care. 
In Massachusetts, towns like Wellesley, Newton, Hopkinton, Westborough and Southborough there are many large homes that require yearly maintaining. Seniors face the prospects of this upkeep as they age with mixed emotions.
As our seniors transition to a stage where it is increasingly difficult for them to maintain and function safely in their homes many are turning to their adult children for help. Quite often seniors may be able to extend their stay in their home with some minor modifications if they are healthy enough.
However some concerns expressed by seniors who are considering living with family:

  • ·        Decreased mobility
  • ·        Loss of a spouse who use to handle the affairs and maintenance of the home
  • ·        Higher utility costs
  • ·        Higher taxes significantly depleting savings
  • ·        Fear of getting hurt and no one is there to help
  • ·        Fear of being hurt and placed in a nursing home

These are just some of the reasons compelling families to consider In-Law Suite additions or remodeling for their senior parents.
An In-Law Suite offers peace of mind to both the parent and the adult son or daughter. It also removes a senior’s fear that they will get hurt while being alone. It removes the concern of being thrown into a nursing home where patients rarely receive the care they deserve or need.

The separation that comes with a designated In-Law Suite addition or remodel ensures that each party can maintain their independence. Neither senior parent nor adult son/daughter likes to be told what to do by the other. The defined quarters allow each to be close while retaining personal safety and independence. Some families share the existing kitchen or build a separate in the new area.
Some families renovate the basement area creating an oasis for their loved ones. 
Here we created a quaint entertainment area with new shelving and cabinetry in a basement.

In-Law Suite additions or interior home remodeling can save a homeowners and seniors a ton of money. Yes there is an initial cost to remodeling but it is pale in comparison to senior care facilities. Nursing Home costs are on the rise and it is estimated that the average yearly cost is over $70.000.00. The average stay is approximately 2 ½ years bringing the total cost up towards $200,000. By adding an In-Law Suite you are adding value to the property. If the project is designed and built strategically it can serve those who remain as a family room area, suite, studio, office or other use after the senior loved one has moved on. 

The Design Build Process: working with a remodeling contractor who utilizes the designbuild approach ensures that your project will be strategically designed incorporating the needs of the senior loved one and the host family. A design build contractor will also guide everyone involved in selecting the right products and methods so everyone is crystal clear on what will be done before the project starts. The design build remodeler makes sure that the project is designed to blend in with the current home within target budget range established by the homeowner.
In-Law Suites are a great solution and way for younger generations to take care of the ones who took care of them years ago. Contact us today to explore the possibilities.

Peter Allain
Allain Construction Inc

Monday, November 19, 2012

Should homeowners book remodeling contractors before next spring?

Kitchen Remodeling Wellesley, MaHomeowners in Mass may want to consider booking their remodeling contractor before next spring. In a recent article from Harvard Housing it was reported that there will be a double digit increase in remodeling activity in the first half of 2013.

Check out these relevant trends and factors to consider booking a contractor before spring of 2013:

  • Remodelers in the greater Boston, Mass metropolitan area are reporting that they are currently booked into the spring of 2013. In towns like Wellesley, Natick, Needham, Weston, Wayland, Sudbury, Natick, Sherborn and Hopkinton permits are up and there seems to be a contractors truck on every street. In Needham for example the building department said this is the strongest year since 2005.
  • The housing market is rebounding significantly and many people who have held off remodeling due to the economy are gaining more confidence.
  • The election is over and people are getting back to their pre-election routines.
  • Homeowners who have held off on projects since 2008 are now ready to do something.
  • Interest rates are still at historic lows and will stay that way for the foreseeable future.
  • Massachusetts is experiencing a lower unemployment rate than most of the country
  • The economic downturn has caused many contractors to leave the industry.
  • Many contractors are looking for qualified construction workers and are reporting a lack of qualified candidates.
  • Those who wait until the spring may find they have a long wait to get a contractor to come out to their house. The good contractors will be very busy leaving the homeowners to deal with the rest.

kitchen remodeling in wellesley massachusetts
Projects in High Demand        
As usual the number one project is kitchen remodeling followed by bathrooms.
Other notable trends is the desire for projects that reduce maintenance and increase energy efficiency. Requests for additions and lower level rooms are also increasing.

Massachusetts adopts more stringent building code in 2011. Many contractors are still trying to catch up on the new requirements.
In 2011, Massachusetts instituted a new stronger building code adopting stricter energy requirements. This is on the heels of the recent stretch energy code which can vary from town to town. Many contractors and building inspectors are struggling with the numerous changes due to lack of training.. Established firms tend to be more educated on these fronts and will be in high demand by educated consumers seeking the most current energy approaches. It is likely that the demand for contractors trained and proficient in energy retrofit protocol will exhaust the stable of available qualified contractors.

At Allain Construction we are consistently staying abreast of the many changes and trends so that we can provide our customers with the best and most current methods to remodel their home. Our comprehensive Design Build-Scope Develop-Build Process helps you get exactly what you want.
Our designers' 3 D design program will help you take the concept in your mind and develop a project you can only imagine.

Thanks for reading.
Allain Construction, Inc