Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are you a state registered contractor?
Yes. We are a registered contractor with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. Our contractor’s registration number is NIPTUTR902QN.
3. Are you insured?
Yes. The general liability insurance covers $1,000,000 per occurrence, in addition to over $2,000,000 for various occurrences such as personal injury, products and general aggregate. We can provide a certificate of liability insurance with more detailed information. This is something any contractor should be willing and able to supply, but many cannot.
4. My home was built before 1978 and may have lead paint. Are you an EPA Lead-Safe Certified Firm?
Yes. Nip Tuck Remodeling became a certified lead paint renovator in January of 2011. We also have one Project Manager that is a trained lead-safe certified renovator.
5. What experience do you have in the remodeling/construction field?
We have worked very hard to build a team of experts. Between us, we have more than 100 years’ experience in the construction and remodeling industry. April Bettinger grew up in construction and has had a wide range of experience ranging from excavating and site preparation through daily operations and management of a nationally recognized handyman and remodeling company. The construction team has a wide range of experience in both commercial and residential construction. You can learn more about our frontline team on our About Us Page
6. Do you warranty your work?
Yes, in fact we exceed the industry standard 12 month warranty for all our projects. For more information about specific project warranties, please Contact Us.
7. Do you have any references that can be contacted?
Yes. We will be glad to provide a list of references with contact information. In addition to past client references, we will happily provide a list of supplier references.
8. Is there a charge for an estimate?
We do not supply free estimates, as our system is different from most contractors. As a design/build firm, we provide free consultations. While some contractors state they will provide a free estimate, it is usually based only on loose observations. In an effort to give you a low bid to "seal the deal", they give an estimate and request the work be done on a cost-plus basis. This process leads to errors, as well as financial surprises at the end of the project. What we do is better than a free estimate. We consult with you about your project and help you decide what the right remodeling project is for you. Then we give you a broad range of budget costs. We guide you to determine what you want, and then give you the different amounts, depending on finishes and accessories, that project will cost. In addition, we can recommend cost saving ideas to stretch your budget.
9. How do I schedule a consultation and during what hours can I schedule one?
We provide free consultations during our regular business hours, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Consultations can be scheduled by calling (425) 681-7668, or by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Some exceptions can be made for an after-hours or Saturday consultation.
10. How long is a typical consultation?
To help our clients understand our process and to get adequate information to provide a good service to them, a consultation will take between 60 minutes to one and one-half hours, depending on the complexity of the project. It is important to spend enough time in the first meeting in order to clearly understand your project requirements.
12. Do you do commercial work?
We do not typically do commercial work. However, we have done projects that are highly customized and of smaller scale.
13. What are the stages to choosing a contractor and beginning a remodeling project?
We suggest you choose your contractor first, and of course, we want you to choose us. We refer to the contractor, or builder, as the "captain of the ship". Deciding on which contractor will build your project is your first major decision. We believe that decision should not be based on price alone. The problem with basing your decision on the three bid idea is that the only way to get a pure, apples to apples, price from three contractors is to provide a complete set of plans and specifications to each builder. This means that you have made all your selections and paid for design and architecture of a project you are not yet sure you can afford prior to engaging a builder. For residential construction, this is neither feasible nor desirable. This is why we stand behind the “Team-Build” approach. Our clients are buying much more than the actual “sticks and bricks.”
14. How long does the building process take?
Actually building the project can take anywhere from three weeks to six months, depending on the size of the project. It is important to realize there is a huge difference in the scheduling talent among different remodeling contractors. The main reason for a remodeling project to run over schedule is a lack of planning. Most remodeling contractors are excellent craftsmen and good people, but they do not like to do the planning, estimating, scheduling, selection and specification work that make for a short time frame or schedule.
16. What makes a kitchen more or less expensive?
Kitchens can be very expensive, depending on a number of factors. For instance, kitchen sinks can be purchased for $200 up to $1500. Kitchen faucets are the same way. Floors, counter tops, appliances, lighting, and cabinets follow the same pattern. You can go low-end, high-end, and everything in between. Do you want a Volkswagen, Chevrolet or Mercedes-Benz kitchen? The price of a kitchen remodel is mainly determined by the finishes that are selected.
17. What can I do myself to help cut costs?
The first way to save money on a remodel is to select less expensive finishes and items. Planning out exactly what is important to you and prioritizing those items ensures you get exactly what you want and don't pay for what you don't. Many clients break up their home remodeling projects into phases. For example, they remodel the kitchen this year, remodel a bathroom next year, and add a porch onto the house the following year.
19. Why do I need to bring my spouse/partner when I make all the decisions?
We recommend that your spouse be at the first meeting because that is when you gauge whether our company will be a good "match" for you and your remodeling project. Your spouse may not need to accompany you to every meeting with us, but certainly those at which key decision will be made. Over the years, we have learned that this procedure will yield a better quality client experience.
20. Can you give me a rough estimate over the phone, like how much was the last kitchen you did?
We do not give estimates over the phone because they are too inaccurate and there is too much possibility for misunderstanding and there are too many variables. We do refer to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report and we can provide you with information about budgeting based on a percentage of your home’s value method. Different remodeling projects from across the country were estimated in several metropolitan areas to see what average project costs were and to determine what the investment value to a homeowner was one year after the project was completed.
21. What is the difference between an estimate and a price?
An estimate is an educated guess. The quality of an estimate can vary widely. We have heard reports of some remodelers coming to a house, sitting down with the homeowner for 30 minutes, then giving them an estimate on the back of their business card. Obviously, that is a very rough estimate. We like to take the initial consultation as our opportunity to explore your goals and objectives and from that, we can form a budget range that we feel comfortable offering and you feel comfortable investing. A budget range is still an estimate. A price is a fixed amount for a project, with complete plans, specifications, selections and a complete list of what is included in the project. At Nip Tuck Remodeling, we enter into a fixed price contract once all the selections are made and we know how much your project will cost. This leads to less surprises and happier clients.
1.I don’t know how much help I need. How do we decide?
During the initial consultation, we will discuss your goals and objectives. We will also discuss your time and ability to make design selections. This will assist us in offering a solution that fits your needs and lifestyle. Some clients want us to take over and ask only for input and decisions, while others just want to be pointed in the right direction. We listen and will help you make the right decision.
1. What is GFCI and do I need it?
GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter and yes, you do need it. The GFCI is a safety device mandated by building codes. With GFCI, if an appliance fell into a sink full of water, the circuit would be tripped and would be rendered off, so no one would be electrocuted.
2. Can I supply my own materials?
This is a common question. The answer is yes, and we will educate you on the pro’s and con’s of such an arrangement. Contact Us to ask a question specific to your project.
3. What about permits?
Once we understand the scope of your project, we can discuss the particulars in your jurisdiction. We will incorporate permitting into the plan when it is needed and assist with all the required drawings and submittals.
4. Should I consider moving out of my house during the remodel?
We are accustomed to working with homeowners who live in their house during remodeling. We have protective plastic and special ventilating equipment to minimize dust and inconvenience. That being said, there will be dust in your house, especially when sheetrock is being sanded. So, some clients do prefer to move out during the remodeling process. For some remodeling projects, we can completely barricade off the construction area from the rest of the living area, so dust and inconvenience is minimized.
5. Do you guarantee your prices?
Yes. When we go through the planning process with the homeowner, we draw up a complete set of plans for the project, make selections, and make a detailed list of the work that is going to be done. We review that with the homeowners to make sure that list is correct, then at that point we give them a fixed price for that work. In addition, if there are change orders, they must be written and signed by the homeowners. So the final price only goes up if the homeowner makes a change and that change is in writing.
6. Should I anticipate any costs beyond the contract price?
The only cost that a homeowner should anticipate beyond the contract price would be if there are any allowance items on which the homeowner has not made final selections. These items could go over the price or could go under. If there are items that are added, that could change the price. The only exception to this is if we discover hidden damage, for instance water damage, which could not be reasonably foreseen. Unfortunately, we lack x-ray vision. If we encounter any kind of hazardous material that could not have been reasonably foreseen, that could also change the final price.
7. How do you handle change orders?
If a homeowner wants to make a change, our project manager will communicate the change to the office. The office will determine the cost and schedule implications of the change and ask the homeowner for a decision. At that time, the homeowner can decide to proceed with the change by signing the change order, or decline the change.
8. How often do I have to make payment?
We invoice clients weekly. The contract will spell out exactly when and what percentage will be due each week so that you can plan ahead.
9. How will you control dust and handle the mess associated with my job?
We use protective plastics to screen-off areas. We also build temporary walls to separate living spaces from construction spaces. We have air filtration equipment to help keep dust under control.
1. I've heard stories of contractors starting a job and then leaving before it is finished or taking forever because they come and go. When you start my job will you stay until it is finished?
Yes. We believe that the best way to have a good, quality remodeling experience is to take the time up front to plan the entire project. Our company takes longer in the planning process to plan the project and obtain the selections and specifications with the specific goal of making the schedule shorter and more accurate. We take the time to produce a detailed calendar for each and every project. This acts as the “road map” and is given to the project manager and the homeowner. Our clients know we are on schedule because they know what to expect, and if we do have to make a change, we discuss it right away. This benefits the homeowner as it makes for a better remodeling experience. It also benefits our company because the project can be completed in a timely fashion and we can go on make the next client as happy as we have made the previous client.