Frequently Asked Questions
If your question isn’t answered here, please feel free to contact us.
What do I as a homeowner look for in a contractor?
When you hire a remodeler, you are buying a service rather than a product. The quality of service the home remodeler provides will determine the quality of the finished product and your satisfaction with the result. To ensure your satisfaction, make sure you hire a qualified, state and locally licensed, insured professional.
What do the different certifications mean?
- CAPS — Certified Aging In Place Specialist. Most homeowners refer to age-in-place, which means living in your home safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age or ability level.
- Remodelers Council — promotes professionalism, integrity and quality work within the remodeling industry. Pledging to adhere to a Code of Ethics, members wanted to make it easier for the public to hire qualified and honest contractors.
- PHBA — member of Peninsula Housing and Builders Association
- NAHB — member National Association of Housing and Builders
- NKBA — member National Kitchen and Bath Association
What is the process after the initial call?
We can’t stress the importance of first finding the organization you feel most comfortable with and then working with that organization from design through completion. An experienced company will see that you avoid the common pitfalls — from starting with a poor design to cost overruns, unwanted change orders to hidden structural or damage issues. Cunningham Contracting doesn’t want these problems any more than you do. You may think you’re going to save money by having your own designs done and then asking several contractors for bids. But it rarely works that way. Bids are never apples to apples. A hungry builder will find ways for himself or his subcontractors to cut corners to make it up somewhere else, or worse yet just walk away from the job. Cunningham Contracting has the expertise to ensure every project will be a success. We have 10-25+ year relationships with our subcontractor partners. We don’t look for the lowest priced subcontractor. We have the best already and are loyal to them and they to us. Together, we form an efficient team of professionals striving to make every project a success.
Can I remodel my own home by myself?
Answer these questions, Yes or No:
- Do you enjoy physical work?
- Do you have all the tools needed, and more importantly, the skills required to do the job?
- Do you know all the steps involved in the project?
- Are you familiar with your local building codes and permit requirements? (Some jurisdictions require that the work be completed by a licensed professional in order to meet code.) It’s best to check these requirements before beginning work on the project.
What should I expect during my remodel?
Most importantly, keep the lines of communication open between you and your contractor. Ask questions. Let them know what your family schedule is and whether you have pets confined somewhere. It’s important to keep the work areas off limits to children and pets for their safety.
How much should a remodeling project cost?
We get asked this all the time, “So, you do remodeling… what would it cost to remodel my home?” My favorite answer is actually a question. “What does it cost to eat dinner in a restaurant?” The answer to both questions is, “it depends.” If we are talking about dinner, it could be from 99 cents at McDonald’s to $58.00 at Opus 9. It depends on the food, the environment, and a million other details. If we are talking about remodeling, it depends on whether you want a simple extension of your family room, or an entire second story master suite complete with fireplace and luxurious bathroom. The bottom line is that what it costs depends on what you want.
How long will the remodel take?
Again, this depends on the size and scope of your project, and what is found during demolition. Unforeseen problems can crop up once walls are taken down that require additional work. Your contractor should provide you with a reasonable timeframe and stay in touch with you throughout the entire job.
What exactly does the term design/build mean?
Basically, the term design/build means that one company is responsible for your home remodeling project from the design concept all the way through construction and final completion of the project. From a homeowner perspective, a design/build general contractor provides you, the client, a single source of responsibility for the project, from start to finish.
Will my project require a permit?
As a general rule, a building permit is required whenever:
- There is structural work involved (i.e. removing load-bearing walls).
- The basic living area (square footage) of the home is to be changed.
- The home’s mechanical systems (i.e. gas, electrical or plumbing) are to be reconfigured or otherwise modified.
Why choose Cunningham Contracting?
With over 30 years experience in construction, Cunningham Contracting puts a personal touch on every project they do. Cunningham Contracting is a family-owned and operated business, which means our family is working for your family to make your remodeling experience a wonderful one. We are with you from start to finish, from the concept/design, to selections of materials, to the completion of the job. When we leave your home we want it to look like we were never there.