remodeling

2nd Time is as Charming as the First

2016 and 2017 REMY Awards

Late January award ceremonies are becoming a reoccurring theme that we are really enjoying! This January was no exception. We certainly do not do what we do for the awards but it is always nice to win them. The best part of the Remodel of the Year (REMY) awards through the Kansas City chapter of the National Association of Remodeling Industry (NARI) is that all of the categories and entries are judged by a blind panel of experts from another NARI chapter. Winning an award truly shows that you are doing the right thing on the highest level of quality and craftsmanship.

So what did we win? We entered 4 categories and took home awards on 3 of them. We found out that the one category that we did not place in we missed 2nd by .132 points. The closest separation of placing of anyone in the entire chapter. We are of course still very proud of the results.

Below are below and after pictures of the 3 categories we placed in:

Before

After

Before

After

Before

After

From top to the bottom, the projects and awards are as follows.

*2017 Kansas City NARI Remodel of the Year "REMY" Gold & All-Star Award Basement Finish $50,000 to $100,000 Category Winner*

*2017 Kansas City NARI Remodel of the Year "REMY" Gold Award Interior Remodel $75,000 to $150,000 Category Winner*

*2017 Kansas City NARI Remodel of the Year "REMY" Silver Award Interior Remodel Under $75,000 Category Runner-Up*

2018 is already shaping up to be a fantastic year at KC Home Solutions. We would love to add your project to our list of awards. You never know! We hope to help you make your personal vision become reality! 

Estimate vs Estimate - KC Home Solutions vs The other guys

From time to time we'll go to a home and talk with a potential customer. Generally speaking, one of the questions that comes up will be the difference between us and other general contractors in our processes and how we do things. Recently though we have had a few estimates approved (thanks for that) and we try to find out what we did that helped us earn the business. Here are a few of the answers we got the last several times.

1) "We choose KC Home Solutions because your estimates were detailed." This has actually been something that we have heard as a negative on a couple of follow-ups as well. So how can it be a positive AND a negative? Well we line item nearly every aspect of the job. In our experience most people like the idea of knowing what they are getting for their money. Because of that reason we will continue to go that route. The negative? Some people have expressed that they were overwhelmed with information and found our bid confusing.

Keep this in mind, if you get a bid from us and you have questions, you can always ask us. Want us to eliminate something, maybe you changed your mind, no problem, just let us know. Give us an opportunity to make our bid exactly what you are looking for. We may still not be in your price range for whatever reason, and that's ok, give us a chance to adjust as necessary and there will definitely be no hard feelings on our end if you go another direction.

2) "You guys don't have any hidden fees, the other guys do." This is one that we were surprised to hear about. One shocker on our end was a customer telling us that a previous contractor made them purchase everything for the work to be done. For example, barn doors. The GC told the customer what they needed them to order (exact door size, hardware, etc), the client asked if the GC would order it as she didn't feel comfortable doing it. The GC told them they could order the barn doors for them but they would charge the client an additional 30% above the retail purchase price of the doors. Seriously. We couldn't believe it either. 

With KC Home Solutions if you want to purchase a light fixture and have us install it, no problem. If you want us to pick something out and have us purchase it, still not a problem. We'll build the cost of the light fixture in to the bid. We aren't going to add additional expenses on for doing it. We are about treating you the way we would want to be treated. 

3) "Permits? You guys pull permits?" 99% of all projects require permits from a respective city. What doesn't? Repairing a fence for example. What does require a permit? Well it can vary from location to location. But here's the deal. We pull permits because it protects everyone involved. You are assured that the electrical, plumbing. framing, insulation, fireblocking, etc is not only getting done but done correctly. A lot of contractors won't pull permits because they are time consuming and depending on the size of the project can be kind of costly. 

Once again, KC Home Solutions is not about cutting corners. Permits aren't fun, not going to lie, they can be a pain. But in the end it's not only the law in most cases, it's the right thing to do. 

Is there a question you have been itching to ask us? New home build? Basement needing finished? Master bath needing an update? Still rocking early 90's brass in your master bathroom? Whatever it is, give us an opportunity to earn your business and we think you may be surprised in the difference from the "other guys" and KC Home Solutions!

A REALLY GOOD QUESTION!

I was asked a question this week that I wasn't prepared to answer. It didn't so much throw me for a loop, but rather I just had never really thought about the question before. So what was this stunning question?

How is your company different or better than the next?

It was an opportunity to brag on KC Home Solutions. It was an open invitation to leave the client feeling great about having an extra piece of information to help make an informed decision. It was where I should have sold what we do...and I fell flat on my face. Hashtag fail for those of your social media fans out there. But I've had almost 36 hours to stew on this and here are a few things I (should) have come up with. 

1) Communication - We pride ourselves on this topic. Whether you working on a special design idea, looking to get help with a tile pattern, finalizing a paint color or making a change mid-project, you can lean on us to be there for you. Everyone that works on our staff including our subcontractors, we all want to see your project end up exactly how you expect it to.

2) Budget - When we write a number on your estimate, that's what we are going to stick with. We all have budgets in our personal lives for all sorts of things and no one ever wants to be concerned with wondering from week to week if it will change. Of course unexpected things arise, but that's where topic one comes back up and we work with you to help make the most informed decision possible. 

3) Trust - Compared to other companies out there, we are young. But in a short amount of time we have earned the trust and respect of many people. When you treat people as you want to be treated. Respect, honesty, communication, craftsmanship, attention to detail and a lot of smiles. We work hard but have fun doing it. Our completed projects speak for themselves but so do Angie's List Awards...and you can read about all of those HERE!

Have a question you want answered? Shoot it our way, we would love to answer a bunch of questions in our next Tuesday article. 

FREEDOM!

"Get busy demoing or get busy somewhere else." So I may not have that quote correct from Shawshank Redemption, it's close. Or not. Just don't make us crawl through your main sewer line, okay? So I was talking with some prospective clients today and they were asking a few questions that gave me a thought about the topic of today's article. 

Of course it helped that the 4th of July is coming up this weekend when thinking about freedom. So why this topic from a general contractor? Because unlike some other companies, we have no problem letting you do some things on your own to save some money. You want to do the paint work yourself? No problem. You have a family friend that owns a carpet store that can do that for you? Sounds good! 

We are a small company and while we trust everyone that works for us and with us, we understand the desire to save money when it's possible to do so. 

If Captain America has volunteered to come in and install the tile in your new bathroom, we would love to meet him, shake his hand, and we aren't going to argue with him at all if he takes a little longer than our guys would have. The biggest factor for us is that you get the quality and end result that you are looking for. By the way, does anyone know if Flash does construction? We would like to talk to him if he does, just saying. Of course there are a few things that we will want to leave to the licensed pros such as electrical and plumbing.

Would you be willing to trade all the (demo) days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our (design) enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom (to do our our painting or anything else we want to do ourselves)!!!

Just. Say. NO! - What Would We Do Wednesday

Look up right now. Go ahead, we'll wait. What do you see on the ceiling above you? Is it THIS?

Unless your home was built after 2000, and even maybe then, you likely have popcorn on your ceiling. Ok so not the yummy goodness you see above. But rather this...

I would venture a fair bet that over 80% of homes in the United States have popcorn textured ceilings. It was all the rage on ceilings for, well, almost forever. But it's something that has FINALLY fallen out of style and NO you don't have to just deal with it. 

So what would we do? What can be done? Simple. That stuff comes off! Now, with that said, it's typically a huge mess and quite honestly it's not that fun to do. You have to start by putting down a ton of plastic sheeting to catch the stuff. You'll also want to make sure an wear eye and face protection, you do not want to breathe or eat it. Just because it's called popcorn doesn't mean it's good!

The actual removal isn't too difficult. You'll need a spray bottle filled with water and a flat blade or some kind like a floor scraper or mudding trowel. Spray the texture area you want to remove, give it a minute or so and then use the flat leading edge to scrape it away. Be mindful of sheetrock joints and other places the scraper could catch.

What do do after removing the popcorn? Well the easiest option would be what we call a knockdown finish. So people will call it an orange peel finish. Here's the look:

All of our new ceiling installations have a knockdown finish unless otherwise noted. Of course the other option would be the smooth finish, the same as what's done on walls. It's a very clean and crisp look, needless to say, but it is more time consuming to install and therefore more expensive on the pocketbook.

So if you're tired of seeing popcorn everywhere you go give us a shout, we have a great group of guys dedicated to helping us help you remove popcorn from your home. Remember, edible popcorn good...ceiling popcorn bad.