Call Us at 850.226.2001
Florida Contractor License #CRC 1330396

faqpage



Quality and Dependability on Every Custom Closet We Manufacture and Install

We are often asked these questions or very similar ones by our clients and prospective clients.

Some home remodeling contractors in Santa Fe will say just about anything to land a job, so the best defense is to ask plenty of questions and always get the answers in writing.

New Mexico established the Construction Licensing Act in 1978 to weed out sub-standard contractors who give inferior service and expose clients to unnecessary risks.

Contracting without a license in New Mexico is against the law.  If a contractor is working without a license, the Division may stop the construction project and file a criminal charge of unlicensed contracting in Metropolitan or Magistrate Court.

  • Asking very specific questions is a proven way to learn about the contractor’s reputation, services, warranty and follow through.
  • Here is one example: instead of simply asking if the contractor is licensed in New Mexico – ask for a copy of their New Mexico license or ask them to provide you with their license number and then verify it at the state website.
  • We welcome your questions so please call us and ask us any questions you want.
  • We return all unanswered and non-emergency calls by 1 PM for morning calls and by 6 PM for afternoon calls before 4pm on normal business days.

Most people only hire a home remodeling company every 7 to 10 years and many homeowners don’t know what questions will help them make the right choice in hiring.

There is certainly more “bad press” than “good press” when it comes to the home remodeling or home renovation industry and as they say “bad news sells”.

The good news is that there are reputable home remodeling companies that have the experience to turn your dream into reality.

Whether you want to add on for extra living space or simply improve the layout and functionality of your home by renovating your kitchen, bathrooms, master bedroom or outdoor kitchen, these questions will help you.

We provide our home remodeling services in these Santa Fe area communities: Eldorado, Pecos, Tesuque and Los Alamos.

Reputation and Professionalism
Are you properly licensed as a General Contractor in New Mexico?
Yes. Our license number is NM GB-98 #363563.

New Mexico established the Construction Licensing Act in 1978 and a full list of the requirements can be found at: http://www.rld.state.nm. us/construction/

  • Anyone engaged in construction-related contracting in New Mexico must be licensed.  This includes general construction work, electrical, mechanical and plumbing and LP gas.  The activities that are considered to be contracting in New Mexico are defined in the Construction Industries Licensing Act, NMSA 1978, Section 60-13-3.
  • Licensing and examination services are provided by Psychological Services Inc.  (PSI).  Applicants must pass with a minimum score of 70 percent.   (Howard passed with 93 percent.)
  • Contracting without a license in New Mexico is against the law.  If a contractor is working without a license, the Division may stop the construction project and file a criminal charge of unlicensed contracting in Metropolitan or Magistrate Court.
  • When someone contracts without a license, they endanger the health, safety and welfare of the public, undercut licensed contractors who operate legitimately and lawfully, and hurt the entire construction industry.
Other contractors have given me “ball park” estimates over the phone or via email, can you do that?

Home remodeling or home improvement contractors that will give you an estimate over the phone or via email without meeting you and thoroughly understanding your needs should be avoided. This is totally unprofessional.

We would love to but there are just too many choices to come up with a number that is realistic.

  • For example: there are dozens of counter tops to choose from. You can spend $1,500 or $5,000 to cover the same area. The same can be said for virtually every component in a remodeling project. That is why some kitchen remodeling projects are $15,000 and some are $80,000.

The good news is that all those choices give us great flexibility to meet your budget.

  • We have the experience to make recommendations on materials and design that will deliver a great looking project and keep you within your budget.
  • We will meet with you; ask plenty of questions to make sure we understand your project. We will make suggestions and recommendations based on how you are going to use the space. We will create a design for your approval. Once the design is approved, we will be in a position to provide you with a complete proposal.
  • We require all change orders to be written and approved by our clients before we will make any changes that they want in the scope of the project. This simple step keeps everyone on the same page.

General or home remodeling contractors that will give you a “ball park” estimate with limited details of the project should be avoided, it just isn’t in your best interest or professional.

Professional and ethical contractors can provide you with a general price range that can give you a better idea if the project you are considering is even feasible within your budget.

We know that homeowners often do not have any knowledge or real understanding of the costs involved with remodeling projects and ask for a “ball park” price to know if it is feasible. The price range will help in that area, but without a project design and selections made for materials and finishes it is impossible to have an accurate estimate.

Whether you want to add on for extra living space or simply improve the layout and functionality of your home by renovating your kitchen, bathrooms, master bedroom or outdoor kitchen, these questions will help you.

We provide our home remodeling services in these Santa Fe area communities: Eldorado, Pecos, Tesuque and Los Alamos.

One more point – estimates that are written on the back of a business card aren’t worth considering – because all you can count on is the price. That is like buying a car without knowing what features or options are included.

Have you ever declared bankruptcy for this or any other company in the home improvement or home remodeling business that you owned or owned in part?

No. We will provide this information at our first meeting.

In a 2011 survey of the home remodeling and home improvement companies that advertise in local phone directories, over 35% had gone out of business in the previous 5 years.

Unfortunately, some owners will close up one business when they run into quality or credit problems and simply open up again with a similar name.

We recommend that you request the following information from each company that you seriously consider hiring.

  • Please provide the name of each corporation, limited liability company, partnership, sole proprietorship or other legal entity that you have owned in part or in full in the last 5 years. All current owners of the home remodeling or home improvement company should provide this information.

How do I know that you have enough insurance and that it is up to date?

Workers Compensation and Liability insurance are the first things that contractors “let slide” when times get tough. This leaves the homeowner in a very vulnerable position if someone gets hurt the job or there is an accident involving your property.

  • We carry $2 Million of Liability Insurance, Commercial Vehicle Insurance and Worker’s Compensation Insurance.
  • We provide all of our clients with a Certificate of Insurance that lists our insurance coverage as well as our insurance agent. If you prefer, our insurance agent will send you our Certificate of Insurance directly so that you will have proof that we are insured before we start your project.

Many home remodeling companies will use the term “fully insured” to give homeowners the impression that they have adequate insurance.

Legitimate home remodeling contractors will carry at least $1 Million of Liability Insurance and Worker’s Compensation Insurance.

Are all of your trade or sub-contractors covered under your insurance policy?

That is a great question because this is an area that many contractors let slide because it takes extra effort to make sure every sub or trade contractor has the proper insurance.

Kodama Construction LLC will provide all appropriate contact information for any sub or trade contractor that works on your project.

It is a smart idea to ask for the same contact information from any contractor you seriously consider hiring. We recommend that you then contact the insurance agent of each sub and ask them to provide any proof of insurance directly to you.  This may seem like a pain but it is a lot less stressful then dealing with a claim on your homeowner’s insurance.

Can you provide letters of reference from your suppliers?

Yes.

  • We have good relationships with our suppliers. We get first rate treatment and pricing and this helps us stay competitive.

This is especially important in the current economy. There have been plenty of stories in the press and on the internet about trusting homeowners giving a remodeling contractor a large deposit and then disappearing. It is a smart idea to check out the contractor’s business references before you hire them.

Is membership in an industry trade organization important?

We believe it is. We are members of the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association (A local chapter of the National Association of Home Builder). http://www.sfahba.com/

The Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association (SFAHBA) is a non-profit trade association representing 516 members in the Santa Fe, Taos, Angel Fire, Los Alamos areas and Northern New Mexico.  The association represents a wide array of professionals in addition to Builders and Developers.  These construction-related businesses include: architects, landscapers, interior designers, remodelers, finance companies, as well as construction materials suppliers.  Together we contribute to the growth, prosperity and quality of life Santa Fe is known for.

Trade associations are designed to establish standards for the industry. Specific standards established for the building and home remodeling industry would include:

  • Guidelines for References
  • Office & Field Safety Systems
  • Compliance with Insurance & Regulatory Issues
  • Safety Program Requirements
  • Increasing Trade Knowledge
  • Administration of Certification Examinations

We are a member of SFAHBA because we believe it helps us to maintain high standards and quality service.

Experience and Service Before, During and After Your Project
How do you price your projects?

Howard spends extra time up front detailing every aspect of your bid and anticipating potential issues based on his 17 years of experience. There isn’t much he hasn’t seen!

  • Howard will meet with you; ask plenty of questions to make sure he understands your project. He will make suggestions and recommendations based on how you are going to use the space. He will create a design or layout for your approval.
  • He will provide you with a fixed price agreement for the work specified once your final design or layout is approved and the final material selections are made. Our price guarantee is easy to understand as well.
  • Compliance with Insurance & Regulatory Issues
  • Safety Program Requirements
  • Increasing Trade Knowledge
  • Administration of Certification Examinations

Many of our competitors will offer a “ball park estimate” and many times they will make it a tantalizingly low number.

  • We don’t work that way. We would love give you a “ball park number” but there are just too many choices to come up with a proposal that is realistic and not a “guesstimate”.
  • For example: there are dozens of counter tops to choose from. You can spend $1,500 or $5,000 to cover the same area. The same can be said for virtually every component in a remodeling project. That is why some kitchen remodeling projects are $15,000 and some are $80,000.

The good news is that all those choices give us great flexibility to meet your budget.

Howard has the experience to make recommendations on materials and design that will deliver a great looking project and keep you within your budget.

NOTE: In many remodeling projects there will be some things that are unknown. Unfortunately, the previous owner of your home may have completed a DIY project or hired an unlicensed contractor. Problems with this type of work frequently won’t be found until walls are opened up. We do provide for this type of contingency to bring the prior work up to code.

Whether you want to add on for extra living space or simply improve the layout and functionality of your home by renovating your kitchen, bathrooms, master bedroom or outdoor kitchen, these questions will help you.

We provide our home remodeling services in these Santa Fe area communities: Eldorado, Pecos, Tesuque and Los Alamos.

Who will be supervising my project and how often will I see them?

A Kodama manager or superintendent is on the job every day to ensure that quality standards are met.

They have the responsibility to ensure that all aspects of your project are completed following the specific written installation process for the type of project. They also are there to ensure that their installation process meets the manufacturer’s standards so the material warranty is enforceable (shortcuts in installation will void the material warranty and the homeowner won’t even know).

A Kodama manager or superintendent can manage multiple projects depending on the scope and complexity of each project. We will not sacrifice quality by overloading them with work. You can be sure that if that happened they wouldn’t work for us for very long.

How will you keep me informed about the progress of my job?
We want the process to be as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
That is why we provide each of our clients with access to a secure website with all of the details of their project. 
Here are just some of the advantages of our online system:

  • Get the right selection decisions, on-time.  Each home has its own selection sheet containing color-coded choices, deadlines, allowances, web links, file attachments, and log of changes.
  • Coordinate schedules with clients & subs.  Update online schedules to automatically notify subs of changes by e-mail or text message.  Schedule changes also alert clients to revised selection decision deadlines.
  • All client communications are in one place — all organized by topic and findable within seconds.  E-mail alerts let you know when there’s something new.
  • A single place to create to-do items, assign people, set deadlines, send alerts, answer questions, and verify completions.

Keeping you informed allows you to feel comfortable that progress is being made.  This is especially true when you want to compare certain phases of a project like tear out with the finish phase that can take just as much time because of the detail required.

Whether you are at home, at work, on the road, or on vacation, we put information at your fingertips about your selections, upgrades, financial decisions, questions, documents, photos, and more.
This is just one of the ways we take the stress out of your remodeling project.

Whether you want to add on for extra living space or simply improve the layout and functionality of your home by renovating your kitchen, bathrooms, master bedroom or outdoor kitchen, these questions will help you.

We provide our home remodeling services in these Santa Fe area communities: Eldorado, Pecos, Tesuque and Los Alamos.

How will we be able to reach you during our project?

We return all unanswered and non-emergency calls by 1 PM for morning calls and by 6 PM for afternoon calls before 4pm on normal business days. You are also provided with Howard’s cell phone number so that you can contact him directly.

For all projects our onsite manager or superintendent will meet with you daily if possible but at least every 2 days to update you on the progress of the projects.

In addition, you have 24 hour access to our secure website. Whether you are at home, at work, on the road, or on vacation, we put information at your fingertips about your selections, upgrades, financial decisions, questions, documents, photos, and more.

When you start a job, do you stay until it’s done?
Yes. We are motivated to complete your project because that is the only way we get paid. Once we start your project, we stay on it each day until we are finished unless there are circumstances beyond our control like weather, required drying times or delays in inspections that don’t permit us to work.

  • In any significant project there will be some “gap” days due to issues just listed.
  • Our clients know that we are always working on their project – coordinating material deliveries, setting up building inspections, coordinating specialty trades and more.
  • Our ongoing communications keep you informed so you won’t be left wondering.
What do you do each day to ensure my home is “livable” during the project?

We know that every construction project will have its share of dirt and dust.

  • We will ask for access to a sink that we can use for cleanup but will make other arrangements if that isn’t possible.
  • We have a written daily cleanup checklist that we follow. Our goal is to make sure the site is secure and safe for your children and pets at the end of each workday.
What is your warranty policy?

We provide a 2-year warranty for the labor and installation on all home remodeling and home improvement projects and we back it up with 3 onsite inspections in the first 2 years.

Once you’ve made your final payment, you’ll probably never hear from most contractors again and sometimes things don’t show up until after the project is completed and you’ve lived with it for a while.

Because our reputation is only as good as our last project, we revisit each project 3 times within the first 2 years to spot any potential problems…and remedy them. 
To our knowledge we are the only company in Santa Fe that does this. To us it is common sense and the right thing to do.

Whether you want to add on for extra living space or simply improve the layout and functionality of your home by renovating your kitchen, bathrooms, master bedroom or outdoor kitchen, these questions will help you.

We provide our home remodeling services in these Santa Fe area communities: Eldorado, Pecos, Tesuque and Los Alamos.

Do you have a crew member conduct policy?

Yes, our policy covers smoking, drug and alcohol use.
Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol on the job poses serious safety and health risks to the user and to those who work or come in contact with the user in the workplace.  Accordingly, the use, sale, purchase, transfer, possession or being under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol in the workplace poses unacceptable risks for safe, healthy and efficient operations and will be grounds for immediate discipline up to and including termination of employment.

As a condition of employment, all crew members are required to abide by the terms of this policy.

As a courtesy to our clients we do not allow smoking or radios in your home.

Will I have to give you a big upfront deposit?

We do ask for a deposit to cover our cost of ordering materials for your project.

  • Some of our competitors will be using your deposit to pay for other jobs.
  • We pay our suppliers on time and that helps us get the best service and pricing. We will provide you with our supplier references at our first meeting.

We are providing this information so that you can make the best decision possible when you hire a home remodeling contractor to complete your project.

You can also check out our “How to Hire a Professional Santa Fe Remodeling Contractor”  to learn more.

We appreciate this opportunity to demonstrate the Kodama way of completing renovations.

We realize what it takes to earn your respect and your business, what it takes to give you the results you demand and what needs to be done to eliminate the common headaches and frustrations people experience with most home remodeling companies.

Thanks for your time and we look forward to working with you. Please call me at (505) 490-6527 to schedule your initial meeting.