FAQs

How Much Does It Cost?

Similarly to the question “What does a bag of groceries cost?” this is a very difficult question to answer. It depends on what is in the shopping bag – bread and butter or steak and lobster? Cost is dependent upon the scope of your project/budget and your needs vs. desires. For some clients a “phased remodeling” is the best long-term solution. Home remodeling is unique and personal to each homeowner, at TZ of Madison we excel at understanding your individualized needs, goals and budgets.

Whole House Remodels – range of cost $155.00 – $300.00 per square foot of affected space. This type of project cost is very difficult to determine. Many times it involves various deferred (out-of-date) municipal “code” items within the home/business (not included in initial estimates) that must be brought up to current building codes. Such upgrades can include: new electrical service; landscaping; plumbing; siding; window replacement; etc.

Kitchen Remodel (Major) Average cost – $50,000. This can vary greatly depending upon the scope of work and municipal code compliance (appliances, counter tops, new, or reused or refaced cabinets, flooring, electrical and plumbing choices, etc.) as well as your budget.

Bath remodel (Major) Average cost $17,000. This depends on the scope of work (moving fixtures, walls, flooring, wall treatments, style of fixtures, plumbing, etc.) as well as municipal code compliance.

How do you handle hazardous materials such as lead and asbestos that may be present?
TZ of Madison is a Certified Lead-Safe Company with the State of Wisconsin. We are trained in safe lead abatement practices and understand concerns you may have about project safety. We will test for health hazards such as lead and asbestos to ensure your family’s safety well being throughout your remodeling project.
How long will it take?
This is determined by the scope of work and the time frame required by the homeowners to make decisions. The planning stage is the most important stage. We don’t “short change” our customers’ time to plan and re-plan because it’s easier to redraw lines than it is to tear down and rebuild walls.
What should I expect in a proposal?

A professional proposal/contract should be very detailed. Any one can present a dollar figure and sign their name to an agreement, but you may be getting into trouble if you don’t follow these simple guidelines:

 

  • Require a start and completion date, in writing.
  • Personally check the contractor’s references on their performance with former clients.
  • Find out if your contractor holds any certifications, such as Certified Remodeler for NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) or other qualified trade designations.

 

Can I ask for references and what do I ask?
Always ask for references. A contractor should be happy to provide, as many references as you feel are necessary from customers, sub-contractors and suppliers. Don’t be trapped by just getting a list, you must make calls and ask things that are important to you about a prospective contractor such as:

  • Were they within budget?
  • How did they handle changes?
  • Was there good communication?
  • How easy were their staff and subcontractors to work with on site?
  • Other issues that are important to you!
Have you performed similar work?
Because of our vast past experience, we have performed most aspects of remodeling and home construction. You can check out our “Projects” area of our website for photos of our most recent work.  Compatibility and communication between TZ of Madison and our clients is of the utmost importance.   If TZ is not the right contractor to meet your expectations, we will be upfront about it.  Many times we will refer you to another professional contractor that can better provide the results you desire.
What exactly is GREEN Building?
Environmental responsibility, energy efficiency and the newest “green building” are familiar topics.  Larry built one of the 1st active solar homes in 1975.  As a company that takes environmental responsibility seriously, TZ of Madison will integrate your environmental requirements to your remodeling desires.
How do I choose a contractor?

Larry Taff, MCR has moderated a “How to Avoid a Home Improvement Horror Story” seminar through the NARI Remodeling Expo for the last 6 years.  Below is an outline of his seminar and his suggested tips are well worth following:

NARI of Madison Presents:
How to Avoid a Home Improvement Horror Story
SEMINAR OUTLINE

1. CLEAR COMMUNICATION IS VERY IMPORTANT
A. Require a well-written contract
B. Detailed written plans and specifications
C. Ask how job will be run and who will be in charge
D. Allowances vs. Taste = Cost and Opinion vs. Budget

2. BASIC CONTRACT LAW ON REMODELING CONTRACTS
A. Know what must be in writing
B. Be aware of lien waivers
C. Be notified of lead hazards and implications
D. Awareness of other concerns that may arise

3. ZONING, BUILDING PERMITS AND INSPECTIONS
A. What are you really getting by being inspected?
B. No guarantee

4. WHERE TO FIND CONTRACTORS?
A. NARI directory good start – Read tips and follow up!
B. Suppliers references or lists
C. Referral from friends

5. ASK FOR REFERENCES
A. Past customers, suppliers, subcontractors
B. Make a couple of calls- Listen to what is NOT said!

6. SIZE & TYPE OF PROJECT WILL DETERMINE WHAT TYPE OF CONTRACTOR AND/OR SUPPLIER YOU MAY NEED
A. Whole home vs. Window replacement
B. Electrical or plumbing update
C. Kitchen or bath minor remodel vs. major remodel
D. Roofing repair or replacement?

7. WHO DO YOU NEED TO HELP DEVELOP PLANS & SCOPE OF WORK?
A. Designer or architect, general contractor, specialize service
B. Suppliers do not usually install

8. HOW DO I KNOW  WHAT IS THE “COST” OF THE REMODEL I WANT TO DO?
A. Educate yourself, attend remodeling shows
B. It is not unusual to pay for the development of plans and specifications that will pay for itself, in time saved, stress reduction and confusion
C. It is a must to have a “ball park” idea of your budget for the cost of your project