(248) 851-2001

FAQ


Q.1 Do you use Michigan-made and U.S.-made products?
Q.2 Are you a “Green Builder”?
Q.3 Do you have liability insurance and workman’s compensation?
Q.4 May we contact your former clients?
Q.5 What do former clients say about your workmanship?
Q.6 What is the best way to communicate with the company during construction?
Q.7 Will our home be secure during the project?
Q.8 Our house needs repairs, renovations, and an addition. How do we approach our project?
Q.9 What if we can’t decide whether we should remodel or buy another house?
Q.10 How long will it take to complete our project?
Q.11 What type of Agreements might we be asked to sign?
Q.12 There are so many decisions to make regarding designs and materials selections; How do I narrow down my choices to fit my budget?
Q.13 Do you use your own crews on projects or do you use subcontractors?
Q.14 Do you offer financing?
Q.15 Why should I hire 21st Century Building Company when I can get the same thing for less elsewhere?
Q.16 Are your cabinets custom-built?
Q.17 Do you have architects on staff?
Q.18 Do we need an architect?
Q.19 Can you give a guaranteed start date?
Q.20 Can you give a guaranteed finish date?
Q.21 Do your agreements contain a penalty clause for “late” completion?
Q.22 Why will our project take that long?
Q.23 Can you break this quote down line-item by line-item?
Q.24 What’s your mark up?
Q.25 Can we provide the materials and do some of the work ourselves?
Q.1 Do you use Michigan-made and U.S.-made products?
A.1 Yes, to support Michigan’s economy, we make efforts to use Michigan-made products, whenever possible. We also make efforts to use US-made products when possible.
Q.2 Are you a “Green Builder”?
A.2 “Green” means many things to different people. For some, it means designing in ways that improve energy efficiency or water conservation. For some, it means using only materials from sustainable resources liked bamboo or recycled materials. For others, it means using products that do not contain harsh chemicals or use harsh chemicals in manufacturing. 21st Century Building Company uses green products and conserves fuel/energy/water whenever practical, and is always open to new products and methods that serve conservation. Our company offers an Energy Audit process to determine your energy needs and heat-loss, and can provide the necessary improvements to minimize that heat-loss.
Q.3 Do you have liability insurance and workman’s compensation?
A.3 Yes, we are fully insured with a million dollar liability policy and workman’s comp insurance coverage. You will receive a proof-of-insurance-coverage document with your COMPANY PORTFOLIO. As a General Contractor, all licensed, professional trades (electric, heating, plumbing, etc.) and any subcontract work is covered by insurance.
Q.4 May we contact your former clients?
A.4 We provide you with a list of former clients, address, and contact information, including the type of project we completed with them. All customers listed have agreed to let us provide them as a reference and invite your call.
Q.5 What do former clients say about your workmanship?
A.5 We provide testimonial letters from many of our satisfied clients in our COMPANY PORTFOLIO, which will be submitted to you during our FIRST APPOINTMENT. Some of these testimonial letters can be reviewed by clicking on the “Client Testimonials Letters” header button within this web site.
Q.6 What is the best way to communicate with the company during construction?
A.6 The ideal method of communication is whatever means is the easiest and most efficient for you, the homeowner. On all of our projects, we predetermine the POINT PERSON living in the home, being whichever partner the homeowners choose to be the primary contact person to interface with the company.
  •  For short messages without urgency, we prefer texting over emailing
  •  For longer messages without urgency, we prefer emailing to texting
  •  For urgent messages, we prefer a good ol’ telephone call!
  •  Our secure Client VIP online feature will enable direct dialogue and data entry regarding your job details
Sending digital photographs, attachments, scanning, and faxing are methods utilized every day by our management team to be as efficient and accessible as possible.
Q.7 Will our home be secure during the project?
A.7 All of the people we employ are thoroughly vetted and have proven themselves to be responsible and trustworthy over the years. Our reputation relies on that fact. Our crews remain the same crews that we have been working with us for years. We are in people’s homes every day of the week, and in today’s world many partners are both employed during business hours. Several methods are utilized for secure entry: We have password-protected door key boxes (like the realtors use). We often temporarily utilize the wireless garage door opener, which is password-protected. For exterior-only projects, we supply a Port-o-John, and do not require access to your home, with the exception of the garage space. Daily garage access will be needed for staging, materials, tools, and a protected work area.
Q.8 Our house needs repairs, renovations, and an addition. How do we approach our project?
A.8 A popular approach for our company is to determine your priorities and to then tackle your project in PHASES. “PHASING” has been a successfully delivered option for many years. Primarily, it won’t “break the bank”. As my dad used to say, “By the inch, it’s a cinch; By the yard, it’s hard!” Secondly, you can feel some degree of satisfaction, having gotten at least one of your needed projects underway. Finally, it gives you a first-hand opportunity to witness how 21ST CENTURY BUILDING COMPANY progresses through your project, confirming that we are indeed a “good fit”. Our goal will always be to place our current clients on our Referral List, who will hire us again, and recommend us to their best friend. Finding that we are a “good fit” is the number one predictor for subsequent work. And this will make your decision to launch the subsequent project that much smoother. The onus is on us to make you happy throughout the job and we always welcome that challenge.
Q.9 What if we can’t decide whether we should remodel or buy another house?
A.9 For substantial renovation projects, this is a fundamental question. The cost of a major, comprehensive renovation can approach the cost involved in buying and moving into another home. These days, the biggest challenge we see is getting the “right sale price” for what you consider “fair value” for your existing home on the market. Finding another “affordable” home that doesn’t require significant updating to make it “yours”, like your current home is, becomes another significant challenge. Often times, we find that homeowners bought because they “love the location”, schools, or neighborhood. In this scenario, customizing the renovation to meet your exact needs, without “over-building” can be accomplished by surgically designing your project no larger than it absolutely has to be to fill your needs. See our DESIGN/BUILD section to gain some understanding how 21ST CENTURY BUILDING COMPANY strives to achieve this objective through our ONLINE DESIGN process.
Q.10 How long will it take to complete our project?
A.10 Every project varies depending on the scope of work. The most important aspect to answer your concern is that once 21ST CENTURY BUILDING COMPANY begins your project, we will stay on your project every day, 5 days a week, until the project is completed. Our HANDYMAN process is set up in 4-hour and 8-hour time blocks, as determined by the work to be accomplished and how deep you would like us to take the repair process. Small REMODEL projects, such as a medium-sized bathroom with a ceramic tile shower surround and tile flooring will take 3 weeks, minimum. Medium sized DESIGN/BUILD projects, such as a modest second story addition can take upwards of 6 weeks or more. Large sized DESIGN/BUILD  projects are always best fully planned out with a comprehensive design prior to commencement. The extensive Whole House Remodel, as an example, may take 4 – 6 weeks to properly design, with several ONLINE DESIGN meetings along the way, before it can be submitted for permit. The bigger the project, the less accurate the time frame projection becomes.
Q.11 What type of Agreements might we be asked to sign?
A.11 Our agreements vary depending on the scope of work: Our REMODEL process utilizes our FIXED-PRICE AGREEMENT with appropriate allowances included for the selection process (with our recommended INTERIOR DESIGNER, if desired) Our DESIGN/BUILD process initially involves a DESIGN AGREEMENT. This agreement is to have professionally rendered and/or interactively designed blueprints created. If a fee is involved, the DESIGN FEE is fully credited towards the price of the project in the BUILD AGREEMENT, which will be a FIXED-PRICE AGREEMENT with appropriate allowances included for the selection process (with our recommended INTERIOR DESIGNER, if desired) Our UNIVERSAL DESIGN process initially involves a DESIGN AGREEMENT to create a very narrowly detailed . This agreement is to have professionally rendered and/or interactively designed blueprints created. If a fee is involved, the DESIGN FEE is fully credited towards the price of the project in the BUILD AGREEMENT, which will be a FIXED-PRICE AGREEMENT with appropriate allowances included for the selection process (with our recommended INTERIOR DESIGNER, if desired) Our HANDYMAN process is set up for 4-hour and 8-hour time blocks, and as such, would be on a time and materials basis.
Q.12 There are so many decisions to make regarding designs and materials selections; How do I narrow down my choices to fit my budget?
A.12 We offer the services of two professional INTERIOR DESIGNERS. Their DESIGN FEE is fully credited towards the price of the project in the BUILD AGREEMENT. Based on our FIRST APPOINTMENT and impressions gathered, one of our INTERIOR DESIGNERS will be recommended to you for the best fit possible. Each designer is accomplished at budget control and brings to the table connections for purchasing decisions and shopping recommendations, and will accompany you to assist in making those decisions. Often we hear that the savings provided by the designer’s budget savvy exceeded the designer’s fee. Being aware of and working within your budget is a fundamental responsibility for our INTERIOR DESIGNERS, and we strongly recommend working with one of ours, regardless of your background in design and fashion sense.
Q.13 Do you use your own crews on projects or do you use subcontractors?
A.13 We have several crews that typically perform site demolition, framing, repairs, finish carpentry and clean up. Electrical, plumbing, air conditioning, and heating work are always subcontracted, because they are required to have their own, separate permit drawn, with specialized inspections, covering their trade. We have developed strong relationships with specific, specialized trade partners, such as granite and marble installers, drywall contractors, cabinet makers, painters and faux-finishers. We will match the appropriate specialist to your project.
Q.14 Do you offer financing?
A.14 We have sound relationships with area lenders. We would be pleased to have you consider our financing partners without charge to initially apply. If you already have a lender, we can work with them to determine an appropriate payment schedule. Today’s interest rates make financing a viable and strong option.
Q.15 Why should I hire 21st Century Building Company when I can get the same thing for less elsewhere?
A.15 Price should not be the only factor in choosing a contractor. Often, a low price is a “red flag” and should be a cause for concern. The owner of 21ST CENTURY BUILDING COMPANY has been remodeling homes since 1985. The combined experience of the OWNER, with that of our RESIDENTIAL DESIGNER, our PROJECT MANAGER, our two INTERIOR DESIGNERS, and our OFFICE MANAGER, our company has over 140 combined years of experience in the remodeling industry, working on homes just like yours! Experience counts in this business. We choose our trades people very carefully, with a comprehensive vetting process, ensuring they share our vision for quality work. Visit our PHOTO GALLERY, review our COMPANY PORTFOLIO that we leave for every homeowner we visit, review our Testimonials or call our references and ask questions. We believe quality design and construction are essential when it comes to improving your home. Why trust your valued home, your most important asset, in the hands of the lowest bidder?
Q.16 Are your cabinets custom-built?
A.16 We are creative when it comes to cabinetry. We often find and convert special furniture pieces into bathroom vanities. Many of our cabinets are “special order” and considered “semi-custom” cabinetry. With over 100 stain/paint color choices, in 40 different door styles, in 7 or more different species of wood, you’ve got some serious choices. When you multiply those choices by the various finish options such as stained, burnished, glazed, highlighted, painted, vintage, and vintage patina finishes, for all intents and purposes, the cabinetry becomes “Custom Built”, but without the custom built price tag. Our INTERIOR DECORATOR’s involvement will ensure that the selection process will meet all of your needs, with a keen eye to fitting your budgetary requirements.
Q.17 Do you have architects on staff?
A.17 No. We strongly believe in utilizing a DESIGN TEAM approach. Our RESIDENTIAL DESIGNER has over 45 years of hands-on experience in the remodeling world. He utilizes the sophisticated CHIEF ARCHITECT software program to create color, 3-D drawings of our blueprints in great detail, presented in a 36” x 24” format. Our DESIGN CONSULTANT and INTERIOR DECORATORS bring a wealth of knowledge to the drawing table, coming from a variety of professional disciplines that contribute to their ability to imagine and develop beautiful projects. Our clients benefit from our DESIGN TEAM approach and their collaborative efforts. For structural engineering to supplement our design, we contract out for proper engineering and load-bearing specs, having each blueprint engineer-stamped on an as-needed basis.
Q.18 Do we need an architect?
A.18 In our experience, that would be highly unlikely. If you’re looking for an addition to complement a 50’s brick bungalow, we can do that. If you’re looking for a 2nd story made to look like it was always there, we can do that. If you’re looking for a complex, multi-level addition to be designed for a contemporary, we can do that. In Michigan, if your project involves an addition of 3,500 SF, or more, being added to the existing square footage of the home, you’ll need an architect, and we would not hesitate to recommend one. If your project involves highly-detailed preservation or historical work in a historic district with building deed restrictions, you’ll need an architect. And we would not hesitate to recommend an architect, should we find that is the situation in your case.
Q.19 Can you give a guaranteed start date?
A.19 When our clients sign their Build Agreement, we give an “Anticipated Start Date”, usually simply the month we intend to start. At any given time, each Lead Carpenter is scheduled for at least two or three jobs in advance. We cannot give a “guaranteed” start date, because it is impossible to predict the exact duration of the preceding jobs to which that Lead Carpenter has already been committed. Sometimes, unforeseeable, but pre-existing conditions arise on a job and cause delays. Often, a client will decide to add work to the body of the contract after we have already begun construction. Rather than leave a job only partially finished, it has long been 21ST CENTURY BUILDING COMPANY’S policy to stick with each project until the clients can once again enjoy their home. Clients who have signed with our company and are awaiting the project to begin, receive regular updates from their DESIGN CONSULTANT or PROJECT MANAGER regarding the current schedule.
Q.20 Can you give a guaranteed finish date?
A.20 For a myriad of reasons, it is in 21ST CENTURY BUILDING COMPANY’S best interests to finish every project in a timely manner. Our reputation depends on it. A protracted schedule serves neither the client nor the contractor. We cannot “guarantee” a completion date due to the possibility of pre-existing conditions to correct, additional work requests by homeowners, and occasional weather considerations or interruptions.
Q.21 Do your agreements contain a penalty clause for “late” completion?
A.21 No. The concept of a “Penalty Clause” (the practice of the contractor discounting the final invoice a certain dollar amount for every day beyond the “Guaranteed Completion Date” a project is not delivered) is most commonly associated with new home construction. A new-home buyer, who usually needs to sell and move out of their existing home on a particular date per the sales contract, requires careful scheduling. If delivery of the new home is delayed even a few weeks, it can result in significant expense to the seller, including potentially having to move twice before the Certificate of Occupancy can be issued. Because new homes are “pre-designed” models, and have presumably been built several times, the builder/developer is expected to be able to predict the Completion Date, predicated on past experience. In remodeling, every job is a prototype. While a professional remodeler can make educated assumptions about the condition of a home based on its age, style, and other clues, it is impossible to know just exactly what may be hiding in the walls of that 40+ year old structure.
Q.22 Why will our project take that long?
A.22 A very common misperception is that Remodeling work is comparable to New Construction. Drive by any new development and you’ll see a crew of a dozen people all working to build the same house at the same time. Drive by a couple times over the course of a couple months, and the house will be nearly completed. So shouldn’t remodeling “just a bathroom” take only a week or two? No. Remodeling work needs to happen sequentially. Spatial constraints alone limit the number of people that can efficiently work on a given job. Walls and floors are rarely plumb and level in older homes. Tile must be set before the Euro glass door can be measured. Cabinets must be in place before granite can be measured. It is not possible, or even safe, to have a carpenter, plumber, and electrician all working simultaneously in your bathroom!
Q.23 Can you break this quote down line-itme by line-item?
A.23 Purchasing a REMODELING Project or a DESIGN/BUILD project is more like buying a car than a list of groceries. When you buy a car, the “base price” includes everything you need to be able to drive it off the lot and operate it safely. You do not have separate prices for the engine, the windshield, the bucket seats, etc. You may, however, select “packages” to upgrade the vehicle in a variety of ways – special rims, sound system, leather, etc. We handle our REMODELING and DESIGN/BUILD projects for our clients in much the same way. If we’re developing a Kitchen project, we will come back to the client with a “base-price” for the Kitchen required to create a beautiful, functional Kitchen that will meet the needs identified by the clinet during the Goals Assessment. Then if our client wants to know, “How much more would it be for cherry cabinets instead of maple?” or “How much would we save if we didn’t replace the window?” those options are priced.
Q.24 What’s your mark up?
A.24 21ST CENTURY BUILDING COMPANY prices its projects to produce an 8% – 10% net profit, which is used to grow the company.
Q.25 Can we provide the materials and do some of the work ourselves?
A.25 Most products, like windows, doors, siding, cabinetry, countertops, fittings, and fixtures are intrinsically linked to the building process. Order accuracy, timeliness, quality shipping, and condition upon arrival, all play into our ability to assure a smooth-run project, for which we take total responsibility. Our reputation relies on smooth running projects. Occasionally, a client requests to do part of the work themselves. If it is work that you are legally allowed to do in your own home, and which does not intersect the critical path of 21ST CENTURY BUILDING COMPANY’S work schedule, have at it. Demolition and painting are two more commonly requested owner-supplied labor aspects. As long as the demolition is completed and hauled away before we start the project, and the priming/painting is begun after we’re completed with the services for which we were contracted, we would agree to these requests. We would be happy to discuss other types of client involvement on a case-by-case basis.
TOP