Hours Monday - Friday 7:30-4
As a contractor we see many different homes with varying types of familys, backgrounds, and knowledge of the building industry. It is important as home owners to understand what you are purchasing from a contractor, why you are purchasing it, and what is involved in the services you have requested.
The first step in choosing a contractor is finding one you are comfortable talking to, and trust. There are websites that screen contractors and offer “get a quote” services for “free”. Those services are only free to those who don’t purchase anything. They do cost the contractor money, and those costs get wrapped into the advertising budget and passed along, though not directly, to the customers. Talk to a couple contractors who’s work you have seen either in person, don’t hesitate to stop at a work in progress that you like and talk, or though friends, family, or on the web.
Once you have found a contractor who you like, get along with, and trust, is fully understanding the quote given to you, not estimate. A quote is a hard number that should not change unless the scope of work changes due to project changes or unforeseeable existing conditions. An estimate is an educated guess that usually will go up at the end. The quote when compared to another must be similar enough for direct comparison. Make sure the numbers, and materials are the same, or same quality, and if needed, ask for changes to make them the same. Then they can be compared side by side. Once you have a side by side comparison of 2 contractors you like, then talk schedule, pay schedule, and ask some hard questions. Lots of contractors are good at the day to day, it’s how they handle things going wrong.
Make your choice, and stay in the loop of the project. If the schedule is falling behind, ask why, if there is something that doesn’t look right, raise your hand. Any contractor will be willing to explain why something done right, that may not look right, is done that way, or if it is wrong, fix it. Certain trades like drywall can usually be done at lower cost by a sub than by the general contractor, and these saving are both the home owners and the contractors. In cases of this, the general contractor may sub out this work.
Most contractors pay similar pricing to that available at the box stores with the benefit being they deal with the same person most every time, materials are days away, not weeks, and home delivery is most always included, so at the end of the day the quote from a box store that’s missing 10% of the material, won’t be available for a month, and is going to charge you $75 to deliver doesn’t look nearly as good.
Not all contractors are out to take you to the cleaners, and not all contractors are trying to up-sell you. There are a lot of good quality contractors who have been around a very long time and have a solid base of satisfied customers. These contractors tend to be a bit harder to find as they mostly are word of mouth advertisers and have a higher cost for the work because of their great reputation.
Apples to Apples
Always Check License and Bond! Protect Yourself, Your Home, and Your Family!
We use good quality, proven materials at a reasonable rate. We do most of our own design and drafting in house to keep the costs as low as we can.
We look at options that many homeowners or other contractors may not think about. Such as, our least expensive decking option is put down with a plastic collated stainless steel ring shank nail that is 3 times the price of a wire collated because it doesn’t have a wire barb that can be left, work its way up, and cut someone on the deck years later. This was very important to us to be standard on our decks because we know how many adults and children run and walk on a deck bare foot. We did not want anyone to hurt themselves on something we could have prevented.
On fences we use stainless steel nails instead of galvanized. We use good quality lumber from Parr Lumber.
For our interior work we can use any material specified by the customer, and while we provide guidance when we have history with a specific product, (both good and bad) ultimately it’s the home owners choice of what materials are going in their house.
One common concern we hear and see is regarding hiring a licensed and bonded contractor. Yes, you might be able to go to Home Depot or Craigslist and get a $15 dollar an hour guy, who works at half the pace of a journeyman, doesn’t have tools or transportation, and installs materials out of spec so there is no warranty. A year or two down the road when you have to do it again, are you really saving money with not going with a company that can guarantee their work? Then there’s also the chance of them getting hurt. If they are not a licensed contractor, they are your guest and are covered by your home owners insurance until the insurance finds out you were paying them for work under the table, then you pay out of pocket. Worse yet if you have a nonlicenced person build something that fails and hurts someone in the future, again you are liable, not your home owners insurance because it was knowingly done illegally.
Did you know you can look up someone's license and bond for free? It's as simple as typing in their name into the L&I website at https://secure.lni.wa.gov/verify/
Why Almgren Construction LLC?
Almgren Construction LLC is a family owned, local general contractor. Owned by Crystal Almgren and managed by John Almgren, Field Manager, and Steffany Johnson, Office Manager. We have an amazing crew of carpenters that, combined, have extensive knowledge of all fields of home building and remodel.
As a company, we sponsor local sports teams, participate in local events such as Strawberry Festival in Marysville, Kla Ha Ya Days in Snohomish and Aquafest in Lake Stevens.
In 2015, Almgren Construction LLC was approached by Amazon.com to help them launch their new program called Amazon Local Love. This program gets local nonprofits together with local contractors to help donate time to assist the nonprofit. We were partnered with Dawson Place in Everett which is a not for profit multidisciplinary team serving child victims of sexual or physical abuse in Snohomish County, Washington. Law enforcement, child protective services, medical, victim advocacy, prosecution, and mental health agencies all work together at Dawson Place to deliver the very best services to children and their families victimized by sexual or physical abuse. Together we repainted the interior of the building, upgraded the bathrooms, and improved their child interview recording equipment. It was an amazing opportunity and a project that is close to our hearts.