Frequently Asked Questions

Every project is unique, just as every homeowner is unique. When we talk with our potential clients there are regularly asked questions, but there are many “distinct to my project” questions. Below we have developed a summary of these such questions.

Preparation Questions

Finding the right contractor is the first step. The most important factors to consider are trust and compatibility between the homeowner and the contractor.  The NJW team is client focused; we build relationships by getting to personally know our clients, understanding their project and listening to their expectation of both the contractor and the project. We look forward to hearing our clients’ input, as we realize a client’s home is as unique as they are; a place representing their own personality and style.  We value open communication though all phases of your project; from the initial estimate, into the design and build phase, to the completion of your project and including the final clean up.

To any company you entrust your home, they should have an excellent reputation with their previous clients and should receive rave reviews on their quality, craftsmanship and ability to provide on the budget agreed upon.  Below are some ways you can verify the above-mentioned character traits of any contracting firm in the Columbus market area.

  • We suggest you do your homework and utilize the many online sources, such as Google Plus, HOUZZ, Angie’s List, and of course the local Better Business Bureau.
  • Reviews can be in the form of personal references, as well. Do not hesitate to ask for client contact information on a company’s last three jobs performed, as well as two comparable jobs to the project remodel or addition you are considering.  NJW is always ready to share an extensive list of previous clients that are ready to discuss their experience with our team.
  • Check a company’s affiliations and local building associations.

To make your final decision you can compare estimates, rank in priority of customer satisfaction and judge based on each specific contractor’s portfolio. But ultimately when it comes down to it, you have to go with the contracting team that is a comfortable fit with your family.  Will they keep your investment as their number one priority, while being sensitive to all the family members who will be affected during this process?

When hiring a remodeling contractor, ensure they carry both liability insurance and workers’ compensation.  We suggest, for your protection,  you request to view their current liability certificates.  To ease the mind of our potential clients, NJW will gladly present these documents during our initial consult.

We also suggest you contact your insuring agent to revisit your current homeowner’s policy.  Depending on the size and scope of your project you may want to consider boosting your policy limits to protect your newest investment.  Additionally, you may want to inquire into any other appropriate add-on coverages to consider during the remodeling process.

We are proud to call Central Ohio home.  As we are located in the Lancaster/Carroll area, we have a larger presence in the southeast part of Central Ohio.  We will however work as far north as southern Delaware County and as far west as the I-270 corridor. Our southern boundary is Hocking Hills, while Zanesville is roughly our furthest point east.

Written agreements, estimates and contracts help to avoid disputes by providing specific written descriptions detailing services to be rendered and including a summarizing project completion cost.  3-D drawings, whether architectural plans or design/build plans, are a critical component to refining and outlining a clear understanding and vision of the project scope and should be requested by the homeowner as part of the contract signing package.  Typically, through thorough reviews of these documents most disputes can be eliminated due to the clarity defined within this package deal.  We recommend you do not settle for anything less.

Questions About the Process

We understand it is challenging to know if a project is within your family’s means.  That is why NJW provides this free service for our potential clients.  The initial consult and estimate will provide a budget range that will clarify some of the initial questions one might have.  We will meet with you within your home to discuss your project wish list and requirements, while previewing the project area and taking measurements to ensure that the remodel or addition is suitable to the home.

Estimates are the budget ranges you might expect to undertake whether it is a remodel or an addition.  These are typically very initial numbers that will evolve as project-specific requirements develop and are used to help a homeowner know whether the project scope fits the family budget.

Proposals are the refined project-specific numbers based on realistic selection allowances and a deep study of the project extents.  These proposals will ultimately turn into the contract agreement proposal that a homeowner and NJW will both sign off on and join forces.

Most of NJW’s remodel projects are large enough that they will require permits. If you sign with NJW, we will handle determining the need for permitting and submitting all the paperwork for these permit approvals. And to ease the mind even more, rest assured our supervisors will be present for all inspections.

These answers vary greatly depending on the scale of a project scope.  Once we have our initial consult, we should be able to provide a general guideline to both these questions.  Typically, our projects last anywhere from 6 weeks to 4 months and most of our clients live in their home during the remodel.  NJW takes great pride in not only our craftsmanship, but also in our cleanliness.  We will not promise your home will be dust free, but we will work hard to minimize the construction debris by utilizing drop cloths and covering HVAC registers when appropriate.  When a remodel expands into a whole home renovation, that is when we will initiate conversations about working in phases or if there is a possibility the homeowners might need to relocate for an extended time-period.  NJW believes communication is key to a successful and enjoyable remodel.

Once the contract is signed, no change can be made to the contract without written approval by both the contracting firm and the signing homeowners. Change orders can be the result of any of the following, but is not limited to only these exceptions:

  • Additional work desired by the homeowner.
  • Work agreed on by both parties that should be eliminated or reserved for a later time and needs to be credited.
  • Selections that remained in the contract as an allowance and requires either a credit or an addition to the contract total.

With NJW, you will always have to approve a change order and additional work will not ensue until an approval has been received. This is to everyone’s advantage as this alleviates surprise financial decisions at the end of a project.

NJW makes every effort to prepare ahead and keep your project moving the entire time we are under construction. Your home remodel will be handled by your own personal construction supervisor that will see your project through to completion. They will be on-site regularly, keeping systems running smoothly by ensuring that necessary materials and labor are present at the appropriate time. You can expect there will be daily conversation exchanged between this supervisor and yourself, so you will be aware if there will be that one- or two-day period when work will need to be paused.  However, you will find that most times when there is a required pause, it is due to remodeling processes. For example, the hardwood flooring might need additional time to dry, countertops might take 2 weeks to manufacture after measured, or possibly it is that last piece of the puzzle—the tile installation that needs to occur once the countertops are installed.

Design Oriented Questions

One thing that sets NJW apart from other contractors is our customer-centered approach throughout the design process.  NJW has Interior Designers on staff that are available to our clients as much or as little as one desires.  We encourage every client to experience an NJW showroom meeting to fully understand how our team and facility can assist throughout the design process.  Outside our showroom, NJW has many reliable partnerships with various vendors in the Columbus market who embrace the opportunity to share their knowhow with our clients.  These resources help you make the most of your budget and create a one-of-a-kind home.  If you have specific products that you want to incorporate into your home design, we are happy to include them in the plan sets.  All we request is any supporting documentation so we can most appropriately include these elements in our over-all design, as this is critical to ensure that everything is built to work in harmony.

NJW stands behind every remodel they undertake and that includes every component within a remodel. One reason we have been successful in our business is we do not compromise: whether on building practices, craftsmanship, or products and supplies. By supplying the materials for a remodel/addition we are better able to ensure that your project will live up to and surpass these expectations. We stake our name on it. As well, we leverage ourselves to make sure we can resolve any repair or warranty claim that may surface in the future. Being that your home is as unique as those who dwell in the home, we understand there may be products you really want to consider for your remodel. So, please share those with your NJW team; we realize there is an ever-evolving world of home innovations to be considered and we are open to explore technology.

A retainer agreement is a contract agreement between the homeowner and contractor to initiate the customization of conceptual drawings to guide conversation regarding potential building and remodeling processes. There is always a cost for utilizing this service through NJW Construction. We use CAD software to develop these plans for remodels that are contained within the existing footprint of a home, whether it is a kitchen or bathroom remodel or both. If you have designs drawn up by our team and decide to build with NJW, upon contract signing, we will credit the retainer cost out of the contract total.

When a project scope involves an addition to a home, we will encourage one to contact one of our many Columbus area reputable architectural firms to partner with and draft the required plans to assist NJW in the proper construction of your said project. Of course, NJW has a handful of architectural firms we partner with on a regular basis and we openly share those firm names if a client is interested in that information.

Company Specific Questions

NJW is available for consults Monday – Friday within 8AM – 5PM business hours.  We value family time, so evenings and weekends are limited; however, available upon request.  Those appointment times are reserved on a first come, first served basis.

NJW has always offered a one-year warranty on workmanship and structural design.  However, we are well aware homes have a character all their own and may settle and adjust over time.  We have earned a stellar reputation of service though our willingness to stand behind our work, thus we always are willing to talk through our past clients’ remodeling concerns and develop a game plan for the client or NJW to resolve a dilemma.

NJW does not want you to go over budget, either.  We know happy clients are those who receive what they were promised and within a comfortable and affordable budget established from the beginning.  We encourage you to ask questions and understand what is included in any contract price proposed to you.  NJW contracts are detailed and spell out specifics to the project evolution.  Undefined allowances are probably the #1 offenders causing a budget to bulge beyond the seams, so we make it the NJW goal to help our homeowners refine 90-95% of the selection allowances prior to contract signing.  On any project there is a possibility for unforeseen issues that may cause increases to the total cost.  However, NJW has been in this industry for over 20 years and we have seen, experienced and resolved many building concerns.

NJW does not currently offer any in-house financing. There is a very competitive financing market available to clients and we see fit to focus on our professional expertise, which is constructing—not financing. However, over the years we have worked with most major financial institutions and are considered an approved builder.  This should simplify your lending process. When it comes to credit cards, to keep overhead down and as low as possible, we have not turned to accepting credit cards as a form of payment.

Once you have taken possession of the home and it is in your name, we would be glad to provide our free initial estimate.  However, if the home is not in your name, we will only visit the home if you have a contract on the home and are willing to pay a consult fee of $500.00 for a walk-through budget range remodel assessment.  NJW wants to assist where we can, but we also want to ensure any potential client is truly serious about their commitment to any future remodels or additions.