Much Thanks

It is hard to believe we are officially into the “Holiday” season. With Thanksgiving around the corner and a significant fall rainstorm in October, it is really feeling like the Holidays are upon us.

During this time, I like to reflect back and think of the connections that occurred throughout the year. Connecting with people has been challenging with the pandemic we have experienced for the last 20 months. Resurrecting connections can sometimes also be difficult. The team at Morse is extremely thankful for those clients that have reached out to our company for their second or third renovations over the last year. I’m happy to share that we have one client using our services for the 4th time in our 25+ year history. Thank you so much for your continued business.

Our entire team is grateful for the opportunity to serve all of our new clients as well, especially during a year that was challenging in many ways. We appreciate all of our trade partners, clients, and vendors and wish everyone a wonderful, healthy, and joyful fall season. Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo Essay: Before/During/After

AFTER: This MCH&R project featured an addition to the front of the house that included a new entry.

BEFORE: Our client wished to expand the traditional home and construct a new dining room, powder bath, and expanded entry to the front of the house.

During: The original T1-11 siding and trellis were removed for the expansion tie in.

BEFORE

DURING

AFTER: Mixing the traditional sloped roof and original siding of the garage with the contemporary boxed addition, finished with stucco siding, provided an appealing and playful front façade.

BEFORE

DURING

AFTER

5 Elements to Consider in Hiring a Home Improvement Contractor Part II

By Marty Morse

Securing and hiring a remodeling company can be a cumbersome task for any homeowner. Finding accurate answers to questions you may have can be difficult to sort through with the amount of information found on the internet. By breaking down the nuts and bolts of this endeavor, I was able to define 5 important elements to consider when hiring a contractor to work on your home. They are as follows: License and Insurance, References of Past and Current Projects, Quality, Detailed Estimates, and Communication. Last month, I focused on contractor’s license/insurance and references of past and current clients. In this Morse Monthly, I will focus on Quality and Cost Estimating:

Quality: Choosing a contractor that has been in business for several years typically means that the company is knowledgeable and hires seasoned and skilled carpenters and trade partners. However, I commonly step into situations with a prospective customer and get to see the quality of work that the homeowner received from previous projects with other contractors. Sometimes, a lack of quality can be hidden behind walls and come back and haunt the customer later. Other times, it is in plain sight and the finish is substandard.

MCH&R uses photos of our projects to share our expectation of a high level of quality with our clients. Setting clear expectations about the quality of workmanship and products used for your project is very important. I recommend homeowners express their expectation of the finish by sharing examples of finishes that are acceptable in their home, as well as some that are not acceptable. Discussing the quality level of products and materials in the design phase is a very important parameter because it can also dictate the final cost of a project. Cost: Detailed estimating relates to clarifying the scope of work and providing costing that represents the implementation of the derived scope. One of the most common issues homeowners complain about in the home improvement industry is that the project surpassed the agreed upon price when the contract was signed. One of the main reasons this happens is because the scope of work was not spelled out in detail and/or there was a lack of expectation for the customer or the contractor.

Foreshadowing the details required for a successful installation requires time, research, and good communication in order to accurately represent the cost associated with the products and skilled labor for the install. This MCH&R glass bar top entailed collaborative efforts and time investment by the glass manufacturer, the countertop manufacturer, the cabinet maker, and the electrician. Being thorough with estimating takes a great deal of time and energy, however, it is mandatory for a successful project. Design Build firms specialize in the planning, design, and estimating phase of the project, and use their building knowledge to successfully predetermine all costs prior to the commencement of the project. Expectations are set forth by spending time explaining what the scope of work includes and the details required for the finished product.


Reviewing the details with trade partners during the design phase of a project is imperative to acquiring accurate costing that represents the deliverables to the homeowner. Good estimating engages the trades, identifies potential issues, and reviews all aspects of the project and scope of work. Customers should expect their contractors to spend time with them to review all details, inclusions, exclusions, and full scope of work when presenting the contract price for the project. The customer should know exactly what they are receiving for the agreed upon price. Next month, I will focus on the importance of good, concise communication as the 5th element to consider when hiring a contractor to work on your home.

Design, Build, and Enjoy!

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