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FAQs on remodeling and more...

During the remodeling process, we hear some of the same questions again and again.  Here are some of the most common ones. Have a question you don't see here?  Send in your question about remodeling, home maintenance , etc. by clicking here and we will get back to you!


Budgeting/Cost of Construction                                              

What are Markups?
Owner Provided Material/Labor, Can I do it?
How is the cost of job estimated?
Why are allowances in a contract?
What are hidden conditions?
What is a fixed price versus a cost-plus contract?   
Cost/Value Report, What does it mean?
Should I move or improve?
What’s an average price per square foot of an addition?


Design  (Design/Build and Design Trends)

What is Design/Build?  (find this on website)
Do I need to pay for design?
How valuable is a free estimate?
What the difference between sketches and construction documents?
Do I need an architect?
What is Better Living Design?
When do I need a permit?


Production Process

What’s a typical day on the job look like? (security, who’s there, how often)
How do I keep my house secure?
What about pets?
What about curious kids?
What’s a preconstruction conference?

House Maintenance

How often should I change batteries on my smoke detectors?
What are CO detectors?  Should I buy one?
What’s the difference in furnace filters?
Is there a really good gutter screen?
What are ice dams?  Are they harmful? How can you stop them?
Can you power wash roof shingles?


Building Science

 What is enough insulation?
 Which insulation is best?
What’s the difference between insulation and air infiltration?
Why are my pipes freezing in an insulated space?
 Are there different types of spray foam?
Why is attic ventilation important?
Should my crawlspace be insulated?
What is housewrap?  How does it work?
Why does my fireplace not draft correctly?


 How do I find the newest in building products?
 Should I buy online?
 What is the difference between big box stores and specialty showrooms?
 What should I buy and what should the builder/remodeler supply?
 Are all warranties the same?



Can I put a full basement next to an existing crawlspace?
Is a basement always better than a crawl?
 Are two stories more cost effective than a larger single story?
 On a ranch, is it cheaper to go up or add onto the ground floor?
 Is zoning always an issue with an addition?
Will I need to replace my furnace and air conditioner?
 I have a septic tank, can I add on between it and the house?



What is the kitchen “triangle”?
 Are quartz countertops more expensive than granite?
What is the correct thickness for countertops?
Can I install new countertops on existing cabinets?
What are the more popular backsplash options?
How many countertop outlets do I need to install?



How do you build a no-threshold shower?
What should I consider in selecting a shower valve?
How can I avoid being scalded when the toilet is flushed?
What are the advantages/disadvantages of a linear drain (trench drain)?
Are bath fans mandatory or are they just a convenience?
How do I plan a bathroom for all members of my family?

Lower Levels

 Can I put a wood floor in my lower level?
 I have stained foundation walls, it that a problem?
 Do I have to have an egress window when I finish my basement?
 Are bathrooms easily added?
What do I need to make the basement stairs comfortable and convenient?
 How low can the ceiling be throughout the lower level?


What is this I hear about composite decking?
What kind of maintenance is required to maintain a deck?
Should I step down from a doorway onto a deck surface?
Should there be spacing between the deck boards?
Do I need a permit to build a deck?
Are railings required for all decks?
Is it better to consider a deck or patio if I’m close to grade?



What is an attic truss?
How much room does a stairway take up?
 Are there headroom requirements in order to finish an attic?
 How much stuff can I store in my attic?
 I want to make an attic bedroom. What are some considerations?
 What is considered proper ventilation?


Do I need to finish my attached garage?
Are smoke detectors required in a garage?
Will my furnace heat my attached garage?
Why are garage floors always sloped?
How close to my house can I build a detached garage?
What is the smallest footprint of a usable two car garage?

Porches and Patios

Can I enclose my concrete patio?
Will a portico entry make my house look better?
What options do I have for my porch floor?
What is a Florida room, the same as a three season?
 Are there different screening types/systems?
What are maintenance free materials I might use?



How many layers of shingles can I have on my roof?
Do metal roofs cost more?
How do I know if my roof needs replacing?
What are options for low slope roofs?
Should I replace my gutters when I re-roof?
What is ice-guard, is it worth the money?
How easily are skylights installed?



What are the popular choices for siding besides vinyl or aluminum?
 Are there other choices than wood for trim features?
What’s this fiber cement siding all about?
Is residing expensive?
Can you match my existing siding if remodeling or adding an addition?


Windows and Doors

What is the difference between a full frame and an insert?
Will new windows keep the house warmer?
Wood clad, vinyl, fiberglass, steel, wood, HELP?
Is a patio door wise to use a main entrance?
What are the differences between sliding and French (double) doors?
What is the most energy efficient and easy to use window type?



My bath fans vent into the attic. Is that a problem?
What are water heater venting options?
What is a variable speed blower fan?
Is there a minimum or ideal size of electrical service?
How long does an AC compressor usually last?
How do I find out the size of my electrical service?
Do I need a sump pump?
How do I find out the correct size of a water heater to suit our needs?


Why do you need to check for lead based paint?

Remodeling your home should be an exciting, enjoyable experience. We take pride in providing:

  • Exciting craftsmanship
  • Personal service
  • Respect for your home and family
  • A celebration of the remodeling experience

Integrity has been the hallmark of our service for more than 32 years. If you would like to know more about our exceptional commitment to this principle, we'll be glad to introduce you to our strongest advocates - our previous clients.

"As first-time remodelers, Owens made the planning and construction process easy for us. Owens focuses on bringing in the project on budget, and delivers a great product."

-Jaclyn and Matt, Worthington

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