Frequently Asked Questions

During big construction projects, stuff happens. People change their minds, the contractor finds out that something else may be more suitable for you and your home, life remains unpredictable, etc…

Communication is everything when it comes to entrusting a contractor with your home remodel and repairs. For the homeowner, what matters is being able to trust your contractor to do exactly what you want and to do it well. For the contractor, it’s important to make sure the work is profitable and that the homeowner is satisfied. Best Austin Handyman ensures that each project is equitable for us and the homeowner. The proof of this actually being the case is on Angie’s List, where there are over 400 A-rating reviews from satisfied customers.

The main difference between Best Austin Handyman and other companies is that we work on a person’s home, not a house. We’re thinking about Austinites in their day-to-day living and the long-term value of their homes. We call that holistic home repair.

Often times, Best Austin Handyman ends up being the most expensive estimate, and the homeowner will still choose us for these reasons: We’re excellent at communicating and highly skilled at design—these are the qualities that make homeowners “more comfortable” with us than other contractors. We work with the homeowner and will adjust the project and the pricing to fit the homeowner’s budget. If you want to make an upgrade to your home that doesn’t make financial sense, we will encourage you not to!

In most cases, Best Austin Handyman is not the cheapest price because we pay all of our employees a living wage. We operate this way because it makes sense: if you pay people a good wage, they will do good work; an average wage will yield average work. We consider our employees as clients too, so their satisfaction is greatly valued. Happy employees will do quality work, making homeowners happy, which is what we love to do!

At Best Austin Handyman, we’re looking at the long-term value for your home. As far as we’re concerned, there’s not a temporary alternative to lasting quality work.

The first question to consider when taking on a new remodeling project is: do you have a good sense of what you want the finished product to look like? If the answer is “yes”, you do not need to hire a designer; If “no”, hire a designer from Best Austin Handyman to fully assist you in planning your bathroom and/or kitchen remodel. There are three crucial steps to take when kick-starting your project:

  1. Create a plan. Best Austin Handyman’s designers are skilled at leading you through the process of selecting materials and mapping out the initial outline of your remodeling plan. The cost of a design consultation is $95 an hour and is well worth the price, providing everything you need to get your basic design that is specific to your preferences. Design consultations through other companies cost on average $125 an hour, and considering a bathroom remodel typically takes five hours to design a plan, hiring your consultant through Best Austin Handyman can save you around $150 with a designer that is just as experienced and knowledgeable. Of the time it takes to plan a remodel with a consultant, a large portion of that time is spent on the materials selection. The materials for your remodel are suggested according to your bathroom/kitchen’s overall design concept as well as your budget. If you’re confident in selecting your own materials, you may not need to hire a designer at all; If you want a second opinion about your choice of materials or just the basic design of the full remodel by a professional, the consultation will take less time, costing less.
  2. Price your plan. Once the basic design of your project is complete, your consultant will help you price your plan. The material costs are included on the plan if purchasing your materials through Best Austin Handyman. The remaining costs are the estimated labor costs for your remodel, while the actual labor costs can only be determined by how long it takes to complete the project. Pricing your plan represents a detailed estimate of the overall costs you can expect from the remodel.
  3. Schedule your remodel! There is a trick to scheduling the remodeling of your bathroom or kitchen that will have the job done faster and costing less. Basically, remodeling any room is easier when you’re not home, whether you’re on vacation or are not yet living there. When you’re on vacation, we can freely move things around without having to worry about people needing to access any aspect of the work area itself. If you’ve not yet moved into the home where the remodeling is taking place, it’s even easier. The reason we want you to consider scheduling your project for those times is because the overall cost is easily increased by ten percent when working around each other, a pretty substantial increase when it comes to larger projects and remodeling.

Yes. We will install new or old appliances and if you are buying a new appliance, your warranty may be contingent on using the vendors installer. We do not repair appliances.

Best Austin Handyman is insured and licensed to do both commercial and residential work. They will work with you whether or not you need a permit for your project. If you have any questions about permits and want to know whether or not you should get a permit for your project, visit the City of Austin website or call the Permit Center at 512-978-4000.

Weatherization refers to a means of protecting your building or home from the elements using weatherproofing methods and insulation, usually with the intention of saving energy and sealing off air leaks. For those who are interested in energy-saving techniques and cool tricks, there are many aspects of weatherization you may consider.

The primary means of weatherizing your home is to seal off any air leaks, which serves a dual purpose. Sealing off air leaks prevents your warm or cool air from escaping, plus, it keeps outside air and moisture from entering your home. If air leaks are not properly sealed off, your heating and cooling systems are working harder and using more energy than they otherwise would. This article is very informative and details many simple ways to weatherize different areas of your home.

Another way to save money when weatherizing your home is to apply for Energy Efficiency Rebates. Austin Energy offers rebates for many energy-efficient modifications made to your home. 

$2-15 per square foot.

As for the rest of the costs, what are you installing the tile on top of? Is the floor already prepped?

Best Austin Handyman charges $2 per foot to remove existing flooring.

If it’s a concrete floor, you have to make sure it’s level before any tile can be installed. If it’s a pier and beam house (meaning you don’t have concrete slab foundation) you gotta install wood, then hardy board, then Tile over hardy board. Best Austin Handyman goes a step further. After installing an initial layer of wood, they install a layer of Polymer fortified mortar, then hardy board, then another layer of Polymer fortified mortar, and finally the tile. The polymer fortified mortar allows the floor to shift without ruining the layout of the tile. This is important because your floor is going to shift anyway!

That’s all the prep.

Next question is: What type of tile are we installing?

Saltillo slate and other natural stone products are not all uniform in size, so it takes time to properly lay it down which ultimately means the higher the labor costs. Installing mosaic tile takes longer as well, because the tiles are smaller than one square foot (the average size of your average square tile). If you have really big tile, it lays faster, and less time means lower labor costs.

Another aspect of tile installation to consider: is your tile pre-sealed? Sealing tile means rolling or brushing a finish onto the face of the tile to ensure it doesn’t soak anything up. Not all tile comes pre-sealed. If your tile isn’t pre-sealed, we recommend sealing it during installation. Whether or not the floor is already prepped, whichever kind of tile you want to install, it’s ultimately a matter of how many guys are on the job and how many days it takes to complete that will primarily determine the overall cost.

The cost of wood flooring is about $3-10 per square foot. This includes woods like birch, oak, and maple. There are other much more expensive and exotic woods found at wood flooring specialty stores.

As for the rest of the costs, what are you installing the wood on top of? Is the floor already prepped? Best Austin Handyman charges $.50-$2 per SF to remove existing flooring and prep for new floors.

If it’s a concrete floor, you have to make sure it’s level and sealed before anything can be installed.

If it’s a pier and beam house (meaning you don’t have concrete slab foundation) you will need a sound sub-floor (usually 3/4 tongue and groove plywood over LEVELED pier and beam) then Hardie board, then your choice of wood flooring over Hardie board. The labor costs are ultimately determined by how many are on the job and how long it takes.

There are also alternatives to real hardwood flooring that resemble wood flooring and have their own benefits. See my post on plank vinyl flooring if you’re interested in an inexpensive and waterproof wood flooring alternative. 

The cost of installing a new deck is unique to each project and impossible to accurately generalize. That being said, it’s safe to say that any new deck is going to be a considerable investment, no matter the circumstances. 

The permit set of construction drawings is: the minimal set of drawings and information the local jurisdiction requires in order to issue permits.  The permit set includes basic information such as floor plans, elevations, sections, site plan, some details and very general material and system notes and references.

Deciding on products and materials is a larger process than most imagine.  Remodelers are inundated with options.   Product selection, sourcing, and delivery are one of the primary reasons for project timelines to be extended.  Making your selections in advance and having as many materials as possible on site before start of project will help to keep the process smooth and timelines realistic.

  1. What is our tentative timeline?
  2. What is the payent schedule?
  3. What are possible complications that can be foreseen?
  4. Who is the point for communication on my project?
  5. How do you deal with possible additional charges?
  6. What is your warranty policy?