FAQs

Q?

When can you start?

A.

Behind the scenes, we start immediately ordering long lead time items, getting permits, etc.  Actual work could start as early as 1 week, but is typically more like 2 to 3 weeks before work on your site begins.

Q?

What is the square foot cost of an addition?

A.

This is very difficult to determine as there are more variables than Carter has liver pills.* For example site access, tying into existing construction, quality and types of materials, level of expertise required, upgrades of existing mechanical and electric are only a few of the details that can significantly impact the cost of the project.  So unless you are doing the exact same cookie cutter box on the back of your house over and over, the square foot cost can only be determined after the costs are figured and the square footage is divided into the overall price.

* the phrase “more ___ than Carter’s has liver pills” means “a great quantity” and was coined following the advertisement of a popular patented medicine into the 1960’s.

Q?

What is the difference between an “estimate” and a “price?”

A.

An “estimate” is just that … an “estimate” or basic idea of the costs you can expect from a project.  At Leo F Johns we prefer to give you firm detailed quotes.   Even though this process sometimes takes more effort and time on our part, it also helps bring to light many of the hidden things that other remodeling firms eventually will charge extra you for after you have already sign the contract.  At Leo F Johns - our price is really what the cost will actually be.

Q?

What is the best way to communicate?

A.

Speaking directly with your superintendent is the best way to keep communications clear and focused.  He is on the site everyday and will address any of your concerns in a timely manner. Email is popular and convenient for our customers that are on the go and also helps provide a written record of requests.

Q?

Can you provide references?

A.

Absolutely.  Leo F. Johns Contractor, Inc. has built a solid foundation of satisfied customers since 1976, and is why 97% of our business comes from referrals and repeat customers.   Visit our testimonials page for a few of our references.

Q?

Will my project be assigned a supervisor or contact person?

A.

Yes. Prior to starting any work, we will have a preconstruction meeting where you will be introduced to the supervisor responsible for producing your project.  At that time we will also begin discussing start times, access, yard signs, children, pets, portable toilet locations, etc.

Q?

Does your company offer a warranty on all workmanship?

A.

Yes, we offer a 1 year warranty on all work along with all manufacturers’ warranties.

Q?

Can I make changes to the scope of work once the project has started?

A.

Yes, this is your home and although we try to nail down all the details prior to the work actually beginning - sometimes it is a work in progress. If you cannot visualize the completed project, we understand this and we remain flexible. Changes and additional work authorizations and any associated fees are agreed upon up front and before commencing with the work.

Q?

Are you licensed and insured?

A.

Yes, we are licensed in the state of Virginia, carry general liability, workers compensation and completed operations insurance.  Workers compensation is a critical requirement for any contractor, as it protects you from having to pay for medical bills should someone who is working on your property get injured.

Q?

How long have you been in business?

A.

Leo F. Johns Contractor, Inc. is a family run business that was established in 1976 by Leo Johns, Jean Pattenaude’s father. The company was succeeded by Jean and her husband Pattenaude upon Leo’s retirement in 1996.

Q?

Can we stay in our home during the remodeling process?

A.

Yes, although there are exceptions.  Most of our customers stay at home during the remodeling process, and we do everything possible not to disrupt your day to day life, including our unique dust wall system and external debris transfer.  Our testimonials are proof positive this is something we take very seriously.

Q?

Why should I remodel my home?

A.

Our clients choose to remodel their homes for a variety of reasons -- they love the location, the school district or the home itself and they want to keep the things they love, while making the home more appropriate for their current lifestyle.  Others decide to remodel so they don't sell and trigger tax consequences.  Remodeling can also be an investment -- upgrades such as kitchens and baths or replacing laminate countertops to granite countertops can increase the resale value of your home. All too often when finishing a project we hear our clients comment, “I wish I would have done this sooner.”

Q?

What has been the most challenging project you’ve tackled?

A.

When you’ve been in business as long as we have, you encounter quite a few challenging projects.  Historical restoration is fun but it can be quite a challenge.  I would have to say that an addition we did in Norfolk presented the best challenge.  We had to temporarily shore up a couple of three-story double-brick walls along with a full masonry fireplace that was still functioning.

We then removed the first floor portion of the brick walls in order to install two massive steel beams with columns. This opened up the house to the addition, and all this without cracking the tile in the bath above!  After this job was complete the owners told me that the other contractors that had looked at the project said it couldn’t be done.   I love a challenge.

Q?

To which professional organizations does Leo F. Johns Contractor, Inc. belong?

A.

TBA (Tidewater Builders Association), NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) and we are CAPS (Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist) certified.

We are an EPA Lead-Safe certified firm, certified under the Renovation, Repair and Repainting rules.

tba_logo-1002ideNahb-logo-100wideCertifried-Aging-in-place-100wide   EPA-lead-certified-100wide

Q?

What is CAPS and what is meant by aging-in-place?

A.

Certifried-Aging-in-place-100wideBeing CAPS certified means we have the knowledge, the resources and the tools to help retrofit homes in ways that allow people to “age-gracefully- in-their-own- place,” safely, independently, and comfortably. It also encompasses the special knowledge and skills required to accommodate for disabilities and any limitations to movement in a home. The CAPS program was developed in collaboration with the AARP, NAHB Research Center, and NAHB Seniors Housing Council, and was created to provide comprehensive, practical, market-specific information about working with older and maturing adults, and those with disabilities, to remodel their homes for safety, mobility and aging-in-place.

Q?

Do I need to pay any money in advance to begin my remodeling project?

A.

Not with LFJ, unless it is for design work. You will receive an invoice at the end of each month for the percentage of work that is complete. Since we do not take your money up front, you may rest assured that we need to finish your project in a timely manner in order to collect our final payment.

Q?

Who pays for all permits required for a remodeling project?

A.

Permits are included in the cost of the project. The contractor should always purchase the permit because this ensures he or she has the proper licensing and it allows you to seek redress from the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) should the Contractor fail to perform.

Q?

Are permits really necessary for my project?

A.

In most cases, yes. Normally permits means a third party is reviewing the plans and inspecting the work.  This will provide peace of mind that your project is being performed safely and up to proper codes.

Q?

What can cause delays on my project?

A.

Unfortunately delays are a reality of any building/renovation project.   Normally they are caused by special ordered items or items not in stock.  Changes of the original design and indecision on the part of the owners, and severe weather can also impact the job and cause delays.