Hiring the wrong contractor, especially one that seems cheap, is an expensive mistake. Often a bid seems lowest because it's not accurate, with the contractor not spotting mistakes in the design or staying quiet about it until later when they turn in costly change orders after work has begun. Even in the lucky instance that everything seems fine immediately upon completion, it's the ongoing repair and maintenance costs over the years caused by their shortcuts that make those cheap companies the most costly choice possible.
The contractors who save you money are the ones that do quality work using good materials. In fact it's possible to build a virtually maintenance-free house or remodel but you need the right contractor.
The Napa Valley firm Vintage Builders in Napa CA is one that has stayed very busy since it was founded 17 years ago mostly through customer referrals. We interviewed owner Curtis Hayes to find out why customers of Vintage Builders are so quick to recommend them to family and friends as the contractor who gives honest, accurate bids at the outset, and who saves them money by doing work that looks better and lasts longer, whether it be for remodels or repairs, a new custom home or their specialty of concrete work including foundations and floors.
Work That Lasts From Vintage Builders in Napa County
Curtis Hayes tells us that it's okay to buy a new car based on price because it's the same car from dealer to dealer, but not with builders. He says, "A construction process is very different from person to person and one builder can do a house that's maintenance-free for the next 20 years, where work from another builder is an expensive maintenance nightmare."
He tells of one recent client who hired another contractor to put in new windows and has been paying for it ever since. "Few people know that with new windows the factory hasn't primed the wood jambs. The original contractor put them in without priming the wood and with cheap paper behind them, and so now they're rotting inside. He has to pay carpenters and painters $12,000 every two years for labor and materials to have the rotten wood replaced when the original installer could have primed them at a cost of $40 a window."
Curtis says that kind of extra attention to detail is what's given Vintage Builders a reputation in Napa County for work that lasts like no one else's. "It's cheaper to just use wood without priming it first and that's why others just put it in raw and then dry rot sets in 10 years later. At Vintage Builders we fully prime all wood including the ends before putting it together, even the framing on a new house. I constructed my own house and in 20 years it's never had to be painted. You can build homes that way, maintenance-free, but you have to know how and you have to care like we do."
Curtis Hayes and Vintage Builders in Napa CA for Honest, Accurate Bids
When an architect makes a mistake on a design or includes something on paper that won't work in reality, many contractors don't account for it and so only seem like the lowest bidder at first. They've either missed the mistake or they've deliberately avoided telling you, knowing they'll just add that cost later, after they've got the job. Unlike those companies, Vintage Builders is known for accurate estimates due to their expertise and superior planning. Curtis Hayes tells us, "We build the whole job in our mind from start to finish and then put it on paper. That way, everything is accounted for, including mistakes in the architect's plans that we catch."
Other contractors seem like the lowest bidder because they've just estimated based on a standard cost per square foot but that doesn't work for custom home building or remodels. Curtis explains, "There's a lot of details involved in those projects that aren't accounted for in a price quote based only on square footage." Many builders know this but say that if they bid it honestly the bid will be too high and they won't get the job. But Vintage Builders gives accurate estimates, even if it means they lose the job to someone less honest who will be bumping up the price later.
Curtis Hayes, Napa CA Local
Curtis Hayes was born and raised in Napa and has lived here all his life. "When I was young, Napa was all cattle country, very little grapes," he tells us. His father was a new home builder here and Curtis grew up in the trade. Later when he went to work for others, he was always the one chosen to run the crews and in 1994 he founded Vintage Builders in his hometown of Napa CA. He and his wife raised three children here in the county he loves. When he can find the time Curtis enjoys nature, especially fishing. Several years ago he caught a 51-pound striped bass in the Napa River during the fishing derby which he enters each year. Friends say Curtis is stable and reliable and customers cite his passion for building and willingness to explain to them the process, how to do it right, and spotting problems in their design plans and solving them.
If you really want to save money on your project, it's by hiring a contractor who gives problem-free results by using good materials and construction methods, and who gives accurate estimates by thinking through the whole project from start to finish before committing it to paper with the expertise to spot and solve design problems before the work has begun. That's exactly what Vintage Builders in Napa County has been doing since 1994 and it's why they stay so busy, and why Curtis Hayes is recommended so often by customers to their family and friends as the expert builder with the expertise and the passion for work that lasts. "I enjoy building," Curtis says. "And knowing that the work we do, whether remodels or new construction will hold up trouble-free for decades like good construction should. I look at every project we do as making another contribution to Napa County, and because I was born and raised here, I make sure it's something I can be proud of."