Frequently Asked Questions
Call Us Now! 407-347-3366
Call Us Now! 407-347-3366
The questions on this page are the ones that we have been asked most often by our clients and prospective clients.
The smartest strategy is to ask each contractor that you seriously considering hiring to provide all of their answers in writing. This will help you eliminate contractors that are reluctant to commit to their promises.
If they are talking about it or showing you what they plan on doing, the chances that they will do what they are saying is very slim. Avoiding those contractors is a smart move.
We will be happy to provide you with a complete copy of our consumer guide and step-by-step installation processes once we schedule our first meeting so you will have our answers in writing. We know this sets a standard that we can be proud of and that the majority of our competitors can’t match. Upon request we will gladly provide you with our written proof of compliance with each question.
Whether your dream is to build a new home, complete a much needed bathroom or kitchen makeover, add a master bedroom suite, complete a multi-room renovation project, we have the experience to complete your project on time and on budget.
We understand that success is not an accident. It is based on adherence to quality standards every day.
You can reach us via phone or email from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on normal business days.
We return all morning calls and emails by 1 p.m. and all afternoon calls and emails by 6 p.m.
We service the Greater Orlando Metro Area including: Orlando, Windermere, Winter Garden, Winter Park, Heathrow, Lake Mary, Longwood, Ocoee, Winter Springs, Altamonte Springs, Maitland, Casselberry, Sanford, Clermont, Belle Isle, Edgewood, Oviedo, Davenport and surrounding communities.
Yes. Our license number is #CBC 1255277.
Florida law requires that every contractor be properly licensed in this state before contracting to build or remodel a home.
A contractor who is “certified” is licensed by the state and may operate in any city or county in this state; a contractor who is “registered” is licensed by a particular city or county and may operate only in the city or county of registration. However, all licensed contractors are regulated by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (“DBPR”), which can be contacted at: 1940 N. Monroe St., Tallahassee, FL, 32399-1027; telephone: 850-487-1395; website: myfloridalicense.com.
When someone contracts without a license, they endanger the health, safety and welfare of the public, undercut licensed contractors who operate legitimately and lawfully, and hurt the entire construction industry. Hiring an unlicensed contractor will leave the homeowner with no recourse through the State of Florida Construction Industry Recovery Fund.
An unlicensed contractor cheats the government out of taxes and increases the tax burden for all Florida residents and businesses.
Before you consider hiring someone that is not licensed ask yourself this question: “If they will cheat the government, I wonder if they will cheat me?” The answer should be obvious.
In order to check on a contractor’s current “active” status before you sign a contract, obtain the contractor’s individual license number, which every licensed contractor is required to have, as well as any company’s “qualified business” (“QB”) number, and check it on DBPR’s website at: myfloridalicense.com; click on “Search for a License” under the “Public Services” section.
Licensed contractors are only authorized to construct the types of improvements included within the “scope” of their license. For example, if your home will be more than two habitable floors, make sure the contractor has a “general” or “building” contractor license.
Accordingly, you can also contact Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation to ensure that the contractor you are selecting has the proper type of license for the construction of your home.
This initiative by the State of Florida is a significant step in weeding out sub-standard contractors who provide inferior service and expose customers to unnecessary risks.
Whether your dream is to build a new home, complete a much needed bathroom or kitchen makeover, add a master bedroom suite, complete a multi-room renovation project we have the experience and the proper license to complete your project on time and on budget.
It may surprise you to learn that in a 2011 survey more than 35 percent of the home remodeling, home improvement and design build companies that advertise in directories were out of business within five years.
Some less than scrupulous contractors have closed up one business after running into quality or credit problems. Once the dust settled they reopened their business under a similar name.
You can protect yourself by following this simple recommendation.
Request the following information from any company you seriously consider hiring.
ACS will supply you with all required information at our first meeting.
We don’t do this because the chances of getting it right are virtually zero. Kind of like throwing darts, you might hit the bulls-eye but more than likely you will miss and most times by a lot.
We understand that you want to get an idea of the cost for your project. There are dozens and dozens of choices even in a small-bathroom project that can impact the cost — countertop, vanity, lights, tile and more. Trying to come up with an estimate without knowing all the details is certain to result in an estimate that won’t be very close to the real number.
This is the biggest area of customer complaints. Design-build companies will often present totally unrealistic bids just to get the project and then add costs at a later date to recoup their profits. They know that once a project is started — it will cost a fortune to fire the contractor. In effect, they can hold the homeowner hostage and find lots of ways to jack up the price.
We don’t work that way.
In order to get a complete understanding of your needs and desires, we meet with you in person and ask very specific questions. We will then create a design for your approval.
ACS will prepare a fixed-price proposal as soon as your design work is completed and approved by you.
At ACS we spend extra time up front detailing every aspect of your bid and anticipating potential issues based on our more than 55 years of combined experience.
Do yourself a favor and cross any contractor that will give you a “ball park” estimate off of your list.
If you only ask for three references then the answer is most likely no.
Even small-home remodeling or home-renovating companies complete 25 projects every couple of years so they should be able to find at least three people to vouch for them.
A better strategy is to ask for at least 10 references and at least three for similar projects.
Contractors who only provide three or four references may not deliver consistent service.
ACS is proud to provide at least 25 local references that you can contact about the quality of our work.
Yes. Lots of folks that got laid off due to the economy in Central Florida are now remodeling or home improvement “experts.” A number of commercial companies are also offering residential remodeling services to make ends meet.
These companies don’t have the experience to complete a quality job for you. Wayne, Wes and Russ have more than 55 years of experience building and remodeling homes in Central Florida.
They worked together for more than 15 years at Lennar Homes before starting our company. While they were at Lennar Homes they were the recipients of many awards including the quality award for construction for three consecutive years.
And here is what they learned:
ACS will provide you with our bank and vendor references at our first meeting.
It may surprise you to learn that some home-remodeling contractors don’t even have the insurance they claim they have.
When times get a bit tight this is another area where some contractors will cut corners and “take a chance that nothing goes wrong”.
There are two ways you can protect yourself.
In addition, every home-improvement contractor is required to maintain statutory Worker’s Compensation insurance for all employees and it is a good idea for them to carry at least $1,000,000 of Liability insurance per incident.
Note: If the contractor utilizes sub-contractors — they also must meet the same insurance requirements to ensure you are protected. Sub-contractors are not covered by Workers Compensation insurance. Each company must carry their own Workers Compensation insurance.
Our insurance agent will provide you with our documentation so you can feel comfortable that we have current insurance in place. We also have a process in place to ensure that all of our sub-contractors have insurance.
A design build contractor first designs your project and then builds it.
Experience, Service, Installation Processes, Operations, Warranty, Follow- Up and Follow-Through
At ACS we spend extra time in the beginning carefully detailing all parts of your project and anticipating potential issues. Wayne, Wes and Russ have over 55 years of experience to draw upon and they know from experience what works and what won’t work.
All of these steps make it easy for you to understand our price guaranty.
This is in a lot different that the way many of our competitors create proposals.
If a contractor provides a quote that is 15 percent or more below the next lowest bid, it won’t be the same job. A typical design-build or home-remodeling project doesn’t have that much profit in it if the company is operating ethically and legally. No one works for free. If you accept that bid, you will either end up with quality issues or paying more than the original quote.
This is a great question. This is especially important if you are considering a larger company to install your project. You want an experienced crew, not one that is learning at your expense.
Our superintendents have an average of 18 years of experience — that’s much longer than many contractors have been in business.
They are active in supervising each project so you will be getting the benefit of all of their experience on your project too.
There are a number of steps we take to ensure the quality of every project.
We spend extra time in the beginning carefully detailing all parts of your project and anticipating potential issues. Since we design your project, we know all of the details and steps to be performed.
Wes, Wayne and Russ make frequent unannounced quality control inspections of our projects and this allows them to:
We use a formal-scheduling system, a pre-construction checklist and complete walkthroughs at key points in each project to ensure they are proceeding according to plan.
There are so many more things that we do to keep your project moving toward completion and we will be pleased to share them at our first meeting.
We understand that everyone wants to be kept up to date on their project. It can be frustrating to be left in the dark so we have set up systems to keep you informed.
Yes, with a few exceptions. On any longer project there will be some days when we won’t be able to work. Waiting for inspections and weather delays are the most common.
We want to finish your project because that is the only way we get paid.
Even if we aren’t on your jog we are always working on your project in some way. We coordinate deliveries, setup city inspections; coordinate our specialty trades and much more.
Because of our commitment to communication, you will be kept informed so you won’t be left wondering what is going on.
You may have heard some horror stories about home builders that never finished the punch list.
While we worked together previously, we were the recipients of multiple awards for design and construction. One of the reasons we won the awards is because we finished what we started.
We brought that same attitude and discipline to ACS.
All of the steps we take help to minimize the final punch list and this makes it a lot easier to finish.
Yes and all of our policies are in writing.
We provide a 1-year warranty for the labor and installation on all design build and home remodeling projects.
We provide a 10-year warranty on structural items that we have installed including foundations, girders, structural framing and weight bearing load points.
No. Many of our clients provide the security code for their home and we appreciate this vote of trust.
You can use our communication folder to ask questions or to provide answers to our questions when you are not available during our work hours.
We provide realistic completion dates. This is an area where we believe our systems are far better than our competitors.
We suggest that you avoid contractors who will promise you the world in terms of a quick start date or a really quick completion date. Without thorough planning and ongoing monitoring, a project will get off track and that can also lead to cost overruns that you will likely be stuck with.
We will typically provide portable toilets for employees and subcontractors. If this is a smaller job we ask for access to a bathroom as a courtesy. We will respect your privacy and your property in using the bathroom.
We use a written daily clean up checklist to ensure your home is clean and secure at the end of each workday.
We might ask for access to a sink or side yard area with a hose so we can use for cleanup, but will make other arrangements if that isn’t possible.
Yes. We will provide the appropriate information to your HOA.
Yes, if your home was built prior to 1978.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) passed a new law that became effective on April 22, 2010. The law is designed to protect homeowners, their families and contractors that work on their home from the risks of lead hazards.
The use of lead-based paint was discontinued after 1977, but if your home was built before 1978 it is very likely that it contains lead-based paint.
Design build and home remodeling projects like kitchen and bath renovations and additions will have sanding, cutting and demolition of existing parts of your home. Any of these construction activities can disturb lead-based paints and cause a health hazard for your family.
Lead-based paint is nasty and can cause serious health problems.
ACS is certified under the new law.
Unfortunately, some contractors in the Orlando area are still not certified. The best advice we can give you is to cross them off of your list. If you do hire them you could be exposing your family and your children to lead poisoning.
Take the simple step of asking for proof of their certification before you meet with them.
Orlando, Windermere, Winter Garden, Winter Park, Heathrow, Lake Mary, Longwood, Ocoee, Winter Springs, Altamonte Springs, Maitland, Casselberry, Sanford, Clermont, Belle Isle, Edgewood, Oviedo, Davenport and surrounding communities.