FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: How long have you been in business?

A: After Jimmy McKinney served in the United States Army Reserves he started McKinney Deck Builders as a part time endeavor and then launched full time and incorporated in 2003 creating what is today J & R Construction Services, Inc. His great grandfather and grandfather were custom furniture makers and owned several sawmills in Eastern Kentucky. His father also picked up the trade and built his families first home himself. With over 90 years of combined experience you are sure to, “Enjoy the Process.”

Q: What kind of credentials does your company have?

A:  Jimmy is a Certified Graduate Remodeler (C.G.R.) and has completed his Certified Aging in Place (C.A.P.S.) designation classes. The company is registered with the state of Kentucky and holds memberships in many trade associations were we are required to maintain continuing education.

Q: Do you charge for estimates?

A: We walk you through our process on the initial phone call and set up an initial consultation, if the project is a fit for both of us. Remodeling is a relationship and choosing the right remodeling company is often more important than the estimate. If you choose the right remodeler, the budget and estimate will almost always fall into place. No, we do not charge for estimates, unless it is an estimate to look at a property that has yet to be purchased or is insurance related, then we charge our customary rates.

Q: Do you provide a Warranty on your Craftsmanship?

A: Yes, we provide our clients with a 5 year warranty on craftsmanship and a 10 year warranty on all tile work, plus the manufacturer’s warranty on any materials.

Q: Do you have insurance?

A: Yes, we carry a 2 million dollar liability policy compared to most other companies that carry a 1 million dollar policy. We also carry a 3 million dollar workman compensation policy. So you are completely protected throughout your project and beyond.

Q: Do you take credit cards and/or offer financing?

A: Yes, we accept all major credit cards, processing fees apply.  We offer financing through several local and national lenders.

Q: What is Green Remodeling?

A: Remodeling a home green is easier than you may think. Green remodeling gives homeowners the unique opportunity to incorporate cost-saving and earth-sustaining green concepts into their homes. Green Remodeling is an all-encompassing approach that emphasizes making a home healthy, comfortable, and efficient. Consideration is given to indoor air quality, energy conservation, resource conservation, reduced material waste, and the use of products that are better for the environment (and for people).

Q: What are Universal Design and Universal Remodeling?

A: Our definition is whether you are sitting or standing, young or old, anyone can use the space. According to the Center for Universal Design it is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. Simply, Environments and Products for all People.

Here are some more questions to ask a Remodeler, Contractor, or Builder

Finding the builder or remodeler who’s right for you is not as simple as picking up the Yellow Pages.

On a big project, you may be working closely with this individual for several months, so you want to do everything possible to ensure that you make the right decision.  Did you know that most people spend more time shopping and buying a car than they spend on choosing a building and remodeling company.

1)    Are you licensed? Most states require contractors, even sub-contractors to be licensed. Make sure your contractor is properly licensed. Anyone can say they are licensed. If a contractor cannot produce a valid license, DO NOT HIRE HIM! You can check the contractor’s current licensing status with your state’s Secretary of State.

2)    Do you carry general liability insurance?  Make sure your contractor carries general liability insurance. This type of insurance protects your property in case of damage caused by the contractor and/or his employees. The insurance company will pay for the cost of replacing, and/or repairing any damage that occurs. Anyone can say they are insured. Make the contractor prove it by having a certificate of insurance.

3)    Do you carry workers’ compensation insurance? Make sure your contractor carries workers’ compensation insurance. It protects you from liability if a worker is injured while on your property.  Be aware that if the contractor does not carry workers’ compensation coverage, you may be liable for any injuries suffered by the contractor, or any of his employees on your property.  If the contractor is a one-man operation, he can be exempt from having to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If he is doing so legally, he can provide you with a copy of his Construction Industry Certificate of Exemption from Workers’ Compensation. This is very risky for you though. If he shows up with a helper and the helper gets hurt, with no workers’ compensation insurance, you may have to pay the medical bills. If the uninsured contractor is sloppy about verifying his sub-contractor’s workers’ compensation insurance and the sub-contractor gets hurt, again you may have to pay the medical bills. In short, it is much safer to deal with a fully insured contractor.

4)    Do you use sub-contractors and do you use a sub-contractor agreement?  This is EXTREMELY important, because you do not know these folks and sometimes do not meet them until it is time for them to do their part of the project.  Ask how long the sub-contractor has worked with the company.  Ask how the company verifies the sub-contractors insurance and if they use a sub-contractor agreement.  A sub-contractor agreement protects you and the company from below average companies, ask for a copy.

5)    Are you a member of NARI or NAHB? NARI stands for the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and NAHB stands for the National Association of Home Builders. It’s always a good idea to consider hiring a NARI or NAHB contractor. In most cases, both organizations only attract conscientious contractors interested in bettering the industry and in weeding out unprofessional contractors. In order to become a member, the contractor’s background and references are thoroughly investigated.

6)    Are you a member of the BBB?  BBB stands for the Better Business Bureau.  The BBB goal is to foster a fair and effective marketplace, so that buyers and sellers can trust each other (“Start With Trust”). Many BBB services can be accessed online through their website.  BBBs gather and report information on business reliability, alert the public to frauds against consumers and businesses, provide information on ethical business practices, and act as mutually trusted intermediaries between consumers and businesses to resolve dispute.  ALWAYS check any company out here 1st.  This way you can see if there are any complaints or issues.  Also check out Angie’s List if you are a member.

7)    Do you guarantee your work? Your contractor should guarantee his work for at least one year from date of completion. They should also include any warranties from the material used if applicable.

8)    Who will be in charge of the job? Make sure the contractor or his crew is on the job whenever work is being performed-especially if sub-contractors will be used, unless it has been communicated that the sub-contractors do not need to be supervised.  In some cases, sub-contractors come to do work with out a company representative present, which is ok, as long as Question #4 is answered to your satisfaction.  If you want the contractor or one of the crew there at all times, expect to pay for this service. The responsible party must be familiar with every aspect of your project. You cannot be worried about what is going on when you are not there.

9)    Will you provide me with written references? A good contractor will be happy to provide you with references. You should look for a well-established contractor who can give you several client (customer) references.

10)   How do you handle “dirty work”? Construction is dusty and dirty! It gets everywhere, especially if any sanding is being done. Make sure the contractor will make an honest effort to keep the dust contained, or notify you when the heavy dust generating operations will take place so you can place sheets over furniture or move sensitive belongings. Make sure the contractor agrees to sweep up and place all construction debris in a predetermined place or refuse container at the end of every day.

11)    What else should I think about in doing a project like this?  Any good contractor will have at least 1 or multiple “Pre-Construction Meetings”.  These meetings should outline things like; gaining access to the site, dust, hours of work, pets, children, breaks, lunch time, staging of material, parking, preparing the space (what do I need to pack up, what will you move), conduct of workers, smoking issues, etc…

12)   How long will a project like this take?

13)   How many projects like this have you done in the past?

14)   Can I see your vehicle?  This sounds weird, but if the inside of the contractor’s vehicle is trashed, it might be an indication of what your project will be like during the process.  This may or may not tell the tale.

Bottom line

Do you feel comfortable with this company?  Go with your gut.  A strong rapport and close communication with your builder or remodeler will help make any job go well.  Building and Remodeling is a very personal process. The one you hire will be part of your home life for several weeks or months, so it’s important to make sure that your personalities work well together.