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Keeping Your Home Remodel on Track: An Interview with Tapley Dawson of The Home Doctors Inc.

By Tapley Dawson

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

The Home Doctors Inc is a Home Repair /Remodeling company specializing in handling just about any need a home may have. We consistently do a variety of remodeling and home repair projects including home owner punch lists, bathrooms, additions, window and door upgrades, kitchens, rot repair, lighting, leak detection and repairs and other items to numerous to list. One of our specialties is resolving unusual problems found in the home.

Our family owned, licensed, bonded and insured company, The Home Doctors Inc. an EPA Certified Lead-Safe remodeling firm, has been in business for 24 years. Brothers Craig and Tapley Dawson started out in the field helping clients keep their homes in shape and realize their remodeling dreams. As our company grew we hired our crew. We employ 7 highly experienced technicians full time and do a two point background check on all of our people at the time of employment. We only hire techs who have a deep knowledge in all aspects of a homes infrastructure. We have been working with building departments throughout the bay area for years and all work is done to code. Our office is equipped with 6 phone lines, a dedicated fax line and email, We all carry cell phones. Our Web Site, HOUZZ , ANGIES LIST and FACEBOOK all contain other methods of connectivity. Our goal is to supply excellent service and expertise to our large client base in the Bay area. We have a multitude of clients who have been part of the Home Doctor family for many years.

Can you briefly describe what is usually involved with a remodel?

This is a bit of an open ended question as there are a multitude of projects that can be labeled remodel.

The basic requirements of a bath or kitchen remodel would be; Planning/permitting, layout, structural issues, plumbing requirements/ alteration,, electrical requirements/ alterations, , demolition, installation, counters, flooring, wall and ceiling repairs, painting, appliance installation etc...

What are some of the most common remodeling or repair projects for houses in the Novato, CA area?

I would say that kitchen and bathroom remodeling are at the top of the remodel list for allot of homeowners.Some people are also interested in adding aging in place features to their remodels.

When a house needs a lot of repairs, how should homeowners decide what to do first?

Priority should be repairing defects that affect your infrastructure IE: roof, gutters, drainage, windows/doors, paint, foundation and seismic issues. On the inside any drippy pipes or other leaks, electrical problems, tub and shower caulk/grout etc...

What's the importance of choosing the right remodeling contractor, and do you have any tips for how to do that?

Your home repair/ remodeling professional has to be licensed , bonded and insured in the state of California.

In this age of social media there are many ways to find and check up on contractors;

The #1 thing should be a check with the state license board.

The BBB is still relevant.

Referrals from your friends and family.

Rating, referral and info sites like, Houzz, Angies List, Facebook, Yelp etc...

The contractors web site.

What are one or two of the biggest challenges that homeowners run into during the remodeling process? How can they successfully deal with that?

We make it a very high priority to minimize the impact to the homeowner as much as is feasible. Probably the biggest thing is that you are going to have all sorts of trade people in and out of your home.

Most remodels create allot of dust so isolating the work area from the rest of the home is critical.

And then there's the noise, not much we can do about that.

Sometimes on larger more invasive remodels the client will move out for the duration. On some kitchen remodels we have set up temporary kitchens. When its the only bathroom we have done remodels where we clean up the work area and reset the toilet every night. (of course all these items add to the cost of the project)

The best way to deal with it all is to go into the project with your eyes wide open and a realistic understanding of all the ramifications of your remodel. This is something the contractor should be talking to you about before any work commences.

What's the best way for people to contact and learn more about your company?

The Home Doctors Inc. can be reached via phone at 415-883-4085, email at tapley@homedoctors.com, through our website; www.homedoctors.com, through Houzz; www.houzz.com, Facebook;

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