About T.Smith + Co.
Where do you work?
Most of our work is in Philadelphia. We also work in the surrounding counties of Montgomery, Bucks, Delaware and Chester. Our range of travel depends on what other projects we have scheduled, so call us to find out if we can work for you.
Are you licensed and insured?
Yes, we are licensed and insured according to city and state standards. Our Pennsylvania Home Improvement Contractor number is PA107408 and our Philadelphia contractor's license number is 650797.
Are you lead certified?
We are an EPA lead certified firm. All contractors working in homes built before 1978 who perform work that disturbs painted surfaces must be certified.
Do you take credit cards?
Yes we do. We accept cash (and checks) too. Regardless of how you pay, we’ll provide a receipt for all payments made.
Do I have to pay everything up front?
No. Your contract will specify when payments are due and payments will be staggered throughout the course of the project. If you prefer to stagger your payments over a greater time than your project, please consider paying by credit card.
Why shouldn’t I just go with the lowest estimate?
We won’t always be the lowest estimate you receive, but we believe we can offer you the best value. T. Smith & Co. provides honest estimates and will talk you through potential problem areas, such as the risk of electrical or structural problems that may be behind the walls and under the floors that we can’t see until we complete demolition. Some contractors purposefully provide low estimates to ensure they get your business and then require numerous change orders for “unanticipated” issues. Often these issues were known at the outset and just not relayed to you, such as the need for additional outlets to meet code requirements or that an “interior wall” is actually load-bearing and will require significant expense to move or alter. Others may use sub-par materials where T. Smith & Co. focuses on long-lasting quality and energy efficient products that will result in long-term savings to you. Be sure you have an on-site visit, that the work is clearly explained to you and set forth in the estimate, and that your contractor is fully licensed and insured like we are.
Why didn’t my estimate include [fill in the blank issue]?
We think we’re pretty super and so do our clients, but we’re still not superman- we can’t see through walls and floors until we take them out. When we do, sometimes everything is as it should be, but other times we find that joists have been compromised or even cut away, that electrical work is creating a fire hazard or that pipes are leaking in your walls. These require repairs that add costs, but our ability to fix the problems also adds to the security and value of your home.
Can I finance my project with a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) or Loan?
You may be able to use the equity in your home- talk to your mortgage broker and tax advisor. The potential advantages to using an equity line include: (1) Lower costs with lower monthly payments because interest rates are typically below those of credit cards or personal loans; (2) Potential tax benefits because equity interest payments are generally tax deductible(but seriously- we're contractors, so be sure to talk to your accounting professional or tax advisor); (3) Higher credit limits than credit cards or personal loans, giving you access to more funds; and (4) Greater financial control because you can access your line of credit during the draw period, paying interest and principal only on the funds you use.
Do you only do super expensive, major projects because I only want to do X (energy efficient windows; crown molding; install recessed lighting; insulate my garage/attic/room)?
We do a range of projects that we measure in days, weeks or months. Don’t hesitate to contact us because you think it’s too small. Call or email and see- we might be the perfect fit at just the right time. And even if your project doesn’t fit our scope of services, we may be able to help you find the right source to get the job done.
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