THE JOB PROCESS:
This should cover all the bases should you hire us.
I give free estimates and I try to perform all work as though it were truly MY home and we start by making every effort to insure that the floors are structurally sound. We have to take into consideration that sub floors and support beams are built to code. I was reminded by a structural engineer, that means minimum code. We also try to insure that back splash walls to which we attach the tile are prepped properly and walk-in shower walls are plumb. We use only water proof cement backer board (no drywall) for walk-in shower or tub/shower walls. We try, without compromising strength, to make all floor heights equal without step-downs or step-ups to adjoining rooms, although sometimes this is not feasible or cost effective. We install a 6-mill vapor barrier along with the water proof backer board on shower walls and use top quality modified thin set cement and screws (not nails that may pop) to secure backer board to floors and walls. I reinforce all backer board joints with fiberglass reinforcement tape and I always cut under door jambs (door frames) instead of around them. I welcome interaction with the customers to complete the work as they desire, and as you can see, we do not cut corners on quality of work or materials. I use only the best thin-sets with polymers added for the best adhesive strength and latex added for flexibility to give you a long lasting floor, wall, back splash, shower, etc. This extra quality of craftsmanship adds only a small about to the overall job cost, but in the long run, it is well worth it. Once on the job, I stay on your job until it is finished to your complete satisfaction and I will try to work hours that are convenient and accommodating to your schedule, including week-ends, if necessary. Although my cell phone service is not 100% reliable (please leave a message), I answer all calls and remain available for any questions that may arise. I also check my emails several times a day, if that is your preference. Communication with the customer is very important to me.
This is the process we use: Call or email me and I will schedule a time to come by and discuss the job and make measurements for the estimate. If you need quicker response, call me @ 919-606-9337. I will make every effort to be on time for the estimate and I usually call or email the day before or the day of the estimate just to let you know I'm coming and also to insure that you are there and ready for me. I will discuss the job and make my measurements and then I can either mail, email or call the estimate in to you . I try to respond as quickly as possible, which can be the next day, depending on the size and scope of the job) I will e-mail or send you a written detailed estimate. Be sure to check your span folder if you don't receive the estimate within a few days, and please let me know. And it would be greatly appreciated if you could let me know that you did receive the estimate and you are looking it over. After reviewing the estimate and you decide it is fair, give me a call or email me at email@example.com and we can get things rolling. If you decide on Affordable Tiles, it will take a week or so to receive tiles depending on the tile selection, unless you can find what you want at Lowe's or Home Depot. I don't usually schedule a job until tiles are in hand, but I can give you a rough estimate, and if you want to insure of getting next priority, I will need a good faith deposit of at least 25% to hold the next available slot for you. I must tell you though, if you choose not to hold a date, it could delay your job by weeks. Some of my customers have gotten prices for tile and then called me. When this happens, some of the tile suppliers will not give you my discount. So, please contact me first before pricing tiles. It is now time to make your tile selection. It does not matter which tile supply company you choose. But if you ask me in advance, I can tell you which ones are nearest to you and give the best service and the best prices. Because of the great service they have given me over the years and the quality of products they sell, Best Tile of Durham or Raleigh would certainly be my choice. In most cases, they allow me a 20%, and sometimes more, discount on tiles, which I pass on to you. The supply stores will always allow you to take the samples home to assure that the color schemes work good in the lighting, etc. in your home, which I strongly advise. After you make your final selection of tile, grout color and caulk, just let me know. I will take over from there. My estimate includes the cost of labor and building materials, not the cost of tile, grout, and caulk. The customer can pay for this with credit card over the phone after I give the tile supplier the sq. ft. numbers needed. There are three processes we can use. If you want me to purchase the tiles, I will need a 25% plus cost of the tiles deposit. If you want to purchase the tiles, I only need a 25% deposit to hold the next available slot open for you, when the tiles arrive. At the start of the job, I will need a 50% earnest money deposit. And I like to do the actually order myself, to insure we have enough tiles. Tiles are bought in whole box's, so in general, I round up at least 10% extra, and 15% for large (18X18) tiles, allowing for waste when cutting. 15% extra for diagonally laid tiles because of the number of cuts involved. This also depends on the size and layout of the room/rooms and the size of the tile. If it's one big square room, we could cut it to less than 10%. Also it depends on how much the tiles cost, their size and how available they are. It is always good to have at least a box of extra tiles in case something happens. You drop something on one and crack it, or you have structural problems, although we try to avoid those problems by making the floor as solid as possible before we start the job. And if it's not special order tiles and you get them from H. Depot and Lowe's, I order much more than needed, because they allow you to return the extra. If you buy from any local store, be sure the box's have the same lot and or shade number. I have also recently run into a problem with the bull nose trim not matching the field tiles at "The Tile Shop". This will have to be a customer decision as to whether they are matched close enough. The customer can decide whether they want to use regular cement grout or epoxy grout. I insist on epoxy grout in showers and tub/showers even though the cost is much more than the cost of regular grout (cost is around $140 retail and $119 your cost, per medium unit), and the installation and clean up is more difficult. A typical 30 sq ft back splash could cost an extra $100 plus, depending on the grout width selected. But years down the road, you will be glad you used epoxy grout. The only down side that customers have suggested to me, other than cost, is that the epoxy grout does not have the same grainy/sandy finish as a sanded grout would have. The Supplier should let us know when to expect delivery of tiles. I don't usually schedule a job until the tiles are in, but we can guesstimate a start date. Delivery can be as soon as the next day to two weeks, (usually one week) depending on where the tiles are located and what day of the week you place your order. "IE" "Best Tile" on Garrett Rd. gets most of their tiles from New York and that takes a week, although some (not usually) are in the warehouse in Raleigh and can even be picked up by me if you are in a rush. And some of their special order tiles may come from as far away as Georgia or even California and may take two weeks to arrive. Each Supplier has it's own plan of delivery. And there's always fast delivery by UPS, but that can get expensive.
When the tiles arrive, we will pick them up and deliver them to your home. We will try our very best to complete the job in a timely manner that meets your schedule. We take the time to do it right by doing the little extra things like reinforcing all backer board joints with nylon reinforcement tape, floating out floors and walls to insure they are plumb and flat before tiling and making very tight cuts around backsplash window frames, etc. Upon completion of work, we will get together to view the work to insure everything is done to your complete satisfaction.
And in final, let me say that we are not the most expensive, nor the cheapest, but strive to be the very best! We add that extra value in quality of materials and craftsmanship, so that you can go to bed at night knowing you have the best job possible that will last your lifetime. The quality of work done is very important to us, and I will gladly provide a list of fifty plus previous customers that will confirm the quality of work we do.
And as Mike Holmes in the "Holmes on Homes" show, we also guarantee our work, in writing,.
Affordable Custom Tiles, Inc.
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