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Quality Home Improvement for Your Michigan Home: An Interview with Lenox Bowman of P&B Finishers, Inc.

By Kristen Bosse

Please describe a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

P & B Finishers, Inc. is a full service design/build remodeling company. We do kitchen and bath design and remodeling as well as room additions, interior alterations and most major home renovation projects.

How did you get into this line of work?

I started as a laborer an electrical/plumbing/heating contractor. I knew I wanted to be in the home building industry when I was 12 years old. I started my first building business when I was 19. P & B Finishers was founded in 1995.

What should homeowners be looking for in a good contractor?

#1 is proper licensing and insurance. After that, ask if they are a full-time remodeling contractor. Next, are they a member of a professional organization such as the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) or the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). Do they have any professional designations such as Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR), Certified Remodeler (CR), Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) or Certified Green Professional (CGP). Designations are a sign of commitment. Ask for references and or a project you could visit.

What should new homeowners or inexperienced homeowners be aware of when dealing with a contracting company?

Many contractors practice a technique called "low-balling" which is providing a very low price at the start and then adding a lot of extras to the job as it progresses. Be wary of the lowest price, especially if it seems unusually low compared to others. Remember that the lowest price usually isn't the best choice. Look for a balance in quality and service rather than basing your decision on price alone.

How much can a good bathroom/kitchen remodeling increase the value of your home?

Realistically, not as much as you will likely pay for it. The national average for a midrange bathroom remodel is $15,782 and the value added in the first year is about 65% of that. A midrange, major kitchen remodel averages $53,941 and adds about 69% of that in the first year. In many cases remodeling is not something you should do as a monetary investment. I tell my clients that they've got to love where they live or remodeling might not be the right choice for them.

I see that you offer senior remodeling services. This isn't a service that I've seen offered at many remodeling companies. Is it a popular service? What are some of the projects this entails?

I am a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS). The education required for this designation gives me the knowledge needed to help seniors and physically challenged individuals and families stay in their own home longer rather than relocate to an assisted living or senior care facility. This type of remodeling is very popular and we offer everything from simple grab bar installations, complete bath/kitchen redesign remodel for accessibility, wheelchair ramps, whole house assessment and design build services.

How do your services compare to other remodeling/home improvement companies in the area? What do you do better/different?

Our business principle is that of service. From our first meeting we want to see our clients' ideas and dreams come to life. We want them to have a functional and beautiful project, whatever it is. We offer more personal service than most contractors by helping our clients with design and product selection often accompanying them to suppliers and showrooms to assist.

What are the most difficult kinds of projects?

Catastrophic repairs such as flood, wind or fire damage. It is often difficult to see how much damage there actually is especially with floods and fire. Often these projects pose dangers to homeowners and our workers.

What are your favorite projects to work on?

I love doing kitchen and bath design and remodeling. These projects bring the most joy to our clients and that is what I like?a happy client!

Can replacement windows really save you money on your heating/cooling bill?

Yes. Depending on the condition of your current windows, replacing them with high quality, energy efficient windows can save $126-$465 a year when replacing single-pane windows and $27-$111 a year when replacing double-pane windows. More importantly in most cases is that replacing your windows will provide you more comfort by eliminating drafts, reducing noise, etc.

What is the best way for people to get in contact with you?

Phone (586) 254-7969

Email lbowman@pbfinishers.com

Website http://www.pbfinishers.com

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