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Keeping Your Home Remodel on Track: An Interview with Kevin Nickell of Carvalho Construction Inc.

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

At Carvalho Construction we offer construction services ranging from small home repairs to large commercial new construction projects. We are a unique construction company, being we perform most of our work in-house and have a versatile staff that enables us to be effective in all categories of construction.

What are some of the most common remodeling projects for homes in Southern California?

With the cost of land increasing, we are seeing more complete renovations from the inside out, along with additions expanding existing structures.

Can you briefly describe the difference between construction companies who subcontract work compared with doing the work themselves?

Companies that subcontract all their work act more like project managers than contractors. They have to hire the subcontractor, markup the cost to cover their overhead and pass that on to the customer. Contractors that have the capabilities to physically frame, plumb, wire, etc., have more control over quality and production. This saves that additional subcontractor markup, in turn, providing a better product and saving the customer money.

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

Its important to talk with more than one designer/builder. Working with someone you click with and feeling comfortable will make your project a pleasant one. Not everyone clicks. Having multiple meetings with a potential designer/builder is good. A formal meeting along with an informal meeting is one of the best ways to interview each other.

What are one or two of the biggest challenges that homeowners run into during the remodeling process? How do you help people successfully deal with those?

Budgets, additional cost and couples trying to agree on finishes. Have them budget 10% to 20% for additional work that might be needed or things they might want to add during the project. As for them not agreeing on finishes and colors, we carry a portable boxing ring!

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

Carvalho Construction Inc. Hanford, Calif. 93230 can be contacted at 559-582-1400 or at

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