Interview with Renovation Consultant, Mark Horvath.
Herald: What is Your Background?
Mark: 40+ years in the home remodel and construction industry. As with most long-term industry professionals, it started when I was young helping maintain two homes with a construction company and farm in the family. I have my MBA in Accounting and a BS in Business Administration and Economics. In addition, I have completed several certifications including Green Building, QuickBooks, and BQA to help with mini farms and ranches. Of the forty years, I have worked as a Project Manager, Superintendent, and Contractor in both residential and commercial construction. My wife and I recently completed a roof down, home remodel allowing us to sell at one of the highest per square foot of $242.38 in the 80123-zip code.
Herald: What Services do you provide?
Mark: I offer through my company is to be your consumer advocate as a "Renovation Consultant."
To help guide you through the construction process, to help educate you on your speciﬁc project and what to expect. To perform an evaluation and provide a written plan to help guide and direct you in achieving your goals and vision for your home whether newly purchased or selling.
To perform on site evaluation of homes you're interested in purchasing. To evaluate and provide guidance on speciﬁc projects or full project management services.
Herald: What would your clients look like?
Mark: A client who asks questions. They can be a 1st time home buyer, Do-it-Yourselfers (DIY's), a new purchase, your forever home, and even if you desire a ranchette or mini farm. As an example, to help the homeowner understand why one home may make a better choice over another. Or, why increasing the investment in an area(s) would be better in the long run versus a select ﬁnish or add-on.
Herald: What is the difference between you and the home shows?
Mark: This is a great question. Please recognize that they are TV shows staged to ﬁt an allotted time frame. Therefore, these shows can be ½ reality and ½ construction. Also, to make them interesting drama is created. For example, quite often there are "foundation" issues that pop up in the middle of the remodel. Wouldn't you have the foundation inspected before buying? The TV show aspect also creates limited assessments that can be misleading. One Aurora home was evaluated to have $13,000 dollars of immediate remodel work.
I calculated around $25,000 worth. Having someone like myself can provide value in understanding our weather conditions, building codes, or even our insurance climate here in Colorado relative to your home. Items that folks from out of state would not readily know.
Now, please don't get me wrong. These shows can be educational for remodeling and regional trends as well as basic remodel processes. Just make sure the information is applicable to your area.
Hopefully we can recognize that the internet and home shows can provide a limited education but, not wisdom or experience. For example, what happens when its 10 pm Friday night and the toilet is leaking in the guest bathroom with family arriving Saturday morning? Is the leak coming from the wall, the tank, or from underneath the toilet? So, you pull the toilet to reseal and ﬁnd the sewer pipe is cracked and surrounded by concrete. What do you do?
Herald: How does a person value your service?
Mark: One of the best examples of value would be with me helping you plan and manage a 1-2 month kitchen remodel from becoming a 6 month or more project. With the national average kitchen remodel around $36,000, the investment in my service can save you thousands of dollars, time, and/or frustration.
Herald: What is the cost of your service?
Mark: For a full house remodel evaluation it is a ﬂat rate dependent upon the size and value of your home. My scope of work can be customized to reﬂect your project and vision. Also, we can do so on an hourly basis if your projects are minimal. If you desire more help, we can create a scope of work that ﬁts your needs.
Herald: What advice can you give our readers?
Mark: Another wonderful question. Don't forget to laugh! It will help you manage your expectations with your wants, needs, and desires keeping in mind the scope of your project and budget. Also, de-clutter your home prior to the project start date. Even though the contractor may not have provided a line item in the estimate for working with the clutter, the cost of doing so will be included in the price if they must work around it. I recognize that this is your home, your private place. Yet, we all must let our contractors do their jobs. We must respect their knowledge and experience while giving them access, place to store supplies, and be on time. Now, I'm not saying "give the house away", but remember we as home owners hired the contractor. Therefore, we can manage our contractor while honoring our contractual obligations allowing them to perform.
Remodel Consumer Advocate & Home Project Resource!
Mark L. Horvath FCT, LLC.