CONFIDENT HOME REMODELERS
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windows, doors, vinyl siding, carpentry, kitchens, bathrooms, minor masonry, flooring, sheetrock, & painting, and more
CONFIDENT HOME REMODELERS
Phone: 973-820-8881 Fax: 973-771-3360
- Eric Martindale, owner
- We are a small and accredited family-owned business
- We mostly serve suburban Essex County, New Jersey, and nearby areas
- ¾ of our business is repeat customers and referrals. ((( We don't want marketing or advertising expenses )))
- 3 year warranty on all labor and workmanship
- NJ Div. of Consumer Affairs Lic. # 13VH04601200
- Liability Insurance $2,000,000 policy
- Worker’s Compensation Insurance $1,000,000 policy
- Commercial van; commercial lettering; commercial license plates, & commercial vehicle insurance
- Member since March of 2009 with Better Business Bureau, www.newjersey.bbb.org
We do flood and fire rehab, and we can be a qualified contractor that can work with your insurance company. If there are any customers who have suffered storm damages, we can repair and rehabilitate your home. I have done several fire rehab and insurance claim jobs, and at present I am expanding this aspect of my business.
I maintain a central location in Newark, NJ (Essex County) for storage of tools and materials, etc. A 30 minute drive covers everything from Bergen County to Union County, and from Hudson County to Morris County. I prefer to do business in suburban Essex County, including but not limited to:
- Glen Ridge
- West Orange
- South Orange
We continue to serve all of Northern New Jersey. I've been involved in the sales and construction since 2003. Together, our team has over 50 years total experience in the industry. Our skill and integrity has earned us a reputation as one of the state's pre-eminent home remodeling companies.
Our business plan is to provide absolute high-quality workmanship at very reasonable pricing. We can do this by having very little overhead, by eliminating advertising and marketing costs, and by supervising the jobsites myself instead of hiring someone for that. Customers want the owner on the jobsite, and I am there.
"Attention To Detail" is our entire focus.
INTERIOR REHAB and ADDITIONS:
Over the past several years, we've been focussing more and more of our business on interior rehab. These services include:
- Carpentry & framing, including whole additions
- Complete flood and fire rehab
- Kitchens, including Cabinetry
- sheetrock, painting, and trim molding
- Interior doors
- Tile work
- Concrete and patio-block paving (except around a swimming pool)
- Hardwood flooring, Laminate flooring, and more.
Many customers have been prioritizing interior projects in the tough economic times. My crew is experienced in all phases of interior work. Kitchens and bathrooms remain popular projects. As a General Contractor (GC), I have licensed electricians and plumbers that I use as needed.
- We use tarps to protect the portions of the house not being worked on.
- We strive to work consecutive days until the project is done. Nobody want a 1-month project to go on for 6-months.
- We involve the customer in selection of materials. Higher-end customers are encouraged to select the style of wood flooring, tiles, exterior doors, kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities, etc.
- I have relationships with low-cost granite installers. Granite countertops have to be specially cut and polished at the granite warehouse/factory. The installer will come to the house, make a template of the exact size, and then come back to install the finished and polished slab. This is something that is always subcontracted out, no contractor has this equipment. The informed homeowner will WANT this to be subcontrated out, including the sink basin installation.
- Installing cabinets is an art. Every one of them has to be perfectly leveled and shimmed and screwed to each other. The "high point" of the floor needs to be determined before installing any of them. It doesn't take half a day to throw cabinets into a kitchen.
- Sheetrock is also an art, and there are building codes to be followed. 5/8" for all exterior walls, and 1/2" for all interior walls and ceilings. The green sheetrock goes in basements. 1/2" cement board for bathrooms, especially wet areas such as the floor and the shower walls.
- Never use 3/8" on a stud-framed wall, it's against building codes and you'll have problems hanging pictures and you'll be plagued with cracks and holes. Houses from the 1950's often have 3/8" sheetrock, and its always a problem. 3/8" sheetrock is used ONLY to go over the old plaster/lathe walls.
- Anyone can paint, but most people don't know how to do it. Unless the walls are perfect, spackling and sanding must be done before the painting, and this takes more time than the painting. Old seams between walls and molding are often cracked or in bad condition; they must be caulked. Budget rollers and brushes waste more time and cause more problems. Don't use them. One named-brand paint supplier makes the best rollers, by far. They can be reused dozens of times.
I started my business with vinyl siding. The golden days of vinyl siding (2000 - 2008) are long over, and profit margins have become razor-thin. This is because there's now a lot of unlicensed and uninsured subcontractors that install vinyl siding directly for homeowners. Lots of customers made the biggest home improvement mistake of their lives by hiring one of them. And the proof came on Oct 29, 2012, with Hurricane Sandy. The siding blew off those houses with shoddy workmanship, but the house next door with the exact same siding was undamaged. Because it was installed right.
For me, every house is a "show house". The finished product will stand out, and command notice from the neighborhood. I will provide perfect workmanship, both to satisfy the customer and for my own business purposes. Passers-by and neighbors will see the quality of the work, and how fast it was installed. I'll get more business. That is key to my business plan.
I prefer Alside due to its superior fade resistance of all its lines, and the strength of the warranty. We can install any brand of siding available, including Royal, Certainteed, and more. Siding manufacturers recognize that customers has different price points and design consideration. Therefore, each has high-end, mid-end, and lower-end products. We encourage energy-efficient options such as the full-back insulation that form-fits the siding. We also encourage customers to go with some of the ornamental extra's, including mantles and fluted pilasters which surround entry doors, vinyl shake, vinyl scallop, jumbo corner posts, shutters, extra wide trim around the windows, and more. Most customers come to me with strong design ideas, but for those that need suggestions, I can coordinate trim and siding color packages that will be outstanding.
Due to insurance reasons, an incredible increase in material costs in recent years, and other economic factors, it is no longer economical to do roofing unless it is part of an addition or new construction. There has to be complete new framing involved before we touch a roof. The last roof we did was in 2012.
WINDOWS and DOORS:
Windows are definately not a do-it-yourself project. Homeowners can easily make mistakes as follows:
- measuring the windows. If you are off by 1/4" either way, it could be a big problem
- shimming and leveling them. If done improperly, the sashes will be drafty and wobbly, or won't close properly.
A window has to be leveled in 3 dimensions (left-right, top-bottom, and it must not be tilting in or out). A large window often needs an additional screw in the middle of each side (despite what the manufacturer says), and it must be shimmed prior to screwing.
- Properly insulating around the windows. An air-tight window will leak heat if not insulated right.
- Properly caulking them. Missing or failed caulking causing drafts, water infiltration, and the infiltration of flies, insects and spiders and all sorts of creepy crawly things. Water infiltration will rot your sills and eventually the framing of the house or cause water damage on your walls. Make sure to use interior caulks and silicones that are paintable (kit/bath silicone is not). And must use a Silicone or equivalent on the exterior.
We can enlarge or reduce openings for larger or smaller windows and doors, including patio doors. We can install Andersen, Marvin, & Pella wood windows, including casements, picture windows, and double-hung.
Customers (and even most contractors) can't distinguish between all the caulks, silicones, and adhesives out there. There is ONE brand that is far superior to all the others for exterior applications, and it is not GE. This is a trade secret not to be revealed online. Alex and Alex-Plus painter's caulk cannot be used for the exterior, even though it says so on the tube.
DOORS --- We have come to realize that exterior doors, no matter how expensive, are designed to make it easy for someone to push them in. Seems ridiculous, but it's true. For most doors, the much-venerated deadbolt lock anchors into a 3/4" thick pine jamb, and that's it. And it's close to the inside edge of the jamb, so if someone (burglar, hostile visitor, firemen, police) smashes the door real hard, the jamb will splinter up-and-down, and they can get in. We see this all the time.
A $200 door is just as secure as the $2000 door. Same jamb, same problem. Even steel doors come with 3/4" wood jambs. Fire-rated doors use 5/4", a slight improvement. Give them a few points there.
The door manufacturers know this deficiency, but they deliberately keep the current design, hoping something happens and you'll need to buy another door from them. This is sort of like the business plan for toasters and calculators, which are built cheap and not-to-last so you need to buy another one. They don't care, it's money to them.
Most deadbolts locks come with long screws, supposedly to anchor into the framing, but the screws typically line up with the edge between the framing and the sheetrock, or less than 1/4" into the wood. Not much strength there either. We considered the idea of manufacturing a steel jamb protector, and we even designed a proto-type. Then came the epiphany. For almost every installation, there's at least a 3/4" gap between the framing and the door jamb. Where space permits (which is most doors), we cut a long strip of 1/2" or 3/4" plywood, and mount it to the back side of the jamb. Plywood is way stronger than pine, and almost impossible to splinter because of all the layers. If space permits, we'll do this on the hinge side as well. We also install with five (5) long exterior screws on each side of the door, with each one shimmed tight.
Go with Confident Home Remodelers, and you can be "confident" that your door is secure.
QUALITY VINYL WINDOWS --- I provide windows from several window manufacturers, depending on the quality of windows desired by the customer. I provide both wood and vinyl windows. Since the passage of the Economic Recovery Act of 2009, I sold hundreds of the energy-efficient Alside Excalibur that qualify for a 30% tax credit at tax time. The Alside Excalibur warranty is 2nd to none, and it covers vinyl cracking, warping, and chipping, mechanical problems, seal failure/fog between the panes, etc. This manufacturer is in business over 60 years, and has hundreds of distribution centers nationwide. They do not sell to homeowners, only to Contractors.
As a Contractor, I have access to every brand of window out there, vinyl or wood. We directly install every window we sell, that way I can control the quality of installation. This is what we do. Even the best brands out there will have mechanical and leak-related problems if not properly installed.
BUDGET VINYL WINDOWS WITHOUT ENERGY-EFFICIENCY: The budget-level window that I sell is called the Anderson Silverline 1200. Anderson is known for wood windows, but around 2005 they purchased the Silverline vinyl window company to capture part of the vinyl windows market. It's a budget-priced window, but has fusion-welded sashes and frames. This means it is a strong window. Usually budget windows are selected by landlords who want the cheapest window possible, and they don't care how much the tenant is paying to heat the house (until the landlord has to replace the over-worked boiler). Other budget brands out there are "mechanical", which means screwed together. They might only last 5 or 10 years, and then they get foggy between the panes, they won't stay up, the hardware breaks, and other issues. We know this because we've replaced hundreds of really junky vinyl windows made by Air-Chek Window Depot (out of business in July 2012), Jersey Windows, and others.
The Silverline 1200 is the same price or within about $10 of the garbage brands, and it will easily last 25 or 30 years because of the fusion-welded frames AND sashes. I refuse to sell or install a junk window. Typically the urban landlord or real estate "flip" investor will remove 100 year old wood windows and 30-year old storm windows, and put in vinyl windows with zero energy efficiency that lasts less than 10 years. If you are going to put in a vinyl window, be smart. They look the same, but they are NOT all the same. Not even close. Spend the extra $10 for the Silverline 1200.
It's best to choose a window manufacturers that has been around for decades. They aren't going to disappear tomorrow, so the warranty means something. From the customer standpoint of achieving peace of mind, you can't do better. These manufacturers do not advertising or marketing of their own, they don't install windows themselves, and they sell only to Contractors. It's more cost-effective for them to have a qualified and experienced Contractor who provides the customers than to hire, train, and pay salespersons, and then advertise for leads. Most consumers still won't be familiar with these company names.
NEW CONSTRUCTION WINDOWS: New Construction windows are not, I repeat NOT, better than Replacement windows. This is NOT a newer and better technology. They are NOT more weatherproof. Builders these days want the cheapest of the cheap, with no attention to quality.
Now that building codes require R13 insulation between the exterior wall framing, so builders just throw a tyvek-material onto the exterior sheathing and slap on the vinyl siding without any insulation board. The R13 insulation is 3 or 4 times more insulation than the insulation board behind vinyl siding. The better-quality insulation sold now is the only thing better about "new construction".
The new construction window has a flange, and it is nailed into the exterior plywood. Water can still get behind the flange if it is not sealed right because siding is never 100% watertight over time. Home buyers, building inspectors, and architects don't realize that all these new construction houses that have these "new construction" windows; most of them will be leaking by the time they are 30 years old. I'm already seeing it on a few jobsites in Jersey City, circa 1990 construction.
The older-style replacement window, on the other hand, relies on exterior wooden stops (tall rectangular pieces 3/4" x 3/4" to keep out the water. 100-year old houses with exterior stops are still watertight around the windows, and that is before the days of high-quality caulking.
REMEMBER: New Construction windows cannot be used for "replacement" situations, and Replacement windows are rarely used for new construction because they are more labor-intensive to install.
Confident Home Remodelers is known for:
SERVICES I DON'T HANDLE:
- chimney work,
- anything associated with a swimming pool.
- basement waterproof coatings,
- asphalt work,
- boiler work,
- cutting down trees,
- landscape design and regrading, and
- storm windows. This is yesterday's technology. If you think you need a storm window, it's time to replace the entire window.
- replacing broken glass panes in windows (you need a glazer)
Please note that this website is a work in progress. Much more information will be posted here, in time.
We handle the following areas in New Jersey:
Essex County: Fairfield, West Caldwell, Caldwell, North Caldwell, Roseland Essex Fells, Cedar Grove, Montclair, Upper Montclair, Bloomfield, Glen Ridge, Verona, West Orange, Livingston, Short Hills, Millburn, Maplewood, South Orange, Orange, Newark, Irvington, East Orange, Nutley, Belleville
Passaic County: Clifton, Passaic, Woodland Park, Little Falls, Paterson, Prospect Park, Hawthorne, Haledon, North Haledon, Wayne, Totowa, Pompton Lakes, Haskell, Wanaque, Bloomingdale, Ringwood, West Milford
Bergen County: North Arlington, Lyndhurst, Rutherford, East Rutherford, Carlstadt, Wood-ridge, Woodridge, Hasbrouck Heights, Teterboro, Moonachie, South Hackensack, Little Ferry, Hackensack, Maywood, Rochelle Park, Saddle Brook, Lodi, Wallington, Garfield, Elmwood Park, Fair Lawn, Glen Rock, Ridgewood, Midland Park, Wyckoff, Franklin Lakes, Oakland, Mahwah, Upper Saddle River, Saddle River, Hohokus, Waldwick, Paramus, River Edge, Oradell, Emerson, Westwood, Hillsdale, Park Ridge, Montvale, Teaneck, Bogota, Ridgefield Park.
(note: we'll also handle NE, east, and SE Bergen County for short-term jobs like doors and windows)
Morris County: Boonton, Budd Lake, Butler, Chatham, Chester, Dover, Florham Park, Kinnelon, Lincoln Park, Madison, Mendham, Morris Plains, Morristown, Morris Township, Mount Arlington, Riverdale, Rockaway, Smoke Rise, Pine Brook, Parsippany, Lake Parsippany, Parsippany Troy Hills, Hanover, East Hanover, Cedar Knolls, Lake Parsippany, Pequannock, Pompton Plains, Towaco, Morris Plains, Mountain Lakes, Denville, Montville, River Dale, Riverdale, Rockaway, Mendham Township, Mendham, Harding, Long Hill,
Hudson County: Kearny, East Newark, Harrison, Jersey City, Bayonne
Union County: New Providence, Springfield, Mountainside, Kenilworth, Garwood, Fanwood, Roselle Park, Roselle, Linden, Plainfield, Rahway, Summit, Westfield, Berkeley Heights, Clark, Cranford, Hillside, Scotch Plains, Springfield Township, Union Township, Winfield Township
If there is any other area you would like us to handle, ask us. But we only work where we are licensed, which is New Jersey. We will not work in New York or any other State.