Most frequent questions and answers

Our pricing system is the easiest we have ever come across. We also have a variety of all-inclusive packages for bathrooms and kitchens. We researched our competition and refined what was fair and reasonable. We are not the cheapest but we are by far not the most expensive. Quite simply, you pay for our experience in the industry but also receive incredible service and attention. Our pricing is simple-fair price for incredible work!

Yes, we are careful to research, study and implement new techniques that will maintain us on the cutting edge of the industry. We take classes and obtain certifications as much as we can in order to expand our base of knowledge. We maintain relationships with other contractors and trades in order to continue to learn. Learning is a lifelong experience, there is always room to grow.

Just a natural process. We both have over twenty years of experience in construction as well as related fields (real estate, property management, mortgage financing, commercial construction, project management, construction litigation). As homeowners and seeing the challenges in the residential remodeling industry, we felt confident that our combined experience would provide a boutique remodeling service. We enjoy making our client’s remodeling dreams come true.


We do all major remodeling and specialize in bathroom and kitchen remodeling including design and build. We handle all aspects of a project beginning with the first phone call, preparing a free estimate, follow up, project management, scheduling, even budgeting and payment plans if necessary.

We completed 2 projects in the recent month. The first was a basement in Glenview, this was our 2nd major project with the family and we had begun discussing the project during our first project the year before. It took about a year for the budget to be saved and details to be worked out but it was well worth the time and effort. The basement was a clean slate, absolutely nothing on it. We did everything from framing exterior and interior walls, insulating. Created a beautiful space for a multi age work out room (family has 2 small children) so on top of the mounted TV for exercise, this room was finished with rubber matts for comfort of tumbling, yoga or tai chi. Also has a dedicated area with custom built rock climbing wall with adjustable grips for continued challenge, a vertical and horizontal monkey bar area. A dream come true for any active family. The entry has sliding glass doors for separation from the main entertaining area, which provides a clear visual to and from the exercise room. There is a bedroom with closet for related living, a full service bathroom and a theater room. Theater room has mounted TV, wet bar and behind the entertainment room – additional storage! This back room is designed to appear to be entertainment storage in the theater room BUT one of the bookcases is actually a door! Not sure which one is having more fun with this one, dad or son! The 2nd project is a restaurant build out in Palatine. A Japanese Ramen Noodle restaurant that had much anticipated following throughout the build out. This restaurant is located on Plum Grove Rd (see our website for specifics), all mechanicals were upgraded, design and built out alongside Cubit Designs. Both projects to be displayed on the website and profiles in the near future – look out for them.

Take the time to meet the contractors, the best work will be done by family owned and operated businesses because we take the time to get to know you and your family as well. The purpose of that is to coordinate lifestyle, budget and the wish list.

About us that we really care. About our profession that not everyone in the field is equal and that makes our jobs difficult when we are being judged or measured by another failed or bad experience. All contractors are just not the same – getting to know us is the best way to decide for yourself. We work hard for you and the biggest difference is that we are in the business to build relationships.

Yes, our work is guaranteed for 1 year on all labor from the last day worked on the project. All materials installed carry the manufacturers warranties.

We have had the same contact information for our company since we started. It is as simple as an email, text or phone call. In addition, we also provide a check in at 6/10 months after the project is complete to make sure everything is operating as expected. We have only had 2 service calls since we started the business and both were for the same homeowner.

We see change orders in two forms. The first is during the first half of the project during demolition and rough. This is where we uncover issues that are hidden behind the walls or come across with issues with mechanicals due for updates. The second form of change orders are for client requests for changes, modifications or upgrades. In either case, we will discuss the preliminary concern and recommendation, write up the change order and have the homeowner review it. In cases where it is a building code concern or the building inspector makes it clear he or she wants to see the upgrade or change, there isn’t much we can do to avoid the additional cost. In the case where it is more of a preference or cosmetic recommendation, we will provide the written recommendation and the homeowner has the ability to turn down the recommendation (in writing). If the homeowner accepts the recommendation, the change order must be signed and or acknowledged via email or text and paid prior to the work for the change order starts.

As a general contractor, we take responsibility for the project space (your home) from the time you decide to hire us. We have trades and subcontractors that have worked with us for years and have been thoroughly vetted. We have a specific project schedule so that each crew has a designated time to work at the home. We do our best not to overlap trades to avoid tight spaces and conflicts in schedule and provides higher transparency and accountability per trade. Do not be surprised to see either one of us on the job site checking up on things. We keep a close eye on everyone working. 

As a family business, we value family time both for our clients as well as for our crews. With that said, our construction schedule will run from Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm with occasional run over to 6pm to meet a deadline. We do not work on weekends. Any requests outside of business hours are chargeable, so we do our best to conduct all business during normal business hours. At the onset of the project, we will provide you with a tentative schedule that will reflect an overall timeframe of what and who to expect when. As things change due to weather conditions, material deliveries, inspections or schedule conflicts, we will provide you with notice of these changes and how it impacts the completion timeframe.

Construction is dirty and messy, that is just the plain truth. With that said, CHR goes above and beyond to protect your home. We install plastic barriers to the immediate project site (area within your home) where we are working so that we can eliminate the dust and dirt traveling to other parts of your home. We place runners or matts to and from the point of entry to your home to the area we work in. We place tarps or cardboard on the floors to place our equipment and materials in the surrounding areas of the work to avoid damaging any finished floors. We expect every crew to contain their own garbage in a designated (pre approved) area for disposal and each is expected to leave the project site broom swept and contained at the end of the day.

The timeline for each project is discussed at the beginning of the project to set clear expectations. There are delays that can impact the timeline and as previously stated we will provide these updates should they become necessary. Some common delays can be: inspections schedules; trade scheduling conflicts; material delays; weather, traffic and at times illness.

For the most part all projects require permits unless it is painting, hanging drapes or above surface work. Anything to do with relocating walls, updating mechanicals, re-designing space will require a permit. CHR handles all the paperwork related to pulling the permit including the necessary inspections to close out the permit properly.


99% of our clients have gone with the selections CHR recommended for several reasons. 1) they are simply too busy to shop; 2) there is an abundance of selections and it makes decisions difficult; 3) our relationships provide us with competitive pricing; 4) the handling and delivery schedule is much easier if we handle it; 5) our selection recommendations are based on our meetings and your desired final product and we have become experts in meeting and exceeding those expectations. Ultimately the homeowner decides: if our recommendations are not what your desire, we will install what you want but will have to account for price differences in labor if it is different than the original scope of work, design or material.

Yes, most projects do not require blueprints and we can provide a basic design for permitting purposes. If however blueprints are necessary, we work with many architects that can complete the necessary blueprints to comply with permitting and building code.

We ask for the budget upfront for several reasons. 1) to measure the level of engagement you have with your own project. If you have no idea how much a project will cost, any estimate provided will be a shock. 2) to identify the level of commitment to the project. Please understand as GC this is our livelihood and while we are committed to making dreams come true and provide the beautiful space your family needs, we also require commitments to fill our schedule. 3) It allows us to stay within a realistic parameter of cost. Specifically, our estimates start with mid range finish material selection cost but you may be interested in something higher end (which we can also provide). This also allows us to see if you are interested in lower than mid range costing materials which we will not work with and the reason for this is, cheap materials will provide cheap results and the end product will not be a long lasting product or space that we want to be known for. Therefore, we avoid working with cheap finish materials and as our history has reflected, we do not have service calls. 

This answer is going to vary, however for 99% of our projects the answer is no. We will contain the area we are working in and with the daily practices we enforce with our crews the space should be livable during your evenings and weekends for the duration of the project. ** we will advice on the particularly noisy and dirty days in case you decide not to be there but that would be your choice.

Yes, we are one of few contractors that still provide a free initial estimate. After that however, we do look for a commitment to continue to develop, design and work through the project.

Yes, as professionals we are not afraid of the competition. We know our worth and the quality we bring. We highly recommend you call at least 3 contractors for estimates.

Our reputation speaks for itself.

Yes, we recommend setting aside at least 30% of the proposal contract price for any unforeseen cost. These could be overdue mechanicals (electrical, plumbing, HVAC, structural) that need to be upgraded, requests by the building department to make or add changes or something as simply you wanting to add, modify or upgrade a portion of your project. Setting aside the 30% will give you the freedom to make those decisions easier if and when the time comes and eliminates the stress and tensions should unforeseeable costs come up.

CHR accepts, checks, cashier check, bank transfer at no additional charge, we do accept credit card payments with a surcharge. We also offer in house financing options for those that qualify – ask for details

We have a standard contract that outlines how we resolve issues once we are on the project site. It can be as simple as meeting on site to come to agreement on changes, modifications, recommendations and costs. Should there be a complete breakdown of communication by either party, we have an arbitration clause that allows for an arbitrator or mediator to hear both sides and make a decision. It is a lot less expensive than litigation. We are in the business to improve your life and lawsuits are not beneficial to anyone.

Yes, we maintain our licenses and insurance up to date and are verifiable with the building departments we are registered with.

We have a run time per project, crew size, trades, materials. For materials we provide a full accounting summary with copies of all project receipts the client receives at the end of the project (our closing package), in this package we summarize the project numbers, copies of receipts, reflect payments made, change orders and provide the warranty terms we offer. 

We are a very transparent firm. Both my husband and I are hands on with all our clients so we know exactly how each project is going. Our PMs are also trained to identify issues from the beginning. Most (not all) but most of the latent defects are identified during the demo and rough stage. At this point we immediately assess the situation and update our clients on the additional time and cost the defect or unforeseen issue will cost, once the change order is approved we move forward with handling the issue. We have a simple work order that outlines terms and conditions, we have job site and project expectations that is provided to the client on the first day. We also have a more extensive contract for projects that run more than 10 days. All in all it is about communication. For us an informed client is a happy client. The news or update may not always be good but it will be honest and fair.

Have a written scope of work on what you want to discuss with the contractor and ensure that both your needs and wants are met in the written scope of work. Pictures of your desired completed project will also help the contractor understand your desired complete project looks like and details can be (should be discussed in two phases) the rough stage and finish stage. At completion of the rough stage, you should have a list of what your finishes will be so the contractor can have those set for order and delivery. Blessings, Maria Cartage, Cartage Home Remodelers, Inc

Absolutely. A small problem can quickly escalate if electrician and plumbing are not licensed and maintains up to date with changes in the local, regional and national codes.

The relative difference in cost between the two would be the additional building requirements and fire codes with the attached garage. There will be a need to insulate and drywall the wall that is adjacent to the home (living space).