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FAQs

  • CONTRACTOR REFERRAL SERVICE
  • REMODELING ADVISOR SERVICE
  • EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
Q: What does this cost?

A: There is no charge to the homeowner for the Contractor Referral Service.  After satisfied clients pay their contractor, the contractor pays Slate Ltd a small referral fee for bringing them business. The fee must be small so the contractors remain competitive.  Slate works only with contractors who are competitive. If the contractor is not paid, Slate is not paid. This keeps Slate 100% on your side and demonstrates the confidence you can have in the quality of our service.

Note: The professionals we refer have accountability to Slate. Consistent ethical practices and strong business principles are requirements of our due diligence mandate.  As a result, clients often realize cost savings when working with Slate.

Q: How are you different from other contractor referral services and contractor review websites?

A: People often make purchasing decisions based on client reviews on websites. The postings are not verifiable. One is unable to know what’s authentic. Despite site host’s best efforts, some reviews come from relatives, some from competitors. Some reviews have been paid for. Contractor credentials are reported by the contractors themselves and website hosts do not verify them. Consumers are expected to do the work themselves or not at all. This leads many to hire without knowing, risking a hit-or-miss experience in a litigious, grossly under-monitored industry, full of consumers who are dissatisfied.

These and other similar companies make money by signing up contractors who pay for memberships. They pay for referrals. They pay for rankings. And, they pay for advertisements. In some cases a company will refer a homeowner lots and lots of contractors because the more people they refer, the more money they make. Unfortunately this overwhelms homeowners and doesn’t deliver what they really want. Those businesses make money before the homeowner even meets or hires their contractor.

At Slate Ltd, contractors cannot pay in advance for anything. They earn the privilege of affiliating based only on verified merit and their affiliation is sustained only if performance standards continue to be met. Slate Ltds’ livelihood rests solely on connections that result in successful outcomes for homeowners. In other words, Slate makes money only after a homeowner is happy and has paid their contractor. It shows we’re 100% on your side.

Q: How do you professionally vet contractors?

A: Slate Ltd has a 16-point due diligence vetting procedure. For starters, our remodelers and contractors must meet and ideally exceed all legal and state requirements. But there’s lots more. We vet for top-notch work quality accompanied with consistently ethical and professional business practices. This is confirmed through a multitude of sources deemed reliable and authentic. If we wouldn’t hire them for our home, we won’t recommend them for yours.

Q: How many contractor referrals will I get?

A: This is determined on a case-by-case basis and will depend on the nature and scope of your project. More referrals are provided for projects that are multi-dimensional or have a higher degree of complexity. Our goal is to provide our clients with enough good candidates that they find themselves having to choose from a final list of 2 or 3, all of whom they believe are a great choice.

Q: What if I have a bad experience with one of your contractors?

A: We cannot guarantee our contractors work because they are not our employees. Slate Ltd will provide support services to homeowners, if they’re ever needed, to mitigate differences and reach mutually acceptable solutions to concerns. We have been involved with more than 6,000 projects and we have never had a lawsuit or legal entanglement. That’s quite a record!

Q: Do you serve my area?

A: Slate Ltd’s geographic reach for our contractor referral service extends from Claremont in the East through Thousand Oaks in the West. Our Northern and Southern boundaries reach from Simi Valley and Santa Clarita to the South Bay area. From time to time we are able to fill requests beyond these borders. Please ask.

Q: Why would someone need a remodeling advisor?

A: There are so many homeowners dissatisfied with their remodeling experiences. Do you think it can’t happen to you? With a professional advisor who’s been through it many times before, smart and informed decisions are more easily reached. Want to bounce an idea? Need input, a second opinion or some honest, unbiased answers? The advisor is the go-to person who enlightens and speaks from the homeowner’s perspective.

Q: What Areas Does the Remodeling Advisor Service serve?

A: Slate’s remodeling service area extends throughout the United States. To inquire, please Click Here.

Q: What do you charge for your programs?

A: Seminars are provided to local and charitable organizations at no charge. This is part of the company’s value of giving back. Fees for out-of-area engagements are determined on a case-by-case basis. To inquire, please Click Here.

Q: What types of organizations do you provide programs for?

A: Professional and trade organizations, employers and retail establishments, industry conferences, board and executive retreats, cruise ship lines and homeowner associations reap the greatest benefits from our power-packed unique programs. To inquire, please Click Here.

 

Click on Bubbles for Client Reviews
In Good Hands (47)
  • “Never Been As Good As This.”

    “Having had a successful roof replacement experience with you before, we were confident you would refer us to several good general contractors for our remodel. Our project included gutting the main bathroom down to the studs (there isn’t an original part left in it), copper re-piping and tank-less water heater, covering or removal of the popcorn ceilings, full interior painting of bedrooms and living/dining room and hallways, new crown molding in almost every room, creation of an outside entrance crawl space beneath the house, installation of an attic exhaust fan, and selection and installation of a high quality, extremely strong interior folding staircase for attic access. We were given 3 good referrals and selected one. The plans were done and 4 different permits were issued without any problems. It was a big undertaking that disrupted our usual routines but throughout this, we were comfortable with our contractor. We felt confident we were in good hands. We made a lot of changes along the way and all were managed smoothly. We were given a lot of very helpful ideas. We were put at ease and the contractor was continually accessible to us. There’s real quality in their work. We’ve lived in our house for a long time and worked with contractors in the past, but it’s never been anything as good as this. Thank you.”

    ~Jan and Tom White, San Gabriel

  • Master Craftsman (48)
  • “…Complete Remodeling Of Our Kitchen…Master Craftsman…” 

    “Our very outdated kitchen – especially since we love to cook – became a thorn in our side. We decided to remodel so we could enjoy a new kitchen rather than update it when selling our house in the future.

    This was not just a simple cosmetic rework of existing cabinets but, rather, a complete remodeling of our kitchen, down to the studs. After reviewing our requirements, Penny sent three vetted contractors and each presented us with ideas on how they would approach the project along with detailed bids. One of the three immediately rose to the top of our list and we asked to see projects he had done for other clients, after which we were quickly convinced that his work would be master craftsman, perfection-like. The scope of work outlined in his bid was precise and we appreciated his honesty regarding the estimated time frame for the project, along with what we viewed as a precise, comprehensive and realistic budget. Every tradesman that he brought to our job was professional, showed pride in their work, and respected us and our home.   In the end, we are not only delighted with our new kitchen, but extremely pleased that the project came in on time and within budget. The highest compliment we can pay Penny and our contractor is that we will definitely hire them for our next major project.”

    ~Marcia and Jim Brammer, Tarzana

  • Accommodating (17)
  • “We’re So Grateful…He’s Like Extended Family.”

    “We’d been showering in the kids bathroom because our master bathroom shower caused water to leak into the kitchen below. We called SoCal Home Improvement and they referred us to bathroom remodelers and we were immediately impressed.  The one we really clicked with we hired and he always showed up when he said he would, was very patient, shopped with us and advised us on tile, fixtures, and more.  He happily accommodated to the many changes we made during the project, was professional and cleaned up every day. We now have a beautiful new bathroom with state-of-the-art features. We hired him again to paint the home office, install new windows and design and install built-ins.  He even rescued us on a Friday afternoon when our 75-gallon water heater flooded everything and he spent his weekend solving our dilemma. Next we’ll ask him for help with our balcony deck.  We’re so grateful to SoCal Home Improvement for finding us someone we know, like, trust and can rely on.  He’s like extended family.  Thank you!”

    ~Pam Mora, CPA

  • No Worries (22)
  • “Life Is So Much Easier Now.”

    “We’ve lived in our 1941 home in Southwest Pasadena since 1972 and after all these years here it was time for an update. We weren’t sure our budget would stretch far enough (we wanted to do the kitchen, the breakfast room and the adjoining laundry room), and fortunately, with the kitchen remodeler SoCal Home Improvement provided us, we were able to do it all. The kitchen looks great with new tile countertops, re-faced cabinets and new resilient flooring. We also replaced the built-ins with additional counters to add work space and we put in new light fixtures. The appliances were updated and stylish hardware was put on the doors and drawers. Then it was painted. What a difference! The kitchen remodeler we got through SoCal Home Improvement was here every day and his helpers showed up consistently when they said they would and were terrific. He is business-like and gave us great suggestions. He’s the kind of guy who will only do things right, for which we are grateful. Every inspection went off without a hitch and we have no worries about problems creeping up now that everything is finished and the workers are gone. Our cabinets look great. We have more counter space, more outlets, new plumbing for our bell n’ whistle-laden frig, our old drawers (now oiled) glide like new silk and all was finished in just 7 weeks. We couldn’t be happier. Thanks for my new kitchen and breakfast and laundry rooms! Home is an even nicer place to be and life is so much easier now.”

    ~Noel and Sandy Jeffrey

  • High Quality (36)
  • “I Needed A Structural Engineer, Plans, Permits And A Builder.”

    “I had a rotted exterior wooden stairway to replace and needed a structural engineer, plans, permits and a builder.  The job required demolition, foundation, masonry, concrete-and-rebar, carpentry, stucco and plaster patching, painting and welding. I got the help I needed through SoCal Home Improvement.  The contractor I selected gave me an excellent price for replacing the stairway with a new steel one and he delivered high quality work on schedule and in budget. He always kept me informed, returned phone calls, and maintained a positive, helpful, “can-do” attitude.  The job site was kept neat and the final product is excellent. I couldn’t be more pleased.”

    ~Dick M., Engineer, Pasadena

  • Integrity (10)
  • “…His Integrity and Thorough-Going Knowledge…”

    “We recently noticed the smell of gas when using our fireplace. The Gas Company inspector determined we had a slow leak in the on/off valve. We called a well-known fireplace service company that had done good work for us previously. After a 15-minute inspection their service person informed us the repair would take about one day and cost $800. Given the amount of money involved I decided to get other bids. It was my good fortune to contact Southern California Home Improvement Referral Service and they referred me to a reputable service provider for this specific concern. The company representative arrived at the appointed time and spent about 30 minutes in the living room and under the house. When he was done I asked how big a job he thought it would be and he informed me he felt pretty sure he had fixed the problem by tightening a connection. But, he said, I should ask the gas company to check it again. I did just that and the gas company rep said the problem had been solved. The capper to this story is that when I asked the contractor what I owed him, he said that because all he had done was to cinch up the gas line a bit, there would be no charge! How about the travel time and the 30-minute service call? No Charge! What can I say except I am now a big fan of his…….not just because he didn’t charge me but because of his integrity and thorough-going knowledge as a professional. A big ‘thank you’ to SoCal Home Improvement for putting us together.”

    ~Patrick Dunavan, Writer, Producer & Director

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