Frequently Asked Questions

HOW IS 3 GENERATIONS IMPROVEMENTS DIFFERENT?

We are truly family owned and operated. This not only makes our business unique, we treat our business differently as well.  With 3 generations involved in the business and the potential of a 4th in the future, we are not after just the “job” we are most interested in doing the project the right way the first time to avoid call-backs and dissatisfied customers. We have received many local and national awards for our customer service and our online reviews are impeccable. We have even been featured on Animal Planets “Tree Masters” television series!


WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM OUR APPOINTMENT?

Appointments can vary in length depending on the size of the home, how many questions you may have and the possible scope of work. Typically, you will meet with one our representatives upon arrival. We can walk around with you and discuss your plans for the home. We can discuss your concerns, problem areas, visible dry rot and water intrusion you may be experiencing. We will take measurements and photos of your home in order to prepare our proposal. We can sit down with you to discuss what we were able to find during our inspection. We have a short presentation to show you who 3 Generations Improvements is, what we can do for you, how we are different and what can you expect from us. You can see samples of our products at this time. Typical appointment time is between 30 minutes and 1 hour. It is important to consider that we DO NOT pressure you into making a decision during this appointment. We can set up a follow up appointment to go over our detailed proposal and answer any questions or send an email with our proposal to be reviewed at your convenience.


WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM YOUR PROPOSAL?

3 Generations prides itself on being very detailed. Our proposal will provide our company information, and the scope of work, spelled out step by step. We will also break out options for you (windows, painting, gutters, etc). We have been told that our level of detail in our professional proposals are second to no one.


WHAT CAN WE EXPECT DURING OUR PROJECT?

Projects vary on the size of the home and how your home was originally constructed. Typical projects include:

  1. Demo: We will remove your exiting trim and siding. This is the “messiest” and often “noisiest” period of the project. It is important to note that no two homes are alike. We often do not know which walls to start on until we arrive on the first day of work. Please note this day is often the most stressful as it is the loudest and most messy, but it will get easier after plywood is installed and siding starts. Please remember this is a major remodel and we are doing our best to get it done in a timely manner.
  2. Shear Wall: If your home has flat plywood underneath your existing siding, we can install siding over this. In many cases, there is no plywood or the plywood is damaged. In this scenario, we would need to replace the damaged material or install new sheathing. 
  3. Weather Barrier/Flashing: We typically install Tyvek or HardieWrap. These are synthetic house wraps, designed to protect the home from the elements. It is a woven product which allows the home to breathe while keeping moisture out. We will also install flashing tape around doors and windows and on corners of your home to prevent moisture damage.
  4. Trim and Siding: Your new trim and siding will be installed.
  5. Finishing Touches: Caulking, touch up, light fixture mounting and overall cleanup will be done to ensure the job is complete and ready for inspection. Your assigned foreman will walk around with you to ensure you are satisfied with the project.
  6. Inspection: A local building inspector will arrive to inspect our work and sign off the permit for final inspection. Please note; many building departments require a smoke detector and carbon monoxide inspection at this time. They may require access inside your home, or they may require a signed form stating your compliance in order to sign off the permit.

IF WE HAVE INTERIOR DRY ROT, WHAT’S THE PROCESS?

If we discover interior dry rot, we will let you know when we find it and how much we find. Dry rot is a time and material repair. We charge $65 per hour plus the cost of materials. While we do our best to tell you exactly how much it will cost up front, this can vary depending on the amount found and how long it takes to repair. This change order is typically paid for at the very end of the job.


WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO OUR PLANTS AND TREES?

While we are as careful as possible, it is important to remember that safety is our main concern. We may need to place a ladder near and tree or plant in order to safely access an area of your home. During the course of your project, material will fall to the ground. Again, while we take preventative measures, damage may occur. If there are plants/trees that are particularly important to you, please let us know prior to the start of the project. We will do our best to cover/enclose them to prevent damage. 


WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO TO PREPARE FOR OUR EXTERIOR PROJECT?

While many customers only concern themselves with the outside walls during a project, the inside of the home is important as well. Fragile items (pictures, clocks, TVs, dishware, etc) hanging on the walls that will be worked on, should be removed prior to the start of the project. The racking of the walls during demo and installation can cause these items to fall. It is also worth noting that this racking can also cause “nail pops”. Nail pops are when the drywall screws or nails pop out to reveal themselves on the inside of your home. This is common and we can repair and touch them up if necessary. On the exterior walls, hanging garden art, pottery, furniture, etc, should all be moved away from the home. Landscaping may also need to be pruned back off the walls to allow access for installation. If you need help moving any items away from the walls, please let us know prior to the start of the project


WHAT KIND OF EQUIPMENT DO YOU USE?

For one story homes, ladders are typically used during installation. Higher walls will require pump jacks (scaffolding system) that allows us to work close to the wall). This system will have tobe tied into your fascia, eaves or in some cases your roof.  In all cases, the holes made to tie the pumpjacks into will be completely filled with caulking and sealed. This equipment is designed for siding projects and is much less intrusive on landscaping than a typical scaffolding system.


DO WE NEED TO TAKE TIME OFF WORK?

Although you do not need to take time off work, it is important to be available in some way in order to answer questions that may arise. This can often be done by phone/text. We will need access inside if we are installing windows. It is important to remember, if you have pets, please take precaution to ensure they are inside. Many customers choose to have their pets relocated during the project. For typical siding projects we will order a port-a-potty to avoid having to come inside as much as possible.  Our goal is to complete your project efficiently and with the least amount of headaches as possible.


HOW IS LP SMARTSIDE SIDING MADE?

LP Smartside siding is an engineered wood product. It is made of wood strands and treated with waxes, adhesive resins and zinc borate applied before being bonded with a resin-saturated, water-resistant overlay. This process helps the products resist termites and fungal decay for long-term strength and durability in a variety of weather conditions.


WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HARDIE AND LP?

The current battle of paintable composite siding boards has given rise to quite the rivalry between LP SmartSide and James Hardie. These two really don’t like each other; they make the Vikings/Packers rivalry look pretty tame in comparison. And like Vikings/Packers, the front line of this battle is taking place in the Twin Cities because this is one of the top remodeling and building markets in the nation. See our Siding Replacement Wars blog post for more information: Hardie vs LP.


WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF VINYL WINDOWS?

Vinyl windows offer the best value for the dollar than other composite frames such as fiberglass, fibrex or wood-clad. Vinyl does not conduct the outside energy into your house, so it is very energy efficient. The main drawback to vinyl is it susceptibility to expansion and contraction.  It is virtually maintenance free, never needs to be painted and most manufacturers offer a limited lifetime warranty.


WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF FIBREX?

Fibrex is a composite material invented by Andersen. Fibrex has advantages such as narrower frames allowing for more glass space, high energy efficiency and low maintenance. It is also stronger than vinyl.


WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF WOOD-CLAD PRODUCTS?

These types of windows have either an aluminum, fibrex, fiberglass or vinyl exterior skin with a wood interior.  These windows offer the most interior beauty as the frames can be painted or stained. They also offer custom styles and grid patterns that are found in older homers.


WHAT KIND OF PROJECTS DO WE SPECIALIZE IN?

3 Generations Improvements is a full service siding, windows, doors and decking company. Meaning, we can furnish and install any material type needed.


DO YOU OFFER FINANCING? IF SO, WHICH KINDS?

Yes, we offer financing through Synchrony Financial. We offer several plans to help fit your needs. We also provide energy financing such as mPower or California First financing.


DO YOU ACCEPT CREDIT CARDS?

Yes, we accept credit cards through PayPal. We email you an invoice that can be processed on their secure site whether you have a PayPal account or not.  


WHAT IS YOUR PAYMENT SCHEDULE?

Our typical payment schedule is:

  1. A) 10% or $1,000 down (whichever is less) 
  2. B) 50% of the balance when the material is delivered
  3. C) Remaining balance upon completion.

Please note; not all projects are the same and we are flexible.


HOW LONG DO PROJECTS LAST?

3 Generations has multiple crews which have different amounts of crew members. On an average size project (1-2 story) 1500-3000 sq ft home, it will take us 5-10 working days to complete. Please note; this depends upon the scope of work and assumes inspections are on time.


WHY DO YOU HAVE A 30 DAY EXPIRATION ON YOUR PROPOSAL?

Our manufacturers and suppliers hand out periodic price increases. They notify us 30 day notice in advance before increase goes into effect. 


HOW MUCH IS MY PERMIT GOING TO BE?  DO YOU INCLUDE THE PERMIT COSTS?

This depends upon the individual building department. Most permits are based on the valuation of the project or the square footage of siding being installed. Most permits range between $500-$1500. However, there are many bay area city’s that continually increase their costs and we have seen more in the $2,000 – $3,000 range than ever before.  You can contact your city for accurate pricing if this is a concern. We do not include permit costs in our pricing because there is no way to know how much the permit is going to cost until the project is finalized and calculated. We find that those contractors who include permit costs often times guess high to cover their costs. We do not charge you to pull the permit and this can often times take several hours to get.