Please note: Blackdog's Home Services division is fully booked for the remainder of 2023.
Blackdog Design/Build/Remodel remains available for your remodeling needs. Click here for more information.
Salem, NH 603.952.3192
Nashua, NH 603.769.4938

Frequently Asked Questions

If it’s your first time embarking on a home remodeling project, you likely have a lot of questions. Here, the home renovation experts at Blackdog Design/Build/Remodel have answered some of the most common questions we receive from homeowners.


Take a look through some of these home remodeling FAQs to find the answers to your questions.

Don’t see your question here? Contact our team at 603-769-4938 in Nashua or 603-952-3192 in Salem to
speak with our home remodeling specialists today.

Large image of a black question mark in a black speech bubble with white background.

Questions About Process

Through our years of dedicated service, we have developed a streamlined process to ensure the most stress-free, enjoyable experience for our valued clients. Here’s what to expect:

  • Getting to know you: We’ll learn about you and your project, taking the time to understand your project goals and why they exist.
  • Beginning the design phase: Once you’ve signed our Partner Plan, our in-house designers will start shaping your unique vision into reality and provide a preliminary budget.
  • Signing the project agreement: We’ll determine your payment schedule and provide a complete project timeline, including the start date and approximate construction duration.
  • Building your unique space: We’ll begin with a pre-construction meeting, giving the project a detailed review and discussing day-to-day logistics before we dive in to bring your vision to life.
  • Peace of mind warranty: Once your project is complete, you’ll have ultimate peace of mind knowing our unbeatable three-year warranty protects your project.

“Green” can mean different things to different people. At Blackdog Design/Build, we don’t consider ourselves experts in “green building,” but we strive to conserve fuel and energy wherever possible and recommend as a solution for clients looking to discard products in a more eco-friendly way.

We use subcontractors for many different trades, including electrical work, plumbing, insulation, sheetrock, floor-finishing, roofing, and painting. We help save clients’ money in the long run by employing specialists in these fields.

Our subcontractors undergo a rigorous vetting process we’ve had in place since 1989. We require proof of proper license and insurance from each subcontractor, giving you ultimate peace of mind.

No. Our designers and sales staff come from various professional backgrounds, allowing them to craft beautiful projects while collaborating closely with each client. If structural engineering is necessary for your project, we’ll contract an architectural expert.

Yes — Blackdog is proud to provide an industry-leading three-year warranty on every project we develop, ensuring your complete peace of mind long after the final touches on your renovation.

General Home Remodeling FAQs

Kitchen renovations, bathroom remodels, and home additions are typically the projects that add the most value to your home.

While we may accept some materials or products from the client, in general, it’s best to leave this step to the renovation experts to ensure order accuracy, timeliness, quality shipping, and order completion.

We’re happy to work with outside designers to help bring your unique vision to life. Any work a client wishes to complete on their own that they’re legally permitted to do inside their own home and doesn’t intersect with the critical path of our work schedule may be completed by the client.

The ideal time to start a home remodeling project is typically during the spring or fall when temperatures are moderate, and weather conditions are less likely to cause disruptions to your project timeline.

Whether you can live in your home during your renovation depends on the extent of the work being done. For more complex remodeling projects, it may be necessary to temporarily relocate to ensure safety and minimize inconvenience.

Minimally. A single contractor in a pickup truck needs a bookkeeper, a phone system, product samples, and a computer system the same as we do. Blackdog Design/Build becomes more financially efficient because each of those overhead items is supported by 10 to 15 jobs at a time, not just one.

The individual contractor continuously loses time by having to jump from task to task – design a plan, price a materials list, swing a hammer, schedule a subcontractor, answer an emergency warranty call.

We work quicker and more accurately by allowing employees who specialize in each discipline to focus on what they do best without time-consuming distractions.

Purchasing a remodeling project can be difficult because it’s impossible to compare apples to apples. Even if an estimate appears to have all the same components, how can a client be sure the job will be executed with the same attention to detail and work quality?

Here’s an example: A bare-bones, stripped-down estimate from another contractor might include a line item for the kitchen electrical work that says, “lighting, switching, and outlets for kitchen.” During construction, the client might ask, “Will there be two recessed lights over my sink or just one?” The contractor then raises their eyebrows and says, “Well, actually, none. Your lighting allowance includes one surface mount light in the middle of the kitchen and one over the sink. I can do recessed lighting for you but that’s going to be an upcharge.”

At Blackdog, we don’t believe in lowball estimates designed to get the job. We feel a responsibility to provide accurate, upfront pricing that reflects our clients’ expectations regarding quality, style, and functionality. When we give an estimate, it’s “real” in that we’ve taken time upfront to understand our clients’ expectations for the finished project.

Every year, we’re privileged to work in beautiful homes, large and small. Most of our work isn’t in grand mansions but in more modest family houses. Sadly, most of these meticulously crafted, smaller projects can’t be effectively photographed. The photos you see in magazines are inevitably those of our larger projects and, consequently, we’re sometimes confronted by the misperception that “Blackdog only does fancy jobs.” It would be far more accurate to say, “Blackdog only provides excellent service and only does quality work.”

Every year, a variety of construction-oriented periodicals publish the per-square-foot price of building a new home of a specific caliber in a specific region. With prices ranging from $200–$500 per square foot, it’s easy for the owners of existing homes to translate that equation to their own remodeling job and think, “Well, my bathroom is only 35 square feet, so that means I should be able to remodel it for between $7,000 and $17,500!”

Per-square-foot pricing is not a relevant benchmark for remodeling because it doesn’t take into account three very important factors:

  • Demolition and rubbish removal: Not necessary in new construction – costs money. Before starting the project, the existing space must be stripped of all the fittings, fixtures, sheetrock, insulation, flooring, etc. Those materials must then be removed from the home (taking care not to dirty or damage the walls and floors of adjacent, uninvolved rooms) and disposed of.
  • Tying into old work is more labor-intensive than installing all-new work: Imagine an electrician installing recessed lights in a house currently under construction – all the joists are visible and wiring is simply stapled up in clean straight runs to the electrical panel, which is completely accessible. Compare this to installing the same lights in a pre-existing, plastered ceiling – to place a light, a hole is cut in the plaster. If a joist is revealed, a new hole must be cut and the other hole patched over. Wires must be “fished” across closed ceilings and down sheetrock walls to reach the electrical panel. This comparison holds true for almost every phase of a remodel, from excavation to pouring a foundation, to framing, flooring, and painting.
  • In new construction, big-ticket items like plumbing and electrical are averaged over the square footage of the whole house: The plumbing for a kitchen and two and a half bathrooms is very expensive but is averaged over 2,500 square feet. When a home is being remodeled, that same work is often averaged over only a tenth of the square footage.

Often, our clients use this question to ask, “If the price is higher than we’re comfortable with, will you work with us to help us get it down?” The answer there is a resounding “yes!” We start the project development process with an eye toward meeting all our clients’ needs, including budget.

If, after roughing out a design, we determine the cost of building that project is more than our client wants to invest, we can offer suggestions to help bring the budget back into line. Solutions can be as simple as selecting different products or finishes or as all-encompassing as simplifying the design by re-addressing the primary goals for the project.

Sometimes, our clients ask this question meaning, “Will you sell this project to me for a lower price because I asked?” The answer is “no.” We believe in fair and honest pricing for every client. The only way we could reduce the price of one client’s project would be to raise the price of another client’s and that is not our way.

Kitchen Remodeling FAQs

The length of your kitchen remodeling project largely depends on the design complexity. For instance, if you’re making modifications to the kitchen’s layout, this may take longer than making cosmetic updates to your countertops or cabinetry. In general, a complete kitchen renovation from design through construction may take up to six months to finish.

Learn more about our remodeling process.

The national average ROI for a kitchen remodeling project is around 54% for major remodeling projects; however, smaller remodels may have a stronger return, up to 81%, depending on the design complexity and materials used.

Yes — for those on a tighter budget, cabinet refacing is less expensive than replacing cabinets; however, it’s not typically recommended for several reasons. Refacing a cabinet’s frame can cause significant issues in terms of its structural integrity, potentially increasing the cost of your project.

Refacing also typically requires door replacement, which is the most expensive part of the cabinet. If you’re already paying for the most expensive part of the cabinet, it makes more sense to expand the budget for all-new cabinetry than it does to settle for refacing.

While hardwood floors aren’t generally recommended for kitchen remodels because kitchens are highly trafficked areas of the home and can produce greater wear and tear on your flooring, if you have your heart set on wood flooring, our team is happy to accommodate your vision.

Bathroom Remodeling FAQs

The project timeline for your bathroom remodel may vary depending on the design complexity of your renovation. More complex bathroom remodels can take up to five months to complete, while small-scale renovations may take as little as a few weeks.

Flooring and tiles tend to be the biggest portion of any bathroom remodeling budget; however, plumbing fixtures and updates to your shower system can also demand more of an investment.

On average, homeowners can expect an ROI of around 70% for their bathroom remodeling project.

While re-glazing is a great way to save money and salvage existing tubs for the time being, it’s important to note that this is not a permanent solution. Depending on your usage, it may be necessary to have additional re-glazing done to your tub in as little as three years.

If you’re not limited by budget, we always recommend upgrading to a new bathtub.

Before the design phase begins, it’s important to have a clear vision of what you want from your bathroom remodel so our team can do our best to bring your ideas to life. Once the construction phase is ready to begin, you’ll want to ensure the bathroom is cleared out and all personal belongings are removed.

While our team will ensure the bathroom space and surrounding areas are kept tidy, you may want to cover your furniture to protect it from dust.

Learn why you should choose Blackdog for your design/remodel project.

If you have any further questions about our process, schedule, or pricing, contact Blackdog Design/Build/Remodel at (603) 769-4938 in Nashua or (603) 952-3192 in Salem.

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Seamless and World Class Blackdog was the most professional business that I had worked with. Everything from the beginning of the project to the end was handled exceptionally and I felt confident that the project was going to get done correctly as they continually strived for my satisfaction. Scheduling and budgeting a large interior… James Y. Methuen, MA
Top-Notch Outfit Blackdog is a top notch outfit... we had a major renovation at our home. We had never done any work of this magnitude, but from design to renovation never felt uncomfortable or out of touch with where things stood. We felt like we had full control through the whole process… Sonny Z. Lexington, MA
Look forward to additional projects! We hired Blackdog to remodel our master bath and we could not have been more pleased with the process from start to the finished product! Our designer was awesome and took into consideration all of our requests. It was a pleasure to see the design she crafted come to life… Tonya H. Londonderry, NH
Integrity, professionalism and craftsmanship If you're looking for a truly full-service contractor, I cannot recommend Blackdog Builders highly enough! Blackdog is the perfect combination of integrity, professionalism, and craftsmanship. Susan S. North Andover, MA
VERY happy with the result! This was a complete kitchen overhaul — strip back to the studs and start new. Blackdog did the design and build. On the whole, we had a very good experience with Blackdog. The work was finished within the proposed cost, and the three-month schedule was kept — work went over… David K. Boxford, MA
We had shopped around for a while, talking with other contractors and design services before landing on Blackdog for their full service capability under one roof for our garage and primary bedroom suite addition. We have a 100 year old house and it was of the utmost importance that not… Nichole H.
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