Five Reasons Why Design Build Remodeling Should Be Left to a Professional.

If you are considering a major remodel to your home there are so many important reasons why you should hire a design build professional. Whether it’s your kitchen, bathroom or whole house renovation, this blog will help you examine the risks of doing-it-yourself or going with the lowest price firm.  Read more

Thompson’s Tips for a Stress-Free Remodel

Making the decision to remodel your home is exciting. It’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed at first, so to help you prepare, we’ve compiled a list of tips to ensure a stress-free remodel.

  1. Research and collect photos of projects that you like.  Use websites like Houzz or Pinterest to create idea books.  Each will allow you to create a virtual scrapbook of photos that you like.  This will help to convey the aesthetic that you have in mind for your project.
  2. Find out if you need HOA approval and what the process is to get it.  Most communities have architectural guidelines for updates homeowners want to make to their homes.  Your HOA may have guidelines for simple things like replacing a fence or front door to more complicated items like additions or a new deck. Guidelines can include material specifications as well as style and aesthetic characteristics. Your HOA will tell you what these are and what is needed to get approval.
  3. Develop a realistic budget for your project. This is best done in consultation with a remodeler or contractor.  They will ask you questions about your project and will visit your home.  After gaining a good understanding of what you want, they can work with you to develop the budget you will need.
  4. Hire a professional remodeler.  This is very important! Hiring a professional will make an enormous difference in assuring your remodel goes well.  They will determine when you need permits, and in many cases will get them for you.  A professional remodeler will have a designer on staff to complete your design and work with you to make selections.  They will have seasoned craftsmen on staff that hold themselves to high standards, know building codes, and what to do when something unexpected occurs. Do your research on reputable firms in your area.  Make sure they are licensed in your state; check their ratings with the Better Business Bureau and other online review sites like Guild Quality, Yelp and Angie’s List.  Look at photos of the work they have done.  And of course, ask them about their warranty.
  5. Understand your project timeline.  Ask your remodeler for a schedule. Know what to expect and when. This will minimize your surprises and allow you to be prepared for things that might require you to adjust your daily routine.
  6. Get a written contract.  A professional remodeler will provide you with a written contract that will specify the scope of work, materials to be used, how change orders will be handled, payment schedules, and a completion date.
  7. Know whom to contact for issues and in case of emergency.  Make sure to find out who the daily contact person is for your project as well as who to contact in the case of an emergency.

We hope these tips for  a stress-free remodel are helpful.  If you are considering a remodel, we’d love to help you create a space that you love! With our 30+ years serving West Michigan, our process ensures your project goes as smooth and enjoyable as possible for you, our client. Call us today to discuss your project at 616.942.1866.

Basement Remodeling Trends

Trends are changing, basements are now an extension of a home’s look and style. A basement remodel has the potential to add function to your home. Since we are spending so much time indoors during the winter months, remodeling your basement may become a necessity. Read more

EPA’s New Lead Paint Law

The Renovate, Repair and Painting Rule will affect you when you go to paint, repair or remodel your pre-1978 home — unless you do the work yourself.  The rule states that contractors working on such homes must:

  • Have their firm registered with EPA
  • Have EPA-Certified Renovators on staff
  • Use mandated lead safe dust-containment and clean-up protocols
  • Document all compliance measures

Okay, okay, you say, but what does that have to do with homeowners? Here’s what.

  • EPA will enforce the rule by shutting down home projects with non-compliant contractors indefinitely. Picture a stop work order on a demolished kitchen.
  • When you sell your home, you are required to disclose known lead to potential buyers. If you can’t show that your work was performed by EPA-certified contractors using lead safe practices, the value of your home may be affected.

The rule will apply to any work that disturbs more than 6 sq. ft. of painted interior surfaces or more than 20 sq. ft. of painted exterior surfaces. That covers a lot of projects. But minor work and most energy improvements will be exempt.

The EPA will not carry out a public awareness campaign until later this year. Please spread the word to your friends. Ask before hiring any sort of contractor or painter:  Are you EPA Lead-Safe Certified? If you get a blank stare, get another contractor.

What We Do

Many times a week a past client or prospective client will call and ask, “Do you do…[insert need of the moment]?” Here is a post to pique your interest and answer that question.

In a sentence: Thompson Remodeling is a design/build residential remodeling firm. We help busy professionals love where they live.

We do 3 categories of projects:

1) Our core competency is completing Design/Build projects. An example would be a kitchen where we move walls. These are all types of projects that have a lot of moving parts.

2) We offer a High-end Handyman Service for our past clients.

3) We do Green Remodeling projects for clients who are dissatisfied with their home’s energy & resource efficiency, comfort, durability, and want their home to support a healthier lifestyle and become part of sustainable housing.

As a list:




Lower Level Basement Finishing

Outdoor Living

Green Remodeling

Mud Rooms

Laundry Rooms

Whole House Renovations


Theater Rooms


Second Story Additions

Bonus Rooms

Custom Built-in Furniture


Egress Windows

Energy Tax Credit Window Replacement

Energy Audit

Energy Home Improvement

Counter tops



Our clients live in:



Forest Hills

East Grand Rapids




Byron Center


Other small pockets throughout West Michigan, like your neighborhood.