A First Choice Construction FAQ’s
How long have you been in business?
We have been in business for since 2002 and management has over 75 total experience in exteriors and home improvement construction. We are a family owned business and the owner is heavily involved in every project.
Do you give free estimates?
Absolutely! Happy too!
Is your company Insured and Bonded?
We are Fully insured & carry workers compensation on every employee. We also do background checks on every employee.
Does your company offer weekend service?
We work almost every day of the year including weekends. We also can provide 24-hour emergency services.
Do you accept credit cards? Which ones?
Yes, all major credit cards including Discover are accepted.
Is a manager, officer of the company or owner present at every job site?
An officer of A1 is present at every job site and is in constant contact with the owner if the owner happens to not be on-site at the time.
Where are you located?
150 Rea Ave Hawthorne NJ is where our corporate office is headquartered, but we service 8 counties within New Jersey.
What areas do you serve?
All of Central and Northern New Jersey. For details, view our Area Serviced page.
Do you offer a warranty on your work?
Absolutely! We stand by our work and all of our work is warrantied. References happily available upon request.
Frequently Asked Questions About Masonry
What is masonry construction?
Masonry construction involves creating a building, wall, floor or other structure using bricks, concrete blocks, or stone usually in or around a building or home. Cement mortar or grout holds the masonry units together. Masonry is a very durable form of construction.
What types of services does masonry cover?
Masonry covers many types of applications. Anything from building walls to large structures that are made out of cement blocks and brick. From residential retaining walls to beautiful paver patios and walkways, masonry is usually at work. It includes concrete sidewalks, patios walkways, and driveways. Masonry is also commonly used in stone and veneer facades of a home’s foundation.
Are pavers and masonry the same thing?
Yes, this is mostly true. Paver installation is part of masonry work, but Masonry covers much more than just pavers. Many landscapers and other home improvement specialists offer paver installation and design. If you are looking for a high quality and professional installation then we suggest using masons which are highly skilled and qualified to make sure the work lasts longer and performed with skill. Pavers can be used for patios, walkways, and driveways. There are a variety of colors and shapes for all your needs. We would be happy to walk you through options for your project.
What is the difference between faux stone and thin stone veneer?
Faux stone is man-made stone. It is a cementitious product made to simulate natural stone. The stones are made thin and applied to the exterior walls with a thin coat of mortar. If not applied with the correct material to keep water out you can have major issues. Stone veneer are cast using molds and colors to replicate natural stone. It adds character to a home’s exterior or interior for a reasonable price. It is typically used to accent traditional exterior siding materials like wood, stucco, aluminum or vinyl. Real stone is natural and a heavier stone to work with. Real stone can only be applied by an experienced mason and with proper skills and equipment. The real stone will cost more to install due to the experience needed by a qualified mason. Over the years, real and faux stone prices are very similar.
Is limestone stronger than sandstone?
No. Sandstone is stronger than limestone. It is used for a variety of purposes. They are mainly used in paving, roofing, flooring, etc. They are also used to make beams, pillars, doors and posts.
For durability, what type of stone should I use?
For residential masonry steps or wall capping, we recommend using limestone or bluestone. Not only do they make the project look great, they are durable for traffic areas.
What is the most durable stone to use for my walkway?
Design possibilities for outdoor walkways and pathways are endless. They can be built almost any size and shape you need. Concrete offers a durable, resilient and cost effective choice for outdoor uses, including driveways. It can withstand freezing ground temperatures without cracking, and easy to clean and maintain. Also, concrete pavers are very durable and easy to replace if they get damaged, and come in a variety of colors.
Is stucco considered masonry?
Yes, stucco is considered masonry work. It is applied over a concrete mason base. It is durable, attractive and weather-resistant.
What type of masonry projects can you build? (Walkways, arches, brickwork, fire pits )
TWe can build many types of masonry projects and custom projects are welcome! We can build a variety of concrete, stone, paver patios, walkways and steps. We also construct all types of brickwork for steps, home facades, chimneys and retaining walls. In addition we cement stucco home foundations, chimneys, walls and restore steps. A1 will work with your imagination as well and help make your vision come to life!
Do you charge for masonry quotes?
All of our masonry quotes and estimates are free of charge. A representative will be dispatched to your home and go over all details and options with you. At that time a free quote will be issued and all of your questions answered.
Frequently Asked Questions About Siding
What are the different types of siding available?
The different types of siding are wood, fiber cement, stucco, stone veneer, and vinyl siding. Each type of siding is created with different materials and various looks for preference. We can provide samples for you as well.
Can you paint vinyl siding?
There are some new options available to paint vinyl siding, although we don’t recommend painting it.
Does vinyl siding fade?
Yes, the older vinyl fades more quickly over the years. However, technology has increased and the new siding tends to hold up much longer than older material used too.
Can you complete a siding job in 1 day?
No, a siding job cannot be finished in one day. The average house has to have the old siding removed, insulation replaced and new siding installed. This can take an average of 1 to 2 weeks if done properly.
How do I know my house needs new siding?
There are many “red flag” signs your home may need new siding. If your home has been painted more than once, it probably is due for a new install. High heating and cooling bills can also be an indication. Obviously, if you see rot, warping, and cracked siding, it is probably time for a siding replacement. Paint peeling, bubbling or fading. Fungus, mold, and mildew may be growing on or inside the siding. Lastly, bubbling holes and discoloration are also signs that its time for your siding to be replaced. If you are curious, contact us for a free evaluation.
What type of siding is easiest to maintain and clean?
Vinyl siding is the easiest to maintain and clean. There is minimal maintenance with vinyl siding and it can be cleaned with a pressure washer and some detergent when it gets dirty from time to time.
Can aluminum siding be recycled?
Yes, aluminum siding can be recycled after removing from the home. Every installation we perform with aluminum siding is removed and disposed properly at a recycling center.
Can siding be repaired?
Yes, siding can be repaired. An expert technician will remove the old or damaged piece and it will be matched at any of our supply houses. After matching the siding, it can be installed.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of aluminum siding?
Aluminum siding has many disadvantages compared to vinyl. First of all, it dents easily and is more expensive to repair. Also, aluminum can be damaged by the elements and will need to be frequently repainted.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of vinyl siding?
Vinyl siding has many advantages over other materials. Vinyl is easier to maintain and more durable to stand up to impact. When vinyl siding needs to be repaired, it’s easily and quickly removed for a faster installation. Also vinyl comes in a variety of colors and textures.
Questions About Chimney Services and Chimney Sweeping
How often should the average chimney be cleaned?
The average chimney should be cleaned once a year. Whether it be a fireplace chimney or a heating flue chimney both should be cleaned yearly since they are used yearly. The reason for yearly cleaning is to remove any buildup inside created from usage, which can cause a fire.
Is Chimney sweeping and Chimney cleaning the same thing?
Yes, chimney sweeping and chimney cleaning are the same thing. Either word can be used when sweeping a chimney using proper size brushes. Also, depending on the extent of build up a cleaner may be needed.
Can a chimney be cleaned at any time of year? Rain or shine?
Yes, Don’t let bad weather keep you from getting your chimney cleaned! A chimney can be cleaned year round at any time regardless of the weather. Our experts are trained to clean any chimney.
What can I do to prevent a chimney fire?
Chimney fires can occur due to buildup of soot or creosote in uncleaned chimneys. The way that it can be prevented is a yearly clean and inspection by our chimney company. A technician will do a full inspection and clean using proper brushes, vacuum, and also all debris will be removed.
How much do you charge for a chimney cleaning?
There are few factors that a technician needs to see when pricing a chimney cleaning job. The height of the chimney, location of the chimney, accessibility to the chimney, and how much build up there is are all determining factors. The average chimney sweep starts at $60.
When you clean my chimney, what other checks or inspections do you make?
When we clean the chimney other inspections take place free of charge. We will check if there are any missing mortar joints in the entire chimney both inside and out. We inspect flashing of the chimney for any openings that water may be entering causing damage. Also, the interior flue linings will be checked for cracks, shifting, or separating due to usage and weather?
Is it important to have a chimney cap? If so, why?
A chimney cap is important for many reasons. First, a cap will prevent any animals from entering, which can be costly for animal removal service. A chimney cap also will not allow rain and outdoor elements to enter which will cause deterioration of internal terracotta flue linings overtime. Chimney caps, when properly sized will not adversely affect chimney drafts. In fact, there are caps designed to actually make them draft better using turbine caps. A technician who is well trained like the ones here at A First Choice Construction will know the correct one for your needs.
What are chimney liners? Why are they important?
Chimney liners are very important for safety reasons as they replace the existing terracotta flues in a chimney that worn out and dangerous. Once the old flues are worn carbon monoxide can enter your home. The liners used are aluminum for gas applications and stainless steel for gas, oil, or wood burning application. A chimney liner is very important because it will reline the interior of the old chimney, preventing carbon monoxide poisoning.
Why would my chimney be leaking?
There are several reasons your chimney may be leaking. The top portion called the crown made of cement can have slight cracks or be broken allowing water to enter the top and leak down into your home. The flashing around the bottom can be open in small or large areas allowing water to enter. Our technicians will perform a thorough analysis to determine the origin.
Do chimney sweeps still use brushes?
Yes, chimney sweeps still use brushes. There are many sizes and styles available each to perform a specific task for a specific application. These brushes are designed to have your chimney properly clean, safe, and functional.
Does homeowners insurance cover chimney repairs?
Homeowners insurance sometimes cover chimney repair depending on your carrier and your policy coverage. When we come to your home we will write up a detailed estimate on our findings and cause of damage, then you can submit it to your carrier for review. The carrier then usually will call us and make their own assessment and they decide from their based on coverage and their policies. A First Choice Construction can help you along the way with any questions you may have.
Frequently Asked Questions About Roofing
What kind of roofing shingles are best for New Jersey Roofs?
We use Timberline shingles, because they offer the best combination of performance and value you can get out of your home. Timberline shingles will not only protect your most valuable asset, they’ll beautify your home for years to come. All Timberline shingles now come with a lifetime Ltd. warranty on all their shingle lines.
What brands of shingles are best for New Jersey Roofs?
We prefer to use Timberline shingles in NJ. We have had much success with them for many years and can be trusted.
Do you Service New York and Pennsylvania Roofs?
Sorry, we are strictly New Jersey based.
Do you repair roofs only or do you do new roofs as well?
Absolutely! We specialize in roof repairs, roof replacement of all types from flat rubber to shingle, residential and commercial. Full roof replacements are also right in our wheelhouse. Our crews are highly trained, and GAF certified. If it has to do with roofing in NJ, you have come to the right place!
How long does the average complete new roof job take?
Weather permitting, the average complete new roof can take 1 to 2 days to be finished. It all depends on the size and how many cuts are involved in the installation.
How quickly can work begin on my roof after we decide to go with A First Choice Construction?
Depending on permits needed by the town hall, jobs are usually scheduled within five days of contract and deposit. If it is an emergency, same or next day service is available. If our client is in a bad spot or time crunch, we will do whatever we can to accommodate them.
Do you provide financing? If so, How does it work?
Yes, we do provide financing through a reputable bank called Enerbank. After our estimator visits your home and an estimate is given, you have the option of applying over the phone privately with the financing company. You will be notified on the spot with a decision of how much you are approved for. We are happy to help you with this process.
Do you provide 100% clean up?
Absolutely! All of our jobs are thoroughly cleaned during the roofing process throughout the day. A First Choice Construction respects your property like our own and we take pride in cleanliness to make sure its 100% satisfaction. Our crews are trained in clean up and will inspect the property at the end of the day.
How many years can I expect my new roof to last?
You can expect your new roof from A First Choice Construction to last approximately 30 years. If we perform the installation, we’ll use the correct nail patterns for maximum durability This involves six nails per each shingle using a staggered pattern. Using this design will ensure the shingle to hold up in high wind velocity. This allows us to warranty material for 50 years; we warranty our labor for 20 years
What is the difference between licensed roofing contractors and contractors that aren't licensed?
All of our workers are on payroll and insured with workers compensation. The difference between companies that have proper insurance and employees on payroll is often obvious you’ll notice when receiving the estimate. By cutting down on legal employment and insurance, which can be a disaster for a homeowner, risky companies can provide cheap estimates and undercut ethical businesses. Always ask if they have roofing insurance and make sure you call the insurance company directly all contractors should have no problem providing you with a certificate if they don’t that is a sure sign they are not insured. Protect yourself and make sure your roofing contractor is licensed. This is super important.
Do you use 100% American Labor?
Yes. Our entire staff is 100% legal and all of our employees are on the books. Again, risky companies use day laborers who may not be properly trained and put your project at risk. Be careful because the homeowner is responsible for who they do business with. Protect yourself! There are solid roofing contractors in New Jersey that are honest and trustworthy. A1 is one of those contractors.
If I install a new roof, do I have to install new gutters also?
No, just because a new roof is installed, doesn’t mean your gutters need to be replaced. While our crew is out there they can do a free assessment of the gutters and all will be cleaned after job completion.
If I install a new roof, do I have to install new gutters also?
If your roof is currently only one layer, an over the top application can be applied. A roof is only allowed two layers maximum. Our technicians will make the decision if an over the top application will be ok depending on how sound the first layer is.
Do you provide roof inspections for new home purchases?
Yes, we provide roof inspections for new home purchases. If a written report is needed, there is a charge for this service. The fee will be applied to your project if you use our company for any repairs. Contact Us for details.