New Prairie Construction logo

FAQS

18

New Prairie Construction is a full-service, insured general contractor. We have been serving the Champaign – Urbana area since 1988.

 

We specialize in:

  • Remodeling
  • Additions
  • Home energy efficiency & safety
  • Solar panel installation
  • Historic restoration and renovation
  • Lead-safe work practices
  • Green building methods and materials
  • Straw bale construction

See our full list of certifications and memberships.  

 

  • How do I request an estimate or ask a question?

There are several ways to contact us:

New Prairie Construction
605 E. Main St.
Urbana, IL 61802

Phone: 217-344-5131

Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday

Fax: 217-344-5132

E-mail: office@newprairieconstruction.com

or fill out a Request An Estimate or Request for Solar Panel Installation Estimate form online.

For fun pictures, interesting links, and updates, Like Us on Facebook and Google+

 

  • What are your service areas?

We take on remodeling and building projects in Urbana, Champaign, Savoy, and Mahomet.  We will sometimes go further for solar panel installation and specialty projects.  

 

  • What happens when I call for an estimate?

When you contact New Prairie for an estimate, our office manager, Tonya Randall, will return your call or email promptly and set up an appointment for one or both of our bid estimators, owner Julie Birdwell and carpenter Jennifer Hansen, to see your project. If appropriate, they may bring one or more subcontractors with them. After assessment, a proposal will be sent to you for your approval.

We believe that communication is one of the keys to a successful project. Julie and Jennifer listen carefully to your needs and ideas. They both have degrees in art, and together have over 40 years of construction experience. This means they can also provide you with valuable advice and suggestions.

 

  • After I sign the proposal, when will work begin?

When our bid estimators meet with you, they can give you a general idea of our current schedule. As soon as the proposal is approved and the materials checklist completed, New Prairie can schedule your project for our next available time. Outdoor projects are generally scheduled for spring or summer into the fall.

If your project is urgent (such as a leak), we will schedule it right away. Smaller projects can often be “slipped in” when weather or other variables free our crew up for a day or two.

 

  • How long will my project take?

It depends on the size of the project. But once work begins, our employees remain on the job daily until your project is done. Throughout the process, we communicate regularly with you to ensure that your schedules are respected and your needs are addressed.

 

  • How dusty will my living space be during the project?

In most cases, homeowners remain in their homes while we complete their projects. Remodeling and construction are messy, especially when there is significant demolition involved. We respect your living space, and contain dust, dirt, and noise as much as possible. We provide protection for areas that will be walked through, and isolate the work area where we can.

 

  • I have an older home, and I’m unsure if I have lead paint. Will this be an issue during my remodel?

If your home is older than 1978, it must be assumed that there is lead present. We follow all EPA lead abatement guidelines and procedures to keep our workers and customers safe from the hazards of lead dust. To protect their own health and the health of their customers, owners Julie Birdwell and Jill Mulder became certified as Lead Abatement Supervisors in 2001. All New Prairie crew are certified or trained according to the EPA’s Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule.

You can obtain additional information from our our Lead-Safe Remodeling article and www.epa.gov/lead.

 

  • I’m considering using environmentally-friendly products for my next home improvement project. Can you help with this?

Over the years, we’ve used many green building products — clay paints, bamboo and cork flooring, reclaimed slate counterops, citrus solvents, and straw bales, to name just a few. New products come on the market every day, and we try to keep abreast of the highest performing, most reliable ones. If you’d like to research green building products, start with our Recommended Green Building Products page.

 

  • Are your subcontractors insured and reliable?

New Prairie’s carpenters have expertise in many areas, but as a general contractor, we also employ a team of insured subcontractors from the Champaign – Urbana area. These include electricians, plumbers, masons, and roofers. Our professional relationships are of long standing, and we stand by our subcontractor work as we do our own.

Find out more by visiting our other informational pages:
General Contracting Services
How Bidding Works
Energy Efficiency & Insulation

Any other questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us!