When building a home, you want to be sure that you can rely on the contracting company you have chosen. You want to be sure that your project will be completed on time, within budget and to your complete satisfaction. Every homebuilder's worst nightmare is to find themselves locked into a prolonged and costly contract with a disreputable contractor. That's why the first decision you make - who to hire - is the most important one.
At RALCO Builders, we don't just build houses, we build homes. The best architects know that perfection is in the details, and the details are what make a home that will provide comfort and security for generations to come. That's why we have dedicated our careers and our passions to creating custom homes that set a new standard for modern living.
With an arsenal of advanced equipment and materials and a multidisciplinary team of experts and subcontractors, we have the tools and expertise to tackle any home development project including foundation work, roofing and everything in between. And in addition to providing first-rate contracting services, we also strive to keep them affordable with a responsible, efficient and streamlined construction process. Furthermore, our experience and relationships with manufacturers allow us to bring our costs down even lower.
The cornerstone of our businesses is not only competitive prices, but excellence in client service. Our mission is to combine luxury with functionality in the way that makes a house a home, and we have brought together a world-class team of engineers and architects to realize that goal.
The dedication and hard work of our employees are what transformed RALCO Builders into a leading force in home design. So when you need a builder you can count on, count on RALCO Builders.
How to Choose a General Contractor
20+ Questions for Interviewing Your General Contractor
(provided by RALCO Builders to all of our prospective clients)
1. Are you a registered builder in good standing with the State of NJ?Yes. New Home Builder - License #41157Home Improvement - License #13VH2485300
2. Do you participate in the NJ New Home Warranty Program?
Yes. We are enrolled with Professional Warranty Corporation.
3. Are you fully insured for general liabilty? Which insurance Company? Will you provide certification?
Yes. We are fully insured through Connelly, Campion & Wright. We also provide our certificate of insurance to all clients.
4. Do you have employees? If so, what is your organization structure? Do you carry Workers' Compensation?
RALCO Builders outsources most all company functions in order to keep overhead as low as possible allowing us to pass this savings onto our clients. Our business developer is a consultant to the company and is fully dedicated to making sure that we provide the best service to our clients. Every RALCO Builders employee is covered under our Workers Compensation Insurance.
5. Do you provide a legal contract?
Yes. We encourage you to review our contract carefully to make sure that you are legally protected and have a clear understanding of our respective responsibilities.
6. Is it specified what is and is not to be done on your jobs? What other information is included in your contract?
Yes. We clearly state what will and will not be provided prior to starting your project. Of course, the building process is dynamic and complex, so we also provide for flexibility and contingencies to provide services that can enhance your project beyond your original expectations or handle unforseen situations that may arise during the building process.
7. Is your start date and projected finish date clearly specified in your contract?
Yes. Most important to us is getting your project finished on time, and within budget.
8. Do you have a "Change Order" policy and will you provide a sample of a change order?
Yes. We understand that you will need or want to change certain aspects of your project and will provide a seamless Change Order policy so you may take advantage of new information as it becomes available to you. We provide the costs upfront so that you may make an informed decision.
9. Are your subcontractors licensed where required? Do they carry liability insurance, and do they carry Workers' Compensation for their employees?
Yes. We require that all subcontractors provide appropriate insurance certificates prior to coming to the jobsite and we keep them on file for the duration of the project.
10. Do you, as the builder, obtain permits?
Yes. We have a great repuation with construction offices and are conficent that we can expediate the permitting process for you.
11. When will my payments be due?
As part of your contract, there will be a clearly stated progress payment schedule that will facilitate timely procurement of materials and labor to ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget. We work with the construction lenders as well to keep your project moving.
12. What professional trade organizations are you a member of?
RALCO Builders is an active member of NJBIA, NFIB and the New Jersey Shore Builders Association
13. Do you and your employees attend regular industry expos and continuing education courses?
Yes. We also take time to evaluate and learn about new materials and technology that can significantly benefit your project.
14. How long have you been in the construction business?
Longevity in the construction business is rare and should not be taken lightly. We feel that in addition to longevity, having a broad experience is also important. With RALCO Builders you get both. Neil Ducharme has been in the construction business since his high school days. He has obtained formal higher education in construction management and has worked for reputable construction and development companies, holding positions in the highest levels of project management on complex private and municipal projects. He has formed RALCO Builders, incorporating more than 15 years experience.
15. Do you create a project plan for how the job will be completed including costs, schedule, and resources needed?
We carefully plan out every phase of each project to ensure that it is completed on time and within budget. It is via our project plan, that we can track and monitor your project's progress on a daily basis and keep you informed throughout the entire building process.
16. Do you use a job completion punch list that ensures job quality and completion?
Yes. A punch list is your final confirmation that the job is completed properly. Our punch list also includes input from municipal officals to ensure that all authorities having jurisdiction over your project verify the quality and completness.
17. Can you provide a reference list of completed jobs and jobs in progress?
Yes. You should think about questions to ask our references that will help you really get to know RALCO Builders.
18. Can I visit your job sites, and talk to construction officials about your reputation?
We recommend visiting both completed jobs and jobs in progress. Completed jobs will give you a chance to speak with other homeowners and visiting jobs in progress will give you a chance to view how our sites operate.
19. Can you supply the names of 3 subcontractors and 3 suppliers you've used in the past? (This indicates a good working relationship.) How long have you been affliated with these subcontractors?
Yes. We've worked with some of our subcontractors and suppliers for a long time. We are continually shopping around for the best price and service for our clients so we maintain serveral sources for each subcontractor and supplier.
20. Do you specify all materials or do you use allowances?
Where to utilize allowances and hard specification is unique to each project, and sometimes is a personal preference to our clients. Once the advantages and disadvantages of each scenario is understood, we feel that combining upfront specification of materials with flexible allowances is key to getting the most positive outcome for our clients.
21. Will I be able to work with your suppliers and subcontractors directly during the building process and be made aware of timely cost saving deals as they are made available to you?
Yes. There are many advantages to working directly with our suppliers. Among them are getting what you really want by working with their designers and sales people ensuring that they have every detail directly from you. Also, you get the confidence that you are paying the absolute lowest prices for materials and services because you see the invoices directly.
22. What happens if you get hurt or sick and can no longer work at the site?
We have project manager that stay informed about all of our projects on an ongoing basis so that there is backup for every project. RALCO Builders embraces the team approach to providing the best service to our clients.
23. How can I expect conflicts to be resolved?
We believe that proactive communication is the best way to avoid conflicts altogether. However, any issue that does arise will be dealt with quickly, understood fully and resolved in the best interest of your project.
24. How do you communicate with your clients during the building process? Phone? Email?
We will use all means of communication. We understand that the best ideas sometimes come in the middle of the night. Send us an email or leave us a message. We don't mind as long as it is a benefit to your project. We don't punch a timeclock.
25. Will I ever have to wait long for a call back?
At RALCO Builders we take pride in our dedication, reputation, and integrity. We believe that every client deserves a call back within 1 hour.
Neil Ducharme's construction career actually began in high school when he started to build custom homes for his Uncle's construction company. Even at a young age, he familiarized himself with the industry and was responsible for framing, siding, roofing and finish work of custom built homes.
Neil holds a B.S. degree in Construction Management from Roger Williams University (Rhode Island). While obtaining his degree, he held a foreman position for J&M Construction, where he was responsible for building and renovating corporate offices and commercial buildings in downtown Providence, RI.
Upon graduation, Neil interned for the prestigious company, O. Ahlborg & Sons, where he quickly advanced to the level of Project Manager. His resume with the company boasts several municipal court buildings, police and fire stations, elementary and middle schools, residential elderly housing and a Minor League Baseball Stadium (McCoy, Pawtucket, RI). These projects had budgets that ranged from $2 million to $37 million dollars.
After relocating to New Jersey, Neil was offered a position as Project Manager for Edgewood Properties in Piscataway, NJ. In just two years, he oversaw the construction and opening of a $27 million dollar, 192 unit apartment complex in Neptune, NJ with amenities that include a Clubhouse and Pool.
Neil Ducharme has successfully transformed his valuable industry experience into his own company, RALCO Builders. Under Neil's direction, RALCO Builders has developed an impeccable reputation for expertise, superior workmanship and client satisfaction. And although his past clients are eager to provide references, Neil never rests on past performance. He continues to offer every client his brand of personalized service, uncompromised integrity and ultimate project success. Each project is treated just as if Neil was going to live there with his own family.
RALCO Builder's Commitment to Every Client
Your home is as individual and unique as you are. We commit to take the time to understand what is most important to you. It is through this understanding that RALCO Builders lays the foundation of our service to you.
From design, to ground breaking, right through final inspection, our goal is to understand your every need and desire and to apply our expertise and guidance to make your vision a reality.
We also commit to pass on to you the benefits of our outstanding reputation in the industry. Our relationship with local, national and international suppliers ensures that you get the best availability and price for materials while our network of subcontractors enables RALCO to provide you with integrated solutions and comprehensive packages for your home.
No dream is too small, no ambition too large. At RALCO Builders, what matters most is giving your home your own personal touch.
A home addition can be an easy and inexpensive way to increase your living space and improve your quality of life! Whether your family is growing or you'd like to boost the resale value of your house, we can help. Our contractors have a wealth of experience providing quality service to homeowners in your area and have extensive knowledge in building everything from entertainment rooms to kitchens.
In addition to providing a free estimate, our skilled contractors will help you along in every step of the process by:
- Obtaining Building Permits
- Providing Ideas and Designs for Development
- Adding Detail to Your Existing Plans
- Executing Your Directions to the Letter
October 4, 2013
Take a walk around Manasquan. On block after block you'll see new homes being built in various sizes, shapes and styles. Needless to say, there are countless contractors at work and the competition is stiff.
Do your research and find out which houses have been built and are currently under construction by RALCO Builders, LLC. You'll find their work is more than a notch above their competition in the quality of work and materials.
What's more the experience of building your home, which can be challenging, frustrating, and at times discouraging, is simplified be the staff at RALCO from Neil, to Vinny, to Joanne and the various subcontractors who make it all happen. Neil and Vinny are on the site every day and Joanne is in the office working with suppliers and the subcontractors to keep them on schedule.
We're extremely pleased with our new home in Manasquan and are happy we chose RALCO from the dozen builders, modular and stick whom we consulted.
Choose RALCO for your home.
Ed & Ellen O'Connor
Ralco (Neil DuCharme) did a complete "down to the studs" renovation of our 100 year old Jersey Cape in Manasquan. Our vision was to update our home without losing the integrity and feeling of an older home. We had several local contractors provide estimates, almost all of whom had more "experience" than Neil. But after checking references for each one, we quickly felt that Neil was the right choice. The three big factors for us were workmanship, budget and timing. All of Neil's references glowed about his work, the fact he finished on time and was at or close to budget. The fact the he grew up in Rhode Island working on homes much older than ours made us feel comfortable too.
We had professional architectural plans that we thought were "perfect" but even before the project began, Neil pointed out some "obvious" flaws and began to suggest alternatives that he thought better fit our vision for the house. Even after the renovation was underway, Neil made other changes/enhancements to maximize spaces, enhance lighting and provide other resolutions before expensive change orders were necessary. He was experienced in dealing with whatever curveball our old house threw his way. Neil's attention to detail and organization was quickly evident as well as his vision for the finished project. These qualities keep projects moving and enable him to hit deadlines. We were provided regular status updates and had a good level of communication. Sometimes, it is difficult for the homeowner to see the finish line but Neil was good at assuaging our concerns and being patient with us.
In the end, our dream home was finished precisely on-time and on-budget, well exceeding our expectations. Thanks Neil.
Sean & Laura Clark
Manasquan, New Jersey
RALCO Builders dedication to building and remodeling quality homes and guaranteeing long term customer service isn't just something our employees will say. Our past customers are an important part of the RALCO Builder's family and share their experience working with RALCO Builders during their construction projects.
"In the fall of 2008, my wife and I began the project of our lifetime, building our dream beach house. This project was both exciting and daunting. Besides the most expensive purchase we have ever made, the decsions that needed to be made were overwhelming. We were very fortunate to have hired RALCO Builders and Neil Ducharme to be our contractor. Ellen and I feel the same, and more about the experience we have had with you. And as you know, you can always have a prospective customer call, or stop by for a rave review."
-- Mike & Ellen Brogan