1980

Dutchess Decking

Fresh out of college, Brian started Dutchess Decking with a main focus of Custom Decking, Glass Sunrooms and Screen Enclosures.

1990

Dutchess Building Specialists

Recognizing the demand for full service remodeling, we changed our name to Dutchess Building Specialists Inc.

2003

“Big 50” Remodeler

The 2000’s brought national recognition as a “Big 50” Remodeler. This achievement reflects the dedication of our amazing team.

2017

DBS Remodel Today

Today DBS Remodel is hard at work educating homeowners on the remodeling process. We are passionate about we do, proud of our past and excited about our future.

The DBS Difference

In over 2,500 surveys submitted by our clients, Cleanliness, Politeness and Trust are the three key areas mentioned as most appreciated while working with our company.

We are very proud to own this reputation. We continue to listen and learn to what is most important to our clients while being a guest in their home.

When Cleanliness, Politeness & Trust Matter!

home improvement backyard appeal

Meet our Team

We love the business of home remodeling and proudly embrace our reputation to deliver Cleanliness, Politeness and Trust to those who have given us the privilege to be a guest in their home.

Office Staff/ Remodeling Consultants

Brian Altmann, CAPS
President / Remodeling Consultant

EPA Certified

brian@DBSremodel.com

Bio

Brian founded DBS Remodel in 1986. He recognized a demand in the community for a professional and reliable remodeling company that was focused on customer service. He studied Architecture at Dutchess Community College for 2 years before transferring to Cortland State, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education with a minor in management. Brian is a Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) in our industry, and an EPA Certified Renovator.

Brian loves to educate and is very passionate about sharing his 30 plus years of knowledge in the remodeling industry! Locally, he is co-writer and presenter of DBS’ RemodelSmart™ Training Seminars for homeowners seeking knowledge of the remodeling process and how to hire a contractor. On a national level, Brian is a perennial guest speaker at the Remodeling Convention and also at JLC Live in Rhode Island where he shares his insight with remodeling professionals from around the country. Brian is also a part time remodeling consultant helping others in the industry develop a successful business plan centered on the remodeling experience.

Brian lives in LaGrangeville with his wife Darleen and their two children, Ayla and Reed. Brian’s hobbies include snowmobiling, skiing and vacationing at the beach with his family.

Robert Lutz, CAPS
Operations Manager / Remodeling Consultant

EPA Certified

bob@DBSremodel.com

Bio

Since joining our team in 2000, Bob has been sharing his knowledge as an exceptional remodeling consultant with, an emphasis on ensuring client comfort and trust.

Bob carried out a 3-year term as President of the local chapter of NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry). He is a Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) in our industry, and an EPA Certified Renovator. Bob is a co-writer and presenter of our public educational seminars for homeowners seeking knowledge of the remodeling process.

Nadine Wiese
Production Manager

nadine@DBSremodel.com

Bio

Nadine joined our team in 2002. As Production Manager, she plays an important and vital role in project preparation, production and final project conclusion. She regularly conducts Project Launch meetings, and guides our clients through the remodeling process. Nadine handles project scheduling, accounting, and keeps our clients informed of their project status.

Nadine lives in Highland with her husband Craig and son, Luke. She enjoys walking, fishing and spending time with her family.

Michelle Merck
Remodeling Consultant

michelle@DBSremodel.com

Bio

Michelle moved to New York from New Hampshire in 2007. She is a graduate of Keene State, with a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. Michelle has previously worked in the construction industry, mainly doing hardscape, including walkways, patios, decks—all things exterior! She’s followed projects from concept to completion, and is hands-on with each job! In her free time, Michelle is a certified yoga instructor, and enjoys hiking, biking, and being a mom to her two sons, Jackson & Jameson!

Jennifer Booth
Office Manager

jenn@DBSremodel.com

Bio

Jennifer joined our team in 2006. She provides extensive customer service to all of our clients. Her ability to handle multiple tasks and deliver prompt results has contributed greatly to our focus on the remodeling experience.

Jennifer lives in Hopewell Junction with her husband Shawn and their two children, Hayley and Hunter. She enjoys reading, writing poetry, and spending time with her family.

Alexis Petrone
Marketing Director

alexis@DBSremodel.com

Bio

Born originally in Long Island, Alexis has resided in Dutchess County for most her life. She attended Southern Connecticut State University where she received a degree in Music, Marketing & Advertising. For the past 5 years she’s worked with iHeart Radio Sales both locally & nationally, and on occasion, you can hear some of her voiceover work.But after working in the city, Alexis decided to come back to the Hudson Valley and pursue a career in Marketing & Advertising. She has always had a strong passion for the home improvement industry, so when she got the opportunity to be a Marketing Director with DBS Remodel, she jumped at the opportunity. Alexis also decided to further her career, and recently obtained her Real Estate licenses as well. Currently, she lives with her husband in Poughkeepsie, and in her free time, she enjoys being surrounded by her family & friends, singing, and going out to eat.

Angelina Szabo
Bookkeeper

DBSremodeloffice@gmail.com

Project Lead Managers / Field

Pete Viola
Executive Project Manager

EPA Certified

Bio

Joining the DBS Family in 1999, Pete has earned the position as our Executive Project Manager. He has been an instrumental part of defining who DBS is, both in the office and on the jobsite. Pete prides himself in caring about our clients, their concerns and is dedicated to exceeding their expectations.

With 40 years in the remodeling industry, Pete’s craftsmanship and management skills are exemplarity. Pete hopes someday, in his “retirement” to volunteer his time to families in communities that have been effected by natural disasters; to rebuild their homes and restore their lives to normalcy.

Pete lives in Poughkeepsie, is single with 3 grown children.Pete likes golf, going to the beach, watching hockey and football, attending classic rock concerts and enjoying life with friends.

Pete considers himself a house doctor but has also been called a surgeon in how he demonstrates his ability to provide the dream remodel that our clients are proud of and love to show their family and friends.

Mike Whalen
Project LEAD mANAGER

EPA Certified

Bio

Joining our team in 2002, Mike has demonstrated exceptional customer service. Mike is highly detail oriented in craftsmanship and management. With over 22 years in the remodeling industry, Mike shares his ability to handle all phases of residential remodeling for our clients. Mike is an EPA Certified Renovator.

Mike lives in Staatsburg, NY, with his wife, Heather and children, Shana and Aiden. Mike enjoys golfing, snowboarding and hunting.

Chad “Jr.” McClain
Project LEAD mANAGER

EPA Certified

Bio

Joining our team in 1995, Chad aka “Jr”  has been extending the very best in customer service. With over 25 years in the remodeling industry, Chad shares his ability to handle all phases of residential remodeling for our clients.

Chad lives in Poughkeepsie, NY, and enjoys crafts, bowling, camping and hiking.

Shane Kip
Project Lead Manager

EPA Certified

Bio

Joining our team in 2002, Shane has been extending the very best in customer service. With over 17 years experience in the remodeling industry, Shane excels in his ability to handle all applications in residential remodeling for our clients. Shane is an EPA Certified Renovator.

Shane lives in Pleasant Valley, NY, and enjoys fishing, hunting, motorcycles and camping.

Rob Wheeler
Project Lead Manager

EPA Certified

Bio

Joining our team in 2008, Rob has quickly contributed to extending the very best in customer service. Rob demonstrates extreme detail in craftsmanship and management. Close to 20 years in the remodeling industry, Rob shares his ability to handle all phases of residential remodeling for our clients. Rob is an EPA Certified Renovator.

Rob lives in Staatsburg, NY, with his wife, Jessi, and his son Cameron. Rob enjoys golf and soccer. He is a member of the Germania Soccer Club.

Brandon Conklin
Lead Carpenter

EPA Certified

Bio

As a graduate of Delhi University, Brandon joined the DBS Team in the Summer of 2017 as a Carpenter. Brandon has studied the Remodeling & Construction field since High School, by attending BOCES for Residential Construction. He then further continued his education at Dutchess Community College, while working in a modular home factory. He currently lives in Lagrange, and enjoys being outdoors, biking, hiking, and spending time with family.

Chris Haralambides
Project Lead Manager

EPA Certified

Bio

Chris joins the DBS team with over 27 years’ experience under his tool belt! He attended Community College in Arizona, but made his way back to the east coast where he resides in Carmel. He is a proud father of a 22-year-old daughter and two dogs, cleverly named Smokey & Bandit. In his free time, Chris enjoys muscle cars and partakes in weekly meet-ups.

Rob Mizgier
Project Lead Manager

EPA Certified

Bio

Rob joined the DBS team in the summer of 2018 with 24 years’ experience. He attended Dutchess County BOCES and is also a Volunteer Firefighter. He is the proud father of his daughter Jeanine. When he’s not swinging a hammer or fighting fires, Rob enjoys spending time with family & friends, and a good bite to eat! He lives in Pine Plains with his family and two cats, Roo & Kittyboy.

Remodeling FAQ

Questions about Our Company…

What is the strength of DBS Remodel?

Our strength is working in your home while you live in it, providing an exceptional remodeling experience along the way. Many companies prefer to build new homes where there is no one to police the site. Others prefer just doing roofing, siding and windows (although we enjoy all of these projects!) to keep it simple and stay on the outside…avoiding disaster. Our area of expertise is working IN your home while you live in it! Although it can be a challenge to raise the roof while the family stays in the home…through proper planning, sensitivity and lots of protection…we are up to the task! It can be difficult for a large family to give up their kitchen or the only bath during a remodel. We understand our clients’ needs and strategize to keep them safe, comfortable and functioning during the process. We love remodeling and the challenges that it presents!

What is the weakness of DBS Remodel?

Our weak point would be trying to do a very small project for a new client. We are set up to do jobs that start at about 15K and upward. We do have a handyman division, however, that is exclusive to our existing clients. We would love to have a handyman division for everyone, yet, that is not currently our business model.

Are you insured?

Yes we are insured. There are two types of insurance that are critical to protecting our clients. The first one is workers compensation. This type of insurance covers any injuries to anyone working at your home. The second type of insurance that we have is liability insurance. This policy covers any third party injuries as well as property and content damage. It is important that you understand the limits to your remodelers policy to ensure adequate coverage. All of our clients receive certificates of insurance that are mailed directly by our insurance company.

What does lead certified mean?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has required that all renovations in which six square feet or more of wallboard are disturbed be tested for lead. This law was enacted in April of 2010 and is applicable to all homes that were built prior to 1978. Furthermore, the remodeler that is removing such contaminated wallboard must be a Certified Lead Renovator and must be employed by a certified firm. DBS Remodel is a certified firm and we are proud to have five certified renovators employed in the company.

Do you offer a warranty?

Yes we have a unique, proactive warranty. We have learned over the years that 98% of any defect relative to remodeling will occur within the first year. We call all of our clients at 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months after our exit interview of the project. We are asking our clients how the project is holding up and to see if anything needs our attention. We have been in business for over 30 years and being there to help our clients has always been part of our culture.

Questions about the Process…

Should I call an architect first?

It is a good idea to meet with us first. We can provide an overview of the entire remodeling process and ultimately offer you Design and Build Services together at a lower cost. We have had the privilege of a seamless relationship with the same architect for over 25 years. Collectively we will work together to design a project that suits your lifestyle and meets your budget. There are many clients that have plans already and are just looking for the right remodeling contractor and this is a good fit for us as well. We are easy to work with and have met some outstanding architects throughout the years!

Can we provide some of our own fixtures for the project?

Although most of our clients appreciate that we will handle everything…we are ok with clients making some particular purchases on their own. The down side to this is that the client will provide the warranty service, if needed, on that item and will also need to make sure that the item is the right spec., on site when needed, and in perfect working and aesthetic order! For these reasons- most clients prefer to have us handle the purchasing.

Can I do some of my own work?

As long as the task at hand is done professionally, and within our schedule, we are happy to work with you! It is your home, and your project and we are open to discussing any level of participation! Often times this allows the client to bring the project to an affordable budget which is of great concern and interest to us. The path to success here is great communication.

How will I really understand what is included and what is not with my project?

This is one of the best questions we could be asked due to the level of importance. Often times when remodeling is purchased the consumer has no idea what they just purchased! We are extremely proud of our commitment to educating our clients on the importance of a well written job scope. It is the backbone of the job and so critical to the overall success. A client needs to understand precisely what they are purchasing and also be quite clear as to what may not be included in a project as well.

A client should never say “I thought you were putting down a tile floor in my kitchen” only to have the contractor say “sorry Mrs. Jones, at the price I quoted you, I can only give you linoleum.”

Job scoping takes time, experience, patience and education on the part of the remodeler. This service and thoroughness is a requirement for any homeowner that is seeking a quality remodeling experience. We have all purchased a car and understand precisely what we are getting for our money. We must demand the same for remodeling services!

Can I use my own plumber, electrician or other subcontractor?

As long as the trade affiliate in question meets the following criteria…

  • Extremely professional
  • Has the proper licensing and insurance
  • Are neat, clean and respectful
  • Can perform work within our schedule and finish in a timely manner
How can I be confident that you will see my job through from start to completion?

This is a top 2 fear of most homeowners and rightfully so based on overall industry performance. Each one of our jobs is assigned a project manager (PM)/ lead carpenter who is on the job from start to finish. That particular project is the only focus for that PM. While DBS Remodel may be doing other projects, the team assigned to you will be there from start to finish. The PM will bring a landscape trailer with all of his tools to the project and that trailer stays on the job until completion…we do not bounce around!

Do I need to be home throughout the duration of the project?

It is a huge responsibility for us to be in your home and we treat it as such. Some of our clients are always home while we are there and that makes them most comfortable. Others have no interest in being around all of the banging and prefer to stay away during the day. Many of our clients are dual professionals and are at work during the day as well. The best answer is…what ever makes you comfortable! Our due diligence during the pre-construction meeting will allow you to come and go and not have to answer frequent questions throughout the day.

Will my house be a mess during construction?

This is, from our experience, one of the biggest concerns for our clients. The remodeling process can be a messy process to say the least. We will make sure that we proceed with caution as we remodel your home. Carpets and finished floors need to be protected, vents need to be closed and sealed, plastic walls need to be erected and the job area needs to be tidy on a daily basis. We know that this will please you and it will actually make for a better environment for us to work as well. We have learned a great deal from our satisfaction surveys and job site cleanliness along with overall home protection is paramount to an enjoyable remodeling experience.

Will you help me through the selection process?

About two weeks after contract signing we will conduct a Project Launch Meeting in our office. Nadine Wiese, our production coordinator, will walk you patiently through the selection process. She will also provide you with a detailed list and description of all of the items to be selected. We receive an awful lot of compliments regarding this part of our clients overall project satisfaction! It can seem overwhelming to bring it all together and know what to do first. Nadine is exceptional at walking you through the process, directing you towards specific vendors as well as setting appointments at their showrooms. We are constantly looking for ways to keep it simple for our clients!

Who will deal with permits and potential variances?

We can submit permit applications on your behalf in order to simplify the process. We will always submit our insurance certificates directly to the building departments as per their requirements. DBS will set all inspections that are required throughout the remodeling process. For separate fees, we will represent you for any zoning requirements that must be met.

What time will you start every day? What about my pets? Will you need to use my bathroom?

These are all terrific questions and ones that would be answered in our Pre-Construction Meeting that will take place approximately two weeks prior to job commencement. This valuable meeting will provide the opportunity to meet your Project Manager (PM) who will be on site during the remodeling process. Here’s a look at some of the topics that we will discuss during this meeting…

  • Any final concerns prior to job start
  • Do we have the privilege to use your bathroom or do we bring in porta-potty?
  • Safety plan for young children
  • Where will pets be during remodel?
  • What time may we start work every day?
  • What time can we work until each day?
  • Would you like to salvage anything from the project during demolition?
  • Where shall we park our vehicles?
  • Where shall we place the dumpster, if required?

The answers to these questions and many others are instrumental in providing you with an amazing remodeling experience. Great communication like this will put us all on the same page!

Questions about your Remodeling Investment

Are you more expensive than other companies?

No we are not, in fact, we believe the opposite is true. There are many aspects of a DBS Remodel investment that will lend to the value. Let’s look at a few of them…

  • Working with a Passionate team that loves the remodeling industry
  • The average tenure at DBS is over 15 years
  • Deliver Cleanliness, Politeness and Trust every step of the way
  • An exceptional design team
  • Delivery of a comprehensive job scope
  • Well written Contract
  • Expert Guidance
  • Permit Filing and Scheduling of required inspections
  • Coordination of all Trade Affiliates
  • Pre-Construction Meeting to promote a successful remodeling experience
  • An Exit interview/Post Project completion
  • Access to the newest, innovative products and technology in the market
  • Receive an proactive warranty
  • Standard office Hours

When we look at all of these benefits and the immense value…most clients would settle for nothing less. Yes, it is easy for someone to say “I can beat that price” but at that point most will have stripped the project of all its glory and value. We have been groomed by our clients for over 30 years to understand and appreciate the important parts of a remodeling investment that must be delivered. We will never waiver from this.

What would a typical payment schedule look like?

We like a very fair and equitable payment schedule that has both parties interest in mind. Typically we would have a 10%-20% deposit and then equally weighted progress payments throughout the project. Our final payment is at job completion and typically coincides with certificate of compliance from the building department.

Will there be cost overruns?

We tell all clients to plan at least a 5% contingency. There will not be cost overruns because we missed something…that is what a precise job scope is for. There are two reasons why you could have additional costs. The first is due to unforeseen conditions. Examples would be if we were putting a new addition right over an existing buried garbage hole. We would not know this prior to excavating, yet is something that we would all have to deal with. Another example would be if we found rot and water/ termite damage to an area that was covered currently with siding, decking, etc. the second reason for additional costs is easy and quite common…you would like to have more work done! Many clients hire us to do one project and then before you know it, we are remodeling the rest of the house! The key here is to always have the client understand cost for additional work prior to execution. No surprises!