ou’ve been thinking about remodeling or building for a while and are finally ready to move to the next step and hire a building professional to help you complete the plans in your head.
Before you even get to the point of talking to Contractors, you really should sit down with your own support group (especially if they live there!) to pre-plan what your needs and expectations are, how this project will affect your lives, what your dreams are for this remodeling adventure, and to work out your pre-planned budget of what you really CAN afford to spend so that you have all of this information to be sure that you get what you want and need without a lot of wasted time. You want to make sure that together you make a good team. Here are some things to think about before talking to a Contractor...
• Are you looking for a team approach where your contractor is an advisor and part of the design team or are you looking for someone to bid on plans you already have? • Do you have a schedule you need to work around or anything that you are scheduling around? • How soon do you need to start? • Are there any key dates that completion needs to be done by (wedding, reunion, vacation, etc.)? • Do you have a budget before getting quotes? • Are you looking for the lowest price or value for the best quality? • Are you in the budget range of good, better, or best? • Are you anticipating for the disruption to your life (ie: for kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling)? • How important is security and cleanliness during the construction process? • Do you have sketches, plans, descriptions, colors, samples, etc to show the Contractor to ensure there is a clear understanding of your style?
Communicate well with the Contractor. They should listen to you and pay attention to your wishes. Interviewing potential candidates can be difficult because how do find that company that fits into your dreams and knows exactly what's inside your head? Show them everything you have and explain exactly what you want. Here is a list to help you become comfortable with the process...
1) Set up an interview at your property.
2) Ask about experience with projects similar to the one that you are considering.
3) Request to see certificatations for liability insurance, Worker’s Compensation Iinsurance, State License, and specializations certificates.
4) Check references confirming workmanship quality, communication, timeliness, attitude, diligence, and professionalism.
5) Discuss work orders, changes in the work flow and scope, and make sure both parties sign and agree to the parameters of the change(s).
6) Get a written schedule so you know what to expect and when to expect it.
You will be entrusting your house and living with people in your home for several weeks, so make sure that you and your home will be respected. In the end, trust is the most critical element in hiring a Contractor.