There is nothing more frustrating than when you’re in need of information and, instead of speaking to a person, you can only reach an answering machine. With literally a mountain of decisions to be made before construction even begins, you don’t want to be left stranded. That is why all of my clients have my personal cell phone number and email address. If communication is muddled or even nonexistent before the project even begins, imagine how difficult it will be when there is an actual problem.
A home remodeling project from start to finish is quite similar to an airplane ride. Before boarding the plane, your nerves might be shaky. But knowing there is an experienced pilot in control of the plane will assist in putting you at ease. Once in the air, a great pilot will fly you through or around any obstacles in your path and will land the plane safely upon arrival to your destination. This concept is the same of a great construction company. There will be times of extreme highs, turbulence, and maybe an unexpected storm. Even so, an experienced architect and builder will act as your own personal pilot, looking out for you and promising to bring you back down to the ground. You will arrive happily at the end of your journey, ready to live in your new space.
3. A Passion for the Client
It is very difficult to design and build a custom project without truly knowing your client. I am amazed when I meet with potential clients, and they will say, “We had a guy out yesterday and he spent an hour telling us how much he loves to work on newly built homes.” The problem with that is their home was built sixty years ago—not a great way to start a new relationship. Because your home is an extension of your personality and lifestyle, make sure you choose a company that offers a free consultation, taking the time to get to know you. There are so many variables and reasons why one might remodel a kitchen or add on a bedroom. To make the most of your space and budget, a builder must take the time to ask questions and really listen to the answers. The company you hire must have a passion driving them to invest in your best interests.
When making an investment of $30,000 or more, it’s important to know if the contractors working on your home have the required skills and qualifications to do so. Unfortunately, I have see projects quickly turn into disasters because a charming general contractor was hired to build a project, but then employed inexperienced workers to complete the job without even proper supervision. While there is nothing illegal about this model of business, I would ask you to consider one question: Who will go the extra mile—an employee, willing to cut corners, or a skilled tradesman, passionate about the quality of his or her work?
5. Licensing / Insurance
Please make sure that all parties coming into your home are licensed in their respective fields of expertise. Additionally, they should have the appropriate insurance to protect you and your home should any issues arise.