Tip #1 – Interviewing a Contractor©
Remodeling is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re gonna get! (My apologies to Forrest G.) This is the first© of a series of tips to help anyone who is thinking of custom building or remodeling to find and secure a general contractor that will be the right fit for their project. This first tip has to do with preparing for your interviews with the three contractors that you have decided to consider.
We’ve all heard stories about promises made before the job that were somehow lost in the cracks after the contract is signed and work has begun. So today let’s address how to minimize this issue. Start by making a list of questions to ask in the initial interview. Consider what is particularly important to you – is it cleanliness on the job site, scheduling, staying on budget? As you ask these questions, the contractor you are interviewing will begin to understand what your priorities are and a competent contractor will formulate his own plans based on what he is hearing from you. Now to the important part! During the interview, and in the presence of the contractor, write down the answers. This sends a significant message – you are holding them accountable. They will see that you are writing down what they are saying and this should lead to straighter answers and less jargon. They see you are serious, that you expect them to be responsible for their comments and they will take you more seriously as an informed homeowner. (Whether or not that’s actually true.) So, that’s it!
You don’t have to be an expert about remodeling or construction – just ask the right questions. Oh, and be sure to include this one; “How do you handle changes on the job?” We will discuss this very important issue in another tip from our series on Getting Started. Of course, we hope you will give our company an opportunity to sit down with you and discuss your project (to learn more…) but regardless, we want your project to go as smoothly as possible with whomever you choose and that means laying the right foundation (weak pun!) before you dive in. Keep the faith and we’ll be back with Tip #2 next week!