5 Keys for Hiring a Remodeling Pro
Everyone's heard a story of a flaky contractor. How do you know what to look for when choosing a remodeler for your project? Are there clues that can keep you safe?
The simple answer is YES.
There are very specific signs that signal a contractor is a problem waiting to happen.
If you know what these signals are, you can avoid the bad ones and select the one that's right for your remodel.
Let me start by saying, our firm may or may not be a right fit for your project.
Every company has their ways of doing business. And every homeowner is unique.
Here are 5 Fundamentals that can keep you from becoming a remodeling horror story.
It goes without saying that a good remodeler has experience. But what does that mean?
Many contractors have a lot of general skills in many areas. As the saying goes, "Jack of all trades, Master of none."
You want a professional who has specific niche experience in kitchens or baths. Not someone who builds a deck one week, finishes a basement the next and does your kitchen next.
What to look for: Ask if they specialize in doing kitchens. How many do they do each year? How many have they done in their career? Do they have recent references for a similar project?
Most people aren't aware that 96% of all small business fail. Oddly though, 95% of all franchises succeed. You have to wonder "WHY?"
Systems. Systems are the key to success in any field. You do the same thing over and over and develop deep competence in your field. A sure sign that a contractor doesn't have clear established methods and systems is listening to what they say about themselves. Ask about their strengths. If they don't mention systems, odds are they don't have any.
Listen for phrases like,
"Here's how we _____"
"When we start a job we_____",
Yeah, I know. This is probably not one you expected to see on our list. But here's why Empathy is so important to avoiding being the subject of a remodeling disaster story.
There's nothing worse than working with "Chuck with a Truck" and telling him exactly what YOU want only to hear, "No lady, you don't want that!" A lot of tradesmen are well, less than empathetic. And if something does go wrong or requires a conversation about an issue, you want to know you have an advocate in your remodeling professional.
Take the time to get a sense of the person who you will be working with. Are they an owner? Do they have the power to work with you? Do they have your interest in mind?
This is a BIG issue in the remodeling industry. Those who communicate well not just up front but throughout the project get rave reviews. They keep their clients informed of what's happened and what's going to happen next. Here's what to look for.
Do they have communication systems in place? Is there a project scheduling system that ties YOU in to the projects progress? What kind of communication skills does the company rep have who helped design and schedule your remodel? These are signs of a company that's committed to good communication.
Wow! This may be the biggest factor of all. There's nothing more scary than doing business with someone without integrity.
This may not mean that every decision they make is in your favor. It means they will always try to do what's right. If they don't have this type of moral compass, don't hire them.
If you follow these simple fundamentals you will find the right remodeling pro for your project. Here's wishing you much success on your new kitchen or bath no matter who you choose.