For most of us, we will only do 1 or 2 remodel projects in our whole lives. It is probably the second biggest purchase we will ever make (after our house), and it is in a field where we have little experience or knowledge.
Who we choose to partner with for this big of a purchase is incredibly important. Not only will it affect the final project, but it will determine our experience through a difficult season of transition and turmoil.
Here are 3 crucial questions to ask when interviewing a remodeling contractor and getting a bid.
1. What is your process?
We need to see the whole picture so we can be comfortable with each step along the way. If they don't have a process that they work through, in order, from start to finish, your contractor may be bringing a haphazard mentality to his/her business. Good process means good communication. Good communication means less surprises and a better product.
When they share their process you are looking for 2 things.
-knowledge of your needs as a client. Are they thinking about your experience and making it as simple as possible?
-Good Tools to help you as you make decisions. What is their communications portal that they prefer. Do they have online tools for design ideas, pinterest boards for inspiration, banking connections for seamless financing?
2. What is the payment schedule?
Both the contractor and the client take considerable financial risk in a large remodeling project. Between materials, invoices, sub-contractors, change orders and labor, there is a lot of money that needs to flow throughout the project to keep things moving.
Does your contractor have benchmarks that clearly lay out when payment is due and how much each will be?
Does your contractor have a change-order policy and what constitutes a change-order vs. a design decision?
Does your contractor require 50% or more down? This shouldn't be necessary with a good payment schedule.
3. What if things go wrong?
Of course we want to enter every relationship extending trust to the other party. This is the only way to build a solid foundation of mutual respect. But what about when things go wrong? What if we don't like the product, the finish, the materials or the subs?
Things can and do go badly, even with the best of intentions. Good contractors know this and have built systems to communicate clearly, build strong relationships and work through impasses while being fair to both parties. Make sure any contractor you work with has thought through the ways to work through conflict, avoid costly legal proceedings, and hopefully build a long term friendship.
Treasure Valley Remodel and Restoration aspires to be a company that has great process for each of these questions. If you'd like to schedule a consultation to get a bid for a project, click here.
Find out more about Michael Kuhn and our team at our website TVRemodel.com