Many Baby Boomers, Generation X, and the next huge generational waive, Millennials, will be in the marketplace to purchase, sell, build, or remodel their homes, and each have different wants, needs, likes, and dislikes. In the final summation, budget, cost, end-result, and time all become part of the formula for the level of happiness.
Unfortunately, many enter into the project to build or remodel with incomplete or inaccurate information, resulting in GI-GO. It is very difficult to hear an answer that might differ drastically from what you hoped to hear, or is different from what you have heard from others. Your homework is key to the success of your decision and direction.
It’s great to ask others about their experiences and what their thoughts and opinions are of people who might have performed work for them. Asking about good and bad experiences are imperative to seeing and understanding the big picture. Establishing a base line is very important. I utilize a favorite by discussing restaurants. Asking about their favorite restaurant, food quality, service, menu variety; the whys and why nots of their likes and dislikes. If I am not familiar with their favorite restaurant, or I don’t share the same appreciation, I might give a list of several of my favorites, and ask if they have ever been. Then I can go through the same qualifying. Just because they might be our best friends or family, we may not share the same values, and we would need to know that. Beyond that, you will want to visit at least one of the contractor’s active job sites to see the cleanliness and orderliness of the site- you are looking at organization, safety, waste, and care (respect) of property. Speak to people who have had, or are having, work performed by them and ask about their good and bad experiences- the whys and why nots. You must do your homework. You do not want to enter into a relationship, either for people being inside your home, or creating a new home for you, a relationship that will extend for many months and possibly years, and discover bad chemistry, distrust, or lackadaisical attitude.
Get out in front of it. Know who you are doing business with. Be curious why one price can be so differing from others. Did you receive a written Scope of Work from each, explaining precisely everything they will perform and what is not included. Compare them carefully. Did the contractor ask questions of you to understand your needs, wants, and purposes; did they provide suggestions, recommendations, and direction to help your understanding of the complete process. Ask questions. Do not assume the unwritten word to be automatically the same as another’s written word. You do not want to learn when it’s too late to rectify that what you thought you were getting is not what you got; or that there will be a change order for which you will need to pay additional because “Oh, that wasn’t included.” The people who tell you clearly up front about the good, the bad, and the ugly are going to be the most transparent. You may not like their information, pricing, and answers, but they are experienced and trustworthy to lay it all out up front. And, don’t forget to inquire of them, and those they have worked for, about the company’s warranty, customer satisfaction, service, and call back, because no matter how good, there will be a service need.
Building new or remodeling to create a new home can be fun and exhilarating. Enjoy the process. We wish for you the most happy and enjoyable memories and the fun and excitement of making selections of colors, materials, designs, and planning, and watching your new home evolve. Don’t allow someone to take that joy from you.