Your Contractor. Your Choice or His?
Most homeowners think it’s completely their choice; that they will get to hire who they want. That’s true, of course, if the remodeling contractor you want, really wants your job.
Busy remodeling contractors, usually the best ones like ours, have the luxury of choosing which homeowners and which projects they want…particularly in busy times like these. While big jobs can be appealing, the truth is that contractors need small jobs. They support cash flow and help keep workers on a job every day, which can be critical.
To get your first choice of remodeling contractors, make your opportunity inviting. Here are some tips, provided by our contractors, on how to best achieve this.
1. Know what you want. It needn’t be down to the most minute detail, but indecision can be tiresome and contractors would rather not need to mediate to get both homeowners on the same page. Have a good idea, in advance, of how you’d like things changed.
2. Be easy to work with. Both you and your contractor are looking to have a good experience on the way to a beautiful outcome. People who are nice and manage change well, help make the remodeling experience pleasant, despite any dust or disruption.
3. Bring an open mind. While you know what you want and want to remain in control of your project, being receptive to ideas from professionals who do this full-time, is wise. You needn’t incorporate all that you learn, but consider they are likely to have good insights and bring to light things you may not have considered.
4. Have a reasonable budget. No sense in bringing a $25,000 budget to a $75,000 project. Have a general idea in advance, about the cost of things to avoid lost time and disappointment. Your contractor will help with specifics.
5. Be honest about your budget. It’s not a good use of time for a contractor to prepare a proposal only to find out it’s unrealistic for you. Tell him where to aim. A bathroom remodel can cost $15K or $50K. Understandably, homeowners would rather not reveal their budget, so oftentimes we recommend providing a ballpark or range, that takes into account there are likely to be changes along the way and some things cannot be anticipated in advance. (rarely do we know all that lurks behind our walls and beneath our floors). Empower your contractor to give you what you want, with the information he needs to help you. Having to scale back or pare down dampens enthusiasm.
6. Consistently, our contractors tell us they want to be treated with respect. If you think you’ll need to micro-manage or question their trustworthiness, they’re not right for you. Most are good people wanting to do a good job. It’s true there are disreputable people in the industry, but Slate Ltd professionals have expertise, extensive experience and a track record of commendable performance.
If you’re enthusiastic and you’re enthusiastic about your project, it will be an attractive and desirable opportunity. Walk with him through the areas in your home where you want change. Point out specifics in each, communicating clearly. Maintain realistic expectations about costs, timing and lifestyle impact. It will help you get the “Yes” you want, from the contractor you want.