Selecting a Renovation Company
Did you know that selecting a renovation company is one of the most stressful and difficult decisions you'll ever make? Think about it... your home likely is your most important asset, and a major renovation will be the biggest investment in that asset. But most homeowners know next to nothing about the construction process and in fact have been severely "misinformed" by the sitcom-simple nature of HGTV.
Let's be honest here - the residential contractor industry has a well deserved reputation for being less than reputable. Most folks end up choosing between a few contractors recommended by their friends and family, but even highly recommended contractors don't click with everyone. (Believe me, even we don't!) Plus, unlike buying a car where you can test drive your favorite vehicle before you buy, there's no way to "test drive" a contractor's work - often you are relying on your gut feeling along with some pictures of his prior projects.
All this adds up to you and your family making a huge investment with little information about who you're hiring and even less information about the process in which your home will be renovated.
That's why we encourage our potential clients to forget about the usual selection process - getting some recommendations, asking for two or three bids, and trying hard to compare them even though they're never apples to apples.
Treat your contractors like the professionals they are and interview them. If they're good, they're very busy, and they're interviewing you, too. If you're a good fit for each other, and if you feel like they are trustworthy enough to manage your renovations, call some references and make sure a) that the company always fixes any problems (and there are always problems on jobs) before they leave, and b) that the former client felt like they got a fair value for the price they paid.
If you get comfort in those areas, hire the company and let them go to work. You'll be glad you hired a trusted professional instead of going with the lowest priced guy who walks through the door.
As they say, the joy of a low price never lasts as long as the pain of poor quality.