Part 2 | Tips: Finding the correct remodeling company for your next remodel?
Your First Contact with Prospective Remodelers. Series: 2 of 5.
The goal of this blog post is to provide you with information and tips about interviewing remodeling companies, so you can feel confident in the process from start to finish. As stated in our post last week, we suggest contacting and comparing about three companies.
Let’s dive right in! When you begin interviewing remodelers, your task will be to locate one you can work with, who is interest in your project, and listens carefully to what you say. The goal of this quest is to find compatibility with a remodeler whom you'll be able to work with successfully for the duration of the remodeling project.
Once you're ready to begin the interviewing process, call the contractors. Be prepared to describe your project and state when you'd like to begin construction.
To give you a peek at how prospective contractors may handle your call, let us tell you how we deal with initial conversations. As a professional remodeling company, when we speak with prospective clients, we attempt to gauge their seriousness by asking specific questions about their design ideas and budget. If they're planning an addition for instance, we’ll ask if you know how large you want the addition to be, and what rooms will be included. We want you to describe to us what you want to see in the addition, in as much detail as possible. We also ask if you thought about what grade of finish materials you'd like. For example, will kitchen counter tops be a laminate finish, ceramic tile, or polished granite? Will bathroom fixtures be brass or chrome? Will the new rooms have hardwood flooring or be carpeted? These questions give us a good idea about the level of finish you are considering, and begin to give us some preliminary ideas about the cost of the project.
We ask if you have a preliminary budget for your project. Your response lets us know whether or not you understand the true cost of remodeling.
Professional remodelers are extremely busy. You may have to be patient as you attempt to set up your first meeting. Although, if someone you like doesn't return your first call within the first twenty four hours, cross them off your list. This will most likely continue throughout your workings with this contractor. If a remodeler doesn't have time to return your call now, you can imagine how stressful that could be after work on your house begins.
When you call the remodelers on your list, have three to five preliminary questions ready to ask each of them, such as:
- Have you completed a job similar to this before?
- What does a project like this cost?
- This is an open ended question, but it is an important question. Depending on the size of the project you can get a price variance of $20,000 from different contractors. This is ok; at this point you are interviewing prospective companies for their experience, customer service, and etc.
- Do you have a list of references that I can contact?
- When will you be able to start the job?
- When could we meet in person to further discuss this project? (Use this question only if you're encouraged by the answers they have given).
Since these are pretty specific questions there is no script the remodeling company can use for this call. In fact, in the course of some conversations a remodeler may offer everything suggested above and more. It is a good idea to pay close attention to how easily the conversation progresses. Then when you hang up, make a few notes on the conversations. What were your impressions of the remodeler? Did he or she listen well? Did he or she answer your questions thoroughly?
Coming soon we will post part 3 of 5 from the series which will cover your first meeting with the prospective remodeling companies.