Thinking about upgrading your Montgomery County kitchen, bathroom, or basement? Your first step is to select a qualified remodeler to partner with you on your journey to a home you love. But how do you choose which remodeler is right for you?
They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and this is especially true with hiring home-building professionals. In fact, some of our clients come to us for help after having bad experiences with other remodelers and wish they had taken steps to prevent their mishaps in the first place. Here are three of the most common setbacks our clients have experienced with previous remodelers and what you can do to ensure they don’t happen to you.
Steak Dreams, Hamburger Budget
Remodeling involves a series of moving parts and professionals that all need to come together seamlessly. You’ll need a designer to understand your needs and help you plan your new space and a team of tradespeople ready, willing, and able to turn those plans into reality. Some homeowners hire an architectural firm to develop designs for their new space, then find a separate team for the actual construction.
Working with a separate design and build team can make it very difficult to line your dreams up with your budget. An architectural firm can make you incredible plans that look exactly like your dreams, but when priced out by a build team, those plans often cost much more than anyone can afford.
Remember to Research
Taking some time to look into the background, reviews, and work samples of different design and/or build teams will give you a good idea of their scope of services. Beautiful designs are great, but what do the finished products look like? What have their past clients said about how well their project followed their wishes and budget?
We might be a little biased, but this is also where hiring a design-build team like Custom Craft is a huge advantage. Our designers don’t just understand great form and function, they know how one small selection can make a $10,000 difference — and can suggest cost-effective alternatives early in the game. Then, when all professionals are working together as one unit, keeping within a budget from the beginning becomes much more manageable.
Need some guidelines on where to go and who to talk to when researching potential remodelers? There’s a blog for that! Check it out here.
We all have our own personal styles, likes, and dislikes when it comes to the look of our home. Sometimes our preferences match current trends, and sometimes they don’t. Unfortunately, some professionals let their own opinions, rather than the homeowners, influence their designs. We’ve had several homeowners come to us after feeling unheard by previous remodelers, stating their goals were unmet.
Ask the Right Questions
You want your home designer to be a good listener, to guide without being pushy, and to have the experience and expertise to translate your wishes into a home that’s uniquely you. To make sure you get this, you’ll need to ask the right questions.
Part of your homework when choosing a remodeler will be to interview a few different firms. By asking questions about their process, mission, and values, you’ll get a good feel for how important client input is. If references are available, their past clients can tell you whether their home project was everything they hoped for.
It’s also helpful to take a look at their portfolio. Are there lots of different styles on display, or is it clear that a designer has a very specific style? The level of variation is often a good indicator of how well they’re listening to their clients.
Click here to learn the most important questions to ask your potential home remodeler.
Failing to Follow-Through
We hear this one a lot. Homeowners put out calls to contractors that never get returned. Questions are answered dismissively or not at all. Or worse, the professional they found starts a job and doesn’t finish it, leaving them with a mess.
We understand how busy contractors are, and Custom Craft is no exception. Projects may not be finished as soon as clients would like, especially since we often cannot get started for several months after contracts are signed.
Some firms overpromise and underdeliver timelines to get the gig or overextend themselves so much that they can’t be good communicators. A quality home remodeler, however, will be upfront about timelines and quickly respond to inquiries.
Recognize Red Flags
Fortunately, with online reviews, professional organizations and communities like NARI and HOUZZ, and by asking those important questions we discussed earlier, you can tell a lot about a home remodeler’s reputation before wasting time and money. Spotting certain red flags like lack of communication, too-good-to-be-true prices, and others is crucial to getting your project done right the first time.