Find the right fit when choosing remodeler

Article written by John Gillette of Craftsmanship By John. Published in the October 27, 2019 edition of the Houston Chronicle.

We’ve all heard horror stories of remodeling projects gone wrong. The project took months longer than estimated, came in way over budget, and the client wasn’t happy with the work product in the end. Why do these projects veer off course? The client likely didn’t pick the right remodeler for the job. With over forty years of working in the industry, I’ve determined that there are three main qualities to look for when choosing a professional remodeling company.

You should first review the remodeler’s past projects to determine if these jobs were of the highest standard and a true upgrade to the home. Even if the client’s style wasn’t to your taste, notice the details.

Does the painting look flawless? Is the custom woodwork of the highest quality? Does the crown molding elevate the room? These past projects showcase the remodeling company, their attention to detail and the pride they take in ensuring every job is their finest work. The top remodelers prioritize making every detail in your home perfect rather than solely focusing on the big picture.

You should next access the remodeling company’s values. You are letting this remodeler inhabit your home for an extended period of time, so you’ll need to ensure they are someone you completely trust. Think of your initial meeting as a two-way interview, and look for certain behaviors and clues about the company’s work process and project management skills.  

Challenges will likely arise throughout the course of the job, so productive communication is essential to the project’s success. This meeting should show you whether the company sees you as a partner in this project or simply the client who will just receive the bill at the end of the job.  Consider the following checklist.

  • Does the representative answer your questions and address your hesitations or brush them off?
  • Does the remodeling company appear to have a wealth of experience in managing projects, ensuring they’ll know how to handle issues that may arise?
  • Does the representative show up prepared for your meeting? Are they on time and engaged in discussing the job?

Lastly, the best remodeling companies have extensive industry experience and have been successfully managing projects for a long time.  They have seen it all and know how to handle problems quickly and efficiently with minimal disruption to the project.

They’ve also built strong relationships with industry peers, such as subcontractors and sales representatives. Hiring inefficient subcontractors can greatly detract from the job, and the most experienced remodeling companies have found the best people to work through their years of experience.  

Although your contractor puts your ideas into motion, you should always feel that your voice is being heard. The best remodeling companies will work with you until your vision comes to life. The best remodeling companies are as committed as you are to bringing your vision to life. They view themselves as artists, and each project is representative of their commitment to creating the highest quality work.