Taking Control of Your Home Reno Experience

When our company begins any new home renovation project with a client, I ask the homeowners what kind of remodeling experience they want to have. They always look at me blankly in response. Whether they’re planning major home overhauls or making minor improvements, they seem to think their renovation experience is out of their hands. They couldn’t be more wrong. So many factors that are within the customers’ direct control go into shaping what their project will look and feel like to them. They include:

• Which design build contractor will plan and manage your project carefully? Who is listening to you?
• Which one will get started and finished as efficiently as possible?
• Who do you want to talk to when a problem comes up or when you are stressed out? (Remodeling, even a small project, is stressful!)
• Who or what do you want your kids exposed to for the many weeks your project may take?
• Who would you like to have in your house from 7AM until sometimes 7PM, and possibly on weekends, for many weeks?
• Who do you trust to move your personal belongings? Who do you trust with your privacy?

When you don’t take the time to answer these questions and take control of your renovation experience, you can almost guarantee that you’ll be disappointed with the process and/or the results. Typical complaints we hear from dissatisfied buyers of other contracting professionals include:

• Homeowners don’t know who their advocate is at those companies, during the complicated and stressful sales/pricing/construction phases. They ask “who am I supposed to talk to there?”
• Slow response times. Make sure the contractor you choose to work with is timely and returns your calls within a reasonable time frame.
• Homeowners don’t get the needed attention or support during the design phase or product selection.
• The cost of design exceeded the budget. This is a very common complaint homeowners have about designers and architects who typically don’t know what a project will cost, and some design build companies that are so large that their in-house communication systems break down.
• Too much turnover. In an effort to be the biggest, some contracting companies practice seasonal hiring where personnel changes happen over the economic cycles of the year. This may impact field crews, office staff and subcontractors. Those companies then send people they don’t have long-term relationships with into your home.
• The process took too long. With designers, architects and larger design build remodeling companies that might do a little of everything, the design process will take a long time. This may equate to 6 months or more for a kitchen design or 8-12 months or more for a whole house.

When you take the time to seek out the qualities that are most important to you in a design build firm, you will ensure yourself you’re getting the results for your home that you envision and deserve.