23 Nov #BOHNAFIDE EP.6: How To Choose A Contractor
First things first guys! I filed the permit for my town home renovation and it was accepted! Woo hoo! That means we can start construction! Well…that’s usually what it means, except for when the permit guy then tells you there is a 3 month wait to receive your permit! That is crazy! In my 8 years of business I have never come across a 3 month wait to process a permit after its been approved! Well, I figured somethings got to give, and to be honest if this is the worst thing to happen during the renovation process, I’ll take it. Now that we won’t be able to start construction until late February, I’m hoping the renovation will be complete sometime in May. Fingers crossed! To be honest, the way time has been flying lately, it will be here before we know it!
Now that’s out of the way, let’s talk contractors! I would say after design, choosing the right contractors is the next most important part of any home renovation or build. You may have a beautiful design and perfect construction drawings but if its not put together properly, what was the point? After working in the interior design industry for many years, I have seen it all and so I want to give you some of my tips when choosing the right contractor for your own home renovation or new build.
Tip #1: Talk to multiple contractors
I always recommend talking to multiple contractors and have them do a walk-through of the space. This really helps you gauge the working style of different contractors and rather than going all in on the first contractor you meet, you can compare pricing, knowledge and schedule to find out what works best for you and your budget. I also really recommend meeting with multiple contractors to see what kind of questions they ask, how their thoughts or processes differ and whether I can see myself working well with them! You must TRUST these people first and foremost.
Tip #2: What to look for in a contractor
When I’m doing a walk-through with a contractor I’m looking for someone with excellent construction knowledge who can give me advice and offer solutions right away. Having a really collaborative relationship when I’m working with a contractor is really important to me. The other thing I’m looking for, is someone who is just interested in the job. Their interest can fluctuate depending on timing and what the contractor has on their plate when you plan to go into construction. If a contractor has a slower period and is eager to take on your job, that is ideal but don’t just settle for anyone who can take on the work. In the long run, it will be worth the wait for a contractor who will do an amazing job! Lastly, would be capacity. Does this contractor have enough guys on the team to get the job done on time? The last thing you want is for your renovation to drag way out because the contractor doesn’t have a solid team, or thought he could take on more than he could chew.
Tip #3: Review Quotes & Ask Questions
After the walk-through, I typically give the contractors a couple weeks to write up a quote for the job. Once you’ve received these quotes, review them all, line by line to see how they compare. If you see any inflated prices or additional line items you aren’t sure about, be sure to ask them about it. You want a really good understanding of your options and why they were quoted at that price. Also try to identify if there is anything missing from a quote. One missed item can take your lowest quote to the highest quote, so definitely watch for that!
Those are my 3 tips for choosing a contractor! If you want to learn even more about this process and watch the behind the scenes of my contractor walk-through, click below to watch the full episode!!