The Key to a Successful Renovation: Hire the Right Team
Embarking on a renovation can be stressful if you don’t know what to look for in a team. Unfortunately, the industry of construction has a bad rap, in that most contractors don’t deliver what they say they will for the amount of money or time. This leads to cost and time overruns, which is why projects usually end in stress.
However, renovating — or any kind of home improvement — can be a very exciting and rewarding endeavor if you choose the right team to help.
So, what are the things to look for as you’re interviewing companies to do business with?
To pull a project together, you need a variety of knowledge from a variety of people. Do they have staff or relationships with experienced architects, designers, and trusted tradespeople? This is the most important aspect of a project and determines the success of how and to what quality a project is managed.
Do they speak from experience? Can they give examples of similar projects and how they intend to handle yours?
Product + material resources
Design firms have access to many brands and materials ranging from stone to sofas. Do they have an extensive library of products and materials they can recommend for your renovation project that have been tried, tested, and valued for other projects?
Are they enthusiastic about painting a vision for the possibilities of your project and home? Do they display passion for what they do and want to work on your project because they will feel fulfilled accomplishing the task?
What are their values? Do you get the sense they have high quality standards and will adhere to those standards both in construction and experience? The two should go together. A project is not successful if it’s beautiful and high quality, but it took too long and the trail of communication was lacking. Does your team operate from a place of high integrity? Do they do what they say when they are going to do it and communicate in a timely fashion if there is a problem?
Do they communicate all the details up front before the project starts? If you have a lot of questions going into the project, get them answered first, or there will be a lot of uncertainty, stress, and anxiety.
Does your team have samples of projects they have done before similar to your projects? Do you love the work they have done?
The advantages of working with a Design-Build Firm is that the above mentioned list is facilitated in a much more streamlined way. The relationships are already established and many times the processes are in place to move through a project more efficiently and economically.
See this ARTICLE for more detail.
Additional questions to ask as a homeowner…
-Is your team speaking from experience, or do they look scared and overwhelmed?
-Are they afraid to tell you the reality of the situation?
-Are you getting the facts and figures of the project?
-Are they detail oriented and coming to the table with options to overcome challenging aspects of the project?
-Do you feel excited about the vision?
-Can you see yourself loving your home for years to come?
-Are they collecting multiple bids from various contractors in order to make their best effort in meeting budget parameters?
-Are they listening to your requests and diligently working to fulfill them?
What are your responsibilities as a potential client?
-Reasonable budget + timeline
-Transparency about your budget
-Clear communication + ideas about what you want
-Images that inspire you for your ideal space
-Responsiveness to proposals. When a vendor puts time and effort into your project, respond!
-Do you own research, so you’re coming to the table informed with your own due diligence
How much money and time will it really cost?
This is a question MOOD gets often. Depending upon geographic location, a kitchen renovation can cost anywhere from $25K to $100K+. A master bathroom can range from $20K-$50K+. A guest bathroom is in the $15K-$40K+ range. Most projects will take 3–6 months. If you’re renovating an entire home (3/4bed, 3bath), the project will likely run you $200K-$500K and take approximately one year. If you’re including furniture, window treatments, and custom built-ins, prepare to add significant costs and time into the equation.
Most people feel overwhelmed at the idea of renovating. It is a big commitment that you should be going into consciously. At the same time, if you have the right team at your fingertips, you have greatly reduced the anxiety of the process to the point where you can actually enjoy it.
Knowledge and communication are power.
Pick the right team, get involved, and let the renovations begin.