Our top tips for working with a construction company are finally here!
We all know how it is. The sun is out and we all start to think ‘Gee, I sure would love a new deck’. But if you start that deck project now, you might end up having the finished product in 3 or 4 months time. Top tips – start your planning early, know what your outcome should be.
This article is for those of you that are considering a new remodel of your home or your businesses property. We want to make the process as streamlined and efficient as possible, so that you can start sipping on your margarita on your new deck when the sun is out – not months later.
We will go through our number one tips in terms of how to handle your own construction company, things that make a relationship really work well, and other things that make it turn out big, messy and expensive.
Years of working with confused clients and stressed out organizers has led to this point, and we think that we just might have it all figured out – Executive Properties has a pretty great strategy when it comes to handling situations of customer confusion!
Top tip 1: We can give parameters, but we can’t make the decisions…
To set the scene here, we’d like to say that we can advise you and let you know our opinion, but we are always going to be unable to make choices for you. You’re the customer! Unless you want to sign your life away and completely give up control, we suggest that you try and embrace this amazing level of oversight that you can have on your own project.
This is one of those few times in life that everything comes down to you. That can be incredibly rewarding, but it also demands a high level of commitment and research from your end. If you want us to make the choice for you, you should be aware that we do not know the theme of your home, nor do we know what designs you do or do not like.
The risk in this case is that you might ask us to make choices for you and then we will purchase materials, that you end up hating or needing to replace. To avoid this, you can do some preparation to decide what you like and what you don’t like.
The internal or technical details are things that we can organise – like what materials to use, or what brand of insulation you should use in new walls etc.
You need to have a clear vision of the external aspects, like colors and styles, designs of items like sinks and faucets, or even an overall structural shape for things like deck additions.
Top tip 2: Know what specifications you want…
OK here is a brief (but effective) list of things you might want to consider looking into and making a choice about before you sign any work contracts. Remember, it is totally okay to ask for your remodeling companies input while you make these choices.
You should try to have most of the specific items (below) selected and ready before work starts, or ideally before you even get a bid.
Additionally, if you can find these things before the bid, then your bid will be far more accurate, and also (as an added bonus) your remodeling company will probably become your new best friend.
- baseboard style and color
- trim style and color
- paint (colors?)
- flooring type (vinyl? wood? ceramic? laminate?)
- cabinets (store purchased or custom built? These can take up to 3 weeks to arrive!)
- Sink type (farmhouse? undermount?)
This list is not exhaustive, so try to think about the project at hand and break it down as much as possible. In fact – you could even give us a call and we can give you a quick breakdown of items you might need to consider! We love our job, so we are always happy to give advice.
Top tip 3: Bring some pictures, designs or ideas to your bid…
We have the internet at our fingertips! That means that we can do two things;
- Find the perfect local and reputable remodeling firm for our project
- Find photographs of projects that we like, for when we are planning said remodeling project.
Executive Properties tries to stay as proactive as we can with different digital platforms. We think every construction firm should do this to stay up to date with new ideas and designs.
Now, I am not suggesting that your finished product will be like the picture that you find. It will give the construction firm a general idea about the colors, styles, overall direction and designs that you like.
If you are unsure about what specific products you want (like sinks, wood or paint), then having pictures of work that you love can really help us to piece your project together with you. Help us help you!
Additionally, this can help you to decide what you really want from this project. The WORST thing you can do in a construction and remodeling project is to change your mind halfway through.
‘’No Steve, we can’t change the entire room theme from a modern contemporary metallic theme to a rustic farm style! We’ve already finished the flooring and painting!”
Not really, we won’t stop you from changing your mind, but it can get expensive to be unsure about what you really want to get out of a remodeling project. Look at some pictures on your own or with your family, and have fun with it!
Get creative and think outside of the box. If you have a good remodeling company (hint, like Executive Properties!) then whatever you choose design-wise will look well-done and aesthetically pleasing.
Top tip 4: Have a budget in mind…
Now we don’t expect you to figure out the precise total job costing, or go to different stores to find out the average price of products. However, if you have a good idea about how much you might be able to spend, then we can try to tailor our work to fit that.
If you aren’t at least vaguely sure about price, then it is difficult for us to select materials. With no price baseline, the bid might end up being a lot pricier than you wanted. Then, you might get deterred from doing remodeling work, and then you will have to live deckless for the rest of your life. No summer barbecue for you! (okay, being a bit over dramatic here but you get the point).
You can either ask us about possible budget ranges, or you can do some of your own research first. Remember you can also talk with your firm about paying in installments, or even doing smaller aspects of a larger job, over a longer span of time.
If you have a specific type of product in mind, like a brand of sink, it is always worth looking up the average cost of that sink. If that sink is out of your budget, then perhaps you should talk to the remodeling firm about what you can afford, and what you do like.
Top tip 5: Ask about adding value…
Adding value. Unless you own a home that you want to live in forever, adding value should be something that everyone considers. According to the Minneapolis Cost vs value report (2018);
- A new garage door can add up to 112.6% of the jobs cost to your home (that is $4,043!)
- A deck addition can add $10, 147 to your homes value at resale
- An upscale bathroom remodel can add up to $30, 362 to your homes value
DEPENDING ON A FEW THINGS…
- That the work is done to a high quality
- That the work uses high quality materials
- That the work is kept in good condition
Essentially, you want to be sure that you are using a great, reputable construction and remodeling firm (like Executive Properties) before you make any additions to your home, especially if your aim is adding value.
Top tip 6: Ask about the construction company’s past experiences with your type of project…
You are the customer, not a builder. You should never need to know about the ins-and-outs of building a home in order to be confident that you are choosing the right team. That means that if you don’t understand something, you should feel free to ask as many questions as you want – and don’t let anyone bombard you with terminology. There are everyday terms for everything!
Perhaps you are doing a project that is more unusual, or you just don’t know what to expect. It is totally acceptable to ask the firm if they have done projects like this before. They should have great before and after pictures to show you too!
In these pictures you can ask about anything you see. What paint color did this customer choose, what type of trim is that, and what was their budget? Did this customer have any unexpected changes to their budget? Were they happy with the outcome?
Top tip 7: Ask about subcontractors
At Executive Properties we keep subcontracting to a minimum.
We try to do all of our work in-house. That means that we have complete control over your projects quality and outcome.
Other firms are not like this, and our industry has a reputation for not doing the work in-house. Sometimes firms offer services that they cannot do to book the job. Then they contract out a different firm to do the work, and take an unnecessary slice of the profits. That’s your money! Not illegal, but certainly ethically and morally questionable, and it means that you (the customer) pay more for no reason.
It is vital that you ask about subcontractors. Ask what they do in-house, what they will need to sub out to professionals – and how much that will cost.
Remember, it can be quite normal to need to sub out specific skills. Professionals such as electricians, plumbers or Hvac generally require specific permits and special training. As far as the framing, structures, walls, floor, design, wood work and everything else? In house.
And as the old saying goes – plan twice, build once.
Please remember, if you have any questions, just get in touch with us.