Your First Meeting
In this new relationship, common courtesy is a must and professional remodelers understand this fact. If a remodeler fails to show up for your first meeting and does not call to reschedule, cross that one off your list.
All Principal parties should be present at this initial and all subsequent meetings. This includes the remodeler and both spouses if applicable.
Given the number of interviews you (and your spouse) will have, plus the number of subsequent design and planning meetings you’ll have once you settle on a remodeler, this requirement may seem unreasonable. But it’s absolutely essential for all parties to participate fully in this process and for everyone to operate with equal information. Questions you should ask the remodeler during your first meeting are listed below:
- How long has the firm been in business?
- What is its permanent business address?
- Is the prospect licensed to work in your area?
- What year was the business initially licensed?
- What will the payment or draw schedule look like?
- How does the company ensure that warranty service complaints are effectively handled?
- How does the company maintain good customer relations throughout the construction and warranty period?
- In case of any accident, is the company insured against workers’ compensation claims, property damage, or personal liability?
- Who will be assigned as the project manager or lead carpenter?
- Who will be your contact if that person is not available?
- Will a supervisor be on the site full time?
- Will the company provide a written remodeling schedule?
- What’s the company’s routine regarding regular meetings with the homeowners during the remodeling project?
- Who will attend those meetings? Will the remodeler personally attend every meeting?
- Can I expect to see workers at the site every day?
- Does the remodeler plan to stay personally involved in the project at all points?
- May I have the names and numbers of five homeowners you’ve completed projects for?
- May I visit a site where work is in progress?
Note: A visit to a site in progress can reveal much about a company’s ability to manage a large project. Notice how organized it looks. Is it messy and chaotic or does it seem well-organized with workers moving like they know what they are doing?
This list is not intended to be exhaustive. In fact, it should help you generate other, more personal questions. As with homeowner interviews, ask any questions you may have. Asking good, detailed questions is the heart of your research. If you don’t question thoroughly, you’re giving up your responsibility in this process and possibly compromising the quality of your project.