Making Your Choice
After you’ve held your second meetings and narrowed your candidate list to one name, you are ready to choose your remodeler.
You are ready to move ahead if you’re confident your remodeler meets these two principal selection criteria: (a) The remodeler is committed to fulfilling your desires, and (b) the homeowners he or she has worked for in the past testify that he or she provided excellent value and delivered high quality work. Work with this remodeler to create a design and specifications for your project.
A design contract often is the first step because architects, design/build firms, and many remodeling companies charge design fees for the preparation of remodeling documents. For now, that commitment is the limit of your obligation. This step represents a significant commitment for both of you. Until you sign a construction contract with a remodeling company, you have not made a legal construction commitment.
The remodeler doesn’t earn his or her money until you sign a contract and the remodeling project starts. Unless he or she continues to effectively cooperate with you on the design, unless he or she provides a contract price that you can afford, and unless he or she provides the peace of mind and security you require, you will not do the remodeling project. You should expect no less from your remodeler.
Your first priority is to create a team with whom you’ll build your dream home. If your team isn’t working you’ll recognize it early on. The main sign will involve a lack of progress on your design.
From the beginning of the design process a professional remodeler will provide price checks and value engineering to help you stay within your preliminary design budget. This term means the remodeling team will keep your budget in mind throughout the design process. With the company’s extensive experience in remodeling, it can help “engineer” certain features in your home in a cost effective way. Failure to provide these ideas suggests a remodeler may not be interested in keeping you within budget. You should never feel pressure from your remodeler to expand your budget. Rather, the remodeling team should work to keep construction costs down.
Your communication with both remodeler and architect or designer, should be clear and easy, just as it would when you’re talking with a good friend. They should also show a general attention and attentiveness to detail. Design revisions should contain the exact changes you asked for, and the revisions should come back to you within a time frame the remodeler agrees to.
You now have all the information you need to choose an excellent remodeler. The process is a simple one. Ask questions. Keep asking questions until you’re satisfied you have what you want. The process could take a week or it could take 6 months. Don’t rush the process. Make sure you get answers to all your questions. Your decision will then be an easy one.
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