Choosing a contractor for a major renovation project can evoke a wide range of reactions in clients, ranging from confident optimism to fear and loathing. Commonly, the experience is a changing mixture of excitement and uncertainty; not surprising considering the choice represents a substantial commitment of both resources and trust. Yet most clients approach the decision with minimal to no previous experience or knowledge to direct their choice.
Studio Z is ready to provide that direction: our over 20 years of experience in residential remodeling and custom home projects in Southeastern Michigan enables us to guide clients in selecting the contractor best suited to their project, taking into consideration such pivotal factors as workmanship, value, reliability, and accountability. Often this comes down to asking specific questions formulated to provide information most relevant to the client’s expectations.
Because Studio Z is already engaged in the design of the project as well as determining its scope and budget, we can assist not only in understanding the questions required of a potential contractor but as importantly, we can help clients interpret the corresponding responses.
There are countless articles available online and in print that list common-sense questions to ask a potential contractor, for example:
- Does the contractor specialize in residential construction?
- Do they have a lot of experience remodeling existing homes? Or in building custom homes?
- Have they done projects like yours?
- How long have they been in business?
- Will they provide references and/or a list of projects to drive by? Do they have photos of completed projects on their website?
- Will the payment be a lump sum for the entire project or do they use a “cost plus” method?
- How often will payments be due?
- How will the contractor deal with unforeseen changes and contingencies that arise?
- Will they provide a schedule for construction, including key dates when you will need to have specific things done—such as emptying your kitchen cabinets—so they can keep working?
- Is the contractor a member of a professional organization, such as the Homebuilders Association or the National Association of the Remodeling Industry?
No one would argue that these are all questions to be asked in advance of any agreement. But suppose the contractor answers yes to specializing in residential construction. How do you decide the validity of that assertion?
Suppose they tell you they have been in business for 25 years: do you have any basis for judging the reputation established during that period? If you drive by and examine a completed project which they provide you an address for, would you be able to recognize the level of craftsmanship, or perhaps, a subtle lack of attention to critical details?
This is where an experienced and knowledgeable advocate for your project should be available to provide essential follow-up questions and make the discerning observations necessary. Studio Z’s clients draw on such knowledge and experience, allowing them to begin their project knowing that the contractor selection was given the care and diligence its importance demands.
Thinking of building your dream home or remodeling your existing home and have more questions about the process? We’ve created a guide that will answer your questions and shed light on what to expect. Complete the form below to receive your copy of “What to Expect During Your Design Consultation”.