Where is Dolly Levi when we need her? Wouldn’t it be great if we had a remodeling matchmaker who delights in pairing up available clients and eligible contractors? But alas, we have to figure it out on our own. “Right? Of course, right!”
As with any budding relationship, establishing a positive rapport is key. When the chemistry is off between a client and a contractor then everyone suffers but when the chemistry is right, it’s a matchless match.
Finding the right match involves being clear about your needs, doing your homework and getting to know your suitors before making a final decision.
Clarify your needs:
Before you can choose the right contractor you need to be clear on the services you need to complete your project. Here are four questions to help you sort it out.
- Do you need help with the upfront #design, planning and permit work or just the construction part of the project?
- Do you plan to select all the fixtures and finishes on your own or do you want someone to consult with on those decisions.
- Are you going to manage the project yourself or do you need a #general contractor to coördinate and supervise the project for you?
- What are the specialized skills needed to complete the job i.e., plumbing, electrical, carpentry etc.
Seek out contractors and design professionals who offer the services that you need and want. Don’t assume that all companies are created equally because of the services they offer.
Do your homework:
This is the list of basic requirements that you should look for in a contractor.
- Licensed by the state with no complaints filed in the last 3 or more years.
- Has #Worker’s Compensation and #General Liability insurance. (If you hire an uninsured contractor then you accept the financial risk for injuries or damage that occurs as a result of the project).
- Uses #sub-contractors who are licensed and insured.
- Has been in business for at least 10 years using the same name
- Has a physical business office and at least one support person to answer phones and schedule appointments
- Specializes in the work you want performed
- Offers a written scope of work and estimate with clearly stated cost assumptions and a payment schedule
- Provides you with at least three positive references from recent satisfied clients.
Getting to know you:
One of the most common mistakes in this process is letting “price” overrule “people” as the primary selection criteria. Don’t get me wrong, budget management is important but so is working with people who you respect and trust. Take the time to interview prospective candidates at your home and at their place of business to get a clear understanding of how they work and the values by which they run their company. If working with a gay-owned or gay-friendly company is important to you then check out #Pink Spot and the #San Francisco Bay Times for companies that cater to our community.
Even the best working relationships have moments of tension and stress. Successfully working through these stressful moments is the best sign of a matchless match.