As exciting as renovation may sound it can be a very daunting task especially when it comes to selecting a right contractor who will be responsible to bring your ideas and dreams into a reality and finishing the project on time successfully.
Following are few pointers for anyone who is embarking on a renovation journey to help evaluate the contractor and work with them towards a successful and a rewarding project:
1. Reference checks: As straightforward as this may sound, please take time to speak to the existing customers of the top 3 or 2 contractors you have shortlisted. It is also a good idea to do a cross check and perform your due diligence on social media forums and websites like Expat Women, British Mums, etc.
2. Compatibility: Look for compatibility between yourself and the contractor. We always say renovation projects are like mini marriages and in order for a project to be successful both he parties need to be compatible. Or it doesn’t matter how amazing the idea and the design and how competitive the contractor the projects exposure to the risk of failure is high.
3.Avoid all-inclusive bundled renovation packages:
Predominantly in a renovation project there are two main components of a proposal:
a. Services (bathroom renovation, kitchen, anything that needs customisation, etc.)
b. Materials (Variants - which is tiles, sanitary ware, appliances, etc.)
By having the flexibility to choose the materials(Variants) for yourself will not only give you flexibility but will help avoid a lot of misunderstanding and disappointments between you and contractor. There is hard work involved here but you can always take the help of the contractor to assist you in buying materials but in the end it will all be worth it once you see the finished project.
4. Business to Consumer mindset of contractor: It is of paramount importance that a contractor needs to understand renovation from a business to consumer standpoint. Because if a contractor starts treating home renovation projects like a typical contracting mass building projects the project will most probably fail. Many contractors have a separate Business to Consumer division, it is important that you enquire about it and understand how their approach is different for B to C project when compared to B to B project.
5. Liberty to ask questions: If there is an interior designer or stylist involved it is the responsibility of client and designer to give space and build confidence of the contractor so they feel comfortable to ask questions especially when executing complex designs. We have come across instances in the past where contractor was not comfortable working with designers and hence assumed something and executed the designs by themselves because they were hesitant to ask questions and the end product was far from what was expected or desired. You will avoid a lot of repeat work, time and money if there is a clear communication between the three parties.
6. Time consciousness: Finishing projects on time is the challenge construction industry has always faced. Understanding the time consciousness of the contractor is very important, we will write in a separate blog about what are some of the questions you need to ask to understand the time consciousness of the contractor. On the other hand projects also get delayed when the client is not decisive, so we recommend most decisions are made even before the start of the project so when the project starts it is a sprint and not a marathon.
If you have any home renovation related questions please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be more than happy to assist and answer your questions.