1. Defining a Successful Remodeling Project
Remodeling projects are like a complex equation with many variables and compounding values. There are many moving parts to a remodeling job, and much like a math equation, one wrong move can cause a massive problem. Just as every job is different, so is every customer, so success can be defined in different ways.
Here is how we define success at Carson Custom Homes:
A successful remodeling project executes the intended design in a manner that pleases the client by providing high-quality work and outstanding customer service – leaving the client with a great experience.
In fact, this could be the first indication that a contractor is not a good fit for you. Ask how they define success and make sure it aligns with YOUR definition of success.
The following 7 items are what we consider to be the keys to executing a successful remodeling project.
2. Hiring the Right Business
Finding the right contractor is one of the most crucial parts of the equation. The person you hire should be the person you trust the most to execute your project and permit people into your home. Remember, you are hiring a business, not a person, so the person you are making a connection with may not be the person in your home. Ask to meet the person who will run the project before it begins. Open communication with your contractor is vital to establishing trust.
Here are some questions you should ask your contractor before the project begins:
- Who will be on-site?
- How often they will be on-site?
- Is there a lead carpenter or superintendent?
- What hours do they usually work?
- Are they flexible if the hours don’t fit your lifestyle?
3. Systems and Processes
From sales to warranty work, the business you hire should have multiple systems and processes in place in order to keep your job on track. Ask about them. We are a fan of checklists and we use project management software to keep you updated through an app on your phone. Our checklists are proprietary, but we will let you see one or two just to demonstrate how they work. We also set a weekly update meeting to keep you in the loop at all times.
4. A Clear Plan, With a Clear Scope of Work
Clarity is always a good thing… from contracts to plans, to scope and specifications. A clear scope of work in the contract goes hand in hand with a clear plan to be executed. The more precise your contractor is with writing specifications and scope of work, the more successful the project will be in regards to many of the items below.
5. Finishing on Time
Limiting downtime goes a long way in providing a great experience. Nobody likes to come home to a job that is at a standstill because nobody told the plumber when to come in. We use a 3 week “look ahead” in order to keep things efficient and communicate with our subs. Our goal is to hit our timeline every time.
We also update our scheduling and keep a job log on the app that you can access anytime. Another component of limiting downtime is making selections and pre-ordering materials. This can only happen if selections are made before the job has even started.
6. Finishing on Budget
Finishing on budget goes a long way toward leaving the client with a great experience. We track budgets through an app so all your budget info is right there at your fingertips, including changes and selections and a breakdown of how those affect the numbers. Being transparent about budget updates and changes is vital for our customer satisfaction.
7. Limiting Change Orders
Obviously, change orders will have an effect on the project’s timeline and cost. While some change orders decrease spend, we usually see costs increase. We ask you during the discovery/design phase to think in terms of no change orders. To prevent change orders, we show you views of the room in our design software so you can get a feel for what a “column would look like in that location” or “how a window would add more light,” etc.
The dirty little secret about change orders is that subcontractors will use those changes in order to “make up for the great deal” they gave you when things didn’t work out. We have worked with most of our subcontractors for years and don’t offer bidding opportunities to contractors who do that. We have noticed that change orders always seem to be a point of contention, and in our pursuit of providing great service, we do everything we can to avoid them by asking you to think through all those decisions before we start including selections, plans, and so on.
8. A Clean Job Site
Last but not least, a clean, well-protected job site will make all the difference in how you feel about the project when you get home. Nobody wants to come home from work to a place covered in dust and debris. These are our standards for a clean job site:
- Finished materials should be covered and protected.
- Clean up should occur daily.
- The dumpster should be closed and all debris, demolished materials and personal trash should be properly disposed of.
- Paint cans, wash buckets and rags should be properly stored.
- Materials on hand should be neat and organized.
- The floor should be swept daily.
- Barriers should be used to keep dust out of the rest of the house and air scrubbers should be employed as necessary.
When you’re selecting a contractor for your remodeling project, it’s important to find a contractor whose vision for success aligns with yours. For reliable hill country contractors, contact Carson Custom Homes.