Remodeling projects are some of the most expensive investments you'll ever make. How do you know you're entrusting your hard earned cash, home and all those who live there to someone trustworthy?
Before I became a construction company owner, I worked for over a decade in the business world. One of my business gigs was franchise consulting for a large tax corporation. My job was to help franchisees fully maximize their connection to our brand and do my best to advise them how to grow their business. I quickly learned that the best tax professionals often didn't have the skill set to be effective tax office owners.
The same is true in the construction world. Just because someone knows how to build beautiful things, doesn't mean they have a lick of business acumen.
We've personally seen terrible mismanagement in the form of a low-bid contractor who literally shuttered his businesses overnight. Another walked off a half-way completed job when he realized money had run out. We've seen terrible final products including foundations that didn't support additions properly, load bearing walls left unsupported, leaky tile jobs and rotten exterior walls just to name a few.
What do all of these projects have in common? They were either done by a low-bid contractor or a contractor who had no idea how to manage a project effectively combined with a homeowner who didn't fully consider the value of a good contractor.
What is the difference between cost and value?
Cost is defined as "an amount that has to be paid or spent to buy or obtain something". Value, includes cost, but encompasses much more. It is "the importance, worth or usefulness of something" and/or "a person's principles or standards of behavior; one's judgment of what is important in life."
Cost is simply the dollar value placed on a project.
It's the price tag and nothing more. It's a piece of the value proposition, but isn't the only factor in determining value.
Value is everything else you care about in regards to your project.
It's making sure the final product is useful and worth what you paid for it. It's a project completed with great communication, high standards, in a timely manner and with quality that will last for years. It's alleviating the pain point that's causing you to want to demolish part of your living space and rebuild it despite the inconvenience that will bring. And much more...
Here are some questions to help weed out insolvent, sketchy or just plain clueless contractors by considering not just the cost of a project, but also the value of a project and a good contractor.
Important questions to ask yourself about value:
Important questions to ask potential contractors about the value (or liability) they bring to the table:
Communication & Customer Service:
Planning & Project Management
There are about 100 more questions that could be asked to uncover the true value of the contractor you are interviewing.
From a contractor's perspective, we've learned that we can't be "cheap", because we don't want to provide a cheap final product.
When shopping for a contractor, make sure to consider value in addition to cost to help avoid a construction nightmare. We hope these questions will help you do just that!
All the best,
Bunn & Sons Home Renovations provides general contractor, kitchen and bath remodeling, basement finishing and custom carpentry services in the Broomfield, Arvada, Louisville, Lafayette, Boulder, Westminster, Erie and other North Denver Metro areas. Contact us at email@example.com or 303.625.4045 today!
4/28/2020 03:44:13 am
Thank you for reminding me that we should check the preferred mode of communication with our contractor and see if they can visit the site often. My husband and I want a contemporary design for our dream house, and we want to work with someone who can work with our requests. I really hope that we can find an experienced custom-home builder that will charge us fairly.
6/18/2020 10:16:41 am
I like what you said about asking a contractor how many projects they work on simultaneously. My sister wants to get an addition built onto her home in the coming months. I'll share this information with her so that she can look into her options for professionals who can help her with this.
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