Interviewing A Remodeling Company: Beyond First Impressions

Brian Hogan
Dec 1, 2023 10:35:54 AM

The most skilled remodelers are aware that the goal of the first meeting is to gain your trust. Be it the owner or a sales representative, a homeowner's comfort level with the first person they meet from the remodeling company plays a significant role in their decision to engage and hire. In addition to natural rapport, gut instincts—which some homeowners are unsure how to interpret—also matter.

These emotions typically result from the remodeler's behaviors and attitudes exhibited during that all-important first meeting. Many professional remodeling companies are aware of this, and from the very first meeting onward, they behave in a way that gains their clients' trust.

Remodeling contractor and architect planning out a floor plan together for the prospective homeowner

Understanding these behaviors and attitudes while interviewing remodelers and contractors can help you select a team and the remodeling company you will feel comfortable with. Consider these questions for yourself before signing anything.

Does The Remodeling Company or Contractor ...

1. Appear and Conduct Themselves Professionally? It begs the question: is this person a talented craftsman, given their messy pickup and shabby trousers and tee shirt? A clean truck and an ironed shirt are the first indications of a professional who manages a legitimate company and pays attention to detail.

2. Adhere to the Guidelines and Regional Codes? Professional remodeling companies and contractors understand that you want to ensure your remodeling project will be done correctly, including knowledge and adherence to all applicable rules and laws. Sample contracts, required insurance, licensing evidence, and customer referrals indicate a responsible business that doesn't take shortcuts.

3. Demonstrate Emotional Intelligence? A remodeling project can be an emotional roller coaster. Naturally, a remodeler who strives to make it less of a 'ride' and more of a wonderful experience will inspire greater confidence in you. The most skilled remodelers assist clients in understanding the potential ups and downs of the remodeling project, whether it be a kitchen remodel, bath remodel, basement remodel, or new home addition. Also, a pro remodeler will have clear policies on how the crew will interact with you and your family and how they will treat your property.

4. Take Scheduling and Timelines Important? Homeowners with a handle on the project schedule and timelines will have much less anxiety during any home construction project. Because of this, most homeowners feel more comfortable working with a remodeler who provides a clear calendar that includes the general job schedule, an approximate timeline for each build phase, and the start and end times of each workday.

5. Communicate Effectively and Have a Commitment To Keep You Informed? Pro remodeling companies and contractors know that if there is a frequent forum for questions and concerns, the homeowner will feel more confident, and the project tasks, schedule, and timeline will proceed more easily, especially for long-term projects like a whole house remodel or expansion of a large kitchen makeover. These meetings are often held once a week, though the exact time can vary depending on the employment.

6. Have Well-Defined Change Order Management Procedures? Changes are known to cause tension and conflict, but if everyone knows what to expect, prospective change order conflicts can be mitigated. Top remodeling companies and contractors will ensure you know the cost of modification orders and how they will be communicated to you, the customer, in case the work schedule and budget need to be adjusted.

7. Provide a List Of References? Most professional remodeling companies and contractors will have an extensive project portfolio and offer testimonials from previous customers. It's even better if some customers are eager to show you their finished product; it indicates that they genuinely enjoy and trust the remodeler.

Remodeling companies and contractors know that reducing uncertainty and developing trust, as illustrated by the questions above, are crucial to helping homeowners manage stress during a major remodeling project.

Keep in mind some remodeling companies and contractors may also be vetting you, and they won't be afraid to politely decline the job if necessary. Be wary of the remodeler who is too eager for the work. The point here is that the initial visit and first impression shouldn't be about dollars and cents but about finding whether the remodeling company and homeowner are a good fit.

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