It’s Monday and it’s time to make money and get organized. One of your biggest assets is your house and property. One of your biggest challenges is finding a Contractor you can trust. But let’s assume you found them. Here is some advice on making this work out great.

  1. Your Contractor typically will come out to assess the job for free and then provide a quote. Understand that they spend a fair amount of time driving to your property, walking the property, talking with you about your needs and then researching and ultimately coming up with the bid. Use their time wisely as it was yours.
  2. Do some research to understand what costs typically run for these days. We have had people literally think they could do a full deck for $1500. That would barely cover some of the wood. Wood has gone up a significant amount in 2017, for example. So understanding costs can make the process easier.
  3. Good contractors are booked. Be patient. You want the team that is busy because you want someone who is good and in demand! There are a lot of shady folks out there. Start your project way ahead of when you need it and then you won’t be disappointed when your Contractor tells you they cannot start for two to three months.
  4. Surprises happen. I would say in about 50% of the jobs we do, something is found (unexpected termite damage, the pipe you thought ran beside your project runs through it, water damage, etc). A good Contractor will stop and share the news with you and work with you to find the most cost effective and safe solution. It isn’t always a big cost hit so don’t worry.
  5. Project timelines tend to take longer than what you see on HGTV; plan to double the time your Contractor advises and you won’t be disappointed. I love HGTV, but HGTV never show the back and forth with the city; or the fact that the window keeps delaying shipment from Home Depot; or that the concrete will be more solid if you slowly let it dry. We recently bolted a mailbox into the concrete too quickly as the Customer was anxious to get the project done and it cracked and needed to be redone. Your Contractor also often has to manage more than one project at a time to make enough money and ensure good utilization of employees and sub-contractors – but they will do their best to minimize your interruption while maximizing their teams time. While your Concrete is drying, they will move the team to another site to work on something else. Sub-Contractors are also not always available on your timeline. Maybe you can get the framing and electrical done right away but the Stucco team is going to be unavailable for a week or two (they too need to make money and thus cannot be sitting around waiting for your project).

Construction can add a ton of value to your house.  There are awesome Contractors out there.  Understanding these Five steps will help you be more successful in your pursuit of the perfect home.