Monday, October 7, 2013

Stress Free Remodling

  Remodeling a home can be stressful. Savvy homeowners choose a remodeler who will make it less so. But how do owners determine whether a company will deliver on its promises and not tax their sanity? The answers lie in good systems. Companies with clearly defined management systems tend to be better organized, communicate more effectively and minimize unwanted surprises.

  When it comes to remodeling, miscommunication is the root of most ills. Signs of a company that communicates well include detailed project descriptions (leaving no question about what the finished product will include), the ability to clearly explain financial concepts (where, exactly, the dollars are spent) and regular meetings.  Ongoing meetings, at an agreed upon schedule, tend to be shorter and less formal, but keep everyone updated on job progress and provide an opportunity to gain clarity and solve problems.
Schedules and Payments:

  The old adage "fail to plan, plan to fail" may have been penned by a remodeler: a schedule that details the job from start to finish is crucial to getting things done on time and within budget. Weather delays, delivery backlogs and other unforeseen events can shift production schedules over time, but a well-managed company starts with a plan and updates everyone when things change.
Payment schedules are also important. Remodelers typically get a percentage of the job cost as a down payment, and subsequent payments either on completion of production milestones (the end of demolition or after framing inspections, etc.)  or on agreed upon dates (normally bi-weekly). Well-planned payment schedules allow owners to clearly understand what is expected of them and help the remodeler to manage his resources over the course of construction.
Who, what, when?:

  As a professional remodeler, we invest time to help our clients understand how our team is organized and how to interact with team members. We clarify who will be responsible for the job at each stage, including the final closeout and punch list. Who the home owner can contact with questions or concerns, what's the best way to make contact, and how long before you can expect a response.
Understanding how a remodeler handles these kind of issues has real payoffs. The answers will indicate how effectively a builder communicates, pays attention to details, and has systems for getting things done on time and according to plan -- all of which help make the project the positive experience it should be.

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