So, you've decided that it's time to remodel a space in your home. You know you're going to need a good general contractor to manage the project for you, so you ask friends and neighbors for some referrals. Then, you may even jump on HomeAdvisor or NARI's website to find options in your area. Finally, you make a few calls, leave a few messages, and start the process of getting quotes.
But wait! There are a few GC's who have gotten back to you, and have even taken a look at your project. But they never followed up with a quote. Why is this!?
Well, we're going to have a little heart-to-heart with you. There are a number of red flags that we pick up on when we're starting to learn about your project. Here are a few very real reasons why the general contractor never followed up:
1: You Aren't Clear On What You Want
We often hear potential customers say, "I'm not sure exactly what I want. I just want someone to come out and take a look". We understand that you aren't an expert when it comes to remodeling, yet what this tells us is that you're not serious about the project (yet). Here's what you need to be clear on before calling a general contractor:
- Which room or space are you remodeling?
- What is the approximate size of that space (square footage)?
- What is your budget?
- Will this be a complete tear-out, or will we be keeping the same floor plan and updating with new fixtures?
- Do you already have plans drawn? (This is typically done by an architect. If you haven't taken this step, we can direct you to one of our trusted partners)
We love Pinterest! Creating an idea board for your remodeling project can be a great help to us. By showing us the type of space, style, and finishes you dream of, we can provide a more accurate estimate up-front. Better yet? Fill out our Project Inquiry Form to give us the full scoop on what you're looking for.
2: Your Timeline Is Unrealistic
It's completely unrealistic to expect a remodeling job to be completed in one month, yet we get requests for it all of the time. There are many factors to take into consideration, yet they're often overlooked. Here's the reality of what needs to get done to complete a remodeling project:
- Get plans drawn by architect
- Choose finishes (ie: flooring, cabinets, countertops, appliances, etc.)
- Estimate construction costs based on plans and desired finishes
- Order materials (finish choices will determine how quickly materials can be received)
- Schedule sub-contractors
- Obtain permits
- Cleaning, finishing touches
As you can see, there are a lot of moving parts to any remodeling project. And, many of them aren't dictated by the general contractor. Keep in mind, the project timeline will be different for every project. One kitchen may take four weeks, and another may take eight! A realistic timeline takes into account the necessary steps of the process, factors in any unforeseen setbacks (ie: materials delivered late or backordered), and sets both the homeowner and the GC up for success.
3: You've Set An Unrealistic Budget Or Have "No" Budget
This is such a tough one! We truly want to help you, yet we also have to be the voice of reason when it comes to what's possible for every budget. You may want granite countertops and ceramic tile floors in your new kitchen, but your budget calls for their laminate and vinyl counterparts. Do a little bit of research before you start asking for quotes. Walk around Home Depot and check out the price differences on different types of finishes that might be used in your project. And, compare apples to apples. Remodeling costs will differ by region and state. If your project is in the Milwaukee area, compare Milwaukee area general contractors. When comparing apples to apples, make sure you're comparing two general contractors, not a general contractor and a handyman.
When you tell us that you don't have a budget, to us, it means it's just going to take longer to quote the project. It doesn't give us any information on where to start, and often sets both you and us up for frustration. Decide on your budget before you call a general contractor.
4. You're comparing more than 3 companies
We encourage all of our potential customers to seek a second opinion to make sure we're the right fit for their project. You have every right to compare different General Contractors! But, when someone tells us they've already had three or four companies in, and want even more quotes to compare, we know they're looking for the lowest price. And, we're not going to be the lowest price. Here's why:
- We hire vetted, professional sub-contractors to work on our projects, so you feel comfortable with them in your home. This takes a little more resource than companies who bring in anyone who's available
- We're using technology to ensure quality - our team communicates with up-to-date systems that allow us to make fewer mistakes, and communicate better
- You get a 2-year guarantee - we'll fix anything that's not right for up to two years after the project is complete
- We'll provide a 12-month check-in - after you've lived in your new space for a year, we'll come back to make recommendations about how to care for it to make it stay like new, longer
- We work "by the book" - we're going to pull the appropriate permits and take care of your inspections so that nothing comes back to haunt you later
- You have direct access to our project managers daily - you won't wait days for returned phone calls, and you'll always know what's going on with your project
Creating Outstanding Relationships
Our goal, from the first phone call, is to build an outstanding relationship with our clients. By giving you these insights, we hope to prepare you, and us, for a successful remodeling project.
Feel free to give us a call at (414) 745-6319 to start your remodel process today! Or fill out our project questionnaire for a customized quote.