What both homeowners and contractors must both remember is this, not every homeowner a contractor interviews is a good client for them and not every contractor a homeowner interviews is a good fit for them. That is why it’s preventative “medicine” for both parties to talk to a coach and get clarity about “are you right for one another”? Hence, the dating phase of the remodeling project that’s coming down the pike.
Keep in mind when you’re interviewing contractors, they “should” also be interviewing you.
As I’ve said, this is a relationship, not just a remodel. It would stand to reason, then, that both sides would be interviewing the other. This is the time to develop good rapport (indeed, is good rapport possible).
For a long time it has been assumed that it is only the customer who has a choice in the hiring process.
I want to be clear that this is absolutely not so. Think of it as a date – each party is “checking out” the other. This is the time to develop good rapport (indeed, is good rapport possible).
Since there is really no continuing education for contractors provided by any of the states (that I’m aware of), it is up to us to educate ourselves not only on the aspects of building but of running a business as well.
Remodeling Magazine is one of the best magazines in the remodeling/home improvement industry. It is for industry professionals but homeowners have access on-line at www.remodeling.com
In September of 2002 there was a Q & A with several contractors on Just Saying No – How to turn away a client you have reason to suspect may be difficult. Particularly in these economically challenging times (and, really, anytime) if either party feels the relationship isn’t a good fit, say no.
It’s never a good thing to waste time, money and, particularly, emotion on entering into the “wrong” relationship.
I would encourage each of you to be courteous enough to let the contractors you do not choose know that you are not choosing them. They’re taking the time to come and meet with you to bid on your project – they like to know what’s going on with you as well.