I wrote this post for nextdoor.com as a little PSA for the community, but I thought I'd share it here too:
Hey Y'all, I’m just sitting at my office on an icy day, and reflecting on the past year. I wanted to say thank you to our community for letting us turn out some really quality products in 2017.
Also, since some people may be looking to do some home improvements come tax refund time this year, I wanted to give you a few bullet points that, from a contractors point of view, will make your job go more smoothly, no matter what company or contractor you use.
1. Be prepared with specifics of what you want when you sign the contract. A really good way to hold up a job, or slow things down significantly, is to wait to decide on a fixture or countertop, and then find out that the item is backordered for 3 weeks, or the installation cant happen for a fortnight.
2. Know you budget and make a wish list, but be prepared to be flexible. A good contractor can help you figure out how to design a project to fit your budget, by helping you prioritize items on your wish list. But beware a contractor who bends significantly to a budget much lower than his original quote. Taking the low-ball bid is a good way to set yourself up for a nightmare story.
3. Communication is key. A good contractor will update you daily on progress, answer any questions you have, and communicate any hiccups (there are always hiccups, especially in a remodel). On this note, the homeowners questions and comments should also be discussed during the daily progress call or meeting, whenever possible. If it’s an urgent matter, of course say something, but interrupting the crew over and over again with non-critical questions slows the flow of work and creates a headache for the people trying to keep their labor on budget.
If anyone has any specific questions, even if we aren't doing business together, please ask, and I will do my best to answer them.
Anyway, thanks for reading and I hope to see some of you in 2018!