Starting a project? How to ask the right questions
It seems like everyone wants to redo or remodel something in their home. We have all been home for so long and looking at the same old same old and let’s be honest, it is wearing us out!
When there’s a boom in the remodeling/ building world, it seems everyone is a remodeler and ready to jump into the game. This is when you want to be sure you ask the right questions before you begin to get the best results.
Story time. I had a client who wanted to replace their back splash and update a few things in their bath. “It’s such a small project, surely anyone can do it.” This is rarely true. Making sure you’re using quality people on your project is just the tip of the iceberg. The skill level is needed no matter what the scale of the project. Knowing the steps and making the correct selections for the project is the best way to have a great outcome, an interior designer should be on hand to help and design what you’re looking for.
Here are a few key questions to ask before you start.
How long have you been in business, and can you show me some of your projects? A website is a great way to see their work and prove how long they have been in business. Ask questions about the project and who did the selections and planning.
What has been your biggest issue or problem you have had to solve during a project? How was it resolved?
How long will the project take and how do you do your invoicing?
Do you have a contract or letter of agreement?
Do you belong to the local builder’s association or remodelers group?
These are just a few questions to get you started and then of course ask for references from projects that have gone well and badly. I promise, everyone has had projects go poorly, but how they were resolved is the key!
Okay, one more story. When times are at a boom, be prepared to wait for a good person to be available. I had a client who wanted to do a soft remodel in their bath including new countertops, light fixtures, mirrors, etc. But when they couldn’t find someone who was available in a very short period of time, they accepted someone from a local tile store to do the project. The person had only been in business a couple of weeks and did not have the experience to handle the issues that occurred. A plumber had to be brought onto the project to correct the issues and the project cost doubled due to the contractor changes.
A great place to start looking for the right person is through friends or family. Ask them if they know someone who they have had a good experience with. Look for signs in your neighborhood of people working near by and check out your local interior designers for options. Read the reviews and ask questions. Houzz is another place to see professionals’ work and learn how others have enjoyed their projects.
Do your homework and learn about the people who are going to be in your home working and creating the end result you are looking for. These are all elements that make a project go well. We all know the rule to get three quotes and make sure you are comparing apples to apples. A design plan is key to guaranteeing this. And then, go with your gut. If you get a good feeling from a design team and you just feel it, take that into account also. Design is personal and you should feel good about the people you will be working with.