Ask Your Remodeler – How Long Have You Been in Business?
Why this is a great question to ask a remodeler.
The National Association of Homebuilders estimates that it takes at least 3 to 5 years to create a sustainable building or remodeling business. Most outfits never get there: residential contractors have a failure rate higher than nearly every other business type, surpassed only by restaurants.
Only the strongest competitors survive this winnowing.
Luxury remodeling is even more competitive. The very few companies that rise to the top of this challenging niche are financially sound and professionally managed. They work to exacting quality standards. They know how to keep customers happy during what can be a very challenging process.
None of the top remodelers got there overnight. One only learns to excel at doing complex renovation projects for demanding customers by, well, doing complex renovation projects for demanding customers.
But it’s not just a numbers game. Besides having completed lots of different project types for lots of people, the best remodelers make a point of learning something from each job. They spend time at the end of the project analyzing what worked and what didn’t, and they put those lessons to work on future projects. That’s one reason they have risen to the top of their markets.
Another reason is that they stay abreast of industry trends. Like everything else in today’s world, the demands on contractors of all types are growing faster than ever. They include ever-evolving design trends, as well as codes, standards, and regulations that seem to get stricter by the day. Successful, experienced remodelers educate themselves and their staff on these trends and smoothly incorporate them into their business practices.
Depth of experience and a culture of learning have direct benefits for customers. Take, for example, a case where the customer’s desired budget and schedule don’t match their initial vision. The inexperienced remodeler may tend to be overly optimistic. That can-do attitude may be admirable, but if the deadline is a week away, that addition isn’t close to being done, and money is running out, the result for everyone is disappointment and stress.
Top remodelers don’t make such mistakes because they systematically track the time and money required to complete each project type. Over the years, they have learned exactly what can and cannot be accomplished with a given schedule and budget. And they have developed the communication and problem-solving skills to help customers reconcile the vision with the reality.
The experienced professional remodeling company will also have earned the trust of its business partners. A long track record with material suppliers ensures the best prices and delivery schedules. And because like companies tend to flock together, experienced professional remodelers will have long-term work relationships with the best trade contractors in town, including plumbers, electricians, and HVAC companies. These relationships play a huge role in getting the job done right for a fair price and in a timely manner.
Long after the project is complete and the crew drives away for the last time, these relationships ensure quick responses to warranty requests. In fact, customers can be confident that if a warranty item needs servicing a few years down the road, the experienced pro’s team will be around to take care of it. How many new companies can offer that peace of mind?
The point is that high integrity, great communication skills, and a track record of successful projects and satisfied customers raise the odds of a smooth remodeling process. Hiring a professional company with the resources needed to do a great job, on time, and with minimal stress pays off big in the long run.
Dave Bryan, CGR, CAPS
Blackdog Builders, Inc
7 Red Roof Lane, Unit 1
Salem, NH 03079
(603) 898-0868 – Phone
(603) 898-0821 – Fax
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