Stop Waiting on That Estimate
As one of the design consultants with Mayflower, I become the face of our company as I’m often the first representative clients meet when considering us for their kitchen or bathroom renovation. I come to their home for the very first meeting, help with the design and material selection, prepare their itemized estimate and contract, and sign their final agreement. My goal with any potential client is to have my interaction with them mirror the experience they will eventually have with our field team. I believe the initial interaction you have with any contractor is an indicator of what to expect during construction.
While I’m in the first few meetings, I’m aware that I’m competing with all types of different companies. During the follow up period, I have a certain percentage of clients who wait endlessly for other contractors to get back to them so they can compare us all together. When clients wait for days or even weeks for their other interviewed contractors to send them an estimate, I want to tell them so badly, “stop waiting, you’re going to have a terrible experience!” However, saying this in the midst of trying to earn their business sounds like I’m just bad mouthing my competitors. So, I’ve decided to make it the topic of this blog and have compiled four warning signs to look out for and why they normally translate into a stressful construction experience.
They Make Promises They Can’t Keep
It’s important for your contractor to have a clear, realistic idea of how quickly they can complete tasks. If they tell you they’ll follow up with you in two days, you should expect that follow up to happen without having to remind them. If they consistently follow up later than promised or forget completely, this means they don’t have a schedule that is manageable and think they can accomplish tasks more quickly than they actually can. This translates to construction when you’re given your project’s estimated length. If they have a habit of making over ambitious predictions, you can expect your project to last longer than they say it will..
They are Slow to Respond
You should expect consistent, professional communication from your contractor when you reach out with questions or comments. 1-2 business days is a standard amount of time to receive a response from someone in the construction industry and you should go into the planning phase knowing how long your contractor takes to get back to you. If you’re waiting days or weeks for responses, you can expect this type of lag during construction as you’ll inevitably need to be in touch with your contractor to pin down final construction details and adjustments that occur on the job.
They Don’t Chase You, You Chase Them
During the design and planning process, you should feel important to your contractor. Your contractor should be on top of communication and should reach out to you if they haven’t heard from you in a few days. You should feel that they are moving you closer to a signed contract with consistent, but not rushed communication. You shouldn’t have to ask, “so what now?” and remind them that you exist. This translates to construction by instilling trust in your contractor. If they are on top of the planning, they’ll be on top of construction. You won’t have to wonder what’s going on and can let construction happen without needing to micromanage a kitchen or bathroom remodel on your own.
They Give You an Estimate Before You’ve Selected Your Design and Materials
One of the most important items in your kitchen or bathroom remodel is to know exactly how much you’re going to spend before going into construction. While there’s always a possibility for change orders, your final estimate should be as close to your true construction costs as possible. If you get an estimate before you’ve picked every single material, nailed down the design, and have a clear scope of work; you can consider it just a rough guesstimate. A contractor can give you an anticipated budget range before planning, but they should be reluctant to give you an itemized quote without several meetings and a detailed planning phase with you. This translates into construction costs being exactly as you expected and minimizes change orders as you’ve had a chance to think through every detail.
Ultimately, you want your initial interaction with your contractor to feel effortless on your part and in control on their part. My goal during the planning of any kitchen or bathroom renovation is to set our company apart by consistent communication and a true effort to build a relationship. We treat our clients like family and have learned from experience that the happiest clients are the clients who don’t feel like they are just another job site to their contractor. The contractor-client relationship matters almost more than the construction itself which is why we’ve invested in dedicated sales reps, project managers and office staff to give our customers a unique renovation experience. If you’re ready to renovate with a company you can trust to put you first, reach out to speak with one of our design consultants. Your dream renovation is closer than you think!
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