No matter how you slice it, a home renovation is a major undertaking. It is an investment of time and money and you want to get it right. So, it makes sense that you would want to do some research before you make the leap – especially when it comes to selecting your renovator.
You will be spending a significant amount of time in consultation with your renovator before, during and even after your project so you want to make sure you’re a good match. Herb Lagois walks us through 5 things to know before hiring a renovator.
Things to consider when choosing your renovation team:
Ask! Don’t assume that your renovator has a process – many haven’t taken the time to identify the specific steps on which to focus in planning, design, and construction. Having a defined process can make the difference between success and failure. Common frustrations in any renovation project are missed completion dates, overrun budgets, and realization that the final product doesn’t meet your actual needs (even if it looks pretty).
Lagois’s 3 Step Process has proven successful time and time again in keeping our projects on time and on budget. And because we are involved in every step of the project from the earliest planning stages, we make sure all design and construction expectations are met. Why? Because we want you to Love Where You Live.
Is it the right time for you and your family to be starting a home renovation? The renovator you choose should take the time to explain what to expect in terms of disruption, mess, and the shuffling of people and things within your house. So, when you’ve got your calendars out, remember that you’re choosing a renovator based on their availability as it relates to YOUR availability and needs.
Our planning process guides clients through all of the pieces that need to be considered when nailing down the timing of renovation projects. Considerations range from setting monthly targets right down to daily routines for your pets. (Hadn’t thought of that? That is exactly what we are here for!)
Budgets are often a pain point for homeowners during (and regrettably after) renovations. Being able to discuss your budget openly and frankly with your renovator is essential. Be clear about how much you have to spend so that you can discuss whether or not it is enough to achieve what you want. A good renovator will be able to guide you through the conversation around what is and is not a sound investment.
Step 1 of the Lagois Process is where we explore your core issues with your living space. We get down to the nitty-gritty of your wish list and prioritize your needs and wants according to your budget. Perhaps a mudroom is more important/essential than a basement renovation at this point in your life. We will walk you through the guiding questions to make sure your investment makes sense for your home lifestyle.
Don’t be shy about digging into your renovator’s reputation. References are very important. In addition to talking to people who have worked with the prospective renovator, talk to those who are currently working with them. Ask direct questions about the experience:
- Are they pleasant to work with?
- What was their fit and finish (workmanship) like?
- Were they tidy at the end of each day?
If a prospective renovator is not willing or able to help you connect with any of their current or former clients, perhaps that is enough of a reference in and of itself. A reputable renovator will no doubt have references and referrals built into their process and you’re within your right as a client to ask.
Choosing a renovator should include considerations about your personality and that of the renovation team. You’re going to be spending time together in some tight spaces during your renovation (especially if you are living on-site during the construction phase) and a good renovator will set the expectation of constant communication.
Herb Lagois says “At the end of the day, we’re building a relationship – clients are not just a number.” And if you’re going to be seeing your renovator day in and day out for potentially months – you want to get along!
Heads-up: If your renovator is not planning to be around often or stay in close contact with you, may we suggest you keep looking – you deserve the best so that you can Love Where You Live. Bottom line.