Tuesday, February 5, 2013

HOW TO: Hiring a Contractor Series - Part 2


Now that you have done your research and narrowed the field down to a few qualified contractors, you get ready to call them up and schedule a time for an estimate or consultation; but, you get side tracked by a phone call with one of your friends. You explain that you are about to remodel your kitchen and that you found this awesome blog that explained the importance of doing your research. You go on to say that you found two licensed and insured contractors with great reviews and outstanding portfolios! You are super excited and then your dear friend asks, "That sounds great, but who are going to get to design your kitchen?"

WHAT???? Design my kitchen? I thought that the contractor would do that? Not so fast! Contractors are not designers and designers are not contractors. Here are a few things you should understand about contractors and designers:
  • Most contractors expect you to know exactly what you want. They meet with you and give you an estimate based on your criteria. They will not be able to assist you with a functional design or offer suggestions that may make your end result better.
  • Designers are an additional cost to the remodeling process. If you are looking for someone to help generate ideas and create a new look for your home you might want to start with a designer. One downfall to hiring a designer is that often times they do not fully understand the construction process and may have unrealistic expectations. I suggest that the designer and contractor collaborate in order to achieve the best results. 
  • Your best case scenario is hiring a company that can offer both design and contracting services. Companies like this do exist but remember... do your research  If you decide to go this route make sure that you refer back to Part One of this series. They still must be licensed, insured, and have credentials.
Investcove Properties specializes in offering both contractor and design services. We have experience in all aspects of the renovation process; thus our designers, project managers, and contractors are well versed in total project design and remodeling. But, we are the exception, not the rule. I saw a need for this type of service while working with my investors renovating distressed properties. Neighbors would often stop by our remodels and say, "Wow, I wish my contractor would have thought of this while we did our remodel." I continually strive to design and remodel with functionality and beauty as the end goal. So, when you hire a company that can offer both design and remodeling services, you will ultimately save money in the end while achieving your dreams. 

Blog post by Aja De Los Santos, GM & Head Designer at Investcove Properties