You spent years putting yourself on the back burner to sacrifice for everyone else. Your home hasn’t been working for you and doesn’t provide for all of your desires and needs. But now—it’s your time for a home design and remodeling.
You’ve taken a few steps on your own looking into luxury remodels. Your computer folder overflows with gorgeous home remodeling ideas you found on Pinterest and Houzz to help you share your vision to design your dream home.
You’re “armed and dangerous” with some basic questions to ask of a prospective home remodeling company such as:
- What experience do you have?
- Do you have a contractor license?
- May I see your certificate of insurance?
- What is your usual payment schedule?
- Do you have worker’s comp insurance for your employees and subcontractors?
- May I have a list of references?
Who do you call to do the work? How do you know where to even start?
No problem. We understand how overwhelming the beginning of this process can feel. So we’ll just walk through it together, shining some light on the topic each step of the way.
Finding the right style home design and remodel company fit for your budget
How do you choose a contractor for your design and remodeling investment? Once you feel comfortable with the company enough to go deeper, check to be sure you and a potential contractor are on the same page.
Question 1: What types of renovation projects have you done and may I see pictures of your previous work?
If what you want is a huge scope of work, including design, and the contractor you are interviewing only does interior remodels that don’t involve any structural changes and they don’t handle exterior renovations, you’ll know right away, this isn’t going to be a good fit.
Question 2: What is your speciality?
When vetting a home remodeling contractor, investigate what types of jobs they consider to be their “bread and butter”—their niche. If you want the greatest satisfaction with your building process and end product, choose someone with years of expertise doing the exact kind of work you want to do in your home improvement project.
Does the remodeling company handle:
- Design and building? Or only building?
- Only interior kitchens and bath remodels?
- Whole-house renovations without structural changes?
- Whole-house remodels with major structural and exterior changes?
- Home additions?
Question 3: Do you do restorations?
There are two general types of restorations done by home remodeling companies: disaster restorations and historic restorations.
These companies generally only do remodeling work on homes that have been damaged by fire, storms, floods, or wind. They don’t improve upon the old design. They simply replace everything to be equal to what it was originally. They also work with homeowner’s insurance companies to cover much of the cost.
Don’t expect a disaster restoration company to be able to transform your old house plan into something new. Home insurance won’t cover that.
If you own a home on a historic registry and want to renovate it, many regulations determine what upgrades, repairs, and remodeling you can do. You can only paint the home in certain colors, for example. You may not be able to change the exterior architectural style, especially on the street-facing walls. You may be limited as to what exterior finishes you can use.
A remodeling contractor who routinely does historic restorations knows the ins and outs of all the industry. They can guide you through the process and explain your options, as well as the things that can’t be changed.
Question 4: Are you the right fit for my style and budget?
Do you and this contractor jive on your plans for your dream home’s architectural design? Do they do jobs in your budget range?
Your Home’s Style
If you have your heart set on a Craftsman-style home but this contractor does 90% industrial or modern minimalist style renovations, this may not be a good fit. You want to find someone who understands the particular architectural style you want to create (or enhance) in your home remodel project.
A contractor who has never worked with a project in a certain style may not provide the best quality work. You want someone who already knows how to design and build exactly what you want. Not someone who needs to learn as they go.
Even if the company claims they do the kind of project you are interested in doing, you want to be sure their workmanship is up to snuff. Can they handle the scope of work you are proposing?
If they usually do $40,000 jobs and you are thinking in the ballpark of $250,000, that contractor probably won’t deliver the level of quality you expect.
Question 5: Who do you have on staff that will be part of my home remodeling team?
If the entire company is just one general contractor who says he can handle everything from sales, design, building, and accounting—he may be a good fit if all you want is a simple, small home addition. If he doesn’t have a lot of other jobs on his plate right now. And if he does quality work.
Are you doing a complete home renovation or whole home remodel including home design services? Then you need an entire team of professionals to support your design and remodeling project.
Important questions about staffing for a potential general contractor
Do you have any of the following on staff?
- Home design consultant or designer?
- Interior designer?
- General contractor?
Question 6: How do your designers/architects interface with a contractor?
One of the greatest sources of confusion, delay, and stress during a home remodeling project occurs when your designer and contractor are working independently of each other and can’t seem to communicate well or get on the same page.
You don’t need people to point fingers at each other and make excuses as to why they can’t proceed on your project. You need good communication without unnecessary delays and hassles.
There are two solutions to this designer/contractor conflict dilemma, in our view.
Hire a design-build team that includes your designers and contractor that already knows how to work as a team.
Hire a design team that includes a contractor’s perspective to prevent potential miscommunication or misunderstandings that could happen between a design team and contractor. Be sure this team will help your chosen contractor with your build so that your experience is seamless.
At Phase One, we solve a lot of these communication issues between home designers and contractors for you. We specialize in option number 2. Although, in some unique situations, we may work with a client to provide the first option, as well.
Thinking of hiring a design company for your luxury remodeling project in South Carolina?
At Phase One, we have years of experience doing major design projects for luxury home renovations.
Our home design and remodeling niche at Phase One:
At Phase One, you are in the driver’s seat. Our designers work hand-in-hand with experienced contractors to help you envision the full potential of your house renovation. We open your eyes to the glorious possibilities hidden in your home so you can transform your old home into a new luxury dream home you absolutely love. However large-scale your project may be.
We provide guided home design with professional home design services. This way, there will be no communication or expectation gap between your design team and your home builder. We ensure that your build will go smoothly from start to finish, meshing seamlessly with your contractor to get you the absolute best product on time and on budget.
For more about how to find designers and contractors who can work together as a team to get your project done properly, please check out this post, Designers and Contractors: How to Coordinate and Win.
Whether you just want to renovate your kitchen or do a whole home remodel, the sky’s the limit with us.
Please contact us today to get started!