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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Arch-i-text: Short-listing the pros

Now that we’ve met with the potential contractors, it’s time to check the references (a minimum of three) they provided you with.

In last week’s column I suggested these should represent projects the contractor had completed in the last year, three to five years ago, and six to 10 years ago, respectively.

Questions such as – “Did they finish on-time and on-budget?”, “Was their work satisfactory?”, “Were they called back later to fix any issue and, if so, how did they respond?” and “How has their work stood up over time?” – are representative of the lines of inquiry you might make.

Essentially, the primary objective of a reference check is to both determine if the contractor was professional in all aspects of the work and the lasting quality of the work. Further, insight into a contractor’s level of ongoing customer communication and responsiveness to customer inquiries are very helpful in predicting the optimum method to manage your reno project.

Based on the results of these reference checks, it should be possible to short-list three contractors that you believe will best match the requirements of your renovation. Now, prior to asking for quotes, it’s necessary to define what you are asking them to quote on. In other words, you need drawings that will form the scope-of-work for your project.

Luckily, sourcing potential architects and/or designers follows the same general steps we’ve identified for finding a general contractor.

To complement this, you should have a list of referrals generated from your earlier discussions with the “long-listed” general contractors to aid in your search. However, while it is important to be sympatico with your contractor, it is absolutely vital to fully resonate with your designer to achieve maximum liveability from your renovation.

Design is a visually interpreted discipline, hence professionals always maintain a representative portfolio of their work. Always review their portfolio and ask yourself whether what you see makes your heart sing.

If the answer is “no,” continue your search. If the answer is “yes,” then share with them the design criteria you developed (if you’re following the process outlined in my previous articles) and ask for their high-level concept response.

If you like what you hear, it can weigh towards them being short-listed but still check their references.

Next week, a design to quote.  

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