THE SEVEN KEYS TO FINDING A GREAT CONTRACTOR, PART FIVE: CUSTOMIZED PRODUCT
This is our fifth installment in our series about the Seven Keys to Finding a Great Contractor. To review, the seven keys are:
- Customized Product
- Attention to Details
- Warranty & Protection
Building an outdoor living project that is right for you is key to the long-term enjoyment you get for your money. A cheap, cookie-cutter project is not going to give you a good feeling when you use it. However, an overdesigned, over-priced project is not going to give you a good feeling either. You need a project—whether it’s a deck, sunroom, screened porch, combination, etc.—that meets your individual wants, needs (and budget). One of the keys to finding a contractor that fits with you is whether you are able to “connect” when it comes to designing what you want to build.
A contractor should have a large experience base of designing projects similar to yours for you to draw upon. He should ask lots of questions and give you lots of information regarding what you can and can’t do, and what factors are going to affect the function and cost of your project. You aren’t expected to be the expert, nor should you have to come up with the design yourself.
Further, a contractor should point out smaller features you may not be aware of that will enhance the project without adding major costs. This is part of the value add that a full-service contractor should bring to the table.
During the “selling” phase of the project, you get a great opportunity to go through much of the process with the contractor. You should get a feel from his ideas and suggestions whether he is adding value to the process. He should be doing a lot of listening to make sure he understands what you want. At the same time, he should be giving you lots of feedback and ideas and education about what your options are. If you find his input valuable, then you may be well on your way toward having identified the right contractor for you.
One note about a contractor’s design. If the contractor values his time, experience, and expertise in project design, don’t expect him to leave his design drawings with you unless/until you sign a contract. It’s not fair or reasonable to expect him to “give” you his work product for free. Too many contractors have had the experience of finding that their original designs, which they invested hours in creating, were passed along to cheaper carpenters to re-create.
Cheaper doesn’t mean better and the proof of this is evident through the way you view, and use, your outdoor space in the years ahead. Here at Archadeck of Central SC we realize the thrill of a bargain can soon fade and is often followed by a structure that doesn’t meet your expectations. Keep in mind the pride and satisfaction of a really good project can last forever!
In summary, you should expect that a full-service contractor will add value in helping you design your own unique outdoor living project. You should be able to see him in action during the design phase, which conveniently is before you make a decision to commit to a contractor to build your project. If you don’t have a warm, fuzzy feeling that he is thoughtful, considerate of your ideas, and responsive, then now is the time to move on to someone else. But if he takes care of you during the early stages of the project, then odds are good that you will be able to work well with him to bring the job to completion and that you’ll have the custom-built outdoor living space of your dreams.
The Archadeck of Central SC team – Mike Reu, Marshall Reu and Tucker Reu
Our commitment to excellence in outdoor structure design and building ensures your unique project will bring enjoyment and pride for many years to come! Call Archadeck of Central SC today for a free design consultation at (803) 784-1566 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please visit our extensive outdoor structure galleries located on our website for more examples of our lovely designs.