When you buy something at the store you see the finished product. When you order something online you see a picture of the finished product. When you hire a contractor, you won’t see the finished product until the project is built.
Buying from a contractor means trusting someone. Trusting they will build what you expect. Trusting they understand what you expect. How can a homeowner be comfortable they are choosing the right contractor for their project? How do they know who to trust? This is the third article in a blog series on how to select the right contractor.
Paver patio in Naperville IL
In two previous blogs, I wrote about evaluating a contractor's background and experience and how to ensure the contractor builds what you want and expect. In this blog, I will share some thoughts on how a contractor can manage your project so it is built well and construction runs smoothly.
Project management is important in most businesses but it is crucial in construction. There are a lot of balls to juggle. Building department requirements, the carpenters, coordinating multiple crews, trash removal, material showing up on time, ensuring timely inspections to avoid delaying job progress, protecting driveways from dumpster damage, ensuring the correct fasteners are being used in the correct locations, and that is just a few examples. The most important detail is clearly communicating the progress of the job in a timely manner to the homeowner. Understanding how a contractor manages the multiple issues that can arise during the course of the job should be important in deciding who you want to hire for your project.
Front porch in Westmont IL
People and systems can make or break the job. In our organization, we manage each deck, patio, or screen porch project with a system called the Job Progress Methodology. This elaborate checklist (over 200 items currently) and four supporting guides for the field personnel keep us on track to ensure a smooth-running project. We use this tool in conjunction with a series of construction standards in our Master File. This is a collection of drawings that clearly reflects how each detail of the project will be built.
TimberTech deck in Lincolnshire IL
Knowing who the crews are and how they are managed are important factors in the end result of the project. Finding tradesmen that are skilled, reliable, and trustworthy can be challenging. Over the years I have been shocked by the lack of skill that some carpenters bring to their work after presenting themselves well in the interview. We issue a written test to weed out many people upfront. Asking for their approval to conduct a background check causes, even more, to drop out. With new crews, our Project Manager is on-site daily for the first two to three weeks to ensure they are building to our expectations and acting appropriately at our client’s homes. Some trades require proper licensing such as roofers, electricians, and plumbers in Illinois. We check that all insurances are up to date and that all our subs are properly licensed.
Screened porch in Mokena IL
If you want full service, the contractor should handle all issues related to securing the permit and the inspections. This includes contacting the utility locator service, JULIE in Illinois, to ensure no lines are hit when digging is involved. It should also include providing any drawings and information your Home Owners Association might require. Our company provides all of these services when we build Outdoor Living projects such as decks, screen porches, or pergolas.
Custom patio and pergola by Archadeck of Chicagoland
How a contractor organizes its work, before and during the construction, is critical for success in your project. It is critical if you want to comfort your expectations will be met and the job runs as smoothly as possible. If material or crews occur in the wrong order, it becomes difficult to undo the construction, making this organization critical. Of course, even a quality company that makes every effort to be organized will still have mistakes, but they need to step up and make them right for you! We will talk more about this in our next blog.
If you are looking for an outdoor building contractor you can trust, Archadeck of Chicagoland is here for you! Design options are customizable and virtually endless! Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at (847) 250-4100 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new dream space.