How to Build a Solid Relationship
Advice from Ed Near, project manager, Lake Country Builders
Share Your vision
Talk about your long-term vision and be honest. It’s OK to say, “We’d really like a new kitchen, family room, mudroom, a deck, and new landscaping, but we can’t do it all this year.” The right partner will be willing to help you create a cost-efficient plan to remodel your home in phases over several years.
Be honest about your budget
Many people are unwilling to share their budget because they’re afraid that they’ll tip their hand and the designer or builder will spend the entire amount. In most cases, this isn’t true. Being up-front about your budget allows your designer or builder to understand what kind of materials, finishes, and fixtures to use, provide a realistic estimate, and avoid overages and other unwelcome surprises.
Ask for what you want
Your designer or builder may be an expert, but you’re the client, so speak up! If all your neighbors have oil-rubbed bronze faucets and granite countertops and you want something different, say so. If you’re a chef and you want to have your Le Creuset pots on display, that’s important. If you’d rather have three smaller fridges than one large one, that’s easy. Talk to your builder about your dreams, must-haves, and nice-to-haves, and he or she will help you decide what works with your budget.
Meet the team
Many builders work with independent architects, architectural designers, and interior designers so that they can provide the right designs for the clients’ needs. Before you finalize your agreement, meet each team member to make sure you’re compatible and that you’ll be happy working together.
Take your time
In any kitchen or bathroom project, there are myriad choices to be made: wall coverings, floor coverings, fixtures, furnishings, lighting, plumbing, accessories, HVAC, and more. By taking time to work with your builder to evaluate your options and make final choices, you’re more likely to make the right decision for your taste and budget.
[Pictured: Tile from RBC Tile]
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