In our last blog we talked about the necessity of a good set of drawings. To go along with the drawings you will need to make your “Selections”. Selections consist of paint color, plumbing/electrical fixtures, finish flooring, tile/grout, door style, door swing, etc. Contractor and customer alike can get so caught up in the scope of the project that these details get missed. From a contractors’ standpoint, our desire is to make sure that we don’t “miss” any of these details and from the customer perspective, “we better not” miss any of the details.
There are 2 main components to avoiding a selection problem (COMMUNICATION and a SELECTIONS LIST). For example, a customer might know what paint color they want but might not think about what type of finish they want on the wall. The contractor might “assume” that since the last 10 customers wanted an eggshell finish on their walls that this customer will want the same. So the walls get painted with the wrong sheen and a problem arises. In the words of the warden in the movie “Cool Hand Luke”, you have just experienced a “failure to communicate”. A simple question from the contractor, an answer from the customer along with a signed selection list would have negated the problem. COMMUNICATION and a complete SELECTIONS LIST is the only way to keep the contractor and the customer on the same page.
So who creates the list? For a successful project, both the customer and the contractor need to contribute. Typically a customer knows what they want but regardless of whether this is their first or fifth remodel, they are not involved in the daily building process like a contractor and also do not know the building code. On the flip side, every project is different for a contractor so if the customer does not communicate their desires, a problem is waiting to happen.
When is the list created? In our opinion, once the customer has chosen their contractor and signed a contract, a combination of drawings, scope of work, meetings, emails or text messages need to happen as soon as possible (a lot of the selection information will be discovered during the quoting process). Once the list is complete, the contractor and the customer should both sign the list and the list should be added as an addendum to the contract with both parties receiving a hard copy.
Our hope is that this blog will help both the customer and the contractor in the selection process to ensure that you have a “highly successful” and not a “highly stressful” project