Embarking on a renovation or new construction project can be equal parts exciting and intimidating. Our personal real estate is usually our most valuable asset, and enhancing it is often our greatest investment. It can be a major investment of time as well, with so many important decisions involved. That’s why choosing the right team to bring your vision to life is vital to your project, your budget, and your peace of mind.
One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is whether you prefer an integrated design-build-finance firm or separate entities to handle each aspect. No matter which path you choose, it’s crucial to find partners that you can trust through every step of the process. With them you’ll be conceptualizing, planning, and implementing your unique vision from start to finish.
It can be helpful to identify the core values you are looking for in your team. Researching their past projects and reviews can help determine their level of integrity, transparency, knowledge, and competency. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their previous projects:
- Who will you work with from their team, and what are their backgrounds and licensure?
- How long have they been planning/executing renovations, or new builds?
- Do they have examples of similar projects they can provide?
- Are there any client testimonials they can cite?
- Can they assist with financing the project?
- What is the average timeline for similar projects?
- How do they create overall efficiencies and cost reductions?
- What methods do they use to minimize owner risk?
- What should you expect during each phase of development and construction?
- Were their previous projects completed according to the originally stated budget and timeline?
- How do they approach quality control at each stage throughout the process?
- What type of post construction services can they provide, such as interior design and maintenance?
Each member of the team you hire should be a specialist in her or his field. Together, they should be able to work as a dedicated collective to meet your unique needs. If you are working with separate designers, architects, contractors and financing firms, be sure to know any past history between them. Is there an established rapport and communication system between the various entities? If not, how do they plan to create seamless integration to avoid miscommunication and costly delays?
As the customer, you should feel assured that you are the team’s top priority and that they are committed to providing you exceptional value, quality and a design that fits your style and lifestyle.
No matter the scope of the project, it’s key to have a team that will work with you closely to:
- Simplify the process to make it enjoyable
- Remove any tensions or uncertainty that may arise
- Clarify any and all questions along the way
- Avoid unexpected delays and budgetary surprises
Your chosen team should work for you as their client first and foremost, rather than for their vendors or trades. In this way, you’ll trust that they are continually governed by the need to stay within your particular budget and timeline. Your team should consider it their duty to act as your advocate and always operate with your best interests as their guide in order to deliver superior service and a project you can take collective pride in for years to come.