Sebring Services, which provides remodelling contracting for Chicago’s western suburbs, has developed a truly powerful resource to help you make an informed and rational decision about which renovation contractor to select — and the system has relevance in Ottawa, even if you are highly unlikely to use this contractor’s services.
How to Systematically Choose The Right Contractor suggests that, after narrowing down a list of a few contenders, you rank each contractor on a score of 1 to 10 in five key areas: People, process, portfolio, past clients and price. After you score each, you add up the numbers and the highest wins.
Owner Bryan Sebring‘s blog says the “people” decision should come first (but it is only one of the five variables that count):
It is important to remember that you are hiring people with whom you are going to spend quite a lot of time with. You will frequently talk to them, discussing various options. You will work together trying to make decisions on various issues. The project period is sort of a marriage. If you do not connect with your contractor, the whole thing may end up in shambles with you suffering the most.
Research the contractor and their staff. Check online to see whether they have been mentioned by a past customer in a negative light. When you interact with prospective contractors, try to examine their social skills. Imagine it is a first date and you are trying to find out whether someone would make for a good partner. After all, you are going to be actual partners in the remodeling project.
Ask plenty of questions and see how they respond. How easy is it to talk to them? Are they friendly when answering questions and providing explanations or do they seem impatient? Do they come across as overly forceful, pushing you to make a certain decision even if you do not want to?
As you talk to contractors, your gut will automatically tell you which one is the easiest to deal with. Rate each of them on a scale from 0 to 10. The goal here is to find someone that is easy to work with.
I expect in Chicagoland, Sebring knows that if potential clients followed the rating grid provided in this blog, they would win the work. The concept is reasonable for any other renovator to follow, in my opinion. How would your clients rate you on the scale compared to your competitors? And if you are considering a renovation contractor in Ottawa, you may find this tool useful in narrowing down your research and reaching an effective conclusion.