We have all heard the axiom that experience counts in the selection of a professional, such as a contractor. But have you ever wondered just why that is so?
No matter how well thought out the plan is and how specific, remodeling is full of unknowns and surprises. The more walls a contractor has opened in his career, the better able he is to anticipate what might be behind them. Fewer surprises translate into a smoother running project, on time, on budget, and with greater client satisfaction.
Recently, a friend of mine wanted to add a family room on the ground floor of her house. To do this meant that the garage had to be re-structured and she needed to move the driveway. The contractor, someone who had never moved a garage and a driveway before, agreed upon a fixed price of $85,000 for the complete project. Months later she told me she was reasonably happy with the project, but that the City had required a new sidewalk, curb and gutter, resulting in a sizeable change order of over twenty thousand dollars. “But of course,” she said, “who could have known that this would be required?”
A contractor experienced in this kind of work would have anticipated that the City would require these changes. If the contractor had addressed this in the beginning, my friend could have included the additional twenty thousand in the second mortgage she took out for the project rather than putting it on her credit card at an exorbitant rate if interest.