Meeting your Contractor, As a Team

From on June 09, 2008 in General

new-house-2.jpgBobvila.com recently posted an interesting article: No Estimate without Wife Present? The website is one of the most reliable home improvement resources out there, and the article asks a great question: Why do some contractors refuse to come out for an estimate without both homeowners present?

This requirement often leads to speculation and even suspicion on the homeowners’ part. According to Tracy’s post, some homeowners even believe contractors make this request in order to put a high-pressure sales pitch into effect while playing husband and wife off of one another.

Most likely, though, the practice is much more sensible than we might imagine. Here are 5 reasons why a united front may be best for BOTH a couple AND the potential contractor:

  1. You live in the home together; you make decisions together. The decision to remodel is by no means exempt from that equation. Imagine if one of you decided to tear down a wall or paint the house an attractive, but attention-grabbing color. Perhaps you hope to surprise your spouse with your ideas and initiative. What would happen, though, if your good intentions were met with disagreement, even anger? For decisions of this magnitude, it’s probably best to work together. Not only that, sharing in the responsibility in everything from choosing a bid to choosing your hardware will make the process a lot easier for both of you.
  2. Together you present a united front. Sometimes it’s hard to get slick salesmen off your lawn, let alone off your couch. Together, though, you and your spouse can make the message clearer, whether it’s a “Yes” or a “No.”
  3. You can bounce ideas off one another. Going in, people often forget that remodeling is fun! It’s a creative process, and rarely do you stick with the first idea. Once you see the paint sample on the wall or the wood selection in your kitchen, you may decide to expand, reduce, move things over a few inches, maybe even to another room. Whether you and your spouse argue or compromise in the process, it’s always a good idea to go over plans and ideas together. Hopefully, the end result will strike the perfect balance.
  4. Because you share finances. Especially if you’ve been saving up for this upgrade, you want to be there to understand the ramifications of this investment. A contractor will pinpoint just how far your hard-earned money will go. Remodeling, after all, is usually far more hefty in cost than most other things you purchase for your home.
  5. Because an experienced contractor knows all of the above. So if a contractor wants both of you present, it’s usually for very good reason! Experienced contractors understand the value of time, yours as well as theirs. You may have a hard time finding a reliable contractor if you don’t set out on the process together.