The art of collaborative planning
A home renovation can be very stressful. Or, it can be, for the most part, enjoyable and exciting. It all depends on the homeowner’s approach.
Clients who work closely with a renovation company from planning to final finishes tend to be less stressed throughout the process, and happier with the final product.
That’s been our experience in the 38 years we’ve been in business. Taking a consultant approach provides prospective clients and clients with unbiased quality information to help them make informed decisions. It also helps build a trusting relationship, invaluable to any company.
Sadly, due to personal experiences or stories of bad renovation jobs, some homeowners enter a client-builder relationship with distrust, fearing that they will be taken advantage of.
As we mentioned in a previous blog, it’s essential for homeowners to interview potential renovation firms referred to them by trusted sources. These firms should also be members of building associations that adhere to the highest industry standards.
A trusting relationship benefits the company as much as the client. To that end it behooves the company to clearly and regularly communicate with the client, and provide them with informed choices that offer the best value for their dollar.
In order to receive quality information from the renovator, the client too must offer as much detail as possible to help the renovator help them. As we say, quality of information and participation in equals quality of information out.
It is critical therefore for the client to be engaged in the process from pre-planning, final plan development, quoting and to building. We encourage homeowners to work with design-build firms, rather than bring in designs from outside firms. Often we see plans that don’t fit the clients’ budgets.
By working with a design-build firm, homeowners will receive a design that works for their budget, along with everything that will go into the build, including competitive pricing on materials such as windows, doors, concrete, etc. This process is open and transparent, offering the homeowner open book control.
Sometimes, we work with a client who wants to employ a friend’s sub trade. Even then, we will work on the client’s behalf to ensure accountability and good value.
Sticking to the process is challenging, what with busy work and family schedules. It’s not unheard of to miss appointments. The more engaged the client is, however – such as meeting important deadlines and meeting with specialists – the smoother the process. They are also more informed and in control of the process.
Even when there’s a snag, it’s much easier to get back on track when the client is fully engaged.
Taking a collaborative approach to a home renovation saves time, money and peace of mind, and increases client satisfaction.