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Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Key to Building a Success Story: Communication

We learned a long time ago that the key to a successful and lasting relationship is our commitment to extensive communication efforts between our team and our client. In fact one of our clients even took the time to write us this: “Your attention to detail in keeping us informed almost became aggravating, but we respect the motivation and efforts. The only thing that confused me during my project is that sometimes the customer service was too good.” Hearing horror stories from those that have not been our clients makes this an exceptional problem to have.

To help ensure a successful and satisfying home remodeling experience, maintain regular and productive communication with your remodeler. Lack of communication is, without a doubt, the single leading cause of headaches and hard feelings. To avoid potential stressors, keep the lines of communication open at all times.

To start with, as you evaluate a home remodeling firm, pay close attention to your comfort level with their communication style even during the initial stages of development. Is he or she responsive to your questions and ideas? Have you been informed about the company’s procedures for regular contact and review during construction? The design and sales approach is often an indication of how communicative the team will be throughout the process and even after completion.

As you research remodeling firms, make sure you feel comfortable and confident in working together and that the precedence is set for open discussion of your project and its progress. For instance, Classic defines specific points in the project where we set onsite meetings between our clients and our team: prior to the start of construction, before the installation of sheetrock, and then again at the completion of the project. We have a daily log that remains onsite that documents the progress of construction. Learn early on about opportunities to conduct on-site meetings. Ask who you should contact when you have questions and how quickly you can expect a response.

You should also expect to see a detailed scope of work for your project prior to the start of construction. What the scope does is to outlines exactly what the specifics of the job will entail. This document defines the construction process along with a written schedule. Use it as a guide to ask for information. Together these written documents along with the tangible progress of work will provide you with a “three dimensional” understanding of the construction process. The scope and schedule will also help establish deadlines for when you need to make key decisions.

While efforts are made to avoid changes to the contract, clients may request that additional work be completed or unforeseen conditions might be discovered after the project has begun. You should know how to deal with such issues before your job is started. You should also learn the details of your warranty program. Classic provides an unprecedented 5 year limited warranty to insure our clients that we will stand behind our work now and into the future.

Successful builders have plans in place for communicating effectively with their clients throughout the sales, construction and warranty stages. It is always a good idea to state upfront what guidelines will accommodate your life style and comfort level. A productive flow of information will be facilitated if there is a clear understanding of the best way to reach you and when is the most convenient time. If Classic Remodeling is your professional remodeler of choice, and of course we hope we will be, you can be sure that we will do everything possible to keep you informed, involved and empowered.

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