Planning to do some work on your home this fall or winter? Here are a few ways to reduce stress and increase your ability to choose who should design and build your outdoor living space project (on time and on budget).
1. Do Your Homework:
All good contractors have a story to tell. The basis for that narrative can often be found on their website. The first impression is visual. Over and over again, when looking for high quality construction, there are "tells" - something that tips you off about what's to come. Are the photos on the website taken by a professional photographer? Have the images of the project been carefully staged? Do the pictures capture as many angles and as much attention to detail as possible? If the answer to these questions is yes, you may have found a contractor that has a commitment to excellence; at least in this one area. Another part of your homework is to review the testimonials. It is understood that you will only find the most positive endorsements on the site, but the exact words chosen and the depth of the testimonials should give credence to the narrative and provide another tell.
It's not a leap of faith or a game of chance to hire the right contractor. (Photo: Pembrooke Fine Landscapes)
2. One Stop Shopping:
Accountability is something that every client desires. Finding a contractor who is responsible for everything, absolutely everything, makes life easier during the course of any major construction project. Again, visit the website to look for specific details of the type of work that you are looking to have done. If you are looking for an expert firm in backyard transformation, search for one that has a comprehensive plan to accomplish the overall task. For example, Pembrooke designs and builds pool houses, outdoor fireplaces, luxury outdoor kitchens, and everything needed to transform your outdoor living area. There is no substitute for the one stop comfort of knowing that the electrician, plumber, gas company, and other trades report to one company (or person). It simplifies the process, reduces the timeline (and budget), and eliminates finger pointing.
3. Use Your Instincts:
It's not a leap of faith or a game of chance to hire the right contractor. However there is a level of trust involved. When you meet your contractor face to face, look for the signs that you are partnering with the right person. There is a depth of character that is present with all of the best contractors that I have met throughout the years. The common thread in my 30 years in business is recognizing a loyalty to their employees, continuity in their business relationships, and strong ties to the community. If you find these qualities in an individual, it is likely that his or her entire company will also hold these values. Your instincts have guided you in your business and personal life and resulted in great success. Intuition also plays an important role in choosing someone that will become instrumental in changing the landscape of your Hamptons retreat.
All good contractors have a story to tell. (Photo: Pembrooke Fine Landscapes)
About a year ago, our company was hired by a well-known and highly successful entrepreneur for an extensive project on his Hamptons home. His outdoor living space was fully transformed, the main house received a brand new exterior, and new the audio/video system is second to none. He has been thrilled with the outcome. Last week, he simply said to me that he followed his instincts, hired the firm he trusted, and never looked back.
Chris Hall is a partner at Pembrooke Fine Landscapes. He has been a luxury gunite pool and landscape consultant for over thirty years and shares his observations and advice each month on Hamptons.com. www.pembrookefinelandscapes.com