Should you look for a general contractor or a specialized contractor? General purpose contractors have a little bit of experience in many areas. Specialized contractors have a great depth of experience in a few very specific areas. Because of this, they become more familiar with the wide range of products available and the wide range of design options. They become more familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of different sizes, shapes, roofs, etc. But all of this stems from the fact that they’re specialized.
Once you’ve found a contractor that you think might be the right one, your next job is to verify that in fact the contractor is who they say they are. There isn’t just one way that far exceeds the other ways of verifying a contractor. There are a variety. Here are some ways.
Now that you’ve checked out the contractor and you know they’re alright, how do you know if they’re right for you? Here are some things to check.
Design Elements – is the contractor comfortable presenting different features and explaining them?
Process – Is the contractor comfortable describing their process?
Communication Style – Does the contractor have a communication style and method that you are comfortable with?
Handling Questions – You should feel very comfortable asking questions about the contractor’s background, experience, employees, etc. How do they handle these questions?
As we all know, there are many different types of contractors with all sorts of different motivations. Our motivation is simple and clear. We want to build your space for how you want to live outside. There are many beautiful spaces, fancy features and outdoor living trends. But if you’re never going to spend time in the space, then we have not helped guide your decision. We want to know if your plan is to eat outside. If so, we want to know how often and how many people will be eating outside. That will help determine the best size, type, and location for your outdoor eating area. Is your outdoor area going to be primarily for entertaining? Will this be evening or day entertaining? How often? The answers to these questions might dictate whether a covered space is best. How much do you like the sun? How buggy is your yard? Do you want your outdoor space to gaze at other areas of your yard such as your landscaping or even to watch over pets or young children?
Because we’ve been building decks and porches in the Kansas City area for quite a long time, we have many ideas about different structures and different features. We’ve seen what people like and we’ve even had customers walk up to us in stores thanking us for particular recommendations about their space. But what’s most important about your new space is ensuring your space is perfect for your outdoor activities. In the design phase, we not only ask a lot of questions but we are glad to answer as many questions as you have. Building the perfect space for you is a collaboration of our experience/recommendations and your wants and needs.
When evaluating proposals for different ways to build a new space, it’s very difficult to understand whether you’re comparing apples to apples. A reputable contractor will provide a detailed quote including all the key elements of the build. There won’t be any fine print that’s difficult to read or understand.
It’s important to do all of your homework in making a decision. Your new space is going to be a part of your home and your outdoor living for as long as you have your home. Do Internet research. Go visit other finished jobs. Ask any number of questions. At that point, you should feel fairly comfortable about which contractor is right for you.