“The first appointment is like a first date. We check each other out and get to know each other.” – Kathi Fleck, Renovate, Remodel…Relax!
When it comes to a first meeting with homeowners, the more prepared the homeowner is the better things should go. It’s at this early stage that the contractor and homeowner figure out if they can stay on the same page. Relax and enjoy getting to know each other. But, also come prepared and be clear about your ideas and goals. Here are some things you can do to ensure the first meeting goes well.
Much like on a first date, you should relax and get to know each other. The remodeling process should be fun. It can be stressful to think about what’s to come. However, the more relaxed you are, the easier it will be to express your thoughts and needs. You hired a professional to get quality work. So, try not to worry too much about that part and focus on the end result.
If you come to the table with all of your ideas at the start, it can help the remodel go more smoothly. One great way to do this is to keep a notebook full of ideas, needs, possible materials, and concerns. This should be started before meeting with the contractor and should come with you to the initial meeting. Even though you might change your mind later, it will still help the contractor learn your style and overall goals. As things change, you can write them in the notebook to ensure you don’t miss discussing it with the contractor.
You will be working with your contractor throughout the process. Therefore, the relationship should be a positive one. The contractor you choose should be one you feel comfortable talking with and expressing your concerns to. Small talk mixed in with the professional talk can help everyone relax and feel comfortable. Don’t be afraid to have fun during the first meeting (and, in general). In fact, you should be enjoying yourself most of the time. Let the contractor do the hard work. That’s what they are there for.
Express All of Your Needs Clearly
Remember that if you don’t know what you want, neither will your contractor. Be clear about your needs and choices for the most successful first meeting. This first consultation is when your contractor gets a feel for what you want done. Therefore, it’s vital that your instructions and ideas come across as clearly as possible.
Listen to Each Other
A good contractor will listen to you and may be taking notes to help you plan the design. You should also listen to the contractor. Why? This lets you know how well he or she understood the instructions and desires you provided. Once you are done expressing your concerns, let your contractor talk and help you come up with ideas. Listen to what he or she says to ensure that your style and needs are understood.