Unfortunately, making “concrete” decisions is a requirement for any construction project. Unlike a haircut or clothing choice that can be corrected in time, a bad construction project decision can literally cost a project owner thousands of dollars to correct. So, it is not enough to just say you need to make good decisions. You must realize how important those decisions are and learn how to make the right ones. Here are five tips that will make your job easier.
Search the Internet
The Internet has everything from websites to videos that can help with your construction project. Before you spend the first dime on a project, research your questions and concerns by going to manufacturers’ websites, doing a simple word search, and reviewing how-to-videos. Be an informed consumer.
See it before
you buy it
Spend time at the supply house and actually look at what you are getting. You know how photos can be re-touched to make a person look great? The same is true for home décor items. How it looks in a photo versus real life can be worlds apart. Try to touch, look, and love the items you are putting in your construction project; otherwise, you will likely be disappointed.
Ask the professionals you hire
That sounds obvious but many people don’t ask questions because they don’t want to admit they don’t know or understand something. For example, if you hire an electrician and you are not sure where a switch should go, simply ask what is normal. By simply asking your contractors and subcontractors what is typical, you can avoid costly mistakes. The most powerful question you can ever ask is, “if this were your project, what would you do?”
Don’t just look
Honestly, many clients struggle with this. You can’t “eyeball” something and be sure that it will fit. Starting at the beginning of any construction project, always carry and use a good tape measure when buying something for your project. You will be shocked at how many times your “eyeball” measurements are way off the actual measurements.
Most importantly, know your limitations
Project owners can avoid costly mistakes by seeking expert advice. One of the most costly mistakes you can make is in unknowingly buying specialty products that cannot be serviced or repaired because replacement parts are no longer available. Warranties, maintenance, and ease of repair are all huge factors to consider in the overall cost of your project.
Whether you are building it yourself or hiring a contractor, dozens of decisions have to be made by the project owner. Follow these five easy tips, be patient, and work with people you can trust. You will avoid costly mistakes and your project will be successful — you’ll do just fine.
Don Magruder is the CEO of Ro-Mac Lumber and Supply Inc., and he is also the host of the “Around the House” radio show heard every Monday at noon at My790AM WLBE in Leesburg.