You use it every day. You store clothing, shoes, bags alongside boxes of mementos and those random things that don’t have a home otherwise. You start your day in this space. This, is your closet. If yours is unorganized, cramped, dark or otherwise not living up to its potential its time to call in the experts. Its time to contract for your dream closet, and here’s how to start.
1. Ask for recommendations.
To find the perfect contractor you will have to do a little searching, and recommendations help. Do your homework by asking friends and neighbors who they have worked with previously. Good deals don’t always mean good work, so don’t be afraid to ask to see completed projects.
While seeing a project similar to what you plan on starting is ideal, a contractor who built an amazing kitchen for your neighbor and did flawless crown moulding and finishing work on your sister’s home, is definitely worth meeting with.
Brandon Lynch, founder of Keechi Creek Builders, agrees.
“Get to know the builder,” he suggested. “Get to know who they are and what they stand for – are they passionate about building homes or are they all about the money.”
2. Get lost in the details.
If you want solid wood shelving, a focal point light fixture, moulding and floor trim, shelving lights, separate light switches and a laundry chute, you should be keeping an eye out for the costs of these details.
A contractor who includes the pricing for such items up front is less likely to surprise you with unexpected costs later on in the process. While surprises can still sneak up out of the closet corners, a detailed “want” list and a detailed estimate can help thwart some financial and design mishaps.
Homeowner Amy Greene chose to work with Lynch due to his detailed bid.
“Without details, prices can skyrocket,” Greene said. “You want a builder who has a really good idea of what things will cost.”
3. Talk it out.
As important as it is to have details ironed out, communication is even more important. Have a solid talk with your contractor before work begins to ensure that your vision for the space is seen clearly. Ask for their expert advice and collaborate on decisions you can’t make on your own.
“We discussed every detail of the project in full before we started construction,” Lynch said.
A quality conversation at the start of the project is the best place to start. To keep the momentum going, meet throughout the process to ensure details aren’t being forgotten and that the vision is still clear. Continuos constructive conversations are better than leaving sticky note reminders all over your closet.
4. Trust your instincts – and back it up.
Homeowner Don Ghiz knows that when working with a contractor trust is crucial.
“When all is said and done, your builder will spend many months on what you may live in for the rest of your life, so consider the choices carefully and don’t ignore your gut,” he said.
If you can trust your contractor with your dream closet, decisions on paint color, nails and flooring will become far easier. Instinct should guide your choice in contractor and detail.
5. Use your resources.
If friends and neighbors are of no help in your search for the perfect closet contractor, look into resources like the Custom Builders Council of the Greater Houston Builders Association. Groups like these train contractors and offer extended professional development and certification. A contractor with extra certification and training may be the secret to the best possible project outcome.
Stephen Hann, owner of Hann Custom Homes, is a founding member of the Houston group.
“When people join, it shows a commitment to the industry,” Hann says. “These are people who take their professions seriously.”
For starting your own closet redo look into local organizations like the Greater Houston Builders Association, who help bring together reliable contractors with consumers.
By Sarah Jane O’Keefe
Source: Custom Builders Council