Real estate experts say the COVID pandemic has caused many people to reevaluate their home and to consider hiring a contractor to make changes. Calvin Baty, the owner/manager of Crescent Homes Maui, offers his no. 1 piece of advice for anyone who is considering remodeling.
Jenn Tushner, who manages business development & marketing for Jerry Wilson Group real estate service, hosted Calvin on the service’s YouTube miniseries and asked him for the no. 1 piece of advice he would give clients.
I think the most important thing is to like the person you work with. It’s essential to interview your contractor, see if you get along, and see if you’re on the same path in your direction and your thinking.Calvin Baty, Crescent Homes Maui
Calvin explained that this step will help clients to avoid arguments and “uncomfortable situations.” He also stressed that a good relationship with a contractor can make the project much more enjoyable.
Advice From a Remodeling Pro
“A lot of times I think people are hesitant to do a remodel because they are overwhelmed by the process,” he said. “The more you and your contractor can be on the same page, the better your chances of having a fun experience — because it can be fun.”
Jenn Tushner delved deeper into the client’s experience and asked how a client should start planning their project and working with their contractor.
“I think it’s really important to have a clear scope of work and direction, and knowing exactly what you want,” said Calvin “The way I like to approach it is to think about your ‘buckets’: You should have your ‘must have’ bucket, your ‘like-to-have’ bucket, and your ‘if-it-fits-in-the-budget’ bucket.
“You focus first on what you really need to have, and if the budget allows, you can start adding things from the next two buckets. That’s going to help any contractor to be more diligent when they’re creating a budget for you; they’re going to have the information that’s necessary to give you what you need or what you’re looking for.”
Ensuring Safety and Respect
Jenn asked Calvin about the impact of the pandemic on the home-building process. “You’re going to work a lot with this person, and it’s your home,” she said.
Calvin agreed that “people are concerned today about the pandemic. They want to know if your crews are taking safety precautions. Are they going to wear masks when they come into the house? Are they clean? Are they smoking a bunch of cigarettes on the back porch listening to bad music around your kids? All those factors are something that we as a company really stress. Our employees know that you have to treat it like your own house — and sometimes, don’t treat it like your own house. Treat it like someone who is going to church. Some people’s idea of how to treat a house might be different than someone else’s.”
Putting the Client First
Calvin summarized by saying that building a new home can, and should, be a positive experience.
It’s really critical that you’re on the same path and that you’re speaking the same language with your contractor. A lot of time people are afraid of their contractor and get into this stand-off position, like it’s contractor against homeowner. It should never be that. It should be, we’re here to do a job for you and to give you what you’re looking for. That’s why you’re bringing us in. We’re supposed to be professionals doing a job for you.Calvin Baty, Crescent Homes Maui