How to Have a Successful Basement Remodeling Consultation
You wouldn’t hire a wedding planner without first meeting with her to see if your tastes, vision, and budget align. For that matter, most people don’t even book a bakery for the wedding cake until they’ve sampled some cake! While finishing your basement may be less emotionally-charged than planning a wedding, it’s still a considerable investment–and one you hope to enjoy for many years to come. Take advantage of the free consultation most companies offer prior to signing on the dotted line. In addition to getting a feel for the type of people you’d be working with, this meeting is also a great time to begin to establish your project’s design direction, budget, and timeline.
Be prepared to make the most of your finished basement consultation:
- Understand what the consultation entails. Will it be in person or over the phone? At your home or at the contractor’s office? Will you be given a 3D model or a drawing on paper?
- Be prepared to spend an hour to an hour and a half. If the consultant comes to your home, he or she will likely want to walk your basement and take measurements. The less clutter, the easier that job will be, and the simpler it will be for the consultant to help you envision various design scenarios.
- Include all relevant family members (particularly partners, spouses, and older children) so everyone gets the same information and has an opportunity to share their ideas and ask questions.
- Establish goals and priorities; bring up any concerns. Remember–no question is too silly to ask!
- Come prepared to discuss design ideas with pictures of what you like, the more the better. If you want to match existing fixtures or finishes in your home, have relevant product information available.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your contractor for ideas and suggestions!
- At the end of the consultation, establish a timeline and next steps. When can you expect to receive the formal bid? If you decide to move forward, how soon would the project begin, and what would you as the homeowner need to accomplish prior that that time?