Chances are, you’ve had to buy jewelry for a loved one. I have been buying jewelry for
my wife for 23 years from various sources. A few years ago I stumbled into a jewelry
store looking to buy a birthday gift. I was so impressed with that jeweler, I have not even
considered going anywhere else ever since.
Why am I telling you this? It’s simple: This process is analogous to remodeling your
Let me get this out of the way...
I’m not a jeweler, which is to say that I know
absolutely nothing about jewelry. Therefore, when I walk into my jeweler’s store, I need
an expert jeweler who can help me understand the difference between lower grade and
excellent jewelry. Usually I can tell the difference once he shows me, but if left to my
own intuition my jewelry purchases would be a complete flop year after year. This is
why I have continued to go to the same jeweler over the past few years. The other
jewelers just tried to sell me something.
This jeweler has taken the time to get to know me and my wife as well as our tastes. He
takes the time to walk me through selections to see what makes the most sense to me.
He helps me understand the difference between the more common and superior stones.
There are no charlatan tricks. He is open, honest, interested in my opinion and his
expertise gives me the confidence to make the right purchase year after year.
So how does that relate to contractor?
Looking for a contractor to remodel a bathroom or a kitchen in your house should be
approached the same way as someone walking into a jewelry store to buy a set of
earrings or a bracelet for a loved one.
One doesn’t always buy earrings or bracelets by themselves–sometimes, you have to
buy them in a set. This is reminiscent of doing a whole house remodel with multiple
baths, adding onto a house to build a dream kitchen, or adding an upstairs living space,
game room, or home office.
I’ve been doing higher end remodeling for 12 years and four of those years have been
here in Austin. Throughout my many endeavors, while I have plenty of success stories,
I’ve learned just as much–if not more–from the less-than pleasant experiences. It’s
taught me what to look for in a customer, but also what a customer should expect from
me and my work.
Acting like a “know-it-all” or going in with the mindset that the jeweler will do nothing but
rip you off is not ideal for either party involved. The underlying skepticism from you (the
buyer), and the sense of unease the jeweler gets as a result, sets the relationship off on
a rocky course; a course that is rarely corrected.
No matter what you’re looking for, remember these three pieces of advice to get
off on the right foot with your Contractor...
1) Do Your Research
2) Establish Trust
3) Have a Budget in Mind
Do Your Research
All of this should be prefaced by saying: Do your research. Referrals are a great way to
find a contractor that will work great for you. Generally speaking, a contractor that works
well with your neighbor or your friend’s budget will probably work for you depending on
Yelp, Facebook, and Google Reviews are also all great resources for a starting point.
Bottom line: Like finding a jeweler, start with your friends. Do your research. Read
between the lines.
Trust is Key
First and foremost, “trusting” doesn’t mean putting “blind faith” into someone. Trust goes
both ways. It begins with yourself and trusting your gut. Our intuition is a crazy thing and
if you’re uneasy about meeting with a contractor upon meeting them–they’re probably
not right for you.
The reasons I trust my jeweler are a great criteria for choosing a contractor. Like me
with a jewelry set, don’t be afraid to ask questions–a lot of questions.
My goal is to not only do fantastic work, but also build a strong relationship to earn more
work from you and any referrals you may provide in the future. Remember how my
jeweler has developed a knack for my taste over the course of time? The relationship
between contractor and client is no different. It’s an industry where a great relationship
can have wonderous results.
Know Your Numbers
Finally, go into the situation knowing how much you want to spend. When I go into the
jewelry store, I have an idea of what I want to walk away with. It is usually a safe
number that I feel comfortable spending. As I begin taking the tour of pieces that
interest me, I then have to make a decision. There inevitably will be a piece or set that
is over—and sometimes well over— what I planned to spend when I walk in.
This last time the jeweler showed me a very unique limited collection Effy ring. I was not sold on
the design and it was nearly three times what I wanted to spend. Those two criteria
made for a quick decision. Then he showed me another piece from the Effy limited
collection series. It was also quite a bit more than I had planned to spend, but it was
absolutely amazing and I knew my wife would love it. I took my time looking at it and
comparing it with some of my other selections. In the end It was worth the additional
cost and I made the purchase.
We tend to make most of our important purchases the same way—cars, tech gadgets,
homes. Remodeling follows the same pattern. Your budget should prioritize your
remodeling decisions. And it helps to have a professional contractor who can help you
work through your options based on your budget to make your decisions.
As a contractor, the budget helps me decide if I’m able to work with you and your
budget—and if I am able to do so, offer you the best idea of what that money and
budget can get you. Not unlike my jeweler knowing whether I can give my wife a new
necklace or a new set of earrings; as a contractor, I encourage my customers go into
the situation with a balance of trust between the two parties. Also, know that your ideal
budget is just that–an idea. Your competent contractor will help clarify and formulate
your options letting you decide the final version of your remodel.
Helton Remodeling Services, LLC provides quality remodels and additions to the Metro
Austin area. We partner with award winning interior design and architectural firms to
make your dream project become a reality. Call now for a free consultation.