I have to say, I feel like I had the BEST POSSIBLE team on my renovation. They were nice to be around, they cleaned up their messes (well for the most part--it is a renovation!) and they all did phenomenal jobs. We had others involved too, but all of the jobs were under the wings of Baize Contracting with Jason Baize at the top. I thought it would be good to get some insights from Jason before I finished my Renovation series so I asked him if he would answer a few questions. True to form, he answered them in a timely manner and with honesty--two great characteristics that you want in a contractor!
Here they are:
What is the hardest thing about what you do? It seems to be easy to get plenty of work. The hardest thing is finding quality men to complete the work.
What is the best thing about what you do? (It) Is to finish a job that turned out great, I’ve made money and the client is happy.
What is an ideal renovation? We do a lot of different types of work, but usually the ideal renovation is not about the work, it is the relationship between our crew and client. Friendly and clear communication is the key to a great finished project.
If someone is deciding between a renovation and a new build, what do you think is important for them to consider first? 1) Expectations of finished project. A remodeled home won’t be the same as a new home. 2) Knowing that just because you build a new home, doesn’t mean there won’t be any maintenance. 3) A home is more than just the house. Location and surroundings are just as important.
What should someone look for in a contractor? 1) Require license and insurance. 2) Usually the contractor should do the work full time, not as a side job. 3) When you know the construction market has been very busy, you might want to to a little research on a contractor that can start “tomorrow”.
As a contractor, what trait do you find most important for those you hire/sub contract/work with? This is going to sound like it’s a given but, it has to be said. Clean, presentable, and drug-free
What would you say to convince a young person to become an apprentice? My first thought was, you shouldn’t have to convince them. The question should be, what is the young person going to say to convince me that they are worth the apprenticeship? But, to answer the question. I would tell them that college is not for everyone but, but everyone needs more training. An apprenticeship is a way to blend schooling and work to gain a career.
What is the worst that have happened during a renovation? One of my men dropped a caulking tube down a vent pipe on the roof. Wasn’t hard to fix the problem but, he failed to tell anyone, so I got a call at 10pm from my client with clogged pipes. When we found out what happened, it didn’t look very good for me or my company. That was the first employee I had to fire.
What is your favorite product (in general) for the: a. Kitchen The right piece of quartz or granite for the countertop. One of the largest surfaces in the room. b. Bathroom Most things in a bathroom are usually clients choice. When it comes to the toilet, I try to push them towards a Kohler Cimarron toilet. c. Flooring I’m a fan of LVT flooring (luxury vinyl tile). It can be used in any room and has many different styles. d. Hardware This is a product that changes from house to house. You have to get a feel for the home before you can pick hardware.
What do you wish more clients knew? (whatever you wish all potential clients would know) a. That projects take planning. The 5 p’s (Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance). b. The planning has to be complete before the project starts. c. Minimal changes after starting.
I hope these insights will give you some foundation to start on before you tackle a big renovation. I am sure there will be all sorts of things you will learn in your renovation and maybe you would even have enough stories to tell in a blog yourself! I promise I would read it!