A while back I posted some tips on what to think about when choosing a contractor for your addition. Part of a series on the many parts of a home renovation.
One of the things I didn’t cover in the post was long term customer service. In part because I didn’t do much digging on this topic when choosing the builder for our addition. But guess what? You should.
Why? Because, as I now know 4 years later, your shiny new addition is just like any other shiny, new, complex thing. Some of its parts are going to wear out or break or start working in ways you don’t expect. And when that happens you’re going to want help from a single source who knows your addition.
Our addition has fared well overall and generally we love it. But stuff has of course come up. Some things wearing out or breaking yes, but also plenty of spots where I needed a referral or to have something checked on. In all cases, I started with my contractor (Tim Moran, Bluestone Builders). And have been delighted to get quick, helpful responses each time. Sometimes, “let me send someone over”. Other times, “here’s who you should talk to”. But always available and trying to point me in the right direction.
That doesn’t mean to say we don’t pay for things under the banner of ongoing maintenance. We do. Additions are complex pieces of gear that get heavy use. So follow-on investment is a reality. But we always get a helpful suggestion of some kind (and so me nice free fixes too). And yikes does that accountability help when you’re years removed from all the details and sub-contractors that went into your expanded nest.
In retrospect, we got lucky. Tim’s service mindset is to his credit but certainly not something I was pulled together enough to inquire about up front. But you shouldn’t rely on such good fortune.
Before you knight the winning contractor, get a sense for how your various suitors think about helping you, not just during the job but also long after the last nail sinks and your last shekel hits their bank account. Will they still be around, will they take the call, are they more Nordstroms or Comcast? And throw that read into the mix with all the questions about price, reliability, timeliness, etc… you’re already considering. Once the new addition smell has worn off, once you’re years into a long-term loving relationship with your new digs, you’ll be very glad you did.