As an architect, I interview with new and potential clients almost every day. If they do choose to work with us, I’m often a part of their selection process for picking a contractor to build their project. In both cases much of the focus is on experience, quality of product, recommendations, availability and to a varying extent it often comes down to a discussion about price. But this leaves out one of the top factors…pick a professional who you want to work with.
The reason that I say this is that ultimately a large factor in the success of the project is a good relationship with your architects, engineers and contractors. You’ll be spending a fair amount of time with these people and there will be issues that you have to work through with them. If you are both agreeable and have a good relationship the project will go smoothly. If you find the contractor grating but picked them because their price is great, in the long run it won’t be a good experience.
When you are designing your house, you’ll be having multiple meetings with your architect. They’ll push back about your design thoughts and challenge you to take their route on the design of the project. With someone you like, that can be a great back and forth process. Its also much easier to pick up the phone and discuss your ideas with someone who is excited to take your call. They’ll also be your advocate during construction and you’ll want someone who you feel comfortable representing you.
Once the project is under construction, you’ll be talking to your contractor almost every day, potentially for months on end. If its an addition, your contractor may be the first person who you see in the morning. When you make changes during construction, the contractor is who you’ll be negotiating the numbers with. Better that you get along with new best friend.
While there are always many factors in picking a professional to work with, likability should be high on your list.