Remodeler Frank Wickstead asks clients to review this checklist of potential systems and options for their home, which includes home performance and green practices. The president of Wickstead Works, in Decatur, Ga., says that asking clients to evaluate the items on the checklist is helpful for several reasons. Because clients rely on Wickstead’s expertise, he wants to ensure that he informs them of the full range of available systems and upgrades so they can make informed choices. The checklist offers a comprehensive list of options.

Wickstead says that the checklist also helps keep the budget and the schedule on track because clients will consider their options before the project begins. In addition, he says, “my job is to educate the consumer so they can intelligently allocate their budget according to their priorities.”

Clients are able to assess home systems along with the plans and selections. The checklist is not intended to upsell clients, Wickstead points out: “It typically does not trigger an increase in budget, but rather a more wisely allocated budget, which, to me, is success.”

Wickstead asks potential clients to review the process and the process checklist (both on the company website) before the first meeting, and he also brings copies to the meeting.

Since Wickstead meets with clients in their home and not at his office, they can have difficulty understanding the team and processes he represents. The forms reassure clients that there are procedures behind the person. “It helps me get jobs because, even if the clients choose nothing on the list, it starts great conversations, and they find out that I really know what I’m talking about,” Wickstead says.

A. Audiovisual Systems

Remodeler Frank Wickstead says that although wives tend to spearhead projects, audiovisual systems usually garner the interest of husbands and the allowance increases after the vendor/installer meeting. The sub explains the range of options, including door lock and lighting control, integrated gaming systems, operable window treatments, an iPod docking station, zoned speakers, and security cameras. All can be centralized and hidden in a closet.

B. Water Heating

Wickstead plans to update this section to include a new type of tankless water heater that has an integral 5-gallon tank. “A big part of my job,” he says, “is making sure I know about the newest and greatest technology.” He often asks manufacturer representatives to visit his office to explain the technology and product installation, and he also tests products in his own home.

C. Water Conservation

Atlanta’s recent drought and moratorium on water use made water conservation a hot topic for homeowners. Though the city has lifted its water-use limits, Wickstead thinks the issue will arise again and wants clients to consider water reduction strategies.