For our company, “trade day” is an incredibly valuable meeting at the site of each home we're going to remodel. We introduce the clients to our team; get feedback from trade contractors regarding scope of work, selections, and pricing; and thrill the clients scheduling, scope of work, selections, and pricing; and thrill the clients with our attention to detail and professionalism.

We hold trade day toward the end of the design phase and a few weeks before we present the construction contract. The meeting lasts two to three hours and is attended by the client, key Mark IV Builders employees, and all the trades that will be involved. We don't ask trades to compete for the job; basically, if you're invited to trade day, the job is yours to lose.

Every trade contractor receives:

  • A full set of project specifications, typically about 90% complete. We want our trades to see their work as part of a whole, and to coordinate with one another on who's going to do what, when.
  • A preliminary production schedule.
  • A chance to meet the homeowner and review any concerns.
  • After trade day, each trade contractor sends us a detailed proposal for their part of the project.

    Trade day gets buy-in all around. Clients witness the care we take to meet their goals. Trades appreciate being able to work out issues and pin down their needs. And we get the accurate pricing and scheduling we need to achieve the desired end product. — Andy Hannan is the production manager of Mark IV Builders, Bethesda, Md.