Part 1 of a three-part series

A stumbling block for many remodelers is job closeout. How can a project ever be “done” in the minds of both the client and the remodeler? It seems almost impossible.

Here are some strategies you might try if this is a problem for your company.

Start at the Beginning

When you’re in the sales process with the client, describe how your company handles job closeout. Set some expectations with the client.

Mention that you and your people will be focused on getting done with the client’s project from the day the project starts. 

Address the fact that your company always shares a schedule with the client. Be sure to set the expectation with the client that the schedule is a planning tool and that the actual course of events will likely shift as circumstances during the job require. Affirm that the company is taking the scheduled completion date very seriously.

Mention that there will likely be at least a few change orders. The ones coming from the remodeling company will be driven by hidden conditions and will likely occur early in the project as the demo is done. The ones coming from the client will probably occur because the client will want to improve the original plan and/or scope as he or she starts to see the dream become reality.

In any case, a change order will always address three things: a change in scope, a change in cost, and a change in the schedule. By always mentioning the schedule and any changes made to it, the client will be more likely to remember the revised date, not the original completion date.

Speak about how the company handles quality control. A good practice is for the lead carpenter to keep a running list of outstanding items. I like to call this the completion list. At the beginning of the job, the completion list is the scope of work and the estimate. As the job unfolds, the lead carpenter will cross out the items in those two documents that become 100% done.

The completion list is kept to document those items that need additional attention for whatever reason. Engage the client in making sure that the completion list is always up to date.

How? See Part 2 of this series.