Residential architects who specialize in the hot, humid, southern climate

5 Characteristics of Exceptional Contractors

We have been fortunate to work with some excellent contractors over the past 25 years. A few have risen to the level of exceptional, both in their business practices and finished buildings. There are five practices that are common to all the exceptional contractors. 1. Exceptional contractors work as team with the architect and owner. The end result of a well built and detailed house with a happy client is the shared goal of the team. It is important to have realistic pricing to start the job and when issues arise you solve them as a team instead of pointing fingers. Recently, on a major renovation project, the contractor Powell Brothers noticed that the floors that were designed to meet code bounced significantly. We met with the structural engineer and developed a plan to sister the joist that solved the problem at minimum costs.

2. Exceptional contractors are forward thinkers. They anticipate questions in unresolved  areas weeks or months before it reaches a crisis point - thereby preventing it from being a crisis. In residential construction the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems are often installed with no oversight or forethought  resulting in strange soffits and chases ruining the interior space. Bay 10 Ventures carefully plans the systems integration prior to starting any framing.

3. Exceptional contractors employ the best construction methods as standard practice. One example is typically in residential construction the home's Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system is turned on after the house is dried-in. Bay 10 Ventures routinely uses a portable HVAC system with removable ducts while the house is under construction. This prevents dust and construction debris from clogging the home's permanent HVAC system and increases the life of the HVAC components.

4. Excellent on-site supervision is a given for exceptional contractors. Recently, a tile sub-contractor unpacked the natural stone bathroom floor and realized that it didn't appear to blend with the wall tile. Instead of installing the tile, the sub-contractor and contractor, The Powell Brothers, called me to the site to verify if it was indeed the correct tile. Natural stone can vary from quarry to quarry, so while technically it was the specified tile - the sub-contractor was correct in that it didn't blend and another tile was selected. This saved the client both time and money. If the tile had been installed, it would have been a change order to remove the tile and replace it with another tile.

5. Exceptional contractors have exceptional sub-contractors. On a recent project, The Powell Brothers were able to save the clients a significant amount of money by using windows with a primed wood interior finish. In all the rooms that were painted it was fine; in the stained cypress library they had a excellent faux finisher paint the window sashes to match the cypress.

For a smooth, pleasant building experience hire the exceptional contractor - they are worth every dollar that you pay them.