Whether you meet in a club, a church or a chat room, relationships – even good, long-lasting ones – can be complicated. And while you’re not likely to be annoyed with them for leaving dirty socks on the floor, your relationship with contractors can seem a bit like a marriage: feeling compatible is key. Still, with a solid foundation and a little understanding, committing to a contractor can turn out to be a match made in relationship heaven.

In today’s economy, the temptation when finding a contractor is to weigh your options by price alone. If one company offers to redo your kitchen for $2,000 less than a competitor, it must be the better option – right? This is where getting to know your craftsperson is critical. Yes, staying within a budget is important, but shop around for more than just price. In addition to cost, look for three or four qualified, capable contractors and build your decision around their talent and your shared vision. Look closely into that bottom-line quote: Is everything included? And, more importantly, how is the company’s reputation? Go with your gut feeling: Do you feel comfortable with them? If you don’t from the beginning, chances are it won’t get better as the relationship progresses.

Of course, good contractors have all the required certifications and insurances – and good track records. Interested in getting a bathroom remodeled? Find out whether bathrooms are a company specialty or if it’s their first time with this type of renovation. References are a must, so talk to someone who just had his or her washroom completed by the same contractor. Be sure to find out what happens when there are bumps in the road, too: Many larger renovations, such as kitchen and bathroom remodels or additions, present unforeseen challenges. It’s important to know how the contractor handles those trials throughout the project.

Like any relationship, the beginning stage may include a honeymoon period, where you’re willing to overlook the mud tracked into the house or a missed phone call. During the short, one-day jobs, such as new roofing or siding, this may never be a problem, but longer renovations can stretch a relationship, making it even more important to feel comfortable with your contractor. Knowing that he or she won’t sweep issues under the rug is critical.

While the interaction may seem a bit more one-sided than those on the dating scene, your contractor is actually interviewing you as well. At Malcarne Contracting, we want to be sure we’re able to provide the best possible service and experience – which means we need to know as much about your project goals as we can. You want your dream kitchen, bathroom or addition – and the feeling’s mutual on our end – but committing to a vision can be difficult, or challenging to explain. Before your first meeting with a contractor, look through home-improvement magazines and tear out examples of rooms you love. Grab a few paint samples that speak to your style. Do you dream of white kitchen cabinets for your renovation, or a more rustic wood stain? Love marble or gravitate toward granite? By having a clear understanding of what you want, we can more easily figure out how to bring those goals to life.

At Malcarne, we’re interested in a long-term connection: Our career is our passion, and we want you to love our work as well. Home is where your heart is – and that’s where ours is, too.