The salon is finally under construction; it’s been a long process to get here. As a stylist, CEO and a woman who loves the finished product of new construction and has no interest in DIY, it’s now time to put on my hard hat and dig in.
While we know hiring the right general contractor can take the pressure off of me, we know if we don’t learn all we need to, it’s easy for the project to quickly go over budget.
Tip #1: Leverage Your Resources
When looking for a general contractor, we reached out to our architect, designer and a real estate and construction resources at Beauty 360 Consulting. Here is what we learned:
• When you send your request for proposal (RFP) out to general contractors, be sure to be very specific in your needs. Make sure they are bidding the same work and the same finishes.
• Always get at least three bids and compare the total bid and the line items. Leverage every savings you can.
We ended up saving close to $20,000, wahoo!
Tip #2: Learn the Process
It’s now time for us to walk the space with the general contractor, and ask questions and learn. The goal: Build a project plan we understand, compare notes with my general contractor and ask more questions. We wanted to know:
• What’s the order and timing of things?
• How do the different roles interact in the timeline, for example, plumber and inspectors, flooring or drywall?
• Ask more questions.
The questions paid off. There was conflicting information between the designer and the general contractor. Shannon and I made footprints of the furniture out of newspaper and laid it out in the space. We realized the interior wall measurement was 4 inches short in the front of the salon and 12 inches short in the rear. We were able to make quick changes in the layout of the front wall and built-in furniture in the rear of the salon. No additional cost!
Tip #3 Be Involved
It’s our hard-earned money, we must be involved and show up every day, set-up regular meetings with your general contractor and sub-contractors. What we learned: When you don’t show up, they don’t show up. The general contractor “comes by” daily. I’ve set up camp just outside the front door in my lawn chair, with a construction mask. (If I only took a picture). If a sub is late, I call the general contractor. When a sub arrives, we talk through what they are doing in advance.
Why? Perfect example, the curve for the retail area almost got installed 18 inches too long. By having this conversation, we got on the same page before it was built. The plans were right, the sub had his own plan.
It’s been eight weeks and we are done! Our contractors were fantastic and many were our first clients. I’ve been schooled in construction and by learning the process and being involved we opened on time, on budget and the salon looks amazing.
We started hiring our staff, check out our next blog to learn how we built our dream team.
Allyson and Shannon King
Co-Owners Hair & Co BKLYN
Did you miss Shannon and Allyson King's former blogs as they open their dream salon in Brooklyn. Catch up on their journey!
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.