Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Transparency. What Does This Have to Do with Renovation?

transparency, integrity, social responsibility Illustration: Transparency, Integrity, Social Responsibility
Credit: MS Office ClipArt MC900231444
We recently asked one of our large project clients why they hired us and what made us stand out from the others, and he answer was "transparency". Our clients did a lot of planning and research before they even began to interview contractors. When Wo-Built had our first session with them, they had already met with contractors and received several various quotes.

We were speaking with them a short while ago and asked why Wo-Built? What struck them was that we did not embellish any facts, we did not talk down to them, we were straight forward with what would happen and our estimate was detailed enough to show where the money would be spent.

Also when we were asked to reduce the budget we were able to have a logical discussion about what areas of the design would be compromised and what could be cut in order to help them manage their costs. As a result, it came back to transparency and honesty.

According to Wikipedia transparent behaviour implies openness, communication, and accountability. For us this transparency is not limited to financial matters even though this is a large part of it. Financial transparency inspires trust; nothing is hidden. We have a policy of open book; this means the client can see what we pay. But operational transparency is also important to us. By that we mean that we make the client aware of the implications of any decisions, anticipate possible problems and have good communication.

So, here is what our clients had to say about their experience renovating with us:
"By the time John and I met with Wo-Built we had looked at quite a few quotes. As soon as we saw the itemized, detailed quote from Wo-Built we immediately felt relief. Not one other contractor had provided us with such level of detail, and while we met with some really great companies, the difference with the Wo-Built approach was significant for us. In one case where we asked a contractor to give us a second quote, bringing the costs down, he came back with a quote that was $30,000.00 lower but couldn’t articulate to us what did that mean in terms of our original design for the house.

With Wo-Built’s second quote, John and I could see exactly what the impact of the reduced budget would be and gave us the opportunity to rationally decide what we could live with in terms of design change and what was really important to us. After hiring Wo-Built, the transparency continued throughout the project. Every invoice had all the details, including the holdback portion, so we always knew how much we were spending, could track it against the original budget and understood what money we needed to keep for the end of the project.

Ultimately John and I got the home of our dreams and never regretted any of the budget decisions that we made along the way because we had the opportunity to make informed decisions. We both believe this was directly attributable to the transparent way in which we received all of our information and communication from Wo-Built.

Carla Ciallella"

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