How to Work With A Contractor
Are you in the process of planning to remodel your home? If the answer is yes, here are some tips on how to establish and maintain a good working relationship with your remodeling contractor.
Everyone who begins the remodeling process has visions of the "dream" home they'll have when it's completed. Few, however, give much thought to the dust and dirt, noise, inconveniences, scheduling delays, and slight problems, which will need to be dealt with along the way. These elements are part and parcel of any remodeling job and every client needs to be realistic and accept the fact that there will be some inconveniences.
How inconvenient and unpleasant the process will be depends a lot on the working relationship we create right from the beginning. A good client-contractor relationship depends on several things:
- Be honest with us from the beginning regarding your expectations. Clear communication is the foundation of a successful project.
- Be realistic about what you are looking for in the remodel and what you are willing to budget for the project. Many homeowners enter a remodeling project with grandiose plans that need to be scaled down to meet their budget. We’ll work with you to provide you with the best your money can afford. But remember, this is our livelihood. As with any profession, some profit margin must be factored into the price.
- Let’s discuss our work schedule. If the schedule falls behind, feel free to ask why.
- Realize that certain stages of remodeling may seem to go more quickly than others. For example, in stages when more tangible work is being done (for instance when walls are being torn down or replaced, framing constructed, or appliances installed), you'll have a true sense of rapid progress. During other stages, however, which are more hidden (the installation of electrical lines or plumbing), it may seem that the work is going nowhere. Don't worry. Just because you can't see it easily doesn't mean that nothing's happening. Trust us... it is.
- Recognize your role in the remodeling process and allow us to perform our work. Your input regarding design, craftsmanship expected, etc. would be worked out before the contract is signed. Once work is underway, give us the freedom to execute the job effectively. This is not to say that if you see something going wrong you shouldn't speak up. However don't try to take on our role in the process.
- Avoid changes to the job scope if possible. They tend to upset the schedule, which ultimately upsets you. If you do decide some changes are in order, settle the cost difference up front with the lead carpenter or salesperson so there is no misunderstanding.
Finally, remember that maintaining a good contractor-client relationship is a two-way street. Just as you would want others to respect your professional expertise, please respect ours. At the same time, you can be sure that we're committed to providing you with as painless are model as possible, with the final results you expect.