How to Work With Your Contractor

By Robert Robillard on Contractor Advice

Working With A Contractor

Establishing and maintaining good working relationships is important to all of us in life and also in the remodeling process.

Many of us consider ourselves calm, reasonable and understanding people but remodeling our homes can stress out even the most Zen like of us. You know what I mean, that old saying….. “Stuff happens.”

The best way to approach a remodel is to have realistic expectations. To be realistic you need to be educated or at least informed on the process.

Many people think about remodeling and paint the finished picture in their mind and skip the process it takes to get there. I’m talking about the dust, dirt, debris, noise, inconveniences to daily living and lifestyle, scheduling issues, delays, and other “slight” problems that need your attention or decision on along the way.

Whether we like it or not these are all realistic factors in a remodeling project. As a client you must be realistic and accept the fact that there will be inconveniences. As a contractor you should be educating your clients about the possibility, and try to anticipate and head them off beforehand.

Inconvenience and unpleasantry can be minimized by having a good working relationship from the beginning.

Here are a few tips that may help:

1. be honest with your contractor from the beginning about your expectations. Clear communication is KEY to a successful project.

2. 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. As with any profession, some profit margin must be factored in to the price.

3. Realize that certain stages of a remodeling project seem to go more quickly than others. For example, during stages that involve more tangible work you’ll have a true sense of rapid progress. During other stages, however, that involve work of a more “hidden” nature like the installation of electrical lines or plumbing, it may seem that the work is going nowhere.

4. Attempt to resolve all design and component issues prior to the work commencing.

5. To avoid delays, insist that all materials, cabinets, appliances, etc are on site and accounted for prior to starting the project.

6. If possible, avoid making changes to the job scope. They tend to upset the schedule, which ultimately upsets you. If you do decide some changes are necessary settle the cost difference up front so there is no misunderstanding.

Finally, remember that relations take work from both sides.



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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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