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.