Monday, June 10, 2013

Five Tips for a Good Relationship With Your Contractor


Things Your Contractor Wishes You Would Do


So you’ve found a great contractor, who you discovered after an exhaustive search that included getting references from trusted sources. You’ve had several meetings with this contractor, worked out a contract and have made a deposit. 

You’ve taken the first steps toward a successful home renovation project, but there is still much you can do on your own part to ensure the road to a finished project is a smooth one.

Here are some ways you can help your contractor throughout the renovation process:

Stick to the plan. Of course, plans may need to be changed as the project proceeds, especially if unexpected problems arise. However, it’s not a good idea to constantly change your mind about major design or building options throughout the renovation. Consider all your options, ask questions and think through the options carefully BEFORE committing to any plans. Changes could cause delays in the completion date and cause cost overruns if the contractor has already started work on a component of the project that you decide you want to change midway through construction.

Listen. You’ve likely chosen your contractor because his or her company has the experience and expertise to handle your renovation project. Listen to his or her advice. Your contractor is a professional who has led many renovations for many happy customers (as you likely discovered through your reference checks). He or she will have many good ideas.

Don’t be a control freak. Try to overcome the urge to micromanage the project.  Again, your initial search for a contractor was for someone who you could trust to understand and carry out your mission. Let your general contractor do the job you hired them to do.

Pay your contractor on time. The contract should include payment details, including when and how much. Make sure you adhere to the contract regarding the payment schedule. Sometimes, a contractor will need payment by a certain date in order to buy materials for the next phase of the project. Late payments could delay the project and inspire ill will.

Don’t get in the way. Don’t distract workers with a lot of small chitchat. Leave when you say you will if you have arranged to be gone from your home or the area of your home that is undergoing renovation during the hours that workers are in your home. If you’re still puttering around in the kitchen when workers are scheduled to be there, then you are causing a delay in the project.

Schedule regular update meetings. These don’t need to be formal face-to-face meetings or last very long, but scheduling regular meetings makes guesswork unnecessary for either party. It's your opportunity to hear about progress on the project and any potential problems. Likewise, your general contractor doesn't have to play phone tag with you to give you updates.

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