Working With A Contractor

Dealing with your general contractor while remodeling, things you should know!

Written by Mike West Planning to remodel sometime soon? If you said yes, then read along for some helpful hints on working closely and successfully with your remodeling contractor.

Know I know you believe that you are an easy, and understanding individual with whom everyone can get along with. However, if this is your first time remodeling, you could very well be surprised what might take place.

Having Realistic Expectations

When a homeowner takes on a remodeling project, they dream about how wonderful the final product is going to turn out. Many forget to think about the noise, dust, small inconveniences, and scheduling delays that are bound to occur on many remodeling projects. These things happen, and there is little to nothing most of us can do about them. Clients need to be realistic and accept the remodeling fact that small inconveniences happen.

To help eliminate many of these problems, it is important to establish a good client-contractor relationship right from the get go. This depends on many things:

1. Communication…communication…communication! This is by far one of the most important aspects of the remodeling experience. Tell us what your realistic expectations are so we can talk about them.

2. Your needs, wants, and desires are very important to us. However, if you don’t give us a realistic budget to work with then no one will be happy. More often then not, homeowners have these larger then life ideas for their remodel, but have to be brought back down to planet earth to stay within their budget. It is alo important to remember the contractor has to make money. Homeowners do the material list themselves and can’t understand why the price is so much more. This is our livelihood and it is how we provide for our families. Like in most professions, there is a profit margin to factor in.

3. A proposed schedule is important to discuss. If we fall behind on our timeline, don’t hesitate to ask why.

4. Each remodeling stage may have a different duration for various reasons. Demo and framing are two of the stages that you can see large amounts of progress in a smaller time frame. Installing tedious but important items such as electrical wires and plumbing are not as readily noticed by the homeowner. When these smaller tasks are being completed it may seem like no work is being accomplished. Don’t worry! You may not feel like we are working all the time, trust me….we are!

5. Remember your role during the remodeling process. Picking out selections, finalizing the design, this is where you are the most important to the process. However, once construction has commenced, allow us the freedom to do what we do best, remodel! Please feel free to speak up though, if you feel like something isn’t right, or you have a question. Just don’t try to play contractor during the process. That’s our job!

6. Try to limit the amount of changes you make to the scope of work. It almost always affects the schedule, which in turn will affect you. If you do have changes to make, so be it! Just complete the change order and make payment up front, and all is well.

Remember, maintaining a good client-contractor relationship is pivotal in a successful remodel. Having good communication is a two way street. You would want others to respect your profession, we ask that you do the same. Our years of expertise have led us to where we are today, which is leaving you with a wonderful experience and an outstanding final product!