Many homeowners have problems with communicating with the contractors they hire to complete work on their home.
It is common for homeowners to view contractors with suspicion since they are unknown people working in the home. For their part, some contractors, believing their clients to be naive, dislike communicating with them.
Still, the relationship will be much more beneficial for both if the communication channels are open.
When you are preparing for your home renovation project, here are some ways that you can improve your communication with your contractors so you get better results.
1. Know the results you want
It is not uncommon for a homeowner to decide during an ongoing project that they really wanted something different. Sudden midstream changes like this can throw a loop in a contractor’s job.
They may then have to undo work they’ve already completed or spend a longer time on your project than what they had planned for.
By knowing and planning ahead, you can prevent these types of problems while also saving yourself significant costs.
2. Understand that there will be messes, and then work to reduce them
A home renovation project will be messy. You might expect dust and other types of issues. To find out exactly what you should expect, ask your contractor before they begin the job.
You can also help by preparing the areas in which the work will be performed in advance, such as removing possessions and covering furniture in other areas that dust might reach.
You’ll also want to find out from your contractor if there are times when you should vacate the premises due to fumes or similar hazards.
3. Understand that you are not your contractor’s only client
Some homeowners forget that their contractor likely has other clients and projects at the same time. While some may approach their work client-by-client, many do not have that luxury.
Sometimes, a project simply goes longer than for what they planned. When you are understanding about this fact of business, you’re more likely to receive benefits in return from your contractor, such as a willingness to add additional tasks on to the work you originally requested.
4. Understand that delays sometimes occur
Home improvement projects often take a lot more time than what you might see on television or would expect. Unexpected developments sometimes occur, extending the time that was projected.
Weather can also play a major role, depending on your project. For example, an outdoor project may be delayed by snow, ice or rain.
Weather may also delay the completion of indoor projects, especially if the wood has become damp and needs to dry before it can be properly installed. Similarly, if your contractor gives you a time estimate in days, that does not mean that the days of work will be consecutive.
5. Avoid trying to help because it can hurt
Don’t automatically assume that you can help your contractor while they are working. If this is something you want to do, you need to check with them about any help that is needed or if they would prefer you not try.
Even if you have a small amount of knowledge about a task, you could also end up causing damage by trying to help.
6. Your project may cost more than you expect
One of the major complaints homeowners make about contractors is about jobs costing more than they expected. To keep the project within your budget, you need to clearly communicate what it is to your contractor.
The final cost may still be higher than the estimate you were given because of issues that can arise or changes you request.
It’s a good idea to tell your contractor the amount you do not want to go above so they can have a better idea of what you’re working with.
7. Not all contractors are shady
While horror stories abound about shady contractors, most are hardworking people who simply want to do a good job for you. One thing to understand is people are more likely to talk about the bad experiences they’ve had rather than the good ones.
While there are certainly some bad contractors out there, some have also been ripped off by their clients, such as being paid with a bad check or dealing with clients refusing to pay.
8. Find a good contractor
To find a good contractor, there are several things you should do. First, find one you can communicate with, that you genuinely like and that you trust.
Take your search beyond the Yellow Pages. Many good contractors work more by word of mouth and no longer rely on advertising. This means you should ask other people you know about contractors they would recommend.
You can also ask your local home improvement store for names of people they would recommend.
When you think you’ve found the right contractor, check to see that they are licensed and insured.
To start the planning process and work towards your home renovation project, call Flemington Granite today to schedule your appointment. You can also stop by our showroom and we will be happy to show you the different things we can do and schedule a time to come to your home for an estimate.