Does it seem as if just about everyone has a story to tell about a remodeling experience gone horribly wrong? The contractor is generally depicted as the villain, but, in fact, licensed contractors are typically reputable professionals.
So why is it that working with contractors can be aggravating for so many homeowners? It's possible they might have overlooked a basic tenet for maintaining any good relationship: it's a two-way street.
What you need to know when working with remodeling contractors
As a homeowner, it's almost inevitable that sooner or later you'll need to hire a contractor for an improvement project or to make a repair. Even if you're a dedicated DIYer, eventually there'll be a job that requires the skills of a construction professional. Is there anything that can be done to make the experience more pleasant -- both for you and the contractor? Try these tips for maintaining a good relationship with the remodeling contractor working on your home:
Did you tell your contractor about that window location change?
Did you order enough shingles for the roofer?
- Communication. Perhaps more than anything else, an open line of communication is key to an enjoyable remodeling project. Your contractor isn't a mind reader; tell them what you hope to accomplish with the improvements and any particulars that might have a bearing on how they do their job.
- Materials. Purchasing your own materials can be a good way to save a little money on a home improvement project, but don't forget that contractors can't work if what they need isn't on the job. If you're supplying the materials, find out exactly what the contractor requires and ensure that it's all on the jobsite before they start their phase of work.
- Scope of work. Do you and the remodeling contractor have the same concept of what the scope of work entails? One way to be sure is to ask the contractor to attach to the contract a complete description of all they plan on doing. It can be a good method for ensuring you're both on the same page and for avoiding unpleasant misunderstandings.
- Scheduling. Home remodeling is full of variables that can affect the completion schedule, especially if it's an older structure. If you have a certain completion date you're trying to meet, make sure the contractor knows prior to starting the work. Remember, circumstances that aren't within their control may affect when the home improvement job is finished. Scheduling is also important when you're acting as the general contractor for the project. Keeping each sub-contractor aware when you'll need them on the jobsite or any scheduling changes should help the project run smoothly.
Follow these tips and you just may have some good stories to tell the next time the subject of remodeling contractors comes up at a dinner party.