Effectively Communicating With Your Contractor
Clear lines of communication between you and your contractor are a vital part of any home improvement project. Making sure everyone is on the same page as to the cost, timelines and any unforeseen contingencies that may occur during the course of construction is a sure formula for a satisfying experience. This ensures that you receive a completed project on time and on budget.
You may do all your due diligence when selecting a contractor for your new home improvement project and still miss one of the most important aspects. How are the communication skills and relationship you have with your contractor? Trust that your contractor will give you a quality product for an honest price. You build a relationship during the build, after you have delivered the final payment and far after the home is complete. Trust that the contractor will not sweep a problem under the rug for you, as the owner, to deal with after the warranty period is over.
It starts with your first meeting. Does the company representative have your best interest in mind? You should be able to trust a contractor enough so that when you reveal a budget, he will maximize your house, not his profit. The initial estimate should not be misleading or vague. This number should be a consistent one as a basis to work from for your home project. This is where the discussion of a timeline to complete the project should begin. If at all possible, before building, you should be provided with a schedule that is complete with all the different scopes of work along with the start and completion dates.
Construction is not an exact science, so be aware of contingencies that may arise. If some unforeseen item comes up, how will it be addressed? Your relationship with your contractor and the lines of communication should be clear. Builders make judgment calls on critical processes within your home that a majority of homeowners may not know. You would hope to trust your contractor to make the correct decision for your benefit, to not just pass code for a quick profit. Change orders, once you sign the initial contract, are almost bound to the contractor’s desired charges. You need to trust that you will not get raked over the price.
This is a formula for a successful and memorable experience that will leave you completely satisfied with your home project. Remember this is an important step for you and your family. The contractor that takes you through this journey should have your best interest at heart. As a homeowner, you don’t have the time or the experience to understand the full construction process, so be sure you get quality work at a fair price. Short of hiring outside counsel, hire a contractor you feel comfortable with, and more importantly, one you can trust!
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