Communicating With Your RemodelerJune 18, 2014
Cabinetry VocabularyJuly 2, 2014
It seems like every homeowner has their own remodeling horror story, doesn’t it? Well, contractors and remodelers have their fair share, too! It makes sense, of course—home renovation is a high-stakes, high-stress endeavor; one that has the potential to bring out the worst in anyone, especially on a bad day (which we all have).
A lot of contractors will tell you that a project that goes badly often starts badly; homeowners who rush through the planning stage encounter all sorts of unanticipated issues that would have been addressed, had the time been taken earlier in the process.
Allow your contractor to guide you—after all, they have done this before. Bring all of your ideas, hopes, dreams—and dollars—to the table, so everyone understands boundaries, be they design-related or budgetary in nature.
Another common complaint from contractors is the indecisive client. This may take the form of a client who is unable to commit to changes, and can never seem to make a decision, or it may take the form of a client who consistently makes changes that result in delays and added expense.
Making sure that clients understand that changes to approved plans—be they design, or product-related—often result in project delays, and have the potential to cost time and money. Strongly discourage clients from making unapproved changes without consulting you first. Something they see as simple or minor—changing out a faucet, for example, or ordering a new stove with different specs—is going to cost everyone in the long run.
No, not the email newsletter delivery service! “Constant contact” refers to the client who is overly involved with the project. That’s not to say that clients shouldn’t be involved! Client input is absolutely crucial, and it’s important for clients to “go with their gut” if they sense something is off or wrong about their remodel.
A great way to head this particular problem off at the pass is to establish rules for communication early on in the planning process. Constructive communication strategies include defining the roles of everyone involved in the remodel, creating rules for communication taking everyone’s preferences into account (email versus telephone versus text message), and establishing a communication schedule to create a baseline for how often updates are shared (daily or weekly).
Bringing an expert touch to remodeling means many things for a contractor, including leadership. Clients will respect a contractor’s professional experience, especially when they demonstrate the excellent results that expertise can provide. Once a client provides a contractor with their vision, an expert has the ability to lead them there with patience, planning, and clear communication.