Working with contractors can be stressful and nerve-wracking. Whether dealing with a restoration project where damage has occurred or hiring a general contractor to make changes to your home, you want a positive experience where there is trust and confidence. From start to finish there may be a lot going on to complete your project or repair damage that has been done. There are some simple rules of etiquette you can follow that will be helpful and eliminate surprises as you navigate your contractor-homeowner relationship.
Establish Good Communication
- A good contractor will value clear, open communication. From the very beginning, establish how your contractor prefers to communicate. This may be an onsite morning meeting before work begins, calls or texts to the contractor’s cell phone, or a specifically timed meet during the workday.
- Be clear about what you want and do no be afraid to speak up. Have realistic goals about your project and make your expectations clear before work begins. Know what is in your contract, and if there are ever any questions or concerns along the way, bring it to the contractor’s attention immediately.
- If there are conflicts that arise or if changes need to be made, be upfront and always be respectful.
- Keep a project journal. Use it to record progress and any communications with contractors or insurance. Note any questions you may want to ask your contractor, ideas, order details, or upcoming delivery dates. The end of the day is a good time to walk around and check a contractor’s work. Use your journal to make any notes or jot any questions you may have after your walkthrough.
- Jobs will move with greater ease if you have prepared the area a crew will be working in. That may include removing fragile items or moving small objects out of areas where most of the work and activity will occur. Allowing access to your driveway or the area in front of your home will also add conveniences during a project.
- Pets can be one of the biggest hindrances for contractors and their workers. Most prefer that pets are kept away from the area. This will keep workers focused and protect pets from any of the dangers of tools, materials, or equipment that may be around.
Let Them Work
- When checking in with your contractor keep conversations to a minimum and visits short. A contractor’s time is precious, and you want their attention and focus on finishing your job on schedule.
Make Payments on Time
- When a contract is signed there are guidelines set forth for payment. If you are working with insurance to repair damages, be sure you understand how your contractors will be paid. Maintaining a positive relationship with your contractor means keeping track of when payments are due and submitting all funds that are due in a prompt, and timely manner.
Have Some Trust
- If you’ve done your job of researching a contractor’s certifications, licensing, experience, and checked reviews and references then it is time to step back and trust in their abilities to finish the job. Hovering around the worksite is a distraction and can give the contractor the sense that you do not believe in the quality of their work.
- Your efforts to be friendly and accommodating will go a long way. Workers that feel welcome in your home will have increased motivation and desire to do their best work for you. Some recommendations include allowing the use of a designated bathroom, greeting them each morning, learning their names, and complimenting their work. Most workers wouldn’t shy away from a nice cold glass of lemonade or a yummy cookie either, but of course those are not expected.
- The greatest compliment you can give a company is in sharing your positive experience in a review or referral. Companies rely on these reviews and referrals from past customers, and this is an easy way to show your appreciation.
The chances are high that you will need the services of a contractor at one point or another for your home. Whether you are experiencing a leaky pipe, water damage, roof repair, or a home renovation, you will want a company you feel you can trust with your project. Once your research is complete and you’ve hired for the job, your contractor- homeowner relationship begins. Our tips provide some helpful reminders that will ensure a positive experience from start to finish.
Related Blog Posts:
Additional Resources & References: